Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride
Stan gets a new dog named Sparky, who turns out to be gay. Frustrated, he wishes out loud for a butch pet. Sparky overhears and runs away.
The distraction couldn't come at a worse time, because Stan quarterbacks the school football team, the South Park Cows, who are about to play the Middle Park Cowboys. Jimbo bets that the boys can beat the game's absurd 72-point spread, and everyone in the town follows suit. They vow to make Jimbo pay if he steers them wrong.
Jimbo and Ned decide to improve the odds. Learning that John Stamos' brother, Richard, will sing "Lovin' You" at halftime, they wire the opposing team's mascot, a horse named Enrique, with a bomb that's set to explode when Richard hits the song's high F note.
Stan ditches the game to look for Sparky. On the edge of town he meets Big Gay Al, proprietor of Big Gay Al's Big Gay Animal Sanctuary, where Sparky now lives. Big Gay Al takes Stan for a voyage on Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride -- an excursion into the history of gayness. Stan accepts Sparky just as he is, and they return to town together.
Meanwhile, back at the game, South Park is getting pummeled. At halftime Richard Stamos sings, but he fails to hit the fateful high F note and the bomb on Enrique doesn't detonate. Suddenly Stan and Sparky appear. Stan takes the field and lofts the ball to Kyle, who scores a touchdown as the clock runs out. The final score is 73 to 6 -- South Park beats the spread.
Stan leads the townspeople to Big Gay Al's Big Gay Animal Sanctuary, only to find it gone. However the pets are still there, and they joyously reunite with their former owners. Stan finally spots Big Gay Al, who thanks him for helping find homes for his charges. Then he steps into a suitcase, closes it and rockets off into space. Then Enrique finally explodes.
- "Stan's dog's a homo!" (Cartman)
- "I'm super, thanks for asking!" (Big Gay Al)
- "Oh my! I haven't seen a Jew run like that since Poland, 1938!" (Sports Announcer)
- "Football is like making love to a really beautiful woman. You can't always score, but when you do, it makes all the trying worthwhile." (Chef)
- "We treat star athletes better because they're better people." (Mr. Garrison)
- "You know what they say you can't teach a gay dog straight tricks." (Chef)
What I Learned Today
"It's OK to be gay! Being gay is just a part of nature, and a beautiful thing!"
Big Gay Al. Though he comes off as some sort of magical Willy Wonka-type being, in later episodes he'll morph into just another South Park citizen. Albeit a South Park citizen with a penchant for flashing his nips. Also Sparky, who returns sporadically in future seasons. As everyone in the entire universe already knows, George Clooney provided his Sparky's "voice." While they aren't mentioned by name, two of the Boys' 3rd grade classmates have their first lines of dialogue: Fosse, characterized by his scraggily, Charlie-Brown-like hair, and Bob, a brown-haired boy with thick eyebrows. They can be seen in many future episodes, mostly as background characters laughing at gay jokes. Jesus also makes his official television debut as the host of the public access show "Jesus and Pals". Jesus played a large role in the animated "South Park" short Parker and Stone created before the television show ("The Spirit of Christmas"), and they re-introduce him here for the first time.
Kenny dies on the football field, after being decapitated and torn to pieces while making a run for the end zone. Also, Middle Park's horse mascot, Enrique, gets killed in explosive fashion. Interestingly, after he's killed, Kenny suddenly reappears in a shot of the football team.
The happy, gay-friendly "We're All Gay and It's OK!" plays during Big Gay Al's boat ride. Also, the hard-rocking ballad "Now You're a Man" by DVDA plays during the credits.
Behind The Scenes
Pop Culture References
Big Gay Al's peculiar departure at the end of the episode is an homage to a scene from the movie Seven Faces of Dr. Lao. Even though the assignment was on "Asian Cultures", Cartman gives a presentation on the 1980s detective show "Simon and Simon", saying "And so you see, Simon and Simon weren't brothers in real life. Only on television." He gets a D-.
John Stamos' older brother, Richard. Though he probably doesn't count, because Matt and Trey made him up. Also Hugh Grant. When Pip, who isn't equipped with a helmet, gets pummeled during the game, one of the announcers says, "I haven't seen an Englishman take a blow like that since Hugh Grant." Brian Boitano can be seen gaily ice-skate-dancing during the "We're All Gay and It's OK!" song on Big Gay Al's boat ride.
Two alien "visitors" can be seen in the bleacher crowd as the Middle Park team gets off its bus. Mr. Garrison is called out for being gay for the first time in this episode. Chef mentions how "he, of all people, should be accepting towards gays," sighting his overt gay tendencies. Garrison denies it, as he will continue to do, until he finally confronts his gay side in "Fourth Grade" (412).
Nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program. Also nominated in the Outstanding TV -- Individual Episode category for the 1998 GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards.