South Park Republicans and the Roseanne Revival: A Lesson for Hollywood

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

How do Roseanne and the South Park Republicans create such entertaining shows?

News reports about the South Park Republicans should give people a chance to think. Does the popularity of the foul-mouthed South Park cartoon have anything to do with the fact that it’s creators are Republicans? Maybe we should ask another question: Why did the creators of a popular show feel compelled to keep quiet about their politics for so long?

Breitbart reports, “‘South Park’ Creators Stun Hollywood Crowd: ‘We’re Republicans.’

South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker reportedly stunned a liberal Hollywood crowd this week after revealing they are proud Republicans.

After receiving a ‘Freedom Award’ from Norman Lear’s left-wing organization People for the American Way Foundation, the pair apparently revealed their true political persuasion.

“Trey Parker & Matt Stone of @SouthPark asked me to introduce them when they received a ‘freedom’ award from Norman Lear’s organization,” Larry Elder wrote on Twitter. “After they graciously accepted, they said, ‘We’re republicans.’ Nervous laughter. They repeated, ‘No, seriously, we’re republicans.’”

There’s a case to be made that their political orientation is the reason why they are able to mock all positions so well. Leftists don’t seem to be able to make jokes about themselves:

The way people were surprised by the South Park Republicans seems related to a recent Deadline Hollywood story: “‘Roseanne’ Revival’s Huge Debut Stuns Hollywood, Prompts Soul-Searching.

While nostalgia was expected to bring in eyeballs, no one predicted such a huge turnout on premiere night for the blue-collar family sitcom with a Donald Trump-supporting protagonist, especially among the younger demographic.

[..]

Roseanne delivered the highest demo rating for any comedy telecast in 3.5 years, since the fall 2014 season premiere of TV’s biggest comedy series of the last five years, The Big Bang Theory.

There no doubt was an element of nostalgia and curiosity about how the characters from the original series have changed and about the new generation of the Conners. But Roseanne went beyond that. Its youngest 18-49 viewers when the series originally aired on ABC from 1988-1997 are now at the very top or outside of the ad-friendly 18-49 demographic range, in which last night’s premiere posted a staggering 5.2 Live+same day rating with no lead-in. It came largely from new viewers who were children or not even born during Roseanne‘s initial run.

Somehow Roseanne transcended age, recruiting droves of young viewers for a show whose two leads, Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, are both 65, well outside of the 18-49 demo.

The story even points out how ABC canceled a show that was conservative in politics and got good ratings!

ABC was strongly criticized by the right last May when it canceled Allen’s long-running ABC sitcom Last Man Standing despite its strong viewership. It was a rare broadcast comedy with a central character who is a political conservative and devout Christian adhering to traditional American values that appeals to viewers in the Heartland.

So how much sense did that make? The canceling of Allen’s show looks even stupider now than it did in May.

Read the full Breitbart story and the full Deadline Hollywood story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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