Did you know that kids cartoon 'Arthur' once parodied 'South Park'?
Arthur, what a show. I used to absolutely love Arthur. I remember being a kid in school, running home, jumping on the sofa with some peanut butter and toast and putting on Arthur. The soundtrack (which I will come to in minute) was just as legendary as the show itself, and it's safe-to-say that this anthropomorphic aardvark and his gang of pals formed a pretty large part of my childhood.
Incredibly, as the audiences who loved Arthur have grown up, they've never quite let go of the show. Whether it was the amazing "knuckle" meme that was one of the greatest internet sensations this year, or Chance The Rapper and Ziggy Marley teaming up to re-create the soundtrack, Arthur has had a good year among its former audience. I remember watching the video below of Chance and Ziggy covering the theme tune and instantly being taken back to being a child. Take a look at it below and try not to smile:
While Arthur was mainly aimed at a young audience, there are some cartoons out there which most definitely aren't. One of those shows is South Park. As I'm sure you are all aware, South Park is the highly offensive and controversial cartoon which follows the lives of a group of boys and all the outrageous things that happen around them.
Whether it is feeding the cooked remains of Scott Tenorman's parents to their son, or Saddam Hussein being in a homosexual relationship with Satan, there's no boundary that South Park won't push and no line that they won't cross. Given the massively different nature of these two shows, it might be surprising to hear that Arthur has actually parodied South Park in the past.
In a 1999 episode of Arthur, the kids show parodied South Park and nobody realised until now, after it re-emerged online. The homage to the controversial cartoon appeared in series four of Arthur, in an episode called "The Contest". In the episode, Arthur and his gang compete to write a story, which is acted out in different animation style.
Remember Buster? Well his story was about an alien abduction and it was animated in the style of South Park. You can check it out in the video below and it's safe to say that it's pretty weird to watch:
The strange, but delightful, homage to South Park not only mirrors the style of animation, but also draws inspiration from the infamous Kenny death scenes that were such a key component of the early seasons of the TV show. However, as it's a child's TV show, Buster doesn't die, although the joke goes on long enough that you do get a little bit worried.
For me, it shows that the creators of children's shows such as Arthur have a bit of dark humour about them, much like when you watch a variety of children's shows back now that you're an adult. Films such as Toy Story, and shows like the Simpsons are packed with innuendo and sly adult humour.
It's a fantastic bit of footage that has hidden in plain sight for so long now. Now, I'm going to go and listen to the soundtrack on loop for the rest of the day, bye!