Last night, South Park went straight for the heart of the Japanese whaling controversy with their episode titled Whale Whores. If you’ve watched Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, seen The Cove, or read any one of our many articles on the issue, you’ll find that South Park creators Matt and Trey probably did the same. The episode satirically attacks on all levels and makes everyone involved look ridiculous. True to the style of the series, however, everything ties up neatly with a message that puts the entire debate in perspective.
If you’ve seen the preview, you know that the show starts off with the Japanese, portrayed in traditional dress, attacking dolphins and whales in marine parks around America. Not even the Miami Dolphins football team survives. Stan, who is visibly upset at witnessing one of the killings, (His father holds him saying, “Hey pal, I’m sorry your birthday was ruined by the Japanese.”) declares that something must be done. None of his friends will help, but he gets a tip about a show that saves whales and will accept volunteers. Naturally, that series is Whale Wars and South Park doesn’t hold back on portraying it as show with zero drama. Within the first three minutes of Stan joining the crew, a beer-bellied Paul Watson is harpooned by the Japanese; with one of the SS crew members exclaiming, “Maybe he’s ok!”
Stan, upset that the Sea Shepherd crew doesn’t do anything but throw butter bombs, takes matters into his own hands and ends up sinking one of the Japanese whaling ships. He then takes over for Watson as captain. Suddenly, everyone is totally into Whale Wars and its ratings skyrockets. Various magazine headlines proclaim “New Captain Turns Vegan Pussies Into Real Pirates” and “Whale Wars Gets Better: Things Actually Happen!”
I’ll leave describing every detail there and just let you watch it — but let’s just say that the Larry King segment is a vehicle to further lampoon Watson. At one point King says, “Their old captain, Paul Watson, was an unorganized, incompetent, media whore who thought lying to everyone was okay as long as it served his cause.” Ouch.
In the end, which includes a hilarious encounter with the crew from Deadliest Catch, Stan finds out that the reason the Japanese hate dolphins and whales so much is because they believe they were piloting the Enola Gay when it dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. That’s what the Americans told them in the aftermath. To further his cause, Stan doctors a photo showing the plane was actually piloted by a chicken and cow. The Japanese then attack cows and chickens, with Stan’s father saying proudly to his son, “Good job, son. Now the Japanese are normal, like us.” See what they did there?
What did you think of it? Too much? Good for a laugh? Let us know! Check out the full episode here.