The pretenders have been eliminated and the second round of Den of Geek’s South Park Madness is set to begin. Don’t forget to bring a towel. For the first round match-ups, the links are here:
Now, on to ROUND 2.
Mr. Slave Region
 Trapped in the Closet vs.  Ginger Kids
Chris Longo: If you look at the religion-centric episodes of South Park, they get progressively more offensive. Ginger Kids is offensive in its own right and the episode is part of the cult of Cartman DVD set that collected the episodes essential to the lore of South Park’s devil child. The plot of Ginger Kids is upset worthy, but the Church of Scientology allegedly targeted Matt Stone and Trey Parker after making Trapped in the Closet. The episode’s landmark status is even more secure if a religious body gets pissed enough to come after you.
Nick Harley: If it weren’t for Trapped in the Closet’s animated depiction of the Church of Scientology’s beliefs, I’d have no idea what Tom Cruise was yelling at Katie Couric about. Every time that R. Kelly pulled out his berretta, I laughed a little bit harder. Ginger Kids is classic Cartman, sure, but Trapped in the Closet is one of the most talked about episodes of South Park and will definitely be hard to knock off.
David Crow: Sometimes decisions are fun. Chocolate or vanilla; boxers or briefs; the respect and admiration of your friends or a few glorious moments at Casa Bonita. But sometimes…sometimes, Meryl Streep had it easy in Sophie’s Choice. Forced to choose between two of my favorite South Park episodes, I look to the one with R. Kelly, John Travolta and Mr. Tom Cruise himself being mercilessly ridiculed or to the other which taught us all that gingers have no souls. An important lesson to be sure. Still, I think what we all discovered about Scientology was truly special. The theaten readings were at Level X for that classic. Thanks, Xenu. Trapped in the Closet.
 The Return of Chef vs.  Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy
CL: South Park has parodied countless celebrities but Dog the Bounty Hunter is such a douchey character that he doesn’t even deserve the South Park treatment. In Miss Teacher Bangs A Boy, Cartman takes on the persona of Dog flawlessly and that makes for a wild ride. Beyond Cartman’s parody, Ike’s storyline asks the fundamental question that all high school, middle school and mature elementary school students have on their minds: “Where were all these sexed up teachers when I was a kid?” Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy.
NH: Though I believe I voted against it in the last round, The Return of Chef was a landmark episode that saw the end of one of the show’s most beloved characters. After Isaac Hayes left due to the content of Trapped in the Closet, Matt and Trey gave the legendary funk singer a big middle finger of a goodbye. Using old dialogue to create his lines, Chef talks in a choppy, strange cadence about making sweet love to the children before he plummets to his death, impaled by a tree branch and ripped apart by, at first a mountain lion, and then a bear. Farewell old friend, if you’re not with us, you’re against us. The Return of Chef.
DC: Despite this near-even numeric match-up, it is an easy win for The Return of Chef. Cartman’s bad Dog the Bounty Hunter impression gave Miss Teacher some early momentum, but its youthful stamina was no match for the inside game of the Super Adventure Club. It is a shame the late, great Issac Hayes felt the need to end things so badly with the chilllldren, but we will always love Chef no matter what club he’s in. At least they gave Chef’s chocolate and salty balls the flavor of a ton-ton. Sorry, Ike, but I suspect it’s just a phase anyway. The Return of Chef.
 Major Boobage vs.  Mystery of the Urinal Deuce
CL: I voted against Mystery of the Urinal Deuce in the first round even though it is one of my favorite episodes. The problem is, the Hardly Boys face another exhausting matchup in the second round. I see this region (seasons 9-13) as the golden age of South Park and I have to go with the favorite here. Just one sniff of that golden stream of cat piss will send you into boobie oblivion and I’d rather that then getting the Hardly Boys clue glue all over me. Major Boobage.
NH: Though Cheesing is a hilarious premise, and the Heavy Metal tribute is amazing, I think Major Boobage still falls to Mystery of the Urinal Deuce. The Hardly Boys and their raging clues, the elaborate pretend 9/11 conspiracy, and Mr. Mackey’s hilarious rage at the thought of someone pooping in the urinal. This episode is so complete, sprawling, and hilarious. Could cause some major trouble later on in the bracket.
DC: Acknowledging animated heritage, especially the ones that busted onto the scene with the biggest impact, is great. Yet, there is just something so good about Mystery of the Urinal. A cross between the creepiest Hardy Boys Mystery and a particularly dumb Oliver Stone conspiracy theory, our sixth seeded underdog proves a lot with its ability to make everyone the fool. The confrontation with a George W. Bush wanting Americans to believe the “Truthers” could only be surpassed by Stan pulling a gun on Kyle. What happened to “c’mon people now?” Like deuce in a urinal, the aroma of this episode will be with you for days. Mystery of the Urinal.
 Best Friends Forever vs.  Make Love Not Warcraft
CL: “To Eric Cartman, I never really liked you but then again nobody does. You have no ability to feel and you are going to die alone and miserable. It is only because I feel so sorry for you that I leave you my Sony PSP.” The will I wrote in 4th grade wasn’t nearly as good as Kenny’s. This one is a toss up for me, but I know a Keanu Reeves statue will be waiting for me at the pearly gates if I pick Best Friends Forever.
NH: I think Best Friends Forever was overrated to begin with and it really, in my opinion, doesn’t hold a candle next to Make Love Not Warcraft. Not only is the episode graphically ambitious, it also features Cartman sharting in his mom’s face and the last funny usage of the word “noob” ever recorded. So there’s that.
DC: I love Best Friends Forever. A gold-plated statue of Keanu Reeves is almost worth dying and going to Heaven to lead a foul-mouthed battalion of Mormon Angels against the armies of Hell for. Almost. Yet, as someone who had a few friends way back when who gave their lives and souls to Warcraft, nothing will beat South Park’s loving ode to that most mystifying of time vampires. Blizzard may have done most of the animation for this South Park classic, but it is its fan base that totally got pwned. Make Love Not Warcraft.
 Scott Tenorman Must Die vs.  All About Mormons
CL: Imagine if Radiohead decided to cease touring because they hated Scott Tenorman? Thankfully Cartman’s Radiohead message was fake and Thom Yorke and the boys continued to make awesome music. Hearing Cartman sing “Creep,” to go along with Radiohead’s appearance at the end of the episode is the cherry on top of an already appealing sundae. Scott Tenorman Must Die.
NH: Scott Tenerman Must Die is Cartman in top form. The whole episode we get to laugh at Cartman’s attempts to best Scott Tenerman, only to be outsmarted at nearly every turn. But when Cartman does get his revenge, it’s a truly jaw dropping moment. The addition of Radiohead making fun of Scott as he cries is also completely hilarious.
DC: Yet another incredibly difficult choice. It is moments like these where I know what it feels like to send men into battle, especially if they are boozed up on schnapps. All About the Mormons is an incredible classic that set the stage for Matt and Trey’s Tony ascension to Broadway. The ho-hum dumb-dumb-dumb musical cue is one of the best TV themes ever recorded. And when the tables are turned on Stan and the boys by Mormons proving that bigoted anti-Mormonism is far more immature than enjoying time with your family, the chillldren teach their viewers one of my favorite lessons from South Park….but Cartman still made Scott eat his parents. Those tears of unfathomable sadness! THOSE YUMMY TEARS! Jesus Christ, dude. Scott Ternerman Must Die.
 AWESOM-O vs.  You Got F’d in the A
CL: Before it is all said and done, I have a feeling AWESOM-O will make a return to South Park. He’ll be back to make some Adam Sandler movies, aid the military and put a medicinal suppository up Butters’ ass. What the hell is a medicinal suppository anyway? I refuse to look it up. AWESOM-O.
NH: AWESOM-O is such a great episode that it may have the potential to be made into a big screen picture, just leave Adam Sandler out of it please.
DC: I’m going to let you in on a secret. Butters BY FAR is my favorite character on South Park. The naïve, hamburger-swearing, bi-curious 4th grader is a brilliant creation of sweetness and mean-spirited ridicule. So, how does one pick a favorite between the episode where Butters commits tap dancing genocide with something in his front pocket and where he has wacky adventures with his BFF, AWESOME-O? It comes down to that special ingredient one has and the other does not…Cartman. Butters may be my favorite character, but he works best when he is partnered with Colorado’s favorite big-boned little Hitler. And AWESOME-O? He is only Cartman in a cardboard costume trying to stop Butters from releasing blackmail. That is like just so unconformist. AWESOME-O.
 Woodland Critter Christmas vs.  Butters’ Very Own Episode
CL: What is it that makes us love Butters’? His curiosity? His pimping abilities? His love for Bennigan’s? Before Butters’ Very Own Episode, he was just the little dipshit in Mr. Garrison’s class. After? He became known as the kid whose dad went to gay bathhouses and mom tried to drown him. Now that’s what I call character development. Butters’ Very Own Episode.
NH: Just like the real March Madness Tournament, I think we have an upset on our hands. Butters’ Very Own Episode is really a turning point for the show where Matt and Trey realized that they could expand their background characters and allow them to take on the meat of an episode. You have to thank this episode for all the Butters, Randy, and Towelie episodes that followed. Plus the Butters title card and jingle is amazing.
DC: Did I mention how much I love Butters? Well, of course I am going to pick his very own episode. It is better than a trip to Bennigan’s. Satanic Barry the Bear and Squirley the Squirrel facing off against Santa Claus before Kyle gets an abortion is fine and all. But, I just want to sing…Happy, Happy Anniversary from everyone at Bennigan’s. Happy, Happy Anniversary from everyone at Bennigan’s. Happy, Happy Anniversary from everyone at Bennigan’s…Butters’ Very Own Episode.
 The Passion of the Jew vs.  Fat Butt and Pancake Head
CL: Mitch Conner is just your run-of-the-mill conman. March is about the characters that coax us into believing in them, believing they’ll make a run for the ages. In my bracket, Cinderella is on Cartman’s left hand and he is taking Fat Butt and Pancake Head to new heights: a sweet sixteen birth.
NH: The Passion of the Jew totally rips into Mel Gibson and is definitely a landmark episode, but there is something about Fat Butt and Pancake Head that really stands out. Often I think this episode is overlooked when people discuss Cartman’s finest moments. I mean, he convinces everyone that his hand is the new Jennifer Lopez, has a relationship with Ben Affleck, then pretends that his hand was pretending to be JLo the whole time, and that his hand really is a drifter. It’s daft, but in the best possible way.
DC: The seven seed doesn’t even stand a chance. The Passion of the Jew brings Cartman and Kyle’s relationship full circle when Kyle is guilted into hating his own religion because of Mel Gibson’s daffy snuff film. In retrospect, seeing all the white bread South Park citizens worshipping Mel Gibson as a prophet circa 2004 is pretty damn hilarious. As is Cartman convincing them to start marching by the Synagogue while shouting choice German words in brown uniform. Luckily, the folks of South Park realized how fucking goofy Mel Gibson is. Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but the son of a bitch knows story structure! The Passion of the Jew.
UPDATED ROUND BRACKETS
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