Over the course of adult animated series South Park’s 22-season run, the show has satirized and made fun of many politicians and real-life events that have taken place throughout the years. However, their most regrettable episode to date may just be “ManBearPig,” in which former presidential candidate Al Gore is mocked for his warnings about global warming, reported Salon.
In the 2006 episode, the former vice president of the United States is depicted as becoming hysterical about a part-man, part-pig, part-bear creature that appears to be imaginary. As Gore tries to convince everyone about the existence of the fictional creature to feel better about losing the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000, the underlying message is that Gore’s key message about the severity of man-made climate change was a joke.
It appears that the creators of the show, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have attempted to atone for “ManBearPig” in their newest episode, “Time To Get Cereal.” Essentially a sequel to “ManBearPig,” the most recent episode starts with Stan Marsh watching as Ned Gerblansky gets mauled by the ManBearPig.
Stan realizes that Gore was right about the existence of the creature and convinces the rest of the South Park crew to track down Gore and ask him to help them defeat ManBearPig. However, Gore’s stipulation is that the boys apologize for not taking him seriously 12 years ago before he agrees to help them.
“Oh, is it inconvenient now?” the Gore character asks. “I tried to warn you all, but no one took me cereal. You all just made fun of me, didn’t you? Well now you can just deal with it yourself.”
The creators also include a side plot in the episode that serves as social commentary on global warming naysayers. A stand-in for man-made global warming deniers everywhere is depicted eating at a restaurant with his wife as he tells her that there is no way ManBearPig could be real.
Suddenly, however, ManBearPig enters the restaurant and starts killing the diners as the patron and his wife look on. At this point, the man simply insists that it’s too late to do anything about the problem, so it doesn’t even matter that he was wrong, before getting eaten by the ManBearPig himself.
Many fans of the show have commended Parker and Stone for taking responsibility for their mistake years ago and attempting to rectify it. Critics of the episode “ManBearPig” have claimed that a popular comedy show with millions of viewers should not be mocking real problems nor turning them into satire.