Bozell Column: The Atheist Mormon-Trashing Musical

March 26th, 2011 8:08 AM

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the perpetually immature creators of the filthy cartoon “South Park,” have spent years delivering product sure to please high school sophomores and L.A. Times film critics. But the problem with toilet humor is that eventually the commode is filled. They have crossed so many lines of decency on television and in cinema that they need a new frontier to muck.

To great secular media fanfare, Parker and Stone are debuting a new musical on Broadway called “The Book of Mormon.” A mocking musical titled “The Koran” wasn’t going to find buyers, only fatwas. So they chose the Mormons because they seem so…harmless, and “cheesy.”

Parker told The Wall Street Journal he found them deliciously delusional, as well as habitually happy, like Disney or Rodgers and Hammerstein: “Mormonism has this great cheesy aesthetic – when you watch their videos, it’s almost as if they’re about to flash a smile at the camera and burst into song....Mormon cheesiness is so close to musical cheesiness.”

It’s not that these growth-stunted boys think Mormonism is goofier than other religious faiths. They find them all ludicrous, as they told ABC’s Jake Tapper. “We use Mormonism, in The Book of Mormon to talk about religion in general. Because, of course, to anybody's religion to an outsider, it's just as goofy. I don't think either of us think that Mormonism is any goofier than Hinduism or Christianity.”

Tapper, moonlighting as a drama critic to promote this show shamelessly on ABC since he is a “big fan,” thought the show wasn’t for the devout, but it was “brilliant.” He only wondered if it was child-friendly – a supremely silly question.

Parker explained he’s a stepfather to a ten-year-old who loves the perverted TV show. It follows, I guess, that now this child is enjoying the musical: “He's seen the show a couple times and I can sit there and we sit on the steps of the theater and we're watching and he's really liking it, and certain songs come on and I go (Acts to cover ears). There's a lot of hardcore stuff in the show. But it's nothing worse than a lot of ‘South Park’ episodes.”

Therefore it’s okay? Well....yes. Parker said he tells parents to bring their kids if they let them watch “South Park,” and he thinks 11-year-old and 12-year-old kids can watch both.

Parker’s not alone. Others think this show is one sweet, sugary spectacle. Time’s Richard Zoglin celebrated it, that “it's all packaged in such a buoyant, old-fashioned Broadway song-and-dance show that, once past the four-letter words, you just might mistake this for a revival of Oklahoma!”

But hang on. Zoglin claimed this even as he relayed “the flippant talk by Ugandan villagers about AIDS and baby rape or the fellow who keeps complaining about ‘maggots in my scrotum’ or the upbeat ‘Hakuna Matata’- style ditty that translates as ‘F--- You, God.’”

This is not exactly “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.”

Reporting for Reason magazine, old MTV News hound Kurt Loder found what he thought were Broadway firsts in the previews. “A luckless companion-animal called the F--- Frog, for instance—I’m pretty sure that’s a first. And a musical number featuring a sort of singing clitoris—that’s a new one, right?...In any other musical, the presence of a character called General Butt F---ing Naked would be cause for remark. Here it’s just a minor delight in an unending procession of truly scabrous wonderments.”

Newsweek claimed, “If you’re offended at the thought of a missionary having the Book of Mormon extracted from his rectum, you might want to spend the night with the trannies over at ‘Priscilla,  Queen of the Desert,’ a toned-down version of the 1994 movie.” It’s now touted as “the family-friendly gay musical.” Broadway is also seeing a new play starring Chris Rock titled “The Motherf—ker With the Hat.” Have no doubt that these productions will be nominated for Tony Awards. Such is the state of today’s cesspool of popular culture.

It’s amazing that somebody is going to pay $825 a person for the best seats to this show on a Saturday night. It belongs in a latrine. And they think religion’s for suckers born every minute.