TVTV Recaps

SOUTH PARK “World War Zimmerman” Episode Recap

Warning: South Park Spoilers below! 

For a second there, I actually thought Cartman murdered Token. You can’t put it past Matt Stone and Trey Parker killing off a character. They’ve done it before. Maybe not such a featured character. But in these more recent seasons the guys have been flipping the show on its head. Remember when Stan saw everything as shit?

Cartman has done some horrific things in his 16 plus years on cable television. If you’re a fan, you know this. I wrote last week about how it’s hard for them to top any previous Cartman episodes. It’s because of that fact I have a tough time getting excited about a new Cartman episode. But lucky for me I was bit late and finally watched World War Z a few weeks ago. So this episode felt a bit more relevant for me. But even for those who saw it opening weekend, that’s only four months. But we’ve grown accustomed to almost to-the-minute satire from South Park. And it was a week after the film’s release that the Zimmerman Trial began, ending only  a month or so later. So if this episode came out in mid-July, this would feel more like biting South Park satire. But it’s a bit late and there wasn’t a ton of jokes that really surprised me.

Cartman’s dream was a highlight for me. Cartman is every voice in some strange Being John Malkovich psycho-racist dream. To the point that the jokes didn’t surprise me, the visual references were all there. The opening moments in the home with his daughters, the happy family playing games on their commute, and the tower of zombies. The greatest hits reference jokes here are the recurring plane crashes and slamming the bad ending to World War Z. I did love when Cartman slips the line, “I promise I won’t let the black people riots destroy the world”. The armless pilot’s reaction was hysterical. Oh, and Cartman’s Brad Pitt Survival Kit. That was amazing.

I’m trying to steer clear of any political statements here. Focusing on the Zimmerman scenes, I absolutely loved when the officials ask him to shoot a young black kid. The clichéd action movie moments that follow killed. And then, I guess we can call it Zimmey-sense as Zimmerman’s powers of detection when a black kid approaches goes off and he jumps into action. This is the most surprising comedic turn as the official finds that the kid isn’t black, it’s Cartman and he’s white.  The Zimmerman execution was hi-freakin-larious. I’ll keep it at that.

I liked this episode. I hoped for more but I wasn’t totally let down. I like this season so far. Like the episode, it’s not quite meeting my expectations, but it’s South Park. Go ahead and compare it to almost all of comedy on television. Go ahead. What did you think?



For a bitter satire, featuring Cartman misunderstanding racial politics, take a big gulp of “Fat Butt and Pancake Head” (Season 7, episode 5).



–       Butters is excited for a zombie apocalypse in the same way I would be.

–       Brad Pitt, but cooler.

–       Cartman’s limited understanding of Stand Your Ground laws seem to reflect society’s. His enforcement of the law reveals just how despicable these laws are (okay, fine…I’m getting political). Wait, this is Cartman. Of course he understands the law, and he used it the way he saw fit.

–       I love Cartman. I love Cartman episodes. This isn’t in this top rung, but it’s classic Cartman.


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The Author

Michael O'Brien

Michael O'Brien

Michael graduated with a degree in Creative Writing with a minor in Film Studies from Western Kentucky University in 2009. He currently lives with his wife, two cats (and Netflix account) in NYC. He has published short stories on and He has published poems in The Poetry Gymnasium by Dr. Tom Hunley and in The Roundtable.