Le Petit Tourette
"Le Petit Tourette" (lit. The Little Tourette) is episode 1108 (#161) of Comedy Central's South Park. It originally aired on October 3, 2007. This episode marked the beginning of the second half of the eleventh season.
While shopping in Toy Safari, Cartman sees a boy named Thomas who continually shouts obscenities, as his mother tries to explain that he is unable to control himself due to his Tourette syndrome. Cartman, excitedly singing "(I've Got a) Golden Ticket", decides to pretend he has the disorder as well, and successfully convinces his mother and the doctor, who diagnoses him with Tourette's and notifies the school.
When Kyle finds out about Cartman's "disorder", he immediately deduces that he's faking, which Cartman quickly admits to him. Nevertheless Cartman continues to enjoy his newfound freedom, repeatedly shouting random curses to people, to Kyle's intense annoyance and Craig's amazement and jealousy. Kyle decides to complain to Principal Victoria, however she is already meeting Mr. Donaldson—who has coprolalia —from the "Tourette's Tolerance and Understanding Foundation". Donaldson is insulted that Kyle accuses people with TS of faking and takes him to a local support group for kids with the disorder, who explain their various tics and how they are not faking. Kyle attempts to explain that he was referring only to Cartman, and not to others, saying he knew Cartman would have fun doing it. The kids are confused by this and state that one should not find Tourette's fun at all. Thomas also tells Kyle of how his father divorced his mother due to his Coprolalia and feels his mother would be better off if he were dead. Kyle relents under the pressure, and apologizes to everyone, including Cartman, who continues to take advantage of his "disorder" by screaming vulgar anti-Semitic slurs at Kyle's parents. Cartman happily asks Thomas "Isn't having Tourette's awesome?". As a result, Thomas is convinced that Kyle was telling the truth.
Cartman decides to appear on Dateline with Chris Hansen, who plans to document the "sad story" of Cartman living with the condition. Cartman plans to say horrible, despicable things on the air. He blurts out that he wet his bed the night before. Soon Cartman realizes that, having said everything completely unfiltered for so long, he has lost the ability to think before he speaks, and now merely says whatever comes into his head, including embarrassing secrets. He quickly tries to cancel the Dateline appointment, but Chris Hansen refuses to allow it (using his "take a seat, right over there. What are you doing here?") and warns him that once, when a pedophile attempted to get out of appearing on his "To Catch a Predator" series, they hunted him down and he shot himself, and that it would be a real shame if Cartman "shot himself" (Using finger-quotes). Realizing he has no way to get out of going on the show, and that he still cannot control his self-inflicted Tourette syndrome, Cartman prays to God for aid.
Meanwhile, Kyle has teamed up with Thomas, who is concerned that Cartman's appearance on the show will make others think Tourette's is "fun" and copy him. The pair aims to foil Cartman's plan which, unknown to Kyle, Cartman has already given up on. Nevertheless, in order to provide a distraction, the two go on the Internet to entice numerous pedophiles to come to the show. When the child lovers come into the studio and see Chris Hansen, they all assume it to be a bust and shoot themselves, sending panic through the studio and forcing everyone to flee. Chris Hansen runs out the studio and discovers Thomas, who has a tic and heavily swears at Hansen. This causes Hansen to run away after saying "Nobody talks to me like that. I-I'll tell on you!". Kyle then sneaks in and confronts Cartman, expecting him to be furious and humiliated. Cartman, however, is overjoyed, embraces Kyle and cries into his shoulder, explaining that he wanted a miracle and Kyle must really care about him, and happily runs off (again singing and dancing to the "I've Got a Golden Ticket" song) to seek a psychiatrist to help him control his language. The episode ends with Kyle and Thomas both exclaiming "Aw Shit!" at the same time (Thomas as the result of his tic and Kyle because he has helped Cartman instead of hindering him).
Tourette Syndrome Association
Prior to the airing, the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) issued a press release saying they had requested that Comedy Central air their public service announcements during or after the show and that they "fully expect[ed] it to be offensive and insensitive to people with TS". The President of the TSA said, "[w]e are actually surprised it took the creators so long to use TS as comedy fodder in this program, since no disability, illness or controversial topic is off limits to them." Following the episode, they issued a second press release, expressing concern that the episode perpetuated the myth that most people with TS have coprolalia, when in fact, 85–90% of people with TS do not, bearing resemblance to the attention TS garnered with the release of Deuce Bigalow in 1999. They conceded that "the episode was surprisingly well-researched. The highly exaggerated emphasis on coprolalia notwithstanding, for the attentive viewer, there was a surprising amount of accurate information conveyed," adding that several elements of the episode "served as a clever device" for providing accurate facts to the public.
The episode received relatively mixed reviews. The television weblog TV Squad were extremely positive, calling the episode "the stuff of brilliance". IGN gave the episode a rating of 7.5/10, asserting "this isn't the greatest episode, and not the greatest way to bring back the series - but it's got some great laughs and manages to push its single joke further than expected." 411mania took the middle ground, giving the show a 6.5/10 rating, calling it "hit and miss", and contesting that "while the first half of the show suffered because of a one-note joke, the second half showed why this series continues to remain one of the best on television." On the negative side, BuddyTv called the episode a "misfire", criticizing it as "disjointed and a little off-putting."
This episode featured a higher than normal amount of curse words than are regularly featured. It is the fourth episode out of five in the show's history to leave the word "shit" uncensored (the others being "It Hits the Fan", "Ike's Wee Wee", "It's Christmas in Canada" and later in "Imaginationland Episode III"). While all of the vulgarities, except for "fuck", were not bleeped as usual, in the first few runs of the episode most of the swear words were omitted or replaced with "obscenities" in the closed captioning. Later showings had the CC uncensored.
For the first time in the show's history, an episode was rated TV-MA LV instead of the usual subrating-less TV-MA; this was due to many uncensored uses of the words "shit" used 26 times, kike used twice, and "cock" and a total of eight gunshot suicides.
- Near the beginning of the episode, while talking to a Toy Safari employee, Thomas' mother can be seen holding a copy of the video game Ōkami. The cover of the games Diablo II and StarCraft: Brood War can also be seen on a display.
- When Cartman first finds out about Tourette's, and then later when Kyle saves him from embarrassing himself on the air, he sings "I've Got a Golden Ticket" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
- The part where Chris Hansen tells the story to Cartman about them tracking someone down and when they got there, the person commited suicide, this somewhat references the death of how Louis Conradt died because of his involvement of being an internet pedophile.
- When Kyle is forced to apologize to Cartman, Cartman tilted his head back and fluttered his eyes like Bugs Bunny would do, reminiscent of Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants.
- Episode guide. South Park Studios. Retrieved on 2007-10-03.
- TSA Voices Concern Over "South Park" October 3rd Episode. Tourette Syndrome Association (2007-10-02). Retrieved on 2007-10-03.
- TSA responds to "South Park" Episode. Tourette Syndrome Association (2007-10-04). Retrieved on 2007-10-04.
- "South Park: Le Petit Tourette - TV Squad". TvSquad. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2007-10-05. Check date values in:
- "IGN: Le Petit Tourette Review". IGN Entertainment, Inc. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2007-10-05. Check date values in:
- "Le Petit Tourette 411mania review". 411mania. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2007-10-05. Check date values in:
- "South Park : Cartman, Tourette's, and Chris Hanson". BuddyTv. 2007-10-03. Retrieved 2007-10-05. Check date values in:
- "Comedy Central TV Show Schedule". Comedy Central. 2007-10-03. Retrieved 2007-10-06. Check date values in:
"Night of the Living Homeless"
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