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Tyler Perry Lampooned In ‘South Park’ And The Racial Undertones

by Nené DaitéMay 10, 2011

After Osama bin Laden’s death, we were curious about how South Park would tackle the news besides haven killed him a few times already.

Tyler Perry someway, somehow, became the center of attention as the episode mocked him and his Madea character. Not only that, they had this one black character – the only one who laughed at Madea’s jokes and gave her money – as if all black people find Madea funny and fund Tyler Perry’s franchise.

In fact, it gets worse when the other black character in the show who didn’t want to see Madea was Obama. Even then, he had no choice since Madea had taken over his world. So Obama is ‘smart’ enough to not want to see Madea but he has no choice because? He’s black?

But the show wasn’t entirely about Madea, and I would be doing it a disservice if I said it was. However, the German-made robot named Funnybot, who had supposedly taken over the comedy world and supplanted Adam Sandler, Jay Leno and other comedians, soon became forgotten.

In the end, the South Park gang’s reaction resulted in President Obama announcing:

I am pleased to announce that the greatest threat to mankind is now gone forever.

So in a bid to save the comedy world, it turns out that the big threat wasn’t Funnybot or Osama bin Laden – it was Tyler Perry plus all black people (except Obama of course, ‘cos he’s ‘smart’)!

Is this just about the comedy? Because, you don’t just use a German robot that is first trying to take over only to focus all the attention on Madea taking over instead.

Is South Park overstepping boundaries with its serious racial insinuations of ‘black people taking over with their nonsense’?

What say you?

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Nené Daité
I am a Recovering Explorer | Nevertheless, I still remain, perhaps in my Humble Belief, the Black Filmmaker's Toughest Critic.
  • thats not funny

    south park is great…if u feel that your race is not being portrayed in a favorable manner.check out the first writers to blame there.its keepin it real what im sayin.

  • Eric Strauss

    Tyler Perry sure is terrible.

    • aSandwich

      Actually. His plays are a lot better, and more meaningful than the awful movies. So I think it has a lot to do with hollywood f**king with it to turn it into what they think will sell the most tickets and dvd’s.

  • Frank K. Johnson

    Should the Germans be offended? I would say that the representation of them is a far worse than an exploitation of the fact that the VAST majority of those who give Tyler Perry money (i.e. his main audience) are, in fact, black.
    Perhaps one of the greatest things about South Park is that it allows petty people be demonstrate their inability to take a freaking joke and laugh themselves…many of whom, however, have no problem laughing at others.

  • dave

    That episode was really funny actually. Funnybot was the best and funniest part of the episode but the fact that only black people find Tyler Perry funny was spot on too in a social commentary sort of a way. Not only do white people not find Tyler Perry funny, most white people have no idea who he is. It’s my guess this is why he puts his name in front of all his movies and even then most white people just know the name but have no idea who he is. So yes, the South Park skit was dead on.

    • aSandwich

      Well. I actually live in an incredibly white state (idaho) and I know a lot of white people who like tyler perry, well, white girls. I don’t know of any white men who have said snything about him. But even if a lot of black people like him. There is still a lot of white people too

  • steev

    I love it when PC people get a fussy and throw out the race card and time they are offended. It cracks me up!

  • mark

    Not being snide at all- genuinely curious- are all participants in this thread from the u.s?

  • Greyboy

    I grew up outside D.C., I had mostly black friends (I’m white). I listened to mostly black music and watched mostly black movies. I took all kinds of abuse from black people and still love them as my brother. Plenty of black people didn’t like me being around a black crowd, because they didn’t like themselves. Not to mention being treated as a “race traitor” because of my black friends.

    Now having said that, the point is this: I don’t like “Friends”, I don’t like “Full House”, or any shows like that. So why do I want to see something that’s basically “Full House” but with black folks? It doesn’t matter that their black, it matters if it’s a lame sitcom that’s not very funny. I understand as much as a white man can that some black people feel like Damon Wayans character in “Bamboozled”. However, does that mean we need another minstrel show? Watching “House of Payne” feels like watching “Full House”. If there’s a black Seinfeld, I’m all about it. Chapelle show made the whole world stand up. Why do we need another black man (any man) in a dress? Also, if South Park is so awful for making an obvious joke, than what about the Boondocks? They did an episode that murdered Tyler Perry. Black comedians always talk about the differences between us, and we laugh our asses off. That’s hypocritical to complain when the tables are turned. I remember sitting at my grandma’s table and hearing her talk about how well Colin Powell spoke, and thinking what the fuck is that shit. So when Chris Rock said it, I laughed my ass off.

    • Hanes

      GreyBoy! I mean, come on! How many times do we have to say that yes, black people can call themselves the n word but white people cannot! Yes they cannot. In the same way, black folk can discuss their own issues and chastise one another if they please, and yeah, white people should not! White folk cannot chastise black people – because white people are not black folk’s family!

      I can tease my family, my friends, but I cannot tease other people I don’t know, who don’t know me cos it ain’t right! Yeah, so there, white folks are at best black folks’ nemesis – they only destroy black people! The last time I checked, through out history, white folks have systematically oppressed black folks, exploited them, raped their women & men, and still enslaved their mixed offsprings. So ya, the last time I checked, white people have never been good to black folk. So they should stand off, they shd stay away from black issues – they are not helpful cos they’ve never been helpful.

    • Galer

      I don’t give a f if you are white and you wonna hang with black folk. We love you! We love all peoples. Only ur people don’t like black folk, they’ve never liked black people and they will never like us. That way, we don’t want to mix! Cos it doesn’t help us but them.

  • Alex

    I’m white, I like a lot of black comedians, but Tyler Perry is fucking awful, and most of my black friends agree. White people unanimously hate him, and most smart black people hate him, but what I don’t understand is why so many stupid black people like him and his completely boring and stereotypical Madea character. It’s like modern day blackface minstrel shit. This shit is the opposite of funny.

  • KingKongKeesha

    Go see the next Tyler Perry movie, and tell me how many white people are in the theatre.

  • Ann Mamie

    * group hug *

  • adam86

    By the way Filmclique fanatic, thanks for the civil and open minded approach to this discussion, you neutralised the issue very lightly…Hope you to enjoy South Park-its really a enjoyable concept if you allow it to be :-)

    • FilmClique Fanatic

      Adam86, thanks for the discussion, I definitely enjoyed it!

  • adam86

    Guys come on, if they had another black student who did not laugh at the joke it would deduct from the power of the jokes objective, wich is-black people find tyler perry and white poeple dont understand why, like wise not every white person thinks that Tyler Perry is not funny, so than they should also have put a white person who finds him funny, then ultimately the joke would have lost its whole core…Likewise when they portray Hill billies as racists and ignorant, than they should have 1 who is a genius, because not every single white person in the south is stupid and racist-do you see where i am going with this, eventually there would be no joke!!!! South park lampoons the american society, the only way this can be done is by stereotypes…its basically showing how ignorant the average human being is. there are no standards and double standards to this.

    • FilmClique Fanatic

      I must say it’s a fair way to look at it. It is entertainment after all! But it is worth pointing out, per say, that it is in fact comedy that plays heavily on some extreme stereotypes.

      While you may understand how South Park plays on these stereotypes for example, others may not necessarily do so. I think this forum is only shedding more light on the joke that all black people find Tyler Perry funny and white people don’t. South Park doesn’t have to change at all – only we the audience have to understand perfectly well that every part of it is indeed a joke and we should enjoy it as far as it goes.

      To this end, we are both in agreement! So this whole thing, is not meant to find South Park guilty of racial slurs, at least I don’t think so. But, like in Tracy Morgans case, even comedy has to be monitored and the compass for jokes carefully gauged. FilmClique is fond of bringing some critical attention to some of these issues and that’s why I love it.

  • Daité

    This issue remains an interesting one for me. I like all of your comments.

  • adam86

    I heard other people going as far as into the school system regarding the issue, and i said that although i agree with the argument, it has no relevance being raised from this issue, and yes agreed i do not find Tyler Perry funny, and i understand that there are people of African descent that do not find him funny aswell, but the issue has been blown out of proportion, and no i am not African American, I am African, and thats what i am getting at exactely-its not helping my argument, because there should not even be an argument, Black comedians lampoon white people all the time, race is a basis for a lot of comedy agendas, and if the joke is less funny coming from a different race than we should just stop racial humour as a whole. In terms of South Park-i love it, its created by two guys (not even mentioning colour) who are totally neutral about everything, encourage open mindednes as if you had folowed their show from the beginning they always show the various angles, and as i said everybody has been the target of their joke, and almost always they portray it from various angles.

    • FilmClique Fanatic

      I don’t disagree the South Park is probably a great show and the makers perhaps aspire to be objective. You have whole heartedly expressed that opinion albeit your rant at the end of your first comment.

      It is obvious that others on the forum differ in opinion about South Park’s objectivity – some have expressed that at least if South Park had one other black student who did not laugh at Tyler Perry’s jokes, this would have cleared these racial insinuations.
      Perhaps, South Park plays on Stereotypes and that is exactly the reason why it may not be an objective show episode to episode. Stereotypes are not objective!
      Nonetheless, whether the insinuations suggested here are true or not, it has elicited interesting feedback for those of us who seek to know what others think. Whether you are white, black, African or African-American, you should say what you think. It’s a forum and I have admired FimClique particularly because of its civility, liberalism and decorum with which opinions are raised.

      I think you’ve aired some important views about this topic and I will in particular consider the import of your argument next time I discuss the topic with anyone.

  • adam86

    I think this conversation has just gone way off course, South Park is the greatest comedy show ever, they lampoon literally everybody, to suddenly pin point a black issue is dumb, most of their humour attacks white people, and always portrays them as ignorant, especially conservative dumbass hill billies. The episode was basically saying that white people don´t get the humour of Tyler Perry, and as an African i can proudly say that Tyler Perry is a ridiculous excuse for comedy, yet i do enjoy Chris Rock or Eddie Griffin, its got nothing to do with race besides the fact that a generalisation proves black people find Tyler Perry funny, and South Park is humour about stereotypes. Some one went as far as to address the American school system wich i fully agree with, Africans are downplayed, the fact that African civilisations that were ahead of Greeks and Romans are ignored by school cirriculums just to name a few-BUT IN THIS CASE THAT WAS TOTALLY IRRELEVENT, and i imagine the creators of South Park are part of the minority of whites that do actually understand that. You guys are just bored and desperately making snmug attempts at African pride, instead of making yourselves sound stupid on chat forums, go out and do something active about African pride like i do!

    • FilmClique Fanatic

      Claiming you are African-American does not help your argument. You should know better. And if you don’t get Tyler Perry’s jokes, that’s fine because not all African-Americans like his jokes? But respect those who do and understand that some African-Americans like his jokes.
      South Park is probably a great show, I hope so for fans like yourself. I don’t find it funny! We have opinions about comedy and the issues it raises. But I am civil in expressing them.

      I don’t understand where your other rant about the American school system and African pride are coming from. I suspect you are referring to something else. Maybe you are a bit confused and I suggest you weigh the relevance of your comments next time you post them.

    • grae

      What civilizations would those be? Not being a dick, I genuinely don’t know.

  • Jack

    Is South Park really well thought out?

  • Lady Gee

    South Park is a very well thought out show generally! I like it a lot and I really found this episode very funny. And I am black.
    But after reading this, I agree a lot that they could have easily included another black character in there that did not like the jokes or give Tyler Perry money.
    Having just one black person in a crowd of whites, who is the only one giving Tyler money and laughing at his jokes is too affront.
    Just a little bit more thought for this episode would’ve made it just perfect!

  • Truth

    In response to previous comments- everyone loves south park until they feel they’re the target of the jokes. Talk about a double standard, i guess it’s ok to laugh at other religions and ethnicity groups, but talk about Scientology and black people, and oh no! You’ve somehow crossed an imaginary line! White people don’t get what? Satire? Madea, the charecter portraying an uneducated, and overweight woman from the south? I don’t think you get it(and I don’t mean black people because that would be a retarded generalization). Obviously the episode was poking fun at the fact that only black people understand and find madea movies entertaining and funny. I for one tried to watch madea goes to jail and found it completely unfunny and not entertaining at all. If I took it literally like it sounds you do, I would go out on a limb and say that Tyler Perry set back black people about 100 years. But no, it’s satire, just like south park. I like the comment about white people stepping on toes left and right because they talk about things they “don’t get”. Yeah I guess white people are the only ones that do that. Please. So I guess you can say whatever you want, but white people cant? That’s what it sounds like according to you. These days I encounter way more racist black people than I do white people. And that’s truth. I have a lot of black friends and a lot of white friends and we all like south park. Grow some nuts or get the f out. The era of double standards ends in 2011. Thank you trey Parker and Matt stone, I love your work keep it up.

    • Kukrudu

      I love South Park? See there – that’s exactly the generalization I was talking about. You and your black and white friends may like it. Good. Why not? But not everyone likes South Park!
      Plus you really don’t have to understand Tyler Perry’s jokes. Hell, you don’t have to find them funny and you can take them literally all you want. ‘Cos when you do, you’ll completely miss the point. Setting black people back 100 years? Really? Are you kidding? I won’t even address that in a single breath.
      And yes – black people can say whatever the f they want about their own people, and yes again – white people cannot! Why? Is that your dilemma? Well, simply put, the difference is that they are white and we are black and there’s a lot of historical bad blood between US. Do you need me to underline this in your college American history texts?
      And that whole silly argument people make – ‘cos you have black friends, you are not racist? Ok. I get it.

  • Ano


  • Savimbi

    That’s why I stopped watching South Park a log time ago. Their comedy is great when they spend a little time to think about it.
    Then you have episodes like this that tells you a lot more about them.

    • Frank K. Johnson

      These kinds of episodes are exactly why I keep watching. First, it offers the ability for all of us to laugh at ourselves and each other via the gross exaggerations of stereotypes or even observations. Secondly, the episode was a criticism of the creators’ boss (Comedy Central), which had a comedy award show…the idea of it is preposterous.
      Indeed, the show has taken a questionable turn, but mostly in that it often just focuses on making fun of a fly-by-night TV show.

  • Kukrudu

    The issue with white people is that, they don’t get it. They can’t get and instead of staying away from it with the understanding that they don’t get it, they try. And that’s when they keep stepping on toes left and right.

    • grae

      … What? I like how there’s this mysterious group of “white people” that apparently can’t ever relate to anything that is (and this statement is just so dumb it hurts) made by a minority. Because, you know, all white people are the same, but hey, that belief isn’t racism, right? RIGHT? Ignorantly painting an entire race of people with one broad brush. Nope, not racist at all!

      The whole commentary behind that episode is that white people “don’t get it”. This is the overreaction of the century.. DURR HURRRR RACISM. I’m sorry, but Tyler Perry is fucking terrible, the ONLY reason he has any success at all is because he panders to idiotic black stereotypes and dipshits suck it down like a fat kid with a cake. And you know what? All his unfunny, RACIST movies and shows are all bought and paid for by whitey so go fuck yourselves.

      I’m laughing at you guys who used to like southpark whose humor style has been the same for YEARS. Oh, but now they’re parodying and making fun of your minority group and now it’s time to start shitting your collective pants over something so ridiculously unimportant it boggles my fucking mind. Offensive humor is awesome until it’s something about you, right? Fucking hypocrites.

  • Patrick

    The nonsense in some of these white comedy shows is primitive.

  • Freddy

    Sh*zzle. This South Park is packed! I can see the racial stuff. It would have been better if they had another black character that did not laugh at Madea’s jokes.

    • Frank K. Johnson

      Freddy, are you serious? It would have been better if another black character didn’t find Tyler Perry funny? You totally missed point. Do I need to explain it to you, or have you figured it out since you posted this?

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