[S13E5] Fishsticks TOP
The episode was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker, and was rated TV-MA L in the United States. The episode was conceived from a joke among Parker and fellow co-creator Matt Stone about a fish dressed as motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, which eventually turned into a joke about Kanye West not understanding a joke about why liking fishsticks made him a gay fish. The way Cartman tries to steal credit for the joke was inspired by real people Parker and Stone have worked with in the television business.
Jimmy works on writing jokes for his comedy routine while Cartman sits on his couch, eating potato chips. Jimmy comes up with a joke when Cartman asks if he has any snacks, and Jimmy remarks that there may be fishsticks in the freezer:
The joke, which plays on the similarity of the phrases "fishsticks" and "fish dicks" when spoken, becomes a hit throughout South Park. When Cartman begins taking half credit for the joke, Kyle tells Jimmy he should stand up to Cartman. When Jimmy tells Cartman he feels he wrote most of the joke, Cartman fears Jimmy will try to take full credit and asks Kyle for advice on how to deal with Jimmy. Kyle instead says he believes Jimmy wrote the entire joke, and suggests that Cartman's ego is so big that he subconsciously remembers things incorrectly to make himself feel more important. This is supplemented by Cartman's flashbacks to the creation of the joke, which become more overblown and ridiculous as the episode goes on, showing him to truly believe that he deserves credit.
"Fishsticks" was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker. The concept for "Fishsticks" began when Parker, fellow co-creator Matt Stone, and actor Bill Hader attended a writers' retreat in Seattle, Washington and they visited a body of water where they could watch salmon jump. They started joking about a salmon wearing an outfit like the motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, which eventually reminded them of the music video for rapper Kanye West's song "Touch the Sky", in which West himself dresses like Knievel. This led to them picturing a scene with West on a news program, angrily denying reports that he is a fish, shouting "No, I am not a salmon!" During a four-hour ride in a car, Stone and Parker discussed the joke further, and eventually thought of the "fishsticks" joke that featured prominently in the final episode. The duo said they found it hilarious and told variations of the joke back and forth to each other for the rest of the ride. Stone said, "The van driver we hired was just so bummed because we just kept talking about fishsticks, 'You're a gay fish', over and over. We thought it was so funny, and just the fact that he didn't get it."
Parker provided the voice of West, both in the episode and in "Gay Fish", a full-length song featured at the end of the episode about West's realization that he actually is a gay fish. Parker used a large amount of Auto-Tune pitch audio processing, which he had never used before. Parker said he eventually discovered he had to sing off-key on purpose in order to get the desired effect. Parker said, "You had to be a bad singer in order for that thing to actually sound the way it does." The day after "Fishsticks" was broadcast, the full two-and-a-half minute version of the Kanye West spoof, "Gay Fish", was made available for download on South Park Studios, the official South Park website. The site also featured T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts based on the episode. One featured Jimmy asking, "Do you like fishsticks?" The other features text from Kanye West's whiteboard in the episode: "Fishsticks + Me = Gayfish".
Simon Vozick-Levinson of Entertainment Weekly said the post was "a fascinating look at where Kanye's head is at these days", and complimented West for his "humility and honesty". Daniel Kreps of Rolling Stone said: "Many have tried, all have failed, but in the end it only took four animated children from Colorado to topple Kanye West's ego. ... One day, we'll all look back on this day and thank South Park for ushering in this historic moment in the life of Kanye." Kerrie Mitchell of Entertainment Weekly suggested West's modest response was actually a marketing stunt to help sell his upcoming personal fragrance and energy drink. Mitchell wrote, "Did he just get the last laugh on South Park? Conspiracy!" In response to the media coverage, West wrote another blog entry on April 10 claiming he had only seen part of the episode and found it funny, but he had been working on his arrogance problem for some time and that South Park did not lead to his "ego epiphany". The next day, he said in another blog entry that while visiting The Cheesecake Factory restaurant, the manager brought him a plate of fishsticks as a joke.
Cartman arrives at Jimmy Valmer's house, saying that he "wants" to hang out with him because Stan and Kyle are mad at him for some reason. Cartman then asks Jimmy for some food. Jimmy tells Cartman there are fish sticks in the freezer, and Jimmy comes up with a joke, that goes: "Do you like fishsticks?" "Yeah." "You like to put fishsticks in your mouth?" "Yeah." "What are you, a gay fish?" 041b061a72