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South Park’s new episode “The Streaming Wars Part 2” pillories a handful of celebrities who have recently endorsed crypto, including Hollywood legends Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon.
The episode spends the most time on Matt Damon, alluding to his widely-panned advert for Crypto.com, in which he tells viewers that "fortune favors the brave" while comparing crypto investors to arctic explorers, the Wright brothers, and astronauts.
The episode references Damon’s ad shot for shot, except instead of the star approaching the camera in a room surrounded by holograms, he’s walking through arid land advertising, erm, recycled water.
“We are living in a severe drought,” Damon says. “There simply isn’t a choice anymore. We have to find alternate sources for water. Hi, I’m Matt Damon. You’ve heard me talk about the wonders of cryptocurrency and now there’s a company that can give us that new source: Pipi Water!”
The footage cuts to Damon gagging as he attempts to water his lawn in urine, shower in it, eat pasta boiled in it, and enjoy a nice cold pint of it with his Whopper burger.
FTX-endorsing celebrities are given a similar treatment in the episode. Tennis star Naomi Osaka has to chow down on pee-soaked salad greens, while Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Larry David enjoys his “favorite beverage” directly from a nearby offscreen source.
Witherspoon’s commercial is easily the most foul. It begins with her saying to the camera: “I’m Reese Witherspoon. I think crypto’s a great idea, but there’s one investment that’s even smarter. That’s why when my family’s enjoying festive party games, we do it in pee!”
The camera pans out to reveal two men emptying their bladders into a tub filled to the brink with luminous liquid and floating apples. Reese stoops down and starts apple bobbing.
South Park’s previous crypto references
South Park has been surprisingly slow on the uptake with crypto.
The first official reference came at the end of last year, just as was cooling down from its 2021 bull run.
In the episode “Post COVID,” Stan Marsh goes to a motel counter roughly forty years into the future and is asked to pay in Bitcoin by the clerk, who says: “It’s the future — we’ve all decided centralized banking is rigged so we trust more in fly-by-night Ponzi schemes.”
On the motel’s reception counter, a sign reads “Bitcoin only.”
In the episode “Pajama Day,” which premiered earlier this year, Matt Damon’s Crypto.com commercial is repeatedly mocked.
At one point Cartman exhorts his elementary class, asking them "what does Matt Damon say in the Bitcoin commercial? Fortune favors the brave!"
His classmate Clyde replies, "My dad said he listened to Matt Damon and lost all his money."
It looks like crypto shilling has become a running gag for showrunners Trey Parker and Matt Stone. With prices where they're at now, though, it's unlikely crypto enthusiasts are in on the joke.