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Quest for Ratings/Script

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Cast

  • Eric Cartman
  • Kenny McCormick
  • Stan Marsh
  • Kyle Broflovski
  • Butters Stotch
  • Token Black
  • Jimmy Valmer
  • Bebe Stevens
  • Craig Tucker
  • Clyde Donovan
  • Tweek Tweak
  • Red Goth
  • Raisins Girls
  • Principal Victoria
  • Herbert Garrison
  • Mr. Slave
  • Mr. Meryl
  • Whistlin' Willy
  • Pharmacist
  • Various Announcers

Script

Quest for Ratings
An announcer introduces the news over some action-type music.
Announcer
This is closed-circuit television for South Park Elementary School. And now, Super School News. The news made for students, by students.
Jimmy
Welcome to S-super School News. I'm Jimmy Valmer.
Cartman
And I'm Rick Cartman.
Jimmy
The price of milk money will go up next Monday to 49 cents. The school claims the added money is due to the cow shortage in South Park County.
Cartman
Parent-teacher conferences will be held this Wednesday night, from seven to nine. So kids, get a lot of playing in before you get grounded. And now, for a look at what's on the menu for school lunch today, here's Stan Marsh.
Reporting from the cafeteria, Stan.
Stan
Eric, it looks as though the school will be serving a chicken cutlet. Now, that's traditionally a uh-a white meat chicken... breast, if you will, that has been breaded, and then cooked. I've been told there will also be tater-tots and a vegetable dish. This is really shaping up to be a ah-ah one fantastic lunch. Eric?
Cartman
[serious pose] ...Hard-hitting reporting, Stan. Thanks a lot. And now, here with the celebrity watch is Butters Stotch. Butters, seen any celebrities?
Reporting from the sidewalk in front of the school, Butters.
Butters
Nu-noo, not yet. I've been standin' out in front of the school for about ...two hours now and ah, and I haven't seen any celebrities. Uh, about thirty minutes ago I thought I saw Sigourney Weaver, but ih-ih-turn- it turns out it was a dead horse.
Cartman
All right, Butters, keep your eyes open.
Butters
[over a speaker] Will do.
Jimmy
More snow for South P... P-P-Park. Here's Token Black with the weather.
Token
[in front of a weather map] Jimmy and Eric, it looks like a massive snow storm is headed South Park's way. I asked my dad last night and he said that he heard the snow storm is expected on Tuesday. Guys?
Cartman
Kyle Broflovski now joins us for a look at sports. And Kyle, the girls' basketball team just can't get it right.
Kyle
[at a small desk, for Sports] Another devastating loss for the Cows last night, Eric. They were ahead in the game until Kelly Anderson started crying because she missed her daddy, who's on a business trip in Thailand. Uh, Kelly was so upset she couldn't play, and the Cows had to forfeit.
Cartman
Cows are on a six and O slide since Kelly's father left for that business trip.
Jimmy
And that's all for Super School News. Enjoy your day at South Park Eh-Eh-Eh-Eh- [lilts] Ehehehehe [normal] El-Elementary.
Stan
[returning from the kitchen to serve as cameraman] And we're... cut! [turns off the camera]
Cartman
All right, nice reporting, guys. Nice. [the reporters gather in studio]
Butters
Boy, that was a great episode!
Stan
Yeah, I think that was one of our best shows yet.
Mr. Meryl
[enters the studio] Boys, I'm afraid I have some bad news. The school has to cancel your show.
Kyle
What?!
Jimmy
For God's sake,why Mr. M-M-Meryl?!
Mr. Meryl
Well, the students just aren't watching ya. Your rating was only a four this whole week.
Cartman
How many students is that?
Mr. Meryl
Four. [holds up four fingers] Four students watch your show. And meanwhile, Craig's show is getting a 57!
Stan
...Craig's show??
Cartman
What is that butthole doing now?!
Mr. Meryl
Oh, it's brilliant! It's all just video footage of animals close-up with a wide angle lens. [pops a VHS tape into the player and the video starts]
Craig
[on tape, as the name of the show is displayed] Animals Close-Up With A Wide Angle Lens. [the video goes on to show close-ups of dogs and cats.]
Stan
But that's... that's crap! That's not even TV!
Mr. Meryl
It's what the students want, and it's cheaper to make than your show. Just one person and a video camera. Craig is a genius. Uh-sorry, kids. [walks between and past them]
Jimmy
[stopping Mr. Meryl] But, Mr. Meryl, we're trying to bring the news to the students. They need to know the facts, and our news team delivers them, very much.
Mr. Meryl
Kids don't care about the news, boys. It's boring. Kids wanna see animals, close-up, with a wide angle lens!
Cartman
Please, Mr. Meryl, but, the news is our life. Without it, we have nothing.
Mr. Meryl
I'm sorry, kids. Y-y-you should be proud of what you've done. It's just that it's kind of gay. [walks off]
Cartman
...You're gay!
Whistlin' Willy's Pizza Gulch, day. The boys are seated for lunch: Jimmy, Butters, Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Token. Other kids are there as well.
Butters
[his head resting on his right hand] Gee whiz. We sure worked hard on that new show.
Stan
Apparently it doesn't matter how hard you work.
Whistlin' Willy
[approaches the table] Hello boys, ready to do some whistlin'? [begins to whistle]
Cartman
Fuck off, Whistlin' Willy. We're not in the mood.
Whistlin' Willy
[enthusiastically] If you want a pizza, you've gotta whistle. [whistles] Come on! [whistles some more, then stops. The boys whistle back, but slowly and flatly] There you go! [sets the pizza down on the table and leaves]
Cartman
[softly] God, I wish we had a Pizza Hut in South Park.
Stan
[look at Cartman, but notices someone else] Hey, look, Craig just walked in. [Craig enters to cheers from the other kids in the restaurant and waves back to them. Several kids take pictures of Craig]
Bradley
Yeah!
Kid 1
Hey look, it's Craig!
Kevin
Hey, Craig, over here!
Kyle
Geez, all that from a stupid video show.
Craig
[sees the other boys and addresses them] Oh hey guys. Heard about your news show being cancelled.
Cartman
Go play with yourself, Craig.
Craig
Yeah, well, I've got an overall deal with the school, heh. They're paying me six dollars a week to come up with new shows.
Stan
Your idea took about this much thought, Craig! [holds up a fist with thumb and index finger just a centimeter apart]
Craig
[throws the gesture back at Stan] This much more than you had!
Craig walks off with his fans. They head to Willy's VIP Lounge, which is just a large corner booth. A waiter guards access to the lounge and Craig approaches.
Craig
Hey, a round of root beers for everyone! On me! [the other kids cheer and the waiter opens the lounge. The kids pour into place, including Kenny.]
Kenny
(Woohoo!)
Cartman
[catches up to Kenny] Kenny, what the hell are you doing with this asshole?!
Kenny
(Craig just asked me to do his show, geez.)
Cartman
You're helping Craig make his show?! I can't believe you would betray us like that! We've always been supercool to you! [Kenny flashes back to Cartman gloating about their news show]

 "Hahahahahaaahaaa! We're gonna do a news show, and you can't do it with us, because you are too poo-oor, and poor people don't watch the new-oos! Nyanyanyanyanyaaanyaaa!"

[The flashback ends] Ah whatever, Kenny! [walks away]

Craig
Hey gang, I brought the new episode of wide angle, close-up animals. [the kids cheer again. Clyde walks up and takes the tape from Craig]
Clyde
[excitedly runs towards the video wall] Put it, put it up on the, monitors! [puts the tape into the player and more close-up footage of animals is shown]
Kids
Cuuute. [a kitten's face is shown] Super cuuute.
Kyle
[turns back to the table] Gah, I just don't get it.
Token
Wow, those animals are pretty cute.
Stan
Token! Now, come on, guys! We worked too hard to just roll over for Craig and his stupid overall deal. Instead of sitting here feeling sorry for ourselves, we just need to figure out how to make our show better!
Kyle
Yeah. Maybe if we can get higher ratings by the end of the week, they'll let us stay on the air!
Butters
Well, what are we waitin' for?!
Stan
Come on, guys! [the boys leave]
Student Conference Room 1-F, later. Inside, A sign above the chalkboard reads "Idea Room." Cartman has his feet up on the table. Stan paces the floor.
Stan
All right, we all need to come up with ideas for our show.
Kyle
How about we revamp the name? Super School News sounds dry.
Cartman
It should be Sexy News.
Token
Action News!
Stan
Yeah, Sexy Action, that's good.
Kyle
Maybe the problem is we don't have very good stories to report on.
Cartman
Right. We should make up stories, because they'll be far more interesting.
Butters
Hey, yeah. Uh why I could say I saw celebrities even though I didn't, a-a-and then lie about what I saw them doing.
Cartman
Nice, Butters, write that down!
Butters
[enunciates each word as he writes it] Lie about celebrities.
Stan
We have to appeal to all the students, so we, we need hot girls for the sixth graders...
Cartman
And panda bears for the preschoolers.
Stan
Good!
Kyle
Maybe we need to make students think they have to watch our news show or they'll die.
Token
Yeah! We should make up a bunch of reports about how dangerous it is to be alive.
Butters
Oh, boy!
Jimmy
Fellas, are you sure all of this is eh-ethical?
Cartman
We're in fourth grade, Jimmy. We don't even know what ethical means.
Stan
All right, Sexy Action School News Team, it's time to go to work. Get out there and get some stories!
Butters
Sexy Action School News Team, ho! [the boys leave their seats and head out the doors. Cartman stops Token]
Cartman
Ah, Token, can I have a quick word with you? [takes Token by the arm and walks him away from the door] Look, Token, I-I know the guys are having trouble bringing this up with you, but uh... Well the thing is, Token, we... we really need to revamp your whole TV persona.
Token
Huh?
Cartman
You see Token, people really enjoy seeing African-Americans on the news... Seeing African-Americans on the news, not hearing them. That's why all African-Americans newspeople learn to talk more... wha-, how should I say... white. [Sees that Token isn't following] Token, all the great African-Americans news people have learned to hide their ebonic tribespeak with a more pure Caucasian dialect. There's no shame in it, and I think it'll really help our ratings.
Announcer
This is South Park Elementary School closed-circuit television. And now, [dramatic fanfare] Time with the Sexy Action School News! [a splashy logo appears with a small explosion behind the logo, then a female silhouette walking across the screen behind the words]
Cartman
Is South Park about to explode from a methane gas leak? More on that later. But first, Stan Marsh has a look at some new outfits for the Raisins girls!
Reporting from Raisins, Stan Marsh. He's surrounded by Raisins with shorter shorts and tank tops.
Raisins Girls
Woohoo!
Stan
Eric, the outfits are even skimpier than before, leaving very little to the imagination. No doubt that if I were a little older, I would be aroused.
Raisins Girls
Woowhoowoo!
Cartman
And now, for a look at the weather, here is Token Black, and Token, I hope there's no tornadoes headed our way.
Token
[deeper, whiter voice] No tornadoes, Eric, but interestingly enough, there is a low-pressure storm moving in over the Park County Valley. Should bring us some chilly days ahead. [grins and points his index fingers at the camera]
Jimmy
The Park County School Board has approved a bigger budget for the computer lab up-
Cartman
[rudely interrupting] Oooo, hang on, Jimmy, it looks like Kyle has the dish on some students' bathroom habits. Kyle?
Kyle
[at a different, flashier desk] Eric, sources are speculating that third-grade student, Pete Thelman [his picture is shown], pees sitting down like a girl. We've also got confirmation that Sally Turner [her picture is shown] stuffs her bra. And Clyde Donovan has only one testicle.
Cartman
[cracks up with laughter, then holds up a finger] One testicle! [pounds the desk and laughs] What an asshole! [a short jingle is heard]
Token
Uh-oh, looks like it's Panda Bear Madness Minute! [circus music plays as panda-suited mascots and the other reporters join Token in the weather area and dance. A pulsating logo appears]
Cartman
Oh yeah, Panda Bear Madness! And now, let's get a look at the celebrity watch, with Butters.
Jimmy
[dismayed] This isn't the news, this is a tr-tr-tr-tr-travesty.
Student Conference Room 1-F.
Cartman
All right, so after my report on the unsanitary conditions of the school cafeteria, we're go to Kyle for the story on Brian Teeves trying to make out with Susan Farkle.
Stan
Then, let's do Token's report on how global warming is going to kill everyone in the fifth grade.
Token
That is a terrific idea, Stan, A-Okay.
Jimmy
[walks into the room with a tape] Fellas! Fellas, I got fant-tastic news! The vice-President, Dick Cheney, was in Denver yesterday, and I got an interview with him for our news show. [the boys look at Cartman]
Cartman
Oooo, interview with the vice-President, hmmm. Frankly, Jimmy, I don't know how we're gonna fit that in between cheerleader pie-eating and Who's got skidmarks Monday.
Jimmy
But this is real news!
Cartman
It's boring news, Jimmy.
Jimmy
How do you know?! You you haven't s-seen it yet!
Cartman
All right, tell me about it.
Jimmy
Well, in the interview, Mr. Cheney tells me all about how the-
Cartman
[yawns loudly] Aww! Ohh! God, I just got so sleepy. I'm sorry, what were we talking about?
Jimmy
Look, fellas, I've got a real problem with the direction our news show is going! We're dumbing down the school!
Stan
No, Jimmy, the school is already dumb. We're just giving them what they want.
Kyle
We're making the news more appealing to students.
Jimmy
This isn't the news! This a b-b-bastardized quest for ratings! Damnit, we have a journalistic responsibility to bring students the fa... the facts! [begins to walk around the table] Don't you see what we've done? In our efforts to compete with Craig's small-minded show, we've made a mockery of n-news reporting. I remember when we all made an oath to each other, way back when started playing news reporter, that we would never let anything jeopardize our integrity! Well our integrity is jeopardized! And if we can't report news the honest way, what good is n-news reporting? [Cartman then yawns loudly again]
Mr. Meryl's office, Audio-Visual Department.
Mr. Meryl
Boys, first of all, I want to tell you how impressed I am with your ability to get more ratings. Your show beat Close-up Animals with a Wide Angle Lens by three viewers!
The Boys
All right! Woohoo! Awesome! [the boys give each other hugs all around and shake hands]
Stan
I knew we could do it!
Kyle
We beat Close-up Animals!
Cartman
Oh man, this is so great! We, we worked so hard to be on top! Oh, oh come'ere you! [hugs Butters]
Mr. Meryl
Yes, but unfortunately, you got crushed in the ratings by Craig's new show. [the boys continue cheering, then stop and look at Mr. Meryl]
Stan
Craig's new show?
Mr. Meryl
All the students love it. It's an incredible idea called Close-up Animals With a Wide Angle Lens... Wearing Hats. Take a look. [clicks Play. The boys turn around to look at the monitor. The animals on display now are wearing hats, but it's the same show as before otherwise.] That Craig is a freakin' genius, I tell ya. He's like... an idea machine.
Butters
Does... Does this mean we're still gonna get cancelled?
Mr. Meryl
I'm afraid it's worse than that, boys. I'm gonna have to give you all F's in Extracurricular AV Class. You have to learn now how important ratings are!
Stan
Hey wha-b-but we gave it our best.
Mr. Meryl
Yes. [begins to rock in his seat] And I guess your best wasn't good enough. [shows them the door]
In the hall. Mr. Meryl closes the door behind them.
Stan
[stunned] I don't believe it.
Cartman
I can't lose this extracurricular credit. I need it to pass fourth grade!
Butters
Stupid news hair! [He removes his wig and kicks it away.]
Jimmy
Fellas! Don't you see? This proves my point. We have to elevate our ideas up, not down.
Kyle
Yeah, Jimmy's right. I know we can come up with way better ideas than Craig.
Stan
Yeah. To save our show, all we need to do is come up with the best idea for an episode ever!
Student Conference Room 1-F. The kid reporters sit around trying to think of something, anything, but all there is is silence.
Kyle
What if we do a show where we- [stops] Uh, no.
Cartman
How about we have us, um... hmmm.
Stan
Come on, doesn't anybody have any show ideas?
Butters
Well, how about we get panda bears and we have them dance around with us?
Token
We did that!
Jimmy
Wow, coming up with ideas is... hard.
Stan
Look, you guys, if Craig can do it, we can do it! Come on! [time passes. Stan begins to pace the floor again] How about we do... a show... with us... ughhh.
Kyle
Uhhh. What if the-?
Cartman
Wait, I've got it. [the boys turn and look at him] Crab people.
Stan
Crab people?
Cartman
They're like half crab, half people, and they live below the ground.
Stan
[looks at Cartman, then gets annoyed] Dude, I think we can do a little better than crab people.
Butters
I know! We should read the funnies! [hops off his chair and goes to a table, on which sits the Sunday Funnies] I always get good ideas from the funnies.
Cartman
[his face buried in his hands] Butters, only gay little dweebs read the funnies!
Butters
Yeah! I read 'em all the time! Uh here's one: the uh, snail tripped over a hurdle, and the other snail says "Well that's gonna add another hour to his time." [laughs] Yeah! You guys! [gets no reaction from the other boys] Heh.
Cartman
How about we do a show where we kill Butters? [time marches on and the boys get sleepy, except for Butters]
Butters
[still reading the funnies, giggles, then laughs] So Dagwood says "Good, guh-good thing we're playin' ...uh the back nine at your house." [laughs heartily]
Stan
We're hopelessly stuck, completely out of ideas.
Cartman
We have crab people. Just sayin'.
Kyle
Wait! You know what we should do? We should all take a bunch of cough medicine!
Token
Cough medicine?
Kyle
That's what the sixth graders do behind the school at recess. They take way too much cough medicine because they say it makes them see things in their heads.
South Park Pharmacy, later. The boys are at the cold and flu medicine aisle.
Butters
Gee whiz, there sure is a lot of 'em.
Kyle
How do we know which one to use?
Stan
End of Quest for Ratings


  811: "Quest for Ratings" edit
Story Elements

Super School NewsSexy Action School NewsMr. MerylAnimals Close-Up With a Wide-Angle Lens • "Animals Close-Up With a Wide-Angle Lens"

Media

ImagesScriptWatch Episode

Release

South Park: The Complete Eighth Season

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