How to watch South Park Pandemic Special: Air date, time and how to stream it for free

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The South Park "The Pandemic Special" 1-hour episode aired first on Comedy Central on Sept. 30, and arrived on HBO Max on Oct. 1. Comedy Central will also rebroadcast the special.

Everybody is trying to watch South Park's Pandemic Special, to find out if the show can out-do 2020. Yes, South Park has a reputation of turning current events on their head with ludicrous satire and making us find the humor in the madness, which makes tonight's episode all the more interesting. So come on down to South Park and meet some pandemic friends of mine.

As we've come to expect, South Park has not tipped its whole hand: only showing us small pieces of a puzzle that will feature COVID-19 and a heavy police presence. So, what do show-runners Matt Stone and Trey Parker have up their sleeves? We thought we'd seen the weirdest permutations of life in the small mountain town over the last 23 seasons, but tonight's episode is looking like a true test of their comedic chops.

The official episode description reads as follows:

"Randy comes to terms with his role in the COVID-19 outbreak as the on-going pandemic presents continued challenges to the citizens of South Park. The kids happily head back to school but nothing resembles the normal that they once knew; not their teachers, not their homeroom, not even Eric Cartman."

The official trailer suggests otherwise, though. In it, we see Cartman refusing to go back to school (which sounds pretty normal for Eric). The clip also teases Randy throwing a big "Pandemic Special" event, which sounds like the last thing these Colorado residents need to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Kyle, always the voice of reason, is trying to get Cartman to obey social distancing rules, and well ... the one part of the below clip that matches the description: South Park Elementary is now taught by police officers. Bet that will work out fine for all.

How to watch South Park Pandemic Special with a VPN

If you've had to leave your own "bubble" -- and you've landed in a place without Comedy Central on TV -- and you can't watch South Park, you're not out of luck. With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town (or somewhere that blackouts won't hit), and access the same streaming services you already paid for. 

Not sure which VPN is right for you? We've tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service. But you've got other VPN options as well. Here are our top picks.


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How to watch South Park Pandemic Special in the US for free

If you're in the U.S., you missed the original airing of the South Park Pandemic Special, which began at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 30 on Comedy Central. The network, though, will rebroadcast the special at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET. Season 24's premiere has yet to be announced.  Also, HBO Max now has on-demand access to the South Park Pandemic Special. 

Comedy Central is on most cable packages, and, fortunately for those who have cut the cord, it's also on one of the best streaming services for live TV, Sling TV.

And thanks to Sling's free 3-day trial, and HBO Max's 7-day free trial, you can watch the South Park Pandemic Special for free, if you remember to cancel.

Sling TV

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Sling TV is offering a three-day free trial to see all that the streaming service has to offer. Comedy Central is in both Sling Orange and Blue packages (each costs $30) and includes more than 50 channels, including FX. 


<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">HBO Max is one of the new kids on the streaming block but it's already got a ton to offer. First, it's got all of HBO, which means you can stream Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City and all of premium network's prestige series. Plus, HBO Max has its own originals like Love Life, Expecting Amy, Search Party and Doom Patrol.

How to watch South Park Pandemic Special in the UK

In the UK, you'll find new South Park episodes on Comedy Central UK, which is available on Now TV. Daily, weekly and monthly passes range from £9.99 to £33.99. subscription. They haven't announced when this Pandemic Special will come to the UK, but we'd assume it's not long from now.

The previous 22 seasons are on Prime Video UK, while Netflix UK's South Park library is incomplete.

How to watch South Park Pandemic Special in the Canada

Similarly, Canadians have a way to watch South Park — it's on Crave — but no confirmed air date for this new special. We'll update this story if and when we learn more.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.