Cartman Gets an Anal Probe
Cartman Gets an Anal Probe
|Written By||Trey Parker|
|Original Air Date||1997-08-13|
- 1 Story
- 2 Characters
- 3 Locations
- 4 Original Songs
- 5 Behind The Scenes
- 6 Pop Culture References
- 7 Bonus Factoids
- 8 Season 1
While the boys are waiting for the school bus, Cartman explains the odd nightmare he had about alien visitors abducting him.
Cartman tells Kyle, Stan and Kenny that he dreamed he was abducted by aliens and given an anal probe. The boys think it actually happened, but Cartman refuses to believe. After they board the school bus Kyle looks out the rear window and is horrified to see his baby brother Ike taken away by aliens.
At lunch Stan is confronted by his secret love Wendy Testaburger and gets so nervous he vomits on her. Even though he always pukes in her presence, the two decide to meet later. Cartman emits a fart, followed by a long metal stalk with a giant mechanical eye. It takes a quick look around before retreating back inside its host.
Chef pulls the cafeteria's fire alarm to help the boys escape and look for Ike. En route Cartman gets zapped by a mysterious ray that causes him to perform a 1930s ditty called "I Love to Singa." Shortly thereafter Cartman abandons the quest. Stan also bails in order to keep his rendezvous with Wendy. Kyle, dejected, tags along with Stan.
When they meet up with Wendy, she suggests using "the fat kid" to lure the aliens. Cartman is rounded up and tethered to a tree, and an 80-foot satellite dish promptly emerges from his anus. The aliens arrive and a hatch on the side of their mother ship opens, revealing Ike. He jumps down into a snow bank and is reunited with Kyle.
The aliens begin a long conversation with a herd of local cattle. Via subtitles, we learn that of all earth's life forms, they respect cows the most. They give the cows a strange-looking device, then return to their ship to leave while beaming up Cartman. In the end, just when Stan thinks he can stand normally beside Wendy, he vomits on her again.
The next day Stan and Kyle wait for the school bus as usual. Suddenly Cartman falls out of the sky. He says he had another bizarre abduction "dream" during which Scott Baio, who was aboard the alien ship, gave him pinkeye. Officer Barbrady corners the runaway cows that met with the visitors. The cows promptly zap him with the alien device, which causes Barbrady to perform "I Love to Singa," just like Cartman did.
What I Learned Today
"This morning you took my brother, Ike. He's the little freckled kid that looks like a football. At first I was happy you took him away. But I've learned something today, that having a little brother is a pretty special thing."
- "Ow, my ass!" (Eric Cartman)
- "I'm gonna make love to ya woman." (Chef)
- "Oh my God! They killed Kenny!" (Stan Marsh)
- "You bastards!" (Kyle Broflovski)
- "Screw you guys, I'm going home!" (Eric Cartman)
- "Kick the baby!" (Kyle Broflovski)
- "I'm not fat, I'm big boned." (Eric Cartman)
Behind The Scenes
This is the only South Park episode that Matt and Trey animated themselves, using construction paper cutouts to create every... single... frame. It took three months to animate the entire 28 minute pilot in stop motion.
Yet, the pilot does have a brief scenes in which computer animation was added, most notably the scene where the 80-foot satellite comes out of Cartman's ass. After this episode, South Park switched entirely to computer animation. Otherwise they'd probably still be working on the first season.
Where Did The Idea Come From
The idea for the town of South Park came from the real Colorado basin of the same name where, according to Trey and Matt, a lot of folklore and news reports originated about "UFO sightings, and cattle mutilations, and Bigfoot sightings."
Trey and Matt are also fascinated with aliens, specifically the tall, big-headed black-eyed ones featured in everything from 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind to sci-fi television series The X-Files. The Visitors have become Easter eggs, hidden regularly in many South Park episodes and even appeared in the background of some scenes in Cannibal! The Musical.
Pop Culture References
The tune "I Love to Singa" is lifted from the 1936 Tex Avery cartoon series Merrie Melodies. Weirdly, it also served as one of the inspirations for the movie Happy Feet.
When the local cattle, fearing they'll be mutilated by the aliens, try to escape on a train, the conductor tells them he can't allow "cows on a people train." It's an absurdly obscure reference to the children's book In a People House, which was written by Dr. Seuss under the pseudonym Theo LeSeig.
While waiting for first contact with the aliens, Chef mentions that there's only 20 minutes before Sanford & Son is on. Apparently, Chef was a big fan of the 70's show starring Red Foxx.
The music that plays when Stan sees Wendy in the cafeteria is a segment of the orchestral work "Romeo and Juliet" composed by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky.
When Kyle pleads with Ike to take a gigantic swan dive off the alien ship, he tells him to "Do your impersonation of David Caruso's career." At the time Caruso had made the extremely unwise decision to ditch the TV show NYPD Blue and pursue movie roles.
When watching a news report about local UFO sightings, Cartman observes that a crop circle, when seen from overhead, "kinda looks like Tom Selleck". The crop circle is actually a picture of Cartman.
Although he's not seen in the episode, actor Scott Baio from Charles In Charge, Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi is reportedly responsible for giving Cartman pinkeye while aboard the alien space ship.
Though attracting a considerably high number of viewers during its broadcast, initial reviews for the show's pilot were generally negative. Critics panned the episode as poorly written, using gratuitous vulgar humor and one-dimensional characters. The episode was also compared unfavorably with more complex and nuanced animated shows like The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-Head.
At that point Comedy Central executives were uncertain whether to order additional episodes of the show. However, as Trey and Matt's two original Christmas shorts "Jesus vs. Frosty" and "Jesus vs. Santa" continued to produce Internet buzz, the network paid the duo to write a season of at least six episodes. In response to the pilot's criticisms, Trey and Matt allowed the subsequent episodes to be less purposely obscene and "more natural", focusing the comedy on satirizing bizarre events and taboo subjects.
- The very first swear word of the episode and the series is "damn it", spoken by Kyle. It is also in the first line of the show. Stan is the very first character to fart on the show.
- Officer Barbrady's police car says "To Patronize and Annoy".
- A picture of Matt Stone's sister can be seen inside Cartman's house.
- This has one of only two times so far where Kyle calls Cartman by his first name. The next occurrence is in "Quest for Ratings".
- This episode along with "Damien" are the only two South Park episodes to get a TV-14-DLV rating instead of the show's customary TV-MA.
- The beginning of the episode is remade seasons later in "Cancelled" when the boys realize they are experiencing deja vu. It's interesting to see the large improvement in animation and use of cruder language 6 years later.