"Royal Pudding" is the third episode of the fifteenth season of the American animated television series South Park and 212th episode of the series over all. "Royal Pudding" premiered in the United States on Comedy Central on May 11, 2011. In the episode, which parodies the 2011 Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the Prince of Canada's bride is abducted at the altar, leading Ike Broflovski to answer the call to rescue her. "Royal Pudding" was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker and was rated TV-MA L in the United States. The episode aired twelve days after the wedding.
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 15|
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||May 11, 2011|
Mr. Mackey is making the kindergarten students perform a play about tooth decay and the importance of dental hygiene. He is furious when Ike, who is supposed to portray tooth decay, misses a rehearsal to watch the Canadian royal wedding. During the ceremony, the princess is suddenly enclosed in a giant cube and spirited away. Ike is so distraught that he cannot stop crying during rehearsal and gets sent home by Mr. Mackey. People all over Canada kill themselves out of despair for the princess' abduction and a candlelight vigil is held where Rush performs a version of Candle in the Wind. The Prime Minister of Canada instructs all people of Canadian descent to go home and open their "Box of Faith", which contains – along with a location beacon, a first aid kit, and a sandwich – a video recording issuing a call to arms for all Canadians in fighting condition to "meet by the tree in Edmonton". Ike answers the call and, while riding a bus to Canada, meets a fellow Canadian named Ugly Bob, who claims he has to wear a bag over his head because, even though he simply appears Canadian to Americans, other Canadians find his face frighteningly ugly.
Once the pair arrive, the first instinct of the member of the Canadian Armed Forces leading the gathered Canadians is that the princess was taken by a giant, who turns out to be Scott the Dick, who grew to seven feet tall – giant by Canadian standards – after a radioactive accident in Ottawa. When it turns out that Scott has been wrongly accused of taking the princess, most other Canadians go home, but Scott persuades Ike and Ugly Bob to follow him as he accuses the Inuit of kidnapping the princess out of his racial prejudice towards the "Native Canadians". The three of them travel to the Arctic tundra of northern Canada to get information from the Inuit, who admit that their people do have a grudge against the Canadians for taking their land, but tribe leader reveals that the princess' abduction was foretold, and that the true kidnapper is one who attacks people of all nationalities. With an Inuit mother leading the three, they find a large dark castle, where the princess is held captive by the abductor: Tooth Decay. Eventually, after the monster hurls Scott and the Inuit woman across the room, Ike turns Tooth Decay to stone by exposing Ugly Bob's face to him.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mackey becomes increasingly irate with Ike's absence and blames it on Kyle, who fills Ike's role in the play. During rehearsals Mackey consistently loses his temper with the children for singing flat or without feeling, directing his most scathing remarks at Kyle, and reveals that the play means a great deal to him because Tooth Decay killed his father. While the play is a success with parents of the kindergartners, Mr. Mackey verbally abuses his actors' imperfections backstage until the police intervene, telling Mackey to cancel the play due to reports coming in from the Yukon that Tooth Decay is dead. Ike receives a knighthood from the Canadian princess, an honor that fails to impress any of the boys (with the exception of Kyle), and the royal wedding begins again. Both events (before and after the princess' abduction) involve bizarre traditions such as the prince putting his arms into a large bowl of butterscotch pudding, the princess scraping them clean and smearing the pudding on her own face, and the prince tearing one of her arms off and inserting it into his anus, "as is tradition."
According to the DVD commentary, series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker found both the royal wedding and the hype surrounding it to be peculiar, stating, "Whenever we talk about something no one cares about we make it about Canada." The kindergarten play rehearsals were based on the rehearsals for The Book of Mormon. The voices for the "native Canadians" were provided by Native Americans.
The A.V. Club gave the episode a C-, citing its "bric-a-brac construction", and called it "one of the strangest half-hours in the show's history". It was deemed "pointedly silly", "polarizing", and hence "bound to be divisive".IGN said "It has been said that episodes without Cartman are often the worst, and that's certainly the case here," giving the episode a 5.5/10.
- "Royal Pudding", South Park Studios, accessed June 9, 2011.
- "South Park takes on the royal wedding". Guardian.co.uk. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Trey Parker, Matt Stone (March 2012). South Park: The Complete Fifteenth Season: "Royal Pudding" (Audio commentary) (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- Gorman, Bill (May 13, 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs, 'South Park,' 'Real World' Top Cable + 'Mythbusters,' 'Top Chef' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- O'Neal, Sean (May 12, 2011). "Royal Pudding". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
- "South Park: "Royal Pudding" Review". IGN.TV. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.