South Park had its 21st season premiere Wednesday night, and amid jokes skewering white nationalists and home improvement shows, Trey Parker and Matt Stone brilliantly did something no satire show has yet succeeded in doing: waking up a nation of Google Home and Amazon Echo devices every time Cartman said "Alexa" or "OK Google," and making them add things like peaches and "hairy balls" to their shopping lists.
As Consumerist tells us today, just a look at one's Twitter feed Wednesday evening would have yielded a great many people laughing about this and posting videos of their robot home assistants saying dirty things.
The episode, titled "White People Renovating Houses," takes the events of Charlottesville and the overall trend of nationalism and complaints about an amorphous "they" taking away "our" jobs, and mashes it up with the phenomenon of artificially intelligent home assistants, showing a Confederate flag-waving, Tiki torch-wielding mob protesting the likes of Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, and shouting things like "Whatever happened to people jobs?"
Stan's dad Randy is at the center of the episode, shooting an HGTV show called, of course, White People Renovating Houses and the overall takeaway he leaves us with, amid the politically charged backdrop of the show, is, “No matter how bad the country gets, you can always count on white people renovating houses." (I have to say this resonates with me, since I've basically been binging Flip or Flop ever since November 9.)
Not everyone was happy with the flip tone of the episode. As Vanity Fair writes, "South Park has long loved mocking anyone who holds beliefs too dearly an impulse that can lead to sharp comedy, as long as the world is stable enough to allow for cynicism. But its long-held 'everything is bad!' mentality rings differently at a time when a lot of people care about an awful lot of things, and with good reason."
But the fun in the episode is really in Cartman's tricking a bunch of home assistant devices to start talking to each other about genitalia, and then, in turn, prompting viewers' Echos and Google Home devices to turn on and repeat things like "Goodnight," and "titty chips."
This is why you don't keep Alexa next to the TV, everybody!
This episode of South Park drove my Alexa crazy. I never knew my Alexa had such a potty mouth. pic.twitter.com/lWIHySClRd— Tony French (@TonyLFrench) September 14, 2017