"South Park" takes aim at...Lance Armstrong?
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Animated TV comedy satire "South Park" is taking aim at a disgraced icon who seems a lot like seven-time Tour de France winning cyclist Lance Armstrong.
In a teaser clip released on Monday by Comedy Central, an episode titled "A Scause for Applause" shows residents of the fictional American town standing in line to get their yellow wristbands removed.
While the teaser for the October 31 episode does not refer to Armstrong by name, Comedy Central said in a statement that it deals with "the recent news of drug use by a beloved icon" and "the world is left feeling lost and betrayed".
Armstrong, who was stripped of his cycling titles and banned for life earlier this month for doping, used yellow wristbands to promote his charity Livestrong.
In the "South Park" episode, the news has left the town enraged and upset as chubby foul-mouthed Eric Cartman, one of the show's four lead children, declares "I can't believe we all got duped". Hapless schoolboy Clyde Donovan yells "lying jerk" and school counselor Mr Mackey sobs as his bracelet is removed, saying, "I don't know what to believe in anymore".
Armstrong, 41, who became a hero after battling cancer to dominate the world of professional cycling, has always denied allegations of taking performance enhancing drugs.
He was banned from the sport for life after 11 of his former team mates testified against him and the United States Anti-Doping Agency published a report which alleged he had been involved in the "most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen".
"South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are known for responding quickly to current affairs and taboo subjects for their raunchy comedy show, which has become a cult hit.
They previously landed in hot water after showing late Australian wildlife expert Steve Irwin with a stingray barb in his chest less than two months after his sudden death from a stingray attack, and drawing the Muslim prophet Mohammed dressed in a bear costume in a 2006 episode.
(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy, editing by Jill Serjeant and Andrew Hay)