The premiere episode of South Park season 21 messed with Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers worldwide, which many viewers found hilarious.
This is not the first time that a TV show has activated the Amazon Echo or Google Home, but it is the first instance that a program blatantly did it on purpose, and for several times at that.
South Park Activates Amazon Echo, Google Home
The first episode of season 21 of South Park is entitled "White People Renovating Houses," and it made fun of the white nationalist movement that rocked Charlottesville, Virginia. However, instead of the white nationalists placing the blame on their unemployment to immigrants in the South Park episode, they were wanting to stop being replaced in their jobs by machines such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
The smart speakers, however, were not just a passing mention in the episode's storyline. The South Park characters kept giving out voice commands for the Amazon Echo and Google Home, triggering real-life versions of the smart speakers.
By the end of the 30-minute episode, Amazon Echo and Google Homeowners had shopping lists filled with offensive items and calendars dotted with hilarious reminders. Some viewers, however, were annoyed with their smart speakers waking up so often while watching the South Park season 21 premiere that they simply pulled the plug on their devices.
Was This Intentional?
In January, a 6-year-old ordered a dollhouse for herself when she made the request to her parents within earshot of their Amazon Echo. A local morning show picked up the story, and the anchor inadvertently made every Amazon Echo across San Diego order dollhouses for their owners.
The Amazon Echo and Google Home triggers incorporated in the premiere episode of South Park's season 21, however, are completely intentional. The long-running cartoon has thrived on satirizing current issues in the United States and has unashamedly launched offensive jokes that decidedly attack these problems.
The white nationalism problem in the United States is definitely a heavy issue worth discussing, but the Amazon Echo and Google Home voice commands helped lighten the mood of the South Park episode.
Amazon Echo, Google Home News
The Amazon Echo has recently seen stocks sell out, possibly hinting that the Amazon Echo 2 is on the way. Amazon, however, has not yet officially announced an update to the Alexa-powered smart speaker.
Google, meanwhile, has teamed up with Walmart to allow users to purchase items from the retailer's online shop, with the Google Home-Walmart partnership aimed at catching up with the industry-leading Amazon Echo.