The latest episode of South Park helps to explain a phenomenon I’ve never personally understood: the ongoing obsession with musical theatre. I’d say Trey Parker’s well qualified to enlighten us… he’s won 9 Tonys. But more importantly, I learned why so many men put up with taking their women to musicals; the magic of subtext!
Starring my favourite adult South Park character Randy Marsh, Broadway Bro Down pits him against some of the most hardcore musical composers in the industry; and also reveals that despite recent events, Randy and Sharon’s marriage is stronger than ever… thanks to blow jobs. Oh, and vegans suck.
[Spoilers start here]
At work, Randy learns that a colleague skipped a football game to take his wife to the Denver production of Wicked (the musical). Baffled by this choice, Randy starts to mock him but soon other guys speak up in defense of going to musicals… which they say always leads to a blow job. Doubtful, Randy immediately gets theatre tickets for Sharon to test the theory.
As they sit watching Wicked, (which I have never seen, but looks as bad as any crummy musical ever made) Randy is still unable to make the connection. But a fellow patron assures him that a hummer is coming, and that Sharon is being subliminally encouraged by the musical’s sub text. Amazed, Randy listens more closely and suddenly hears the true message behind the musical – blow jobs! Every line is very subtly interwoven with words of blow job encouragement, and women are so entranced by the spectacle that they don’t even notice!
The proof comes when Sharon goes down on Randy in the car on the way home. Inspired, Randy immediately makes plans to take Sharon to New York for a weekend of musicals & blow jobs. Unfortunately, this leaves Stan and Shelley to stay with the vegan family who have moved in next door; suffice it to say they suck, the vegan boy falls in love with Shelley, and she starts teaching him to not suck.
Upon returning from NYC, a very satisfied Randy is faced with a new problem… there aren’t any new musicals to go see with Sharon. So he sets out to write his own musical: Splooge Drenched Blowjob Queen (it’s a metaphor!)
However breaking in to Broadway is no casual matter… if you’re going to ‘Bro’ down with the best, you’d better be prepared. Randy clearly isn’t when he is confronted about his sloppy subtext by Andrew Lloyd Weber, Stephen Schwartz, Elton John and Stephen Sondheim, which threatens to expose their own pro-fellatio productions.
Though Randy argues that he is trying to develop a metaphor, the Bros are having none of it. In defense of his masterpiece, Randy decides to “Bro down” against Sondheim… and what makes him the brothority? West Side Story, Bro. But all they really do is face off, agree to respect each other, and then totally ‘Bro out’ at Hooters.
Randy and the musical composers put their differences aside, because that’s what bros fuckin’ do. They also decide to help Randy with his subtext… and start by changing the title of his musical to The Lady in White (it’s a metaphor!) …‘Cause that’s Bro’dway, baby. Obviously Trey and Matt encountered some interesting obstacles when developing The Book of Mormon for Broadway… I wonder who inspired this episode.
Anyway, back to the story… Randy would be on cloud 9, except he finds out his daughter is going to see Wicked. Shelley and her new boyfriend (saved from the lameness of veganism) are already on their way, and desperate to stop them, Randy has no choice but to tell Sharon the secret behind musical theatre. Sharon’s realization is one of the funnier points in the episode, too.
As we all know, there’s one sure way to destroy musical theatre and completely stop a show it its tracks – introduce Spider-Man. If you aren’t aware of the debacle known as the Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark Musical, it’s worth a quick Googling… the production has been rife with issues, injuries, and insurance claims.
Knowing he has to stop Shelley from seeing Wicked, Randy simply dresses up as Spider-Man and crashes the show. The ex-Vegan is killed in the process… but as Randy later explains to his daughter, “Spider-Man had a very good reason for doing what he did.”
But the real conclusion here is that Randy and Sharon’s marriage is stronger than ever. Despite the fact that she was ‘tricked’ in to giving him blow jobs, Sharon realizes that something that makes both her and Randy happy is a really special thing. The moral of the story, is that musicals make your marriage stronger… and that tickets to The Book of Mormon can be purchased online (you’ll get a blow job, Bro).