October 27, 2006

Steve Irwin mockery.

Were you upset by the little Steve Irwin thing on "South Park"? Satan is giving a Halloween party, and he confronts a guy who appears to be dressed as Steve Irwin. Picture at the link -- he's walking around with the stingray stuck in his bloody chest. Satan tells him it's too soon. When it turns out it really is the dead Steve Irwin, Satan throws him out for not wearing a costume.

Dressing as Steve Irwin for Halloween actually is a pretty clever idea, and it raises the interesting question why some evil/horrible things are considered good for costumes when others aren't. We all know you can't dress as Hitler, for example, even though, in general, evil imagery is encouraged.

Hitler, by the way, appears in the new "South Park." Not as a costume, as a dead guy. And he does have a costume. He's the "Can you hear me now?" guy, with a cell phone. Don't you hate that guy?

Also pushing the evil/funny envelope: Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer did an extended Three Stooges routine that was quite brilliant.


Eli Blake said...

Unless, of course, you are in line to one day be the King of England, in which case you can dress as Hitler (as Prince William once did at a party).

One reason I love America: Thank God we don't have any of those spoiled playboy royals running around, who think things like that are a joke (though there was some outrage in England, particularly among those who had survived the blitz.)

OddD said...

It was grossly insensitive.

But funny.

After revealing that he actually IS Steve Irwin, Satan tells him he has to leave because he wasn't wearing a costume.

In "Christmas Time In Hell", they had Gene Siskel and Princess Diana, and it was right after Siskel had died. You don't watch this show if you're emotionally fragile.

Or, I suppose, if you don't enjoy bad taste.

Revenant said...

This brings to mind the "tv show summaries" thread from below. South Park is a show that (to me, anyway) is a lot funnier summarized than it is when I actually watch it.

Eli Blake said...

Yes the South Park episode was tasteless. But I bet it gets good ratings, and that is what TV execs look at. And not favoring censorship as a remedy, I would simply suggest that it is up to viewers if they find it tasteless to not watch it.

Some of you might like this joke then:

Mohammed Atta, right after 9/11 shows up in what he thinks is heaven. George Washington walks up to him and beats the crap out of him. Coughing and sputtering, Atta drags himself to his feet and Patrick Henry comes up to him and beats him up again. This time it takes Atta a little longer to get up, but when he finally does, Thomas Jefferson is standing there and beats him up again.

Atta sees Jefferson go to the back of a long line behind Washington and Henry, and in the line ahead of them he sees, among others, James Madison, James Monroe, Robert E. Lee and Woodrow Wilson-- and they've all got a furious look on their face and a balled up fist. He looks up to heaven and asks, where his 72 virgins are. A voice thunders down and tells him he misread it. The verse was that he would get 72 Virginians.

BJK said...

I hope the comment about dressing up as Hitler was meant as a more subtle South Park reference.

In the show's first season Halloween episode ("Pink Eye"), Cartman goes to school dressed up as Hitler for a costume contest.


After watching an educational video on why dressing like Hitler in school isn't cool, the Principal makes him a "ghost" costume out of a nearby sheet. the resulting costume looks like a KKK outfit. (While out trick-or-treating, they come across a Klan meeting, whereby Cartman states that "they dressed up like ghosts too.")

Heck, the Steve Irwin thing wasn't even the most offen part of that episode: that would be resurrected serial killers doing "Three Stooges" shtick.

Edward said...

I hate to admit this, but I thought Irwin’s death was inherently funny, at least a bit. It was certainly sad, but it was funny, too, because he tempted fate for so long and so brazenly. That he was killed instantly by one of his beloved wild and lethal creatures was supreme irony of a sort.

I’m going to withhold judgment on the South Park episode until I see it – fifteen minutes from now. The entire concept seems brilliant to me, though.

I generally have a thick skin for offensive humor, as long as it's clear that no bigotry is involved.

I’m gay, and I suppose years ago there were some gay people offended when Parker and Stone (that’s their names, right?) decided to make the South Park Satan gay. I thought it was hilarious once I saw how they handled it.

They're really making fun of the right-wing demonization of gays.

Anonymous said...

Oh, whatever! Hitlers are totally welcome at my Halloween party. That would be great--I'd wanna see where that goes.

There was a "gentleman's club" (frank people call them strip joints) that advertised itself on billboards around here with an image of a short bald guy flanked by two super-hot, fakey looking blonds. A threesome frozen in that mode walking down the street made my favorite Halloween presentation ever.

(Second place: A couple dressed as Tony Perkins and Kathleen Turner in the slow-but-excellent Kurt Russell flick Crimes of Passion. He wore a priest outfit carrying a really scary dildo and she had the satin blue dress and platinum wig.)

Ruth Anne Adams said...

It'll be funny. It just takes time. Meanwhile, try not to die laughing.

Doug said...

I missed the latest South Park episode, I am sure I will watch it in reruns though, so I don't know how tacky it was or not.

I was at a Halloween party last year, and after I went home, some dumbass showed up as Hitler. This guy is a true attention whore, so he wore it purely for shock value. I did see pictures of the costume, he didn't do a very good job.

tiggeril said...

In the interests of accuracy, it was actually Prince William's brother Harry who decided dressing up as one of Rommel's Desert Korps troops was a brilliant idea.

Not the brightest jewel in the crown.

Fenrisulven said...

Didn't see Southpark. But mockery of Steve Irwin is pathetic. If anything, its too soon for that.

/off topic

NOT to highjack your thread, but you really have to see Lynne Cheney vs Wolf Blitzer on CNN. She was brilliant. I wish SHE had been giving the recent speeches instead of Bush. Hugh Hewitt has the transcript and youtube. Not posting the link here in this thread.


Velobiff said...

I'm not a tree hugger. I live in Montana around lots of animals that can kill people, but mostly would rather not. Mr. Irwin made a career of irritating and annoying these critters. I was out riding a few days ago and came across a bear, I got off my horse and we walked slowly away, he did likewise. I resisted any impulse I might have had to try to feed him a chicken or to lift him up by a foot. Ergo we both get to live and prosper. That flapping sound is chickens coming home to roost.

Axinar said...

I think there are some people who need to chill.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see it, but I read Ann's description so now I don't have to.

In my opinion, it's funny. Steve Irwin was funny. The idea is funny. The only reason one might think it is bad taste is that, like Fen said, it is too soon.

Which is why Hitler is still an unacceptable Halloween costume. It is still too soon. Hitler will eventually be an acceptable costume. But not yet. Oddly, I think you could get away with Stalin or Mao. I think people would think that was a hoot.

I love that in the South Park universe, just about everyone who ever existed is in hell. It's funny because they are joking, but they sort of aren't.

Zeb Quinn said...

Funny. Not funny. Insensitive. Whatever. Let's be honest. It's juvenile is what it is.

Hollywood Freaks said...


That was an unacceptable hijacking of a thread... and no, admitting guilt does not justify the crime.

Back to South Park.

I'm a little surprised they didn't make fun of him sooner. I guess I am a little disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I posted on this topic yesterday, no link love?

(more likely you weren't aware cause you hadn't visited my site, that's OK, I won't take it personally)

The Catholic priests with naked boys on leashes not worth mentioning?

Of all the offensive things in that brilliant and funny episode, the Steve Irwin thing would seem the least likely thing to get upset over.

Ed said...

Norm MacDonald was on the Daily Show about a week after Steve Irwin died, cracking jokes about it; Jon Stewart was just about crying, trying to stifle a laugh ("please, please don't make me laugh at this").

Cedarford said...

Steve Irwin was a great guy. He was a true conservationist - something that critics of his pissing off various dangerous creatures neglect to consider. While he did take intelligent risks to provide thrills, he was telling his main audience -kiddies - that those creatures were precious, not to be harmed and that they deserved a world of salties, black mambas, and sharks when they grew up and an obligation not to see it lost. Irwin reached over 200 million regular viewers who followed his logic that dangerous animals had their own beauty, place on Earth, and needed their habitat preserved and tolerance from people encountering them. His show in syndication is expected to reach another 200-300 million people in China, India, the 3rd world..Guy had a tremendous positive impact - more than all his critics and their PC environmentalist purist NGOs put together...

That said, Irwin's status as only the 3rd person in all of Aussie history to be killed by a stingray, under 60 in recorded human history - is ironic, and given Irwin...darkly ironic and funny for a guy that dodged the world's most dangerous creatures to be killed by a low-threat one...Making Steve Irwin jokes and humor like Halloween costumes quite edgy and "appropriate".
Edward on past South Park gay smackdowns -
They're really making fun of the right-wing demonization of gays.

Well, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahlmer were true gay demons.

Among their victims were young boys they stalked, raped, then killed. All their victims were selected in a homosexual predatory manner. Dahlmer just added icing to the cake by eating a 14-year old Laotian boy after raping him.
I don't normally approve of jailhouse justice, but in Dahlmer's case - he was just too foul, too unclean, too sexually perverted, too evil to be allowed to live amongst other inmates - no matter what lawyers in their robes said.

Cedarford said...

Johnny Nucleo - In my opinion, it's funny. Steve Irwin was funny. The idea is funny. The only reason one might think it is bad taste is that, like Fen said, it is too soon.

Which is why Hitler is still an unacceptable Halloween costume. It is still too soon. Hitler will eventually be an acceptable costume. But not yet. Oddly, I think you could get away with Stalin or Mao. I think people would think that was a hoot.

Why are Stalin and Mao acceptable? They each led death machines that murdered more people than Hitlers death machine did, and were killing long after Hitler was dead.

Are Jewish lives somehow more valuable than other human beings?

Hitler is just one of those PC icons that the Left finds intolerable and the Right goes along with.

Pre-PC, Hitler and Nazism were
centerpieces of comedic humor in the 50s and 60s - many Jewish comics leading the way.

Now, a truly incorrect Halloween getup would be Martin Luther King as a drunken woman-beater with half the costumes neck blown away. And confessing half the stuff he is credited with writing was ripped off or came from his staff of speech and sermon ghost-writers. Extra points to having a Jesse Jackson confederate alongside him, in costume, dabbing the King costumes mock blood with a handkerchief, claiming to be King's blood-soaked successor, and demanding all Halloween party goodies be given to him as "reparations".

Joan said...

I only saw the last half of the episode, but I thought it was generally hysterical. Satan was classic, as usual. The Three Serial Killer Stooges bits were obscene, as could be expected. And the Steve Irwin thing was a surprise -- I mean, you could've predicted Satan's temper tantrum, but Steve Irwin? Never would've guessed it, and I loved that they kicked him out for not having a costume.

I did think the bishops dancing with the naked boys at the end was too much, but it was like a 2-second shot before the credits. I was going to say it was gratuitous, but it really wasn't: it was the pay off of the entire episode. All throughout, the Catholic clergymen are trying to get into the party -- of course we think to stop it, but no, they really wanted to just get in and party with Satan like everyone else. That was lame.

But that's Parker and Stone, equal opportunity offenders.

Ann Althouse said...

Fen: "Didn't see Southpark. But mockery of Steve Irwin is pathetic. If anything, its too soon for that."

That's exactly what Satan said!

As for hijacking the thread. Don't worry about it. You've given me a great idea for my Halloween costume. I'm going as Lynne Cheney!

Edward said...

Disguising yourself as Lynne Cheney? Now THAT’s a scary Halloween costume!

To make the costume complete, Ann will need to hold in one hand a copy of Lynne’s lesbian-themed novel Sisters (published around 1980). In the other hand, she will hold a copy of her dear lesbian daughter Mary’s new book Now It’s My Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life.

Or maybe she can hold the two lesbian-themed books in one hand and hold copies of the Federal Marriage Amendment in the other.

She could use post-it notes to mark the really juicy parts of Sisters and Now It’s My Turn, and she could invite people to compare those juicy passages to the text of the homophobic Marriage Amendment.

Or maybe people could compare Lynne and Mary’s lesbian books to the proposed marriage amendment in Wisconsin.

Edward said...

The only problem with my idea for Ann’s costume is that, given that Lynne Cheney has ferociously refused to allow the re-release of his lesbian-themed novel now that she’s the second lady of our fair nation, it’s very difficult to obtain a copy of Sisters.

The lowest price you can buy a used copy for at Amazon is $299.

Nevertheless, Ann Althouse is nothing if not resourceful. She could print out the image of the front cover of Sisters from the Amazon web site, then paste it onto a cheap paperback that she already owns.

The juicy bits from Sisters can be found on various web sites. Try americablog.blogspot.com. Those juicy bits can be printed out and taped into the middle of the cheap paperback for the enjoyment of everyone at the costume party.

Edward said...

I meant to write “…HER lesbian-themed novel…” in the first sentence of my last post.

Fenrisulven said...

That's exactly what Satan said!

Busted. But hey, we DO move in the same cirlces, hanging out waiting for the End Times to arrive. I'm hungry.

Fenrisulven said...

I meant to write “…HER lesbian-themed novel…” in the first sentence of my last post.

Yah, we can pretty much guess that any commentary from you is going to find its way back to gays.

Keith said...

In contrast to most of the posters here, it seems, I have actually seen the episode and I thought it was an instant classic. Spoofing those ridiculous MTV Sweet 16 parties and Satan coming to the conclusion that now "he is just as bad" as those spoiled rich girls is a brilliant skewering of the whole concept. I wouldn't be surprised if it basically kills the whole rich girl/huge party movement by itself. Of course, it's probably too much to expect...

When I saw the guy dressed up as Steve Irwin, I did gasp that they had him with his stingray sticking out. Then I laughed at Satan's reaction of "It's too soon" comment--such a wimpy reaction from the Lord of Evil. Then I really laughed when it turned out it was the real Steve Irwin, in Hell along with Gandhi and others we all assume are great people. Then Satan kicks him out anyway for not wearing a costume and it became a spoof of how petulant party hosts use any excuse they can find to get an outcome they want.

It was obvious from the beginning that the priests only tried to shut it down because they didn't get invited. In this, they served the role of many self-righteous people whose opposition to things often is nothing more than sour grapes.

People who think that South Park is "juvenile" really don't know what they are missing. It is the sharpest, most multi-layered and intelligent satire on TV today--perhaps ever. Don't let the annoying voices and the occasionally graphic images push you away, and you will find within an episode or two that you'll see what I mean.

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: What do you want to see me writing about? [And don’t just say “about anything other than gay stuff”]

BTW, you can’t make sense of the CNN Wolf Blitzer/Lynne Cheney interview mentioned earlier in this thread without talking about Cheney’s lesbian-themed novel Sisters.

And there’s no denying that South Park’s Satan is gay, which relates directly to the subject that Ann gave us to discuss.

It’s not like I’m creating gay issues out of thin air just to have the opportunity to talk about gay issues.

JorgXMcKie said...

I thought about dressing up as a Palestinian suicide bomber or an al-Qaeda jihadi from Iraq, then I remembered that I would be going to a university faculty party and no one would think that was scary.

Or, I could go as Saddam, but those hundreds of thousands of deaths he caused (or the ones he killed personally) wouldn't really move them either.

Sigh. I guess I'll just have to go as on of the old stand-bys if I'm going to scare Lefties: Nixon, Scalie, or Clarence Thomas.

Edward said...

Jorgxmckie: Go as Ann Coulter, in drag! That would be terrific, and really frightening.

I’m assuming you’re a man, but it wouldn’t be difficult to find a long, straight blond wig to put on, and a black cocktail-type dress to wear.

You’d really scare those “lefties” like that, and probably more than a few “righties” as well. Lots of people, on the Left and Right, have problems with Ann Coulter.

You could carry a copy of one of her books – only, don’t buy it, because you don’t want to make her any richer than she already is.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward, who are you more afraid of, Ann Coulter or the Jihadi?

[hint: one of them would crush you under a brick wall for being gay.]

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: In truth, I try not to live in fear. I’m not really afraid of Ann Coulter. To that extent, therefore, my last post to Jorgxmckie was in jest.

I do find Coulter's debating tactics to be appalling, however, and I find some of her central ideas to be completely off base.

I’m not going into the details of my opinion of Coulter right now, because I don’t feel like it, and because doing so would stray too far from the subject of this thread.

Finally, I’m not some crazy liberal. Everyone with the slightest bit of good sense should be much more worried about the Jihadis and the Taliban and al-Qaeda than about Ann Coulter.

I think Ann Coulter is much better than they are, but I also think she’s very irresponsible in the way she presents her arguments.

And you never answered my question about what subjects you would like for me to discuss – except maybe you did answer the question, and your answer was Ann Coulter and the Jihadis.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Edward: Susan Estrich is already on the cover of her newest book looking like Ann Coulter.

Fenrisulven said...

And you never answered my question about what subjects you would like for me to discuss

And don’t just say “about anything other than gay stuff”]


Joe said...

My daughter's fiance went to a party as Steve Irwin the other night, including a "Too Soon?" sign pinned to him. He was not aware of the South Park episode.
Cartman dressed as Hitler in an early episode and had to watch an educational video, which had the opposite effect - he thought it was cool. The message "Hitler's bad, m'kay?" did not get through.

RodW said...

I suggested a Amish bonnet, long navy dress with long sleeves, and a bullet hole in the forehead to my teen-aged daughter as a costume, but she wasn't having it.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Sullivan has a photo of Bill Maher dressed up as what I assume is Steve Irwin. He looks pretty relaxed.


Benny_A said...

The problem is statements that I see people leaving in these comment sections. Phrases like "grossly insensitive", "bad taste", "juvenile" are a big problem in my view of our world today.

I guess it all comes down to this thing we call political correctness. If I am of a certain race, belief, lifestyle, etc (i.e. Jewish, Native American, gay, fat, etc) and something offends me, then no one should be able to laugh at it. And it should not be said or mentioned ever again. Ever.

People need to remember that humor is a very good thing. And, humor always tends to poke fun at someone or something. We all need to remember that it IS ok to laugh, especially at ourselves. I think it'd be funny to be gay. Hell, if I was gay, I would enjoy getting stuff, (namely a dude's %#$@), shoved up my bumhole. What's not funny about that? If I was fat...hahahahaha...yes, fat people are funny too. There's nothing wrong with them, they're just fat. I'm skinny, and that's funny too!

Get the picture? Laughter and jokes never hurt anyone. So let's all chill the hell out and enjoy some comedy!