"South Park's" creators always find a way to mine the untapped comedic potential in any current event and this week was no exception.
In the episode, 'Back to the Cold War,' on Wednesday, "South Park" tackled the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. The episode began with the kids telling their teacher they are worried about Russian President Vladimir Putin. Their concern turns out to be nothing compared to the fear felt by school counselor Mr. MacKay. Getting his 1980s groove back, he bombards the school with multiple nuclear war drills while playing '80s pop classics.
Along with the drills, Mr. MacKay submits budget requests for a bomb shelter and "20 VHS copies of Red Dawn.”
The crisis also effects an equestrian competition in which Butters is participating. As Comedy Central had teased earlier in a press release, “A lot is riding on Butters' ability to crush the competition in the all-important dressage championship.” You see, Butters is competing against a little Russian boy named Davey Solokov and Davey's pony is a Russian Etruscan.
Alas, for both boys, Butters' parents and Mr. MacKay are losing their minds, convinced that the fate of the world depends on who wins the competition. Butters doesn't have much of a chance considering his horse, Melancholy, keeps pooping during practice and humping the other horses (this is "South Park," after all). However, when Melancholy tries to hump Davey's horse in the final, Davey falls to the ground and Butters is crowned champion.
After the "win," Mr. MacKay runs up to the microphone and gives an impassioned speech that is watched by Putin. By this point, Mr. MacKay has realized he's enjoying the Russia crisis way too much because he wants to relive his youth.
Mr. MacKay: And I just want to say to the Russians that if I can change you can change. I know how it is when you're getting old, you know, and you start getting aggressive because your dick doesn't work the way it used to.
Mr. MacKay: But just because our dicks don't work, doesn't mean we should go back to the way things were. In the immortal words of Sting -- we all share the same biology regardless of ideology.
In the past, "South Park" has mocked communist China, censorship of Mohammed images, "safe spaces," and trans athletes competing against women, among countless other international and domestic topics. Riffing about Putin and current tensions with Russia this week was right up their alley.