South Park (Comedy Central) is an animated adult comedy series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone that follows four childhood friends and their exploits in a Colorado town. The series has 21 seasons and is known for its off beat humor and provocative lens on current events in the United States. The show frequently represents celebrity culture, popular politicians, and various identity groups in the most critical way possible. This clip is from the episode “The Poor Kid” and features Kenny’s parents getting busted on the reality television show “White Trash in Trouble” (a reference to the long running reality show “Cops”) for owning a meth lab. The end result is that Kenny’s parents go to jail, while the children enter the foster care system.
How does this clip show different signs of being “working class” in America?
What does the scene tell us about being white and working class? How does this identity relate to the label “white trash”? Why does this scene connect class with addiction in America?
Why is there an entire show called “White Trash in Trouble”? Are there particular kinds of people who are more frequently the focus of reality TV shows?
Based on this clip, how does comedy work here to represent class? What is funny and not funny about how class is represented? Does satire work in this instance in getting the audience to critically think about class representation?