My latest article at Examiner.com
It wasn't until several years after the show had become a cult hit and I heard my fair share of my teenage peers doing Cartman imitations that I first watched an episode of "South Park."
As for whether I am a fan, sort of. Sometimes the show's gross-out humor and juvenille tendencies can be a little too high for my tolerance, but their current events parodies can sometimes be impressively sharp.
I did recently started to notice that every single episode starring Butters is a home run to me. I have no idea what the general consensus is over which episodes are great and which aren't great, but to me Butters episodes seem to be drawn from an almost entirely different and better show. Butters episodes are great comedies of errors. The kid is too sweet and innocent to understand the world around him and his parents look absolutely awful in retrospect. I even think it's a good satire on alpha-level parents in general and it fits into the whole theme of the show really well. That theme is that fourth graders are the sanest people in society and as you grow into adulthood, you don't get smarter but rather just screw everything up through overcomplication.
A show that was centered around Butters would wear thin pretty quickly, but as it is, South Park knows how to use the character to good effect.