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Elon Musk made a South Park joke at his Mars colonization announcement

How will Elon Musk and SpaceX fund its ambitious plan to go to Mars? The question was a big one coming into today's announcement, and Musk opted to suggest some kind of "public-private partnership" would generate the necessary cash. But first, he made a South Park joke.

When talk turned to funding, Musk moved along to a slide that started with "Steal Underpants" and ended with "Profit." (In between: "Kickstarter.") The slide was a reference to a season two episode of South Park, where the boys uncover a bizarre conspiracy involving gnomes stealing underpants. When confronted about the reasoning behind the plan, a gnome replies: "Phase one: collect underpants. Phase two: [pauses, points to question mark]. Phase three: profit."

Since the episode first aired, memes revolving around the joke have been floating around the internet — although nothing has quite matched this level.

"Obviously it's going to be a challenge to fund this whole endeavor," he said, after passing the slide. He said SpaceX's plan is to "make us much progress as we can" before funding is determined.

See all of the SpaceX Mars colonization news right here!