South Park Meets The Huffington Post


The Huffington Post profiles South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Here's an excerpt:

They have certainly mocked conservative groups and people on their show, but they tend to skewer liberals more often. Why? "Ripping on Republicans is not that fun for us only because everyone else does it," Matt explained. "It's so much more fun for us to rip on liberals only because nobody else does it, and not because we think liberals are worse than Republicans but, just because…"

"…it's like fresh snow. I mean how're you gonna rip on Sarah Palin in a new way?" Trey pointed out.

"I think sometimes we do gravitate towards things other people haven't done and a lot of times that makes us gravitate away from ripping on Republicans cause it's just done very well by a ton of people. It's hard to compete with Jon Stewart, etc—those guys are brilliant."

For any of you who are wondering how to react if South Park mocks you in a future episode, take a tip from Kanye West:

Humble folks

I asked the men which celebrity had the craziest reaction out of any they mocked.

"Well the craziest was probably Kanye last year. We thought we would be more like 'Holy shit should I get a body guard? Should I get a gun?' and instead the next day he wrote in all caps 'YEAH YOU GUYS ARE RIGHT. I'M SORRY,'" Matt said in wonder.

"We were like 'Dude, what?' and for the first time it made us feel bad. If Sean Penn is like, 'Hey what do they think they're doing,'" Trey said in a voice halfway between Cartman and Penn, "We're just like, 'Hey dude, fuck you.' But for someone to actually say, 'Yeah it really hurt my feelings and I really should look at myself,' it's kind of like punching the kid and then he just sits there and cries."

Bonus links: Nick Gillespie and I interviewed Parker and Stone in 2006. I wrote an appreciation of the series in 2004. And back in 2000, when the conventional wisdom still had it that the show was unspeakable filth, Barry Fagin explained to Reason readers why he let his kids watch it anyway.

NEXT: The Great Health Care Ho-Hum

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  1. The South Park episode ripping up The Family Guy (manatee plot balls? awesome) was not only hilarious, but more ballsy than any other show on television or even in print media in the US.

    That whole show focused on the Mohammed cartoons, and how ridiculous it was to say that you couldn’t show a cartoon of Mohammed. But of course Comedy Central pussied out at the end and refused to show the scene with Mohammed, despite the fact that years earlier on the episode with the Deity Superfriends, Mohammed was a much bigger part of the episode and he even had speaking lines and everything.

    The bar that Southpark has set for cutting edge comedy mixed with social/political/cultural commentary seems somewhat unattainable at this point from any other show.

    1. But of course Comedy Central pussied out at the end and refused to show the scene with Mohammed,

      I remain convinced that this was itself part of the joke. It’s the only conspiracy theory I ascribe too.

      (well, that and the reverse vampires)

      1. Yeah, I wish that was true, but Trey and Matt have come out and said that Viacom (who owns CC) pulled the plug. As they say in the Puffington Host article-

        “I think Comedy Central totally fucking pussed out. Now, they weren’t any different than anyone else, so it’s not like you can single them out. But I think it would’ve been an important statement for one media outlet in America to stand up. That was one of my most disappointing moments as an American–the American press’s reaction to the Muhammad cartoons. It was completely wimpy,” Matt Stone said. “Cartoonists, people who do satire–we’re not in the army, we’re never going to be fucking drafted and this is our time to stand up and do the right thing. And to watch the New York Times, Comedy Central, everybody just go ‘No, we’re not going to do it because basically we’re afraid of getting bombed’ sucked. I was so disappointed.”

        It’s pretty sad that a cartoon show has more balls than the rest of the elite media in this country.

      2. Whether it’s part of the joke or not, it totally worked out great that way (it’s a plausible conspiracy because only about 5 people would have to know about it…no one would necessarily talk).

        1. I disagree that it worked out great. And from what I can tell Matt and Trey were pretty pissed off about it. The added hypocrisy of Viacom syndicating a previous episode with tons of Mohammed cartoons made this one even more inexcusable.

          There was nothing great about it.

          ABC did an interview with Matt and Trey in 2006 after the controversy, and here’s some of what they had to say-

          “People told us at the time, ‘You can’t really draw an image of Mohammed,'” Parker says. “And we were like, well, we can. We’re not Muslim, so it’s OK.”

          In 2006, however, when Stone and Parker wanted to depict Mohammed in an episode, Comedy Central wouldn’t let them. After all, Muslims worldwide had rioted over insulting depictions of Mohammed in a newspaper in Denmark.

          It seemed odd to the creators of “South Park,” who had been and were still allowed to depict Jesus in any number of profane ways. In fact, the episode in question, “Cartoon Wars,” shows a cartoon (supposedly created by al Qaeda) in which Jesus defecates on President Bush.

          “That’s where we kind of agree with some of the people who’ve criticized our show,” Stone says. “Because it really is open season on Jesus. We can do whatever we want to Jesus, and we have. We’ve had him say bad words. We’ve had him shoot a gun. We’ve had him kill people. We can do whatever we want. But Mohammed, we couldn’t just show a simple image.”

          During the part of the show where Mohammed was to be depicted ? benignly, Stone and Parker say ? the show ran a black screen that read: “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network.”

          Other networks took a similar course, refusing to air images of Mohammed ? even when reporting on the Denmark cartoon riots ? claiming they were refraining because they’re religiously tolerant, the South Park creators say.

          “No you’re not,” Stone retorts. “You’re afraid of getting blown up. That’s what you’re afraid of. Comedy Central copped to that, you know: ‘We’re afraid of getting blown up.'”

          “At the same time, just like we always do, we managed to get something on and say something about how we can’t say something about Mohammed,” Parker says.

          “South Park,” from its very beginning has been about mocking that which is held most sacred.

          I wish that more of our media had the guts of these two.

          1. Reminds me of the apocryphal story:

            A first grade class was told to draw a picture. The teacher walked around and examined them as the kids worked.

            Looking at one girl’s picture she asks, “What are you drawing, Suzie?”

            “I’m drawing a picture of God,” Suzie answers.

            “Oh, honey, nobody knows what God looks like,” says the teacher.

            Suzie replies, “Well, they will in a couple of minutes!”

            1. Didn’t George Will use that in a CPAC speech recently?

          2. Are you kidding me? It worked out so much better at proving the entire satirical point of the episode: In the world of South Park, the network head had the balls to do it, yet in REAL life it was banned. It’s one of the most beautiful moments in the history of satire, in my opinion. The fact that it was actually banned and not just a part of the joke just makes it awesome.

            1. Another twist was that in the scene, Mohammed was going to hand Peter Griffin a football helmet with a salmon attached to the top. This was replaced with the textual description “In this scene, the prophet Mohammed gives Peter Griffin a salmon helmet”. “Giving someone a salmon helment” is slang for a blow job, so by censoring the scene, Comedy Central actually made it MORE offensive.

          3. Yeah, doesn’t it SUCK that there’s people out there who actually care about their religion? Better stick to bashing Jesus and Christians—nobody gives a shit about that ; )

  2. I’m always hesitant to go to a Huffing link. I know, no matter what the subject, I’ll scroll down to the comments.

    Then the Killing Rage begins.

    1. I made the mistake of looking at the comments on the circumcision link. Killing rage, indeed.

    2. I never learn my lesson, either.

    3. From the comments:

      I love how they’re totally trying to co-opt the “HEY DUDES, we’re so friggin’ cool, we make fun of EVERYONE!” bandwagon that everyone has jumped on at one time or another, usually as petulant teenagers.

      Know why many comedians make fun of just one side or the other, boys? Because they’re intelligent enough to discern a difference, and not obsessed with being cooler-than-thou.

      I’ve seen these two clowns interviewed before, and I was amazed that two guys so ignorant of the real world around them could still manage to write a satirical show at all. Just poking fun at everything because you don’t understand the issues enough to know the difference between right and wrong isn’t cool, it’s asinine.


      1. Most of those comments have to be recycled from DailyKos and Democratic Underground, cuz it’s much easier to keep in favor with the Party Leaders if you just propagate their message. Screw originality!

        But this one was probably written by an Emo kid.

    4. I usually check out HP once or twice a week and after about 2 minutes of reading the high-school level posts, immediately head back here to Reason for the good stuff.

      Kind of like eating a turd sandwich to appreciate the taste of steak I guess.

      1. Or voting for a giant douche to appreciate…

        damn! too hard to work in that reference from the Bush Kerry election episode.

        1. Giant Douche ’12!

  3. I know, no matter what the subject, I’ll scroll down to the comments.

    You made me do it.

    I’d somehow forgotten that the world is about half full of (and pretty much run by) retarded puritans.

    Now I need a hundred beers.

  4. TV Announcer: Next on Comedy Central, an all-new South Park!

    Milhouse: I hear those kids’ voices are done by grown-ups.

    Bart: Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. I just wonder how they keep it so fresh after 43 episodes.

  5. No other show matches South Park for balls or outrageousness. These guys have been doing this for 12, 13 (?) years and they’re still going strong. Amazing.

    1. 13. 14th season coming up soon. You can watch every single episode of South Park on for free. I’ve never missed an episode.

  6. What’s the matter with Puritans? Probably not the best question to ask on a site dominated by Irishmen and Jews….

      1. Oh, you are a “piker”! heh heh heh….

      2. +.045

        It’s all I have left. Damn recession. Maybe I can get a + bailout.

  7. Most of the HuffPo comments on the article are exactly what make South Park such a great show.

    1. The little I could stomach seemed to be a whole lot of HOW COOD THEY MAKE FUN OF CELEBRITYS WHO HELP PEEPLE??????

      1. There are some real gems, though.

        “Foghorn leghorn and Dog aren’t about a Rooster and a Dog. It’s all about control over the Farm, whose in charge and who can waste more time on petty challenges instead of resolving differences.

        Daffy / Bugs is nothing but the fight for recognition and the despising reality that no matter how right Daffy is Bugs always gets the last laugh because the system is set for him to win.”

        1. the despising reality

          Would be a really, really, really fucking good name for a stoner rock band.

          1. really, really, really fucking good

            Sounds like you’ve got their first single.

            1. “Yeah, we, like, called it that because, um, it’s just, you know, it’s just a really, really, really fucking good song, man, you know?” the singer mumbled after taking a long hit off the huge bong various cushions are arranged around.

  8. The Lampoon of G. Beck, although i like him as an informative entertainer ( he does bring up many valid points) was priceless. SP has the balls to go after both sides, i respect that and love that. But then again i dont get offened by TV shows and the like, and i have a sense of humour, something that seems to be greatly lacking in the populice theese days.

    1. If a Smurf dies when no one else is around does it still scream?

      I’m just asking questions.

  9. So Kanye West showed more class than Sean Penn.

    Am I supposed to be surprised at this?

    1. Actually, I think Kanye’s approach is the one most likely to keep him off the screen in South Park.

  10. But for someone to actually say, ‘Yeah it really hurt my feelings and I really should look at myself,’ it’s kind of like punching the kid and then he just sits there and cries.”

    Sometimes there’s NOTHING more satisfying….I’m just sayin’

    1. Revenge is sweeter than honey, Homer says.

  11. The only people who can speak the truth are comedians, because nobody takes them seriously.

    1. Like the fool in King Lear

  12. Isn’t the idea of South Park funnier than the actual show? I’ll watch and say “that’s a joke right there” rather than actually laugh.

    1. The election episode (08) struck me the same way. They had a great joke but couldn’t make the rest of the episode work.

    2. Depends on the episode.

      Also remember that it’s about entertainment and not necessarily about getting laughs. Satire isn’t always (or even mostly) about getting involuntary laughs, and South Park is more clearly satire than any fiction show on television.

      1. Some of the funnier episodes are the ones that they arent trying to make a point. Well, not beating us over the head with the point anyway.

    3. Apparently you never watched the “Tom Cruise, come out of the closet” and “Death of Chef” trilogy. Or you don’t have a twisted sense of humor. Their treatment of Scientology in those three episodes was as vicious and funny as any satire ever written.

      Their sendup of the Mormons was similarly brilliant. They spent the entire episode ripping on the basic tenants of Mormonism only to turn the tables in the last 30 seconds. That is when they are at their best, making you question your own beliefs.

      Of course, I’m a big fan of being offended. It is nice to know where your boundaries are. Most people seem to react violently to being offended, but I am always pleasantly surprised when I run into something offensive.

      They sort of alluded to this in their feature film. The movie opens with the 4th grade kids watching an offensive Terrence and Philip movie with a musical production of “Uncle Fucker.” All of the adults walk out of the theater in disgust, but the kids stay and laugh. The obvious point is that only a 4th grade mentality would sit through this dreck, and since nobody is leaving the actual theater right now, you are all a bunch of immature children.

      It is rare to see an artist lampoon his audience.

  13. Totally agree, some of my favourite episodes are the ones dealing with lighter subjects… like the Pioneer Village where no one will break character

  14. The funniest SP episodes of all time have to be the Jennifer Lopez episode and the one where Butters becomes a pimp.

    Both were painful to watch because I was laughing so hard.

    1. The Jennifer Lopez episode is the FUCKING BEST!

  15. Oh, and Team America is without a doubt one of the FUNNIEST MOVIES EVER MADE(period).

  16. The one where Butters was a pimp was great, but I think that the Somalian Pirate episode was one of the funniest in years.

  17. Personally, I see things all the time that I appreciate as humor, even smile to myself, but it takes something off the hook to make me laugh out loud.

  18. Best South Park episode is the one where Ceasar Milan shows up to train Cartman. God that is funny.

  19. My favorite episodes were probably the Mormon one and Stuck in the Closet.

  20. Oh and who could forget “Nanananana, I made you eat your parents!”

  21. Funniest cartoon show ever made. Gets better every Season like a vine.

    Download South Park Episodes

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