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How South Park Came Up With That Famous Election Episode

You can find plenty of satire on TV, but nothing quite like "South Park." The Matt Stone and Trey Parker-created series has been holding nothing back and showing no mercy in choosing its targets since 1997.

Some of the best material to come out of "South Park" is when the show tackles politics. Stone and Parker have never been big proponents of any major political party, so everyone walks away with a black eye when they decide to take on a controversial subject. Naturally, as the world got more and more swallowed by 24-hour news cycles, navigating politics became more complicated. The show still found ways to poke fun at divisive topics with their signature take-no-sides style with everything from recessions to Donald Trump. Still, Stone and Parker admitted in February 2017 that political satire became harder as politics began to look less like reality and more like actual satire (per 7.30).

Wherever one falls on the political spectrum, it can probably be agreed the best political satire from "South Park" came in its earlier seasons. Perhaps the best was "South Park" Season 8 Episode 8 ("Douche and Turd"). In the episode, South Park Elementary is tasked with electing a new mascot after PETA takes issue with the choice of a cow. Their new choices? A literal douche and a crappy sandwich. 

Douche and Turd was South Park's middle finger to the two-party system

"South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are not big fans of U.S. politics being primarily controlled by political parties. In 2004, their frustration continued as the world got wrapped up in whether John Kerry or George W. Bush would win the 2004 presidential election. According to Parker, the two were especially tired of politics after making "Team America: World Police," a film cast with puppets that made fun of everyone from Matt Damon to Bush.

"I think that one was right after we had finished 'Team America.' And it was kind of this big thing where everyone's like 'Oh, the election, the election—what are you going to do, guys?' And we're like, you know, I don't give a f*** about either one of these [candidates]. And it kind of came out of that," Parker told Variety in September 2016 for a story celebrating the 20th anniversary of "South Park."

In the same interview, Stone was a bit clearer about the metaphor, saying the choice between a douche and a turd sandwich is simply the lesser-of-two-evil choice he believes most Americans get every election cycle. "It's just a funny way of saying less of two evils. Because 'evil' doesn't really capture the sense in some elections, where it's not really fighting evil—it just feels like, bleh."