South Park vs Arrested Development

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Comparing the two is a little unfair, since one lasted for a very limited period of time (although I find myself re-watching it all the time). South Park has been going for years and clearly evolved as it grew older. As part of Vulture’s “Sitcom Smackdown,” Julie Klausner considers the two modern classics:

I remember the originality and verve of the very first episode in 1997, and how impressed I was that Trey and Matt Stone came from nowhere — or, as we knew it during those AOL salad days, the Internet. But, also, when I say Matt and Trey came from nowhere, I mean they weren’t from accepted comedy breeding grounds, like the Groundlings or Harvard. They didn’t go to improv class, and they weren’t hanging around with any comedy clique. Their iconoclasm was, and still is, splattered all over the show like — dare I? They would, so very well — diarrhea around the inside of a toilet bowl. And as they’ve maintained the show, those two wunderkinds have managed to stay entirely true to their own credo of “no bullshit,” while continually searching for the next weird, gross, upsetting, outrageous, silly thing — real or imagined — that they can blow up for their next point of departure/no return. …

An excellent bonus about Matt and Trey: Unlike satirists Jon Stewart and Bill Maher, who preach to their own choir, the South Park voice is not only distinctive, it’s truly independent, pissing off liberals and conservatives alike. It’s a breath of Fresh Air that isn’t hosted by Terry Gross.

Meanwhile, Adam K. Raymond lays out a list of every celebrity mocked on the show over 16 seasons.