Opening: ‘South Park' 20 Experience

The Comedy Central phenom marks 20 major moments at the Paley Center for Media.

So you say you're super-duper into a TV series lately, the thriller/comedy/drama that you've binge-watched a few times. Could you name your top five most memorable moments from the show? How about fifteen? Twenty?

The task becomes a bit more challenging once you get into the realm of a series that's coming upon its 20th anniversary. And picking best moments becomes especially sticky when you're dealing with a phenom that's famed as an issue-tweaking convention-twister, one that's built around a gaggle of bundled-up wiseacres livin' life in a small but spectacularly eventful Colorado town.

It's "South Park," as if that needed to be said, but say it we shall, for it is now having a big-time, museum-style shebang, at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, no less.

The theme of the "South Park 20 Experience" is built around 20 iconic moments from the Comedy Central show, moments recreated in 3D form, the better to allow fans to "step into" the scene (and take a few snapshots, if they like).

Another reason for all the partying: All 20 seasons are now headed for The Paley Center's impressive archives.

The exhibit is on at the Beverly Drive-located television institution from Wednesday, Aug. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 25. And if you attend on opening day? You might detect the scent of Salisbury Steak in the air, as the first 100 visitors to the exhibit will be treated with Chef's trademark dish.

"Curated artwork" and oodles of screenings each day are also part of the celebration of the made-for-adults phenom, a classic that's easily accumulated a caboodle of Emmys and Peabodys in its time.

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Could creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have imagined long ago that Cartman, Kyle, Stan, Kenny, and everyone in their orbit would one day be museum'd in such colorful style? "South Park" did begin as a short in the early '90s, back when the internet was doing its whole still-in-its-infancy thing.

But its mouthy charms and iconoclastic themes proved to be magical, and it landed on Comedy Central in 1997. Which means, yes, the "20" in the name of the Paley Center exhibit pertains to both the moments on display and the show's sassy stamina (a stamina built around the show's fearless willingness to take on all topical issues, both serious and light-of-heart).

Have your knit cap and camera at the ready? Don it and head for Colorado, via Beverly Hills, through Sept. 25, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free.

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