For 16 seasons now, “South Park” has been delighting viewers with its signature brand of absurdity, skewing any and everything in pop culture along the way. There's been quite a few music superstars immortalized on “South Park,” some whose appearances were made without them even being consulted. With their quick production turnaround and utter fearlessness, the show's sent up some of the biggest names in business. We at the Weekly felt now would be a good time to be goin' down to “South Park” and revisit five of our favorites.
Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne, Meatloaf, Rick James, Ween, Primus and More – “Chef Aid” (1998)
Shortly following “South Park's” initial explosion in popularity, creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were contacted to assemble a soundtrack for the show and feature the talent involved in a subsequent episode. The result was “Chef Aid,” which allowed Parker to exercise his musical muscles alongside some of the business' all-time greats. The episode and album also saw the creation of the Chef-spotlighted “VH1 Behind the Music” parody “Behind the Menu.”
KoRN – “KoRN's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery” (1999)
Back in 1999, we knew the key to happiness came from drinking Surge soda, wearing Jnco jean-shorts, watching “South Park” and listening to nu-metal. The latter two in mind, “South Park” seemed like the perfect place for KoRN to debut their new single “Falling Away From Me.” Showing the guys in the band weren't afraid to poke fun at their public persona, they joined the gang for some “Scooby-Doo” inspired Halloween fun.
Radiohead – "Scott Tenorman Must Die” (2001)
Also not afraid to appear outside of their public perception were acclaimed avant-garde rockers Radiohead. Dropping by at the tail end of fan-favorite episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die,” the guys behind "Creep” roll into town to call local bully Scott Tenorman a "crybaby” in a genuine moment of ironic wit.
R. Kelly – "Trapped in the Closet” (2005)
One of the show's most famous episodes, "Trapped in the Closet” is most known for the unprecedented wide-scale mocking of the Church of Scientology. Also beloved is the episode's subplot involving R. Kelly attempting to coax Tom Cruise and John Travolta out of Stan's closet, capturing the joyful absurdity of Mr. Kelly's unforgettable mid-2000s R&B saga.
Kanye West – "Fishsticks” (2009)
It was almost prophetic how "South Park” depicted Kanye West's ego raging out of control mere months before the Taylor Swift incident, which only further proves how in touch the show's managed to be for over 15 years. Not one to miss an opportunity, the very night after West interrupted Ms. Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards, the show's network Comedy Central aired the "Fishsticks” episode back-to-back four consecutive times. West took the parody in stride, mentioning on his blog the next day that he found the episode funny as well as being a sign he needed to tone of ego down. Of course, West went on to immortalize the send-up on his next album, threatening to "choke a 'South Park' writer with a fishstick.”