How is it that every single episode from every single season of South Park got posted for free to the show’s official site last week, and I’m only now learning about it through Variety?  Huh?  Let me turn down this DMX for a second, ‘cuz I can’t hear you. 

Amazingly, no one thought to submit this as a scoop over the weekend, and since it ain’t news to me unless Variety reports it, you’ll have to forgive me for just now realizing that the entire South Park canon is officially available in one convenient (and official) location.  Why?  According to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, “We got really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time, so we gave ourselves a legal alternative.”

The shows are currently streaming sans commercial interruptions, and they look a helluva lot better than the copies that came and went with frustrating irregularity on YouTube (not that maximum picture quality is integral to enjoying the average South Park episode).  The only catch is that the newest episodes will only appear for a week following their initial broadcast; after that, they’ll disappear for a month before getting added to the back catalogue.  I guess this means that you only have one more day to take in the scabrous, Shirley Jackson-inflected “Britney’s New Look”.

Obviously, other networks are offering their content for free online, but this is one of the few times I can remember that an entire series run going up free of charge (actually, I’m not sure this has ever happened).  Enjoy it before someone comes to their senses.