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South Park doesn’t usually miss a beat when it comes to satirizing pop culture. And last night’s episode was no different as the series took aim at .
“It’s the future — we’ve all decided centralized banking is rigged so we trust more in fly-by-night Ponzi schemes” a motel clerk declares to Stan Marsh in the episode. On the motel’s reception counter, a sign reads “Bitcoin only.”
Last night’s episode is called “Post COVID” and is set roughly forty years into the future. The pandemic is finally on the verge of disappearing and people pay for goods and services with plastic Bitcoin cards bearing QR codes.
Little escapes the satiric crosshairs of show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but the cartoon – now in its 24th season – has been slow on the uptake with crypto.
The crypto world has, however, been quick to appropriate specific scenes from the popular television series.
Crypto, South Park, and popular culture
South Park’s “Margaritaville” episode back in 2009, for example, birthed one of the most meme-able lines of all time.
During the global financial recession, Stan’s father Randy takes him to the bank to teach him the importance of saving money. Randy gives Stan a hundred dollars to deposit. He goes and sits quietly in front of the bank clerk, who taps a few keystrokes while saying: “We can put that cheque in a money market mutual fund, then we’ll reinvest the earnings into foreign currency accounts with compounding interest aaaaand it’s gone.”
Footage from this scene was reappropriated later for a South Park crypto spoof which several viewers initially thought was real.
In the fake footage, Kyle walks into a room at the SEC and overhears a policeman telling officer Foley that he sold “at 10x before we dropped the FUD!” Kyle then lodges a complaint with the officers about a chicken on Twitter, whose advice to “buy the dip” caused Kyle to lose a lot of money.
Crypto has become extremely visible in pop culture this year with Dogecoin enthusiast Elon Musk appearing on SNL, Jimmy Fallon and Post Malone both buying popular NFTs using MoonPay, and Ted Lasso referencing Bitcoin in the latest season finale.
Given crypto’s popularity, it’s perhaps surprising that there aren’t more minutes of South Park crypto footage.