South Park At The Oscars 2000

The Nomination

It all began on February 16, 2000. The nominees for the various awards to be handed out at the 72nd Annual Academy Awards were listed. Among the nominees was Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman's "Blame Canada" from South Park: Biger, Longer, & Uncut for best song. The other nominees were Diane Warren's "Music of My Heart" from the movie Music of the Heart, Aimee Mann's "Save Me" from Magnolia, Randy Newman's "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2, and Phil Collins' "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan.

"Blame Canada" 2000 - A countdown to the Oscars

Fans of the show, including I, began to follow developments as they came in. Here is just a sampling of articles written about "Blame Canada"'s nomination.
  1. February 16, 2000 - In "'South' song could shake show up" there is speculation as to how Trey Parker and the Academy will handle the content of "Blame Canada" before it is performed on Oscar night.
  2. February 17, 2000 - The South Park Digest reports throughout the week that South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is nominated for the Best Achievement in Music (Original Song) for "Blame Canada!"
  3. February 22, 2000 - Trey Parker will rewrite the lyrics for "Blame Canada," the Oscar-nominated song from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, before it is performed at next month's Academy Awards telecast, USA Today columnist Jeannie Williams reported today. Williams quoted Lili Fini Zanuck, who is co-producing the telecast with her husband, Richard, as saying that Parker "will come up with some funny solutions to his own problems. ... We won't do anything to 'Blame Canada,' but Trey is aware of the ABC censors."
  4. March 2, 2000 - CNN's "Oscars to include musical finger-pointing at Canada" discusses various aspects of "Blame Canada" and the Canadian reaction to the one nomination The Huricane got. "EXTRA: 'South Park' Song Censored? Blame Hollywood!" discusses Trey's responsibility in making "Blame Canada"'s lyrics suitable for network broadcast (it will be performed) and the choice of singer(s) since Mary Bergman committed suicide. At the William S. Paley Television Festival at the DGA Trey and Matt say that fans shouldn't hold their breath for another South Park movie. They feel that the MPAA would reject anything from them now, even making "beautician" an NC-17 issue.
  5. March 3, 2000 - "South Park" Guys: Bleep the Oscars! has more to say on the Academy's unease with "Blame Canada." Marc Shaiman notes it would be ironic to censor a song about censorship. Neither he nor Trey will change the words, though. Now the censors are looking at changing "fart" in "they just want to fart and curse." UntimateTV's "Who Will Sing "Blame Canada"? Who Will Voice Cartman's Mom?" reveals that Trey and Matt promise a surprise performer for "Blame Canada" and continue to rail against the MPAA for colluding with the major studios against the independents.
  6. March 8, 2000 - In Yahoo!'s "South Park' Song Poses Oscar Dilemma," ABC weighs in on censoring "Blame Canada." The profanity in the song must either be cleaned up or bleeped out. In "Blame That Bleeping Canada" Lili Zanuck says she'd like a softer censorship than the bleep.
  7. March 18, 2000 - Yahoo's "Williams to "Blame Canada'' for Oscars, but how?" says that Robin Williams has been picked to sing the song. Is this the surprise performer Trey and Matt had in mind?
  8. March 20, 2000 - Yahoo's "Robin Williams Crooning 'Canada'" says producers pray Robin Williams doesn't decide to improvise parts of "Blame Canada." Still, he has the background to pull it off. He's been Mrs. Doubtfire and has sung well in Aladdin
  9. March 23, 2000 - 'Blame Canada'? shows how excited Trey was about "Blame Canada" being nominated for Best Original Song. He also noted how ABC was worried over the word "fart," and why no one should take "Blame Canada" seriously or personally.

The Luncheon - March 13, 2000

Trey and Marc (Shaiman) are in the second row, four people away from and to the right of Oscar. Trey wears a silver-colored shirt, Marc looks over Trey's left shoulder.
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A Night At The Oscars - March 26, 2000

A Pimp And His Hos

A Pimp And His Hos
As the stars arrived at the Shrine Auditorium the cameras got a good look at what they were wearing. Trey, Matt, and Marc showed up in their own fashion statements. Marc came dressed as a 1970's-style pimp wearing a pale blue suit and fur coat, Matt came dressed as Gwyneth Paltrow in a replica of her pink Ralph Lauren dress from last year's Oscars, and Trey came dressed as Jennifer Lopez in a knock-off of her Versace gown from this year's Grammys. "We're not ashamed of our bodies,'' Parker told Reuters. ''This event is the most important thing in the world.''

The Joan Rivers Interview

As Trey and Matt made their way up the carpet, Joan Rivers stopped them and interviewed them. Here's the text from that interview:

Joan: [addresing Matt] Gwyneth, you look fabulous.
Matt: Oh, thanks. Everyone looks fabulous.
Trey: It's a magical night.
Matt: It's a magical night.
Trey: It's a night of magic.
Matt: It's a night of magic and stars, and everyone looks fabulous.
Trey: I'm so excited! [bobs around]
Joan: Are your parents watching, I hope?
Matt: I hope so.
Trey: My mom and dad are watching, yes, I think.
Marc: [off camera] Joan, who are you wearing?
Matt: My mom are wat- my mom was watching 'til right about now.
Joan: [laughs] Your mom right now is explaining to everybody… Will you change for the party, or are you smart enough to get it that this was a great photo-op?
Matt: Well, we're gonna play it by ear. [Joan strokes Marc's fur coat]
Joan: Your first Academy Awards?
Trey: …What?
Joan: Your first Academy Awards show?
Trey: First one and probably last.
Matt: First one and probably last. I don't think they'll ever invite us back again. [after this, the trio leave. Joan turns to the camera]
Joan: Those guys look like idiots!

"Blame Canada" 2000

as performed by Robin Willians

"And finally, with 'Blame Canada,' from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, please welcome Academy Award winner Robin Williams!"
The crowd roared with cheers and applause, and the curtains opened. On a blackened stage with a path of light before him, Williams came out in black pants and coat and red shirt, and with duct tape over his mouth. He spoke through the tape, but couldn't be understood. After a while he ripped the tape off and said, "Oh my God! They killed Kenny!" Then he marched forth and began singing…

SourceStanza
["Notes"]
"Blame Canada"
Times have changed.
Our kids are getting worse.
They won't obey their parents;
They just want to fart and curse.
Should we blame the government?
Or blame society?
Or should we blame the images on TV?
NO! Blame Canada!
Blame Canada!
[a crowd of townsfolk converges on him while some mountains are put together]
Second Chorus
It seems that everything's gone wrong
Since Cananda came along.
["Before their beady little eyes
Have packed their heads so full o' lies"]
Resume Blame Canada!
Blame Canada!
We need to form a full assault;
It's Canada's fault!
Don't blame yourself
For your son Stan.
He saw the darn cartoon,
["Don't blame me
For my son, Stan."]
And now he's off to join the Klan.
And my boy Eric once,
Had my picture on his shelf,
But now when he sees me, he tells me to [crowd gasps] myself!
["But now when I see him…"]
"La Resistance" Medley Blame Canada!
Blame Canada!
Because when Canada is gone
["When Canada is dead and gone..."]
There'll be no more Celine Dion!
"Blame Canada" Blame Canada! Blame Canada!
They're not even a real country anyway.
Kenny coulda been a doctor or a lawyer, rich and true
["My son..."]
Instead he burned up like a piggy on a barbecue.
Should we blame the matches?
Should we blame the fire?
Or the doctors who allowed him to expire?
Heck No! Blame Canada!
Blame Canada!
With all their hockey hullabaloo!
And that bitch Anne Murray, too!
First Chorus variation Blame Canada!
Blame Canada!
All I can say is, oy, gevalt,
It's Canada's fault!
Everybody!
[at this point the townsfolk move to the rear and stand on platforms behind the mountains and above Willams while female Canadian Mounties wearing short shorts prance out and join him. Several people come out wielding "No Canada" flags]
Showstopper Blame Canada! Blame Canada!
with Bryan Adam's beady eyes
["The Canadian government has apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions..."]

— SP:BLU

And Margaret Trudeau's friendly thighs
[According to Art Fein, in 1977 Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's young wife, Margaret (he was 58, she 29), left her wedding anniversary, husband and three children to see a Stones show - and subsequently, to tour with the Brits. Along the way she slept with Mick Jagger. After she switched beds to sleep with Ron Wood, Jagger remarked, "I wouldn't go near her with a barge pole." When Maggie returned and Pierre asked where she'd been, she replied, "None of your fucking business"]

— The Seattle Times
Sunday, Nov. 23, 1997

[An infamous picture of her appeared - in "Bridges to Babylon"? - sitting on the floor with her knees up and, uh, no panties.]

Blame Canada! Shame on Canada
For…
Coda: The smut we must stop, the trash we must smash,
the laughter and fun must all be undone.
We must blame them and cause a fuss,
Before somebody thinks of blaming us!

Williams ended the song with a chorus line of female Mounties. In the middle of the coda he skipped a few words to concentrate on the right moment to take off the pull-away shirt and coat (he wasn't tired, just apprehensive). When he turned to face the audience again he was wearing a black T-shirt with a flashing "No Canada" sign sewn into it (that's gotta be sold somewhere!). As the Mounties turned to leave, he looked at their rear ends and said, "Wooo! Booty call! No wonder they get their men!."
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, "Blame Canada" did not get the Oscar for best song. That went to "You'll Be In My Heart." Now Trey and Marc can be known as the men who lost to Phil Collins, and we should all go down with them.
Did I forget to mention it? Robin Williams is a big South Park fan!
Oscar 2000 blow by blow - page 4 of 11
Videos for the song can be found at Mr. Hat's Hell Hole, somewhere...
William's Big Finish. Note the shirt

The Aftermath

Trey, Matt and Mark went to at least one party after the Oscar telecast. Matt Stone was found at the Vanity Fair party and asked what he thought of William's performance. He said he was 'happy' with Robin Williams' rendition of Blame Canada, saying he was impressed with 'what a production it was.'
Empire Online - Oscar 2000 Feature

And so ends the Oscar hopes for South Park fans everywhere.