×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Park’ ploy pooh-poohed

Producer raises issue over animated, er, bowel movement

As the warped animated series “South Park” was smashing the all-time ratings record at Comedy Central for the third time in less than two months Wednesday night with the show’s Yuletide-themed episode, one cartoon producer in the audience was crying foul.

John Kricfalusi, creator of the divertingly offbeat “The Ren & Stimpy Show” for Nickelodeon, was upset Thursday because he felt the “South Park” seg of the night before had ripped off his idea of turning a piece of human excrement into a singing, dancing character. And his company, Spumco Inc., is threatening legal action.

The alleged imitation Kricfalusi refers to stems from the “South Park” Christmas episode’s use of an animated turd named Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo, a conventionally shaped, though decidedly animated, piece of human waste bedecked in holiday threads.

Kricfalusi believes that Mr. Hankey was directly inspired by his own similar creation, Nutty the Friendly Dump, who is prominently featured in a cartoon short that debuted on the Spumco computer Web site on Oct. 15 and, he asserts, had been featured in various print publications prior to that.

“I didn’t invent dumps or farts, but in the context that I use them in, I did invent them,” Kricfalusi said. “The talking, singing dump was invented by me. And now these guys are gonna get rich off of it.”

Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox called the claim of rip-off “ludicrous,” saying that neither of “South Park’s” chief creator/producers, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, had ever even visited the Spumco Web site.

“The fact is that Mr. Hankey is a character created by Trey’s dad 25 years ago when Trey was being potty-trained,” Fox said.

Kricfalusi replied that there were additional elements in the “South Park” episode that he believes were lifted from his work on “Ren & Stimpy.”

“This stuff always happens to me,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Wednesday night “South Park” again obliterated Comedy Central’s highest-ever audience level, pulling down a whopping 5.4 rating from Nielsen (which translates to more than 4.5 million viewers). That is more than seven times Comedy Central’s primetime average.

Comedy Central also boasted Thursday that the Wednesday seg was seen in one of every 11 households in the network’s nearly 46 million-home universe. And the “South Park” snared a 51 share of the males aged 18-24 demo in Comedy Central households.

More Scene

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Anthony Anderson LADF

    Why Anthony Anderson and Billie Jean King are Giving Back with the Dodgers Foundation

    Celebrities and athletes came together at the Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala to celebrate the team’s commitment to supporting youth and to catch a glimpse of the event’s headliner: Bruno Mars. Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss were honored at the fifth annual event, which raised over $3 million for programs benefiting Los Angeles youth. [...]

  • Shia LaBeouf poses at the premiere

    Shia LaBeouf to Host Birthday Fundraiser for Slauson Rec. Theater Company

    Shia LaBeouf is celebrating his 33rd birthday by giving back. The actor, who turned 33 on June 11, will host a fundraising concert later this month for the Slauson Rec Theater Company, a 10-month-old free performing arts program he co-founded in downtown Los Angeles. The night will also include a preview of the Slauson Rec [...]

  • Awkwafina, Lulu Wang Celebrate New York

    Awkwafina Wants 'The Farewell' to Break Boundaries of Cultural Differences

    Family dysfunction is universal despite cultural differences. That’s what writer and director Lulu Wang wants audiences to take away from her film “The Farewell” starring Awkwafina. “This movie will teach us universality out of specificity. There’s something that we can all kind of relate to across cultures. There’s something we still have to learn about [...]

  • Elizabeth Debicki

    Elizabeth Debicki Talks About Being Supported by Other Women in Hollywood

    Elizabeth Debicki is looking to the future — which makes sense, since she was named Women in Film and Max Mara’s “Face of the Future” for 2019. “No pressure,” Debicki laughed when Variety asked the actress about the honor on the red carpet. “It means a great deal. I have always deeply respected the work [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content