Hmmmm . . . was the role the Emmy Award played on "South Park" last night a smear at TV's top prize or just one of those outrageous elements in a program renowned for being cheeky? In this case, really cheeky — as in body parts south of the waistline.
The episode story line revealed Stan's dad Randy having the world's largest bowel movement. While he's sitting on the toilet, screaming and about to let looooose, a chryon flashes underneath reminding us that the show just won best animated program at the primetimes: "Emmy Award Winning Series."
That kind of bawdiness is typical of "South Park." In this case, producers may just have wanted to point out the irony of such an august prize going to a zany scatological show. But at the end of the episode, when Randy is hailed for producing the world's largest-ever chunk of excrement, he's given an award — one that looks an awful lot like an Emmy.
If "South Park" literally dumping on Emmy? That other wild cartoon show, "The Simpsons," does so all the time because of old grudges that don't apply to "South Park." ("Simpsons" wasn't permitted to compete for best comedy series for a while during the early 1990s, but rules were changed to accommodate the show, it moved, wasn't nominated at all, then moved back to the race for best animated program, which it's won nine times. But that's not enough for producers, who continue to take amusing potshots.) But "South Park" may have its own, private grudge, too. It's only been nominated for best animated program 7 times in 10 years and it's won only twice — an outrage, I think personally since I really believe it's the greatest scripted show on the tube.
Last year every Emmywatcher on the planet assumed that "South Park" would win the Emmy for best animated program thanks to its Tom Cruise sendup episode submission, "Trapped in the Closet," but it lost to "The Simpsons," which submitted "The Seemingly Neverending Story." Was last night's smear on Emmy old business? Considering how long it takes to create animated programming, the scene where Randy receives an Emmy statuette at the end must've been produced before its recent win. The "Emmy Award Winning Series" chyron could've been dropped in easily in recent weeks, yes, but the chyron also could've been done earlier as a reference to "South Park's" only other victory in the category, back in 2005.