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‘South Park’ episode triggers viewers’ Amazon Alexa devices with raunchy requests

South Park
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You would think that after 20 seasons, South Park would be running out of ideas. But the show seems to be just as irreverent and current as ever, thanks in large part to Amazon’s Alexa and Alexa’s customers, who got trolled in a major way during the Season 21 premiere this week. 

In the episode, South Park writers Matt Stone and Trey Parker decided to see what would happen if they integrated Alexa into their program. The result was confusing for some viewers and hilarious for others.

In the episode, after proclaiming that smart devices are stupid, South Park character Eric Cartman gets a smartphone and an Amazon Echo speaker.

Cartman’s interaction with Alexa starts innocently enough, with a request to Alexa to set an alarm and tell a joke. “Alexa, set an alarm for 7 a.m.,” he tells the device, to which Alexa responds with “OK, setting an alarm for 7 a.m.” 

In true Cartman fashion, however, the directives soon turn into inappropriate requests. Cartman tells Alexa to add “scrotum bags”and other not safe for work (NSFW) items to his shopping list, prompting Alexa to respond with, “OK, adding scrotum bags to your shopping list” while Cartman cackles.

The real joke was on viewers, however, who were surprised that Cartman’s voice on the TV activated their own Alexa devices, causing an echo as Alexa spoke both on TV to Cartman and in their homes to them. Even more surprising was the host of inappropriate items that were added to their shopping lists.

One Twitter user posted a video that shows Cartman saying “good night” to Alexa, which prompted their own Echo to answer “good night.”

Who else’s Alexa’s keep going off every time Cartman says something on the Alexa during this South Park episode ???? #SouthPark21

— Kenny Eaton (@Kenny_623) September 14, 2017

Another Twitter user posted a longer video that shows Alexa answering various commands, such as responding with a joke after being prompted to do so and altering the TV watcher’s shopping list with nonsense.

@SouthPark nailed it tonight. In other news I have an erroneous alarm set for 7am and a set of hairy balls on my shopping list. #alexa

— Barto (@scottbarto) September 14, 2017

No word on whether Amazon plans to add a South Park skill to Alexa in the near future.

You can watch the full episode here.

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Karl Utermohlen
Karl Utermohlen is a finance and tech journalist with an MFA in creative writing from the University of Idaho. his do Zelda…
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