The South Park gang has already tackled sex addiction, Tiger Woods, and Whale Wars. It was only a matter of time before they got to Facebook. In an episode called "You Have Zero Friends," which aired last night on Comedy Central, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone poked gentle fun at the reigning king of the social media world – and the legions of hardcore Facebook users the world over.
Emphasis on gentle: Compared to the attacks the cartoon has dished out in the past, South Park Facebook episode took it relatively easy. (In tone, the episode was a little like the ribbing Conan O'Brien once delivered to Twitter.) Much of "Zero Friends" followed the travails of a young South Park resident named Kip Drordy, who works to befriend his classmates on Facebook. He succeeds, eventually, but not without a good deal of handwringing.
On the real Facebook, it should be said, Kip has no such problem. As of this afternoon, "Kip Drordy" had upward of 20,000 fans, along with a bio identifying him as a third grader at South Park Elementary School. "Kip, you and I gotta hang out," one fan wrote on Kip's Facebook page. "Kip, you look like a young Eddie Vedder," another opined, referring to the lead singer of the rock band Pearl Jam.
In one of the funniest scenes in the episode, Stan is accosted by his father, who demands to know why Stan hasn't added him as a friend on Facebook. "Just to be clear," Stan's dad persists. "You and I are not friends?" Stone and Parker also tee off on applications such as FarmVille, a very popular game embraced by millions of Facebook users.
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[Editor note: The original version of this story mistated the beef between Stan and his dad in this episode. Thanks, quincykim.]