Thursday, January 7, 2010

Henry V meets Braveheart—in South Park

“Starvin’ Marvin.” By Trey Parker. Perf. Isaac Hayes et al. Dir. Trey Parker. South Park. Season 1, episode 8. Comedy Central. 19 November 1997. DVD. Comedy Central, 2004.

I don't spend a lot of time at South Park, but I needed a quick example of scatological humor for my Literature of Humor class, and I thought of them first. Imagine my shock when I found Shakespeare there! I had to use Babelfish to translate the Turkey Language (I don't suppose it qualifies as "Turkish" or "Turkic") into English, but there it was, as plain as day.

In this episode, mutant Turkeys are taking over the town, and Chef needs to rally the citizens to fight them. His speech is clearly endebted to Braveheart, but the Lead Turkey's response is just as obviously drawn directly from Henry V:

There may also be a subtext of the two orations (by Richard and Richmond) to the opposing armies toward the end of Richard III—but I leave the exploration of that for those of you who are attempting to complete doctoral theses.

Links: The Episode at IMDB.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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