Cartman’s Passover Special, “Jewpacabra” Criticizes Anti-Semitism, Defends Jews
Reprinted with permission from Jett and Jahn Media
For the last sixteen years, South Park has provided our generation with a humorous parody of politics, religion, philosophy, and pop culture.
The animated sitcom about four young boys is popular because it often demonstrates how ridiculous the modern world is. The show regularly makes fun of famous liberals, rap culture, and “political correctness”.
The problem with South Park however is that it criticizes EVERYTHING. The show makes fun of Christianity, social conservatives, and the tea party movement.
In fourth season episode “Do The Handicapped Go To Hell?”, the show mocks Catholic Priests, the Sacrament of Confession, and the Christian idea of Heaven.
In sixth season episode, “Red Hot Catholic Love”, the show criticizes Christianity for having too many “stupid laws and rules”. South Park claims religion should only be about being a “good person”. (But who would decide what being a “good person” even means?)
In fifteenth season episode, “TMI”, the Tea Party is portrayed as the “Pissed Off and Angry Party”. (A group of men trying to compensate for having a small penis)
South Park was created Matt Stone and Trey Parker, two friends from Colorado. Matt Stone is Jewish and in an interview with Jewish News of Greater Phoenix claimed the character Kyle Broflovski is based on his own experiences.
Kyle Broflovski often demonstrates pride in being Jewish and defends his religion throughout the series. He is thoughtful, honorable, and fair.
Jewish groups have applauded South Park for using Kyle to “accurately portray what it is like for a young Jew to have to endure loneliness and bigotry as an ethnic and religious minority”.
By contrast, Eric Cartman is loud, obnoxious, and manipulative. He is obese, racist, and has a continuous rivalry with Kyle.
In a 2008 interview with Jaime Weinman, Stone said the relationship between Broflovsky and Cartman was inspired by the relationship between Archie Bunker and Michael Stivic on the 1970’s sitcom, All in the Family.
Kyle teases Cartman about his weight and is disgusted with Cartman’s immorality, cruelty, bigotry, and greed.
Kyle offers reasonable, scientific explanations to problems while Cartman gets angry and relies on “outdated stereotypes”.
In seventh season episode “It’s Christmas in Canada” Cartman declares “You fucking Jews have ruined Christmas again!”
In eighth season episode “The Passion of the Jew”, Cartman is inspired by Mel Gibson and his movie “The Passion of the Christ” to “exterminate the Jews”. He dresses up as Hitler and convinces people to march and shout German anti-Semitic chants.
In ninth season episode “Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow”, Cartman claims “all Jews carry gold in a little bag around their neck”.
In thirteenth season episode “Margaritaville”, Cartman claims “covetous Jews who have taken all our money and hoarded it for themselves! Hidden all the cash in some… secret Jew cave that they built, probably back in the early 60s! It is the Jews, my friends!”
Later in thirteenth espisode “Fishsticks”, Cartman fantasizes about saving his town from an army of “Jewbots”. (Jewish robots)
In fourteenth season episode “Crippled Summer”, Cartman calls Kyle a “liar and a swindler who would do anythng for money. The Jews have been persecuted across the earth for good reason, Kyle. You are a race of beady-eyed thieves, Kyle, who throughout the millennia have squirmed and worked your way into the dark cubbyholes of society. Where exactly did the Jews first get their power and how are they able to manipulate our minds today?”
Throughout the series, Cartman has also said Jews “don’t have rhythm”, “can’t be pirates”, and can’t play basketball or hockey.
Cartman, admittedly a funny character, is really presented as the “ignorant bigot”. Stone created Cartman’s character to discredit people who believe in stereotypes and criticizes Jews.
In fact, Brad Greenberg of the Jewish Journal ACTUALLY LIKES Cartman because he makes anti-Semitism appear stupid and irrational.
It’s the same reason many liberals love Stephen Colbert. He’s satire and he makes conservatives sound radical and foolish.
Meanwhile, Jews have been portrayed quite differently on South Park.
In first season episode “Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo”, Kyle feels excluded from the rest of town during Christmas and is comforted by Mr. Hankey, a talking and singing Christmas poo.
In the interview with Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Matt Stone said this show was actually inspired by his own experiences as a child. He claimed he watched Jewish children get beat up and bullied every Christmas.
In second season episode “Ike’s Wee Wee”, Kyle tries to protect his brother Ike from circumcision but learns to embrace the Jewish ritual.
In third season episode “Jewbilee”, Kyle attends a Jewish Boy Scouts camp and worships Moses, who appears as a giant, glowing, floating dreidel.
In eighth season episode, “The Passion of the Jew”, Kyle watches “The Passion of the Christ” and is ashamed the Jews killed Jesus. He forgets about it when meets Mel Gibson, portrayed as a “deranged masochist”.
Last week’s South Park episode, “Cartman’s Passover Holiday Special: Jewpacabra” brought an unusual twist into the story.
In the show, Cartman creates the legend of “Jewpacabra”, a beast that wanders throughout the forest.
South Park basically portrays the fear of “Jewpacabra” as the fear of any ridiculous myth. (Aliens, Sasquatch, UFO’s)
The “Jewpacabra” myth is obviously meant to symbolize the Jewish question and modern anti-Semitism. Kyle claims anyone who believes in the Jewpacabra is “either lying or stupid”. He also warns Cartman to “stop lying about a Jewpacabra before stupid people start believing you”.
Cartman declares “you can’t scare a Jewpacabra. Don’t forget, we are dealing with a creature that drinks blood, hides in the night, and has absolutely no belief in the divinity of Christ.”
He decides he needs to film the Jewpacabra to expose it. He tries a mating call, yelling “Jesus is a lie!”, “There is no Christ!”, and “There’s no way Jesus was the son of God!”
Later, Cartman believes he caught the Jewpcabra on film and claims“it’s like a sasquatch only more elusive, more ferocious, and a little more greedy”.
The other characters begin to believe Cartman but also worry Jewpacabra will attack the town for filming and exposing it. They decide to chain Cartman up sacrifice him to the Jewpacabra.
Cartman is shot with a tranquilizer and enters into a hallucination about Passover. During his dream, he sees the Jewish slaves in ancient Egypt and has a religious conversion experience.
That’s right, Cartman converts to Judaism…
Meanwhile, Kyle comes to free Cartman. He cuts him from the chains, takes him home, and tucks him into bed.
The next day, Cartman claims “Christ didn’t die for our sins and God is angry. It’s time for us all to stop this Easter ridiculousness, accept Jehovah as our God and deny Christ”.
The rest of the characters ignore him and continue their Easter egg hunt.
Cartman approaches Kyle and admits “I finally know how you feel Kyle, knowing your religion is right but being laughed at by everyone else. It’s so hard for us Jews, but I guess we just have to let stupid people believe what they’re going to believe”.
Cartman adds “I really do believe in Judaism now” and tells Kyle “Happy Passover”.
As the show ends, the sun is shown with a Star of David shining through it…
The message is clear, Matt Stone realized South Park fans have not been laughing at Cartman but with him. He saw the popularity of Cartman and realized fans loved him for being a “racist” and a “bigot”.
Stone realized the character he had originally created to discredit anti-Semitism has actually been promoting it for the last fourteen years.
With the end of the series likely coming soon, Stone tried to kill the legacy of Cartman.
The truth is that Matt Stone’s original plan to discredit anti-Semitism has backfired. He has already introduced the Jewish question to a whole new generation.