Jewish Journal


September 9, 2004

Jesus vs. Kyle


"Oh my God, we killed Jesus."

Kyle Broflovski, "South Park's" resident Yid, has a tough time reconciling his people's culpability in the death of Jesus after seeing Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" in the episode, "The Passion of the Jew." Comedy Central has released "Jew" and two other religious-themed episodes on DVD last week, timed with the Aug. 31 video release of "The Passion."

"South Park" is known for its irreverent take on political and social issues of the day, and this episode is no different.

For years, Kyle's loud-mouthed friend Eric Cartman has slammed him for being Jewish. But in the beginning episodes of season eight, Cartman feels justified in his anti-Semitism after seeing "The Passion." He taunts Kyle to watch the movie and prove him wrong.

Kyle finally gives in and is horrified by what he sees. After apologizing to Cartman for doubting him, Kyle spends the rest of the episode wrestling with the prospect that his people might be "Christ killers" who should apologize for the death of Jesus.

Meanwhile, Cartman starts a "Passion" fan club and organizes local fans to help him carry out his "final solution." Dressed as Hitler, Cartman begins parading the "Passion" fans through the streets of South Park shouting, "Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten" (We must exterminate the Jews), which the clueless fans think might be something in Aramaic.

"South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone lampoon Gibson, portraying him as an unhinged, underwear-clad torture freak, and take the Jewish community to task for its panicked reaction to the Gibson film.

The DVD also includes the episodes "Red Hot Catholic Love," which pokes fun at the Catholic sex scandal, and "Christian Rock Hard." Noticeably absent in any of these episodes is South Park's own public access host of "Jesus and Pals" and member of the religious superhero team Super Best Friends -- Jesus himself.

While Comedy Central might have great timing, it's difficult to imagine that fans of this heavily marketed show will shell out $19.99 for the three-episode "The Passion of the Jew" when an entire season of "South Park" runs roughly $40 on DVD.

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