Christmas has never been far from the comedic sensibility of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "South Park." Now in its 10th year on Comedy Central, the characters, cut-out animation style and scatalogical humor emerged on a short film, "Jesus vs. Santa" (but remembered as "The Spirit of Christmas"). Fox executive Brian Graden commissioned the film for $2,000 as a kind of video Christmas card for about 80 friends in 1995. The short became a bootleg sensation in the mid-1990s, back in the Dark Ages before blogs and viral videos, when fans had to mail or physically hand quirky videos to their friends. (That's how I saw it for the first time.) The short led to the Comedy Central series.
The holidays inspired "South Park's" most famous character, "Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo" and even though I find the concept a bit sickening, I also find his theme song pretty much irresistible. The show's latest DVD compilation, Christmas Time in South Park, gathers all seven of the show's Christmas-themed episodes, which can be hilariously disgusting (or is that disgustingly hilarious?). I particularly appreciate the song in this clip, which will amuse anyone who was dismayed and alienated by that creepy Polar Express movie.