Shocking news: turns out Lorde is actually a 45-year-old geologist from a small Colorado town called Randy. That is, according to South Park – Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s brilliantly depraved cartoon satire that, 20 seasons in, continues to deliver on laughs. After lifting the lid on Lorde’s true identity, what other musicians has South Park parodied?
Radiohead: Thom Yorke and co appeared as themselves in one of the show’s defining early episode, in which the Oxford group’s biggest fan is tricked into eating his own parents, minced up in a chilli by the ever-scheming Cartman. Poor Scott Tenorman.
Kanye West: “Do you like fish sticks? You do? What are you, a gay fish?” There’s an entire episode devoted to the ‘Yeezus’ rapper, in which he tragically fails to grasp that “fish sticks” sounds remarkably like “fish dicks.” Ye responded on 2010 track ‘Gorgeous’, threatening to “Choke a South Park writer with a fishstick.”
R Kelly: The ‘Ignition’ singer’s hip-hopera ‘Trapped In The Closet’ got the South Park treatment in 2005, in a hilarious, provocative episode that saw Kelly trying to lure Tom Cruise ‘out of the closet’ amid speculation Stan may be the next leader of Scientology.
Phil Collins: Jealous of Timmy’s band, Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld, the Genesis man finds a new legion of fans after South Park’s children are given bumper supplies of Ritalin. Phil doesn’t come out of it well.
P Diddy: In 2004 episode ‘Douche or Turd’, Puff threatens to kill South Park students if they don’t vote in a school election. Choice lyrics from his single ‘Vote or Die’: “Vote or die muthafucka, muthafucka vote or die/
Rock the vote or else I’m gonna stick a knife through your eye.” Charming.
Robert Smith: In which The Cure legend defeats a barbaric mechanical version of Barbara Streisand in an epic battle to save South Park. Naturally.
Michael Jackson: Masquerading as new neighbour “Mr. Jefferson”, the King of Pop befriends Cartman in this episode, who idolises the singer. Kyle and Stan, however, are more concerned with the welfare of Jefferson’s children.
Ozzy Osbourne: That whole bat fiasco? Just a misunderstanding, this season 2 episode claims – Chef once told him to buy a pompadour hat, which Ozzy misheard as “bite the head off a bat.”
Korn: Nu-metallers Korn in a parody of Scooby Doo? Anything goes in Colorado Springs. First broadcast in 1999, ‘Korn’s Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery’ is a third season classic.
Meatloaf: According to this Season 2 episode, Meatloaf is an old friend of Chef’s who used to be called Cous-Cous until Chef suggested he change his name to something meatier.
The Jonas Brothers: The Disney Club trio are servents of a demonic, malevolent Mickey Mouse in this episode.
Joe Strummer: The Clash man is another who voiced himself in the cartoon, performing at Season 2’s Chef Aid.
Lars Ulrich: The Metallica maan complains about illegal downloading meaning he can’t afford another swimming pool for his home in this Napster row satire.
Elton John: Elton appeared in Season 2’s ‘Chef Aid’ episode, voicing himself. In a nice touch, cartoon Elton makes a silent, subtle cameo later in the series at Chef’s funeral.
Enrique Iglesias: The Spanish pop heartthrob turned up in Season Five episode ‘The Entity’, where his gyrating hips and “hot balls” helped inspire Mr. Garrison to invent the gyroscope-powered monowheel ‘IT’ – a vehicle operated by four incredibly phallic controls held in the hands, mouth and anus. Nice.
Jennifer Lopez: Or, “HHHHEEEENIFFEER LOPETHHHH” as Cartman pronounces it. J-Lo’s South Park parody sees Butters incarcerated in a Christian camp for gay children, Lopez attack Cartman with a baseball bat and a healthy dollop of “Ben Affleck spooge.”
Christina Aguilera: When Cartman starts taking Ritalin medication, he develops a side effect that causes him to see pink Christina Aguilera monsters. Terrifying stuff.
Britney Spears: Britney received the South Park treatment during (one of her) annus horribilis in 2008 in ‘Britney’s New Look’. The episode involves a staging of the erstwhile star crapping on a squirrel, the North Pole and human sacrifice.
Bono: When Stan’s dad Randy produces “the biggest crap ever,” he has to deal with an angry Bono, who claims he’s still the world record holder. Contains many allusions to the U2 man being, despite his humanitarian work, a “total piece of shit.”
Andrew Lloyd-Webber: In season 15 episode ‘Broadway Bro Down’, the ‘Cats’ composer (your nan’s favourite) is depicted as a drunken jock who puts subliminal messages into his musicals to get women to perform oral sex.
Blink-182: Mark Hoppus and co also made their voices heard in the fight against illegal filesharing in seventh season episode ‘Christian Rock Hard’.
Celine Dion: Appearing in ‘Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus’ as Terrance’s ex-wife, Celine Dion is having an affair with Ugly Bob. The creator’s later cited the episode as their favourite.
Notorious BIG: Butters finds out the hard wsay what happens if you say ‘Biggie Smalls’ three times into a mirror.
Missy Eliott: It’s only eight seconds long, but Parker and Stone’s parody of Missy Elliott is pretty much amazing.
Phillip Glass: Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo may have stolen the glory back in Season One, Episode 9, but lending a hand to the school’s “non-denominational, non-offensive Christmas play” was minimalist composer Philip Glass, who composed a foreboding drone track entitled ‘Happy Happy Happy’ just for the occasion. No prizes for guessing that it wasn’t actually the real Glass.
Rancid: Tim Armstrong’s punks were another of the bands on the bill at Chef Aid, voicing themselves.
Primus: You’ve got Les Claypool and co to thank for the series’ weirdo stoner punk theme tune, so of course the band were going to make an appearance within the show eventually, performing at Chef Aid in season 2.
Stevie Nicks: Stevie Nicks gave her blessing to the team to use ‘Landslide’ but she actually appeared in a cameo herself: “I got kidnapped by the Afghanistan people and they sent the army in to get me. Yes, I was a little goat in a cape. But who cares? It was hysterical. The fact is, they sent the whole army in to get me.”
Will Smith: Sure, everyone knows the Fresh Prince, but Will Smith has more TV credits to his name than just that little thing. In 2001 he popped up in South Park’s ‘Here Comes The Neighbourhood’ episode, where he was one of a host of famous people (also including Snoop Dogg) shipped into the town to make rich kid Token feel less left out.
Sonny and Cher: Cher actually appeared in South Park twice: once in series three in a pastiche of her warbling auto-tune in unfathomably popular hit ‘Believe’ and then ripping into her diminutive ex-husband Sonny in ‘Terrance and Phillip: Behind the Blow’.
Wing: In 2005, meanwhile, Hong Kong-born, New Zealand-dwelling singer Wing had an entire episode named after her. In it, the singer lends her inimitable vocals to a cover of Abba’s ‘S.O.S’ while Cartman et al set up the ‘Super Awesome Talent Agency’. Sounds like a legit business from here.
Taylor Swift: The pop megastar doesn’t make an appearance herself, but in 2012 she inspired the ‘Taylor Swifting’ meme shown by Cartman in the episode. The premise of Taylor Swifting? “You pull down your pants and wipe your butt along the ground like an old dog”.
Alanis Morrissette: Canadians typically get a rough ride from Trey Parker and Matt Stone (see Celine Dion) but Morrissette gets off pretty lightly in her parody, performing a song called ‘Stinky Britches’, complete with a music video mocking ‘Ironic’.