South Park season 1 episode 3 review

Our look back at South Park season one arrives at Volcano...

3. Volcano

Our four protagonists, Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny, are going hunting with Stan’s uncle Jimbo and his vocally-afflicted, Vietnam War hero buddy, Ned. The idea is for Stan and his uncle to enjoy some typical male bonding, while shooting deers, rabbits, badgers and all sorts of other harmless creatures. But, as Jimbo tells us, it’s okay to kill whatever you like, so long as you shout “It’s coming right for us!” just before pulling the trigger. Cue gazelles being exploded with torpedo launchers galore.

It transpires that Stan doesn’t feel the need to kill harmless animals, while Kenny excels in murdering just about every fish in the lake and drinking a can of oil. Stan is jealous when this behaviour impresses his uncle and Jimbo makes Kenny his honorary nephew.  

Elsewhere, Stan’s father alerts the mayor that a nearby volcano is showing signs of activity and could be about to erupt. This leads all the residents of South Park to rally round in an attempt to rescue the four children trapped up on the mountain that lies in the volcano’s shadow. But how to combat a volcano should it erupt and spew lava? Well, as the police video shows us here, simply duck and cover.

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Up on the mountain, the gang sit round the campfire to hear a spooky story told by Cartman. Legend has it that a terrible monster named Scuzzlebutt lives nearby. Instead of a hand, he has a piece of celery, and instead of a leg, there’s nothing but … Patrick Duffy. Oh, and he also weaves wicker baskets.

The boys are, understandably, somewhat sceptical of this story, and so Cartman dresses up as Scuzzlebutt in an attempt to scare them, only to find himself at the mercy of Ned and Jimbo, who believe he’s a prize catch and set about trying to shoot him.

The story reaches its climax when the volcano explodes, people duck and cover only to be splashed down the mountain as smouldering skeletons by the wave of molten rock, and the real Scuzzlebutt shows up, weaves a wicker basket and uses it to deliver Ned, Jimbo and the boys to safety.

Wanting to prove himself to his uncle, Stan picks up a rifle and shoots the gentle beast through the head, much to the dismay of the town.

Another strong episode, featuring a brilliantly comic creation in the form of Scuzzlebutt, and the ‘duck and cover’ video is a great parody of similar videos that were released to the public under the threat of nuclear war, and is probably my favourite bit of this third episode.

Read our review of episode 2 here.

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