Once a Fat Ass...
Note: This article was written and posted on Ape Culture way back in the early months of 1999, way before Wikopedia existed or any wide-spread knowledge that Trey Parker or Matt Stone based the character of Cartman on Archie Bunker.
Once in a lifetime, a writer has a real epiphany, a time when once disparate life elements come together in a moment of clarity and time and the universe achieves a sort of balance previously unimaginable. It takes a steel trap of a mind and the heart of a poet, it does. So it was only a matter of time before this writer put two and two together one day while laying on the couch, noshing on popcorn and watching All In The Family on Nick At Nite. Nearly choking on a fluffy cloud of imploded corn, I realized suddenly that Archie Bunker is Eric Cartman. Eric Cartman grows up to be Archie Bunker.
I saw it clear as day in episode #7.1, "Archie's Secret Passion" (originally airing 12/4/1976). Estelle Parsons (Roseanne's mom from the TV Show Roseanne) plays Dolores Mancheney, the girl Archie once had a fling with while engaged to Edith long, long ago…the double standard episode. Meathead is sitting in Edith’s chair trying to explain something to Archie about the Double Standard and Archie is sitting in his chair with his head against the side, whining in a very Cartman-esque voice: “I don’t give a damn.”
It was Cartman, I tell ya, clear as day. I shuddered at the perfect rightness of it, except that Cartman grows up in Colorado and Archie is apparently from Queens. Maybe Archie had a secret past. Maybe he isn’t really a native New Yorker after all. Maybe this was all just fraudulent back story. I can’t yet reconcile how a child of the 90s grew up to be a middle-aged ogre of the 70s, but so like television, every answer just leaves you with many more questions.
Yours in TV-Doppelgangerdom,
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