Nov. 25--All due respect to Cartman, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone have no need to demand that people "Respect their Authoritay!" Indeed, ever since these two smartmouths met in film school in Colorado, they have been making us laugh, and squirm, with their outrageous sense of humor. The mischievous duo has mocked everything in sight, with no punches pulled for taboos such as race, class or, heck, even cannibalism.
Having conquered the realm of TV, they have even staked their claim to the hallowed annals of Broadway with the uber-blockuster "The Book of Mormon." This mashup of "South Park"-style wit and Broadway splash is making a return visit to San Francisco Nov. 27-Jan. 19 as part of the SHN series.
The tale of two innocent Mormon missionaries who find that being super-duper nice isn't enough to attract new recruits in a godforsaken Ugandan village beset by drought, warlords and AIDS, this is sacrilege transformed into musical theater bliss. Since tickets usually sell out faster than the latest iPhone, we've put together this cheatsheet on their cheeky canon at large. Limited tickets are still available, but if you don't score any, you can fire up the Blu-ray player and take solace in snickering at these gems from their demented body of work.
"South Park" (1997 to present): "Going down to South Park, gonna have myself a time." Fans will recognize that line from the theme song of the classic Comedy Central animated sitcom about a giggle-worthy gaggle of Colorado 4th-graders, who have kept the world chuckling, and cringing, for the past 16 years. The rare animated series to appeal to adults maybe even more than it does to kids (who aren't allowed to watch but usually do anyway), this one has become a pop culture juggernaut that's shaped the tastes (or lack thereof) of a generation. Welcome to the twisted world of Mr. Hankey, Christmas Poo and Towelie, a perpetually stoned towel. Mmkay?
"The Book of Mormon" (2011): In the gospel according to Stone and Parker, sarcasm is the sincerest form of comedy. The twosome poke fun at Broadway, Mormonism and much else in this delivishly raunchy Tony-winning megahit that instantly earned them a spot in the Broadway pantheon. From maggots in the scrotum to Starbucks as hell, "Mormon" goes for the punchline with gleeful savagery. Ewoks, Bono and "The Lion King" all get skewered in the hit of the decade. The once-civilized realm of the Great White Way proved no match for the seduction of unadulterated snarkiness. In one showstopper, African villagers break into a peppy ditty "Hasa Diga Eebowai" about giving the Lord the finger. Disney, it's not.
"Team America: World Police" (2004): Parker and Stone examine war as a genre of farce in this zippy satire on U.S. foreign policy. The movie takes jabs at the concept of the U.S. trying to "police" a chaotic world and mocks the heck out of Hollywood action movie shtick. Surprised that the boys attack politics with the same vigor they attack everything else? That's ignorant.
"South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut" (1999): Smelt it, dealt it. When the lads watch an R-rated flick about their flatulent Canadian heroes Terrance and Phillip, their parents pressure the United States to wage war against Canada. This critically acclaimed full-length animated movie strongly hinted at the duo's affinity for splashy musical interludes.
"Cannibal! The Musical" (1993): Perhaps the single most outrageous work in this extreme oeuvre. One of Stone and Parker's first collaborations, this is a charmingly cheesy movie musical about the grisly life of Alfred "Alferd" Packer. The prospector set off on a grueling journey from Utah to Colorado during the winter of 1873 that left the rest of his party dead and eaten. Think Donner Party only in Colorado with jazz hands. Watch for guest appearances from Parker and Stone in this tasty early work.
Contact Karen D'Souza at 408-271-3772. Read her at www.mercurynews.com/karen-dsouza and follow her at www.twitter.com/KarenDSouza4.
'The book of Mormon'
Book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
When: Nov. 27-Jan. 19
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St, San Francisco
Tickets: $90-$260; Limited tickets are available, there is also a limited number of $29 tickets available through a daily lottery two hours before the show. www.shnsf.com.
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