‘South Park’: Cartman Got These 2 Monologues from Greta Thunberg and LeBron James
South Park has always been on the front lines of satire Given their six day production timeline, they are able to respond to recent events in the world. They had a Passion of the Christ episode out weeks after the film released. The 23rd season addressed ICE detention facilities, trans athletes and Disney+. Cartman also quoted Greta Thunberg and LeBron James.
The 23rd season of South Park is now available on Blu-ray. One of the bonus features is a #SocialCommentary that provides information about each episode as tweets. They pointed out Cartman’s riffs on Thunberg and James’ speeches.
Cartman’s version of Greta Thunberg on ‘South Park’
In the episode “Mexican Joker,” Cartman is a bit depressed about the state of the world, including Stan moving to his father’s marijuana farm, climate change and, of course, Kyle. As he sulks into a convenience store to get a soda, he speaks to the cashier.
“Kids are being handed a world that’s broken and sick,” Cartman says. “We’re not the ones who messed this planet up but we’re the ones who will pay the price.”
‘South Park’ noticed Greta Thunberg’s climate change speeches
While there are no direct quotes of Greta Thunberg using Cartman’s words, there are many speeches that could have inspired him. The social commentary only says, “Cartman complaining about the world that children will inherit from previous generations is similar to a speech made by Greta Thunberg.”
Thunberg appeared at the U.N. Climate session on Sept. 23, two days before “Mexican Joker” aired. Perhaps her comments about her generation vs. the generation that ignored climate change inspired South Park.
“You are failing us, but young people are starting to understand your betrayal,” Thunberg said according to NPR. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.”
At the U.N. Climate Change COP24 Conference on Dec. 15, 2018, Thunberg also spoke about a generation stealing their children’s future. Perhaps that inspired Cartman.
“You say you love your children above all else and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes,” Thunberg said.
Cartman quoted LeBron James more directly
South Park’s LeBron James spoof was more specific. When Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong” in Oct. 2019, L.A. Laker James criticized Morey for speaking out. Morey deleted his tweet, but some fans didn’t appreciate James qualifying the First Amendment.
“Yes, we do have freedom of speech,” James said according to the New York Daily News. “But at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, when you only think about yourself.”
Cartman’s version came in the South Park episode “Let Them Eat Goo.” Cartman is angry that other students protested the meals in the school cafeteria to make them healthy. He chastizes them like James chastised Morey.
“Yes, we do all have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re just thinking about yourself,” Cartman said.