Praise the Crab People! “South Park” is back.
Before the 20th season premiere of the foul, incisive, brilliant cartoon satire commenced Wednesday night on Comedy Central, its eight-month absence was palpably felt by world-weary TV fans.
Since the last episode of Season 19 aired on Dec. 9, 2015, Donald Trump became the Republican Party’s nominee for president, controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter for allegedly inciting trolls against “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones, and J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars” reboot, “The Force Awakens,” was released worldwide to nauseating effect.
Somewhere, Matt Stone and Trey Parker were salivating.
This year was brimming with material, but nobody’s taken the bait. Late-night TV is the worst it’s ever been — with all the edge of a bocce ball — and the many smug fake news shows that Jon Stewart spawned are sedate carbon copies whose liberal agenda undercuts any attempt at truth in comedy. Sorry, one-sided college lectures ain’t funny.
What the world needs now is “South Park,” sweet “South Park.”
In divisive election seasons, during which one person says that his favored candidate is the true path to prosperity while another calls that candidate the seditious gate-keeper of hell, only Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny tell it like it really is: The choice, as in every cycle, is between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich.
That’s literally how the show represented George W. Bush and John Kerry back in 2004. This time around the Turd Sandwich is Hillary Clinton and the Giant Douche is vulgar, bronzed Mr. Garrison, looking like a wannabe Donald, whose running mate is a dazed-and-confused Caitlyn Jenner.
“South Park,” a longtime libertarian favorite, knows how so many everyday Joes feel — stuck between a rock and hard place.
The fictional electorate of South Park, Colo., is so fed up and depressed by their presidential predicament that they start drowning themselves in nostalgia, with the help of an addictive new snack called “Member Berries” — funny talking grapes that whisper things like “ ’member Chewbacca?” or “ ’member Spock?” The miserable, past-loving plebes devour them to numb their pain.
Even Congress decides to enlist none other than J.J. Abrams to reboot the National Anthem. Meanwhile, someone — probably Cartman, who dons a “Token’s Life Matters” T-shirt — is trolling the girls of South Park Elementary online. insisting that women aren’t funny.
You see, “South Park,” for all its cursing and gross-out humor, understands something that your average late-night Trump impersonator doesn’t: that a “Stranger Things” meme, a “basket of deplorables” and Colin Kaepernick protesting the national anthem are all a reaction to the same moment.
So, as terrible as 2016 is, we’re in for a spectacular season of “South Park.”