Archive for October, 2010
‘South Park’ creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have apologized for accidentally plagiarizing the website CollegeHumor.
As we reported last week, CollegeHumor writer Dan Gurewitch blogged about the similarities between an Oct. 20 ‘South Park’ spoof of ‘Inception’ and one that he co-created with David Young. Gurewitch included a line-by-line comparison.
Parker and Stone then confessed to lifting the material, though unconsciously, CNN reports.
“We thought their joke was that a lot of those lines were actually in the movie, showing that the ‘Inception’ characters didn’t even know ‘Inception.’ That was a mistake, and it was an honest mistake,” said Stone. “We’re stupid and we just threw it together.”
Stone and Parker say that their error came about as a result of their inability to find a copy of the movie to watch, leading them to use CollegeHumor’s version as source material.
After receiving a personal apology from Stone, Gurewitch wrote on his blog, “All is well, and we’re going to meet up with Matt and Trey when they’re in New York.”
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“South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker admitted to similarity between their recent “Inception” spoof and an episode done by web comedy video CollegeHumor. “It’s just because we do the show in six days, and we’re stupid and we just threw it together,” Stone said in the confession. “But in the end, there are some lines that we had to call and apologize for.”
On October 20, “South Park” aired an episode called “Insheeption” where many dialogues are noticably too similar to the web video called “Inception Characters Don’t Understand Inception” which was written by Dan Gurewitch and David Young, and posted on CollegeHumor on August 2. While CollegeHumor said, “Shared unconstructed dream space” to explain what Limbo is, the Comedy Central cartoon said “Empty scary dream space.”
Another example is when an ‘expert’ in “South Park” said, “We need to move them all to the next dream level before the projections kill them.” In the web video, the line is “We need to move to the next dream level before these projections kill us.” An exact match is found on the line “Sometimes my thoughts of my dead wife manifest themselves as trains.”
Stone and Parker explained that under the limited amount of time, they could not find theaters playing “Inception” or any other sources where the movie is watchable. In the meantime, they wanted to satirize the verbal complexity of the movie because it’s all about “explanations of explanations”. When they found the CollegeHumor video, they thought “their joke was that a lot of those lines were actually in the movie.” Stone admitted, “That was a mistake, and it was an honest mistake.”
Meanwhile, Gurewitch said on his blog that he has no hard feelings toward Parker and Stone copying his work but he’s “conflicted”. He said, “To give them the benefit of the doubt, I’d say maybe it’s an homage – I’d be honored – but while our sketch was popular, it wasn’t nearly the national phenomenon it’d have to be for them to parody it. Maybe it was some staff writer, and Matt and Trey aren’t aware of the source material? Or something?”
The apology from the writing duo had been accepted and Gurewitch said he and Young would meet Stone and Parker the next time they’re in New York.
South Park Season 14 Episode 10 Insheeption : There are some episodes of ‘South Park’ that seem to come from tangentially related sources to congeal into a cohesive story, some more interesting than others. While this week’s episode wasn’t as entertaining as last week’s (sorry, Jersey haters), it did have more than a few funny moments.
The two inspirations for this week’s episode seemed to be the documentary television show ‘Hoarders’ and the movie ‘Inception.’ It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie, so I must ask the reader: When Dr. Chinstrap was “providing the background,” was he imitating the music in that film? It certainly sounded like it.
As is often the case with ‘South Park,’ a great deal of the satire wasn’t subtle. Leonardo DiCaprio and his entire heist crew from ‘Inception’ showed up (which wasn’t a leap to make considering the title of the episode). It was a great opportunity for Trey Parker and Matt Stone to point out the silly nature of the movie despite the serious tone it took with itself, which is the sort of thing they do best.
The episode contained a lot of subtle innuendo and references as well. Randy Marsh’s experience was a reference to the old Zhuangzi philosophy of the butterfly dream. With all this satire on dreams, it’s surprising that there was no references to the Red King (unless there was and I missed it). There was also a near-verbatim reference to a CollegeHumor sketch and a reference to the Mark Wahlberg movie ‘Shooter.’
The use of the shepherd seemed unnecessary to the story, unless they were referencing something that escaped me. There are several references to shepherds and dreaming when one does a Google search, but none that seemed to apply.
As a child of the ’70s, I also enjoyed all the references to that decade that were crammed into the episode. Evel Knievel! Lite Brite! Zoom! The fashion of that era still frightens me, and I once wore it. Woodsy Owl also brought back some memories, but not the same sort of memories that Mr. Mackey had. Did anybody else notice that the bully Billy was using Kyle’s voice? I was hoping there was a hidden significance to that.
Of course, only Trey and Matt could point out that the entire shared dream concept was utilized for horror during the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ movies of the ’80s. One visit from Freddy would be enough to make anybody stop hoarding anything.
As mentioned, this wasn’t the strongest effort on the part of the creators, but at the same time it was far from their weakest. It simply felt as if the idea didn’t have enough time to cook and the audience was presented with a half-baked story (or dream, as the case may be). What did you think?