The Genius of South Park


I don’t make a point of watching South Park as much as I used to. My life is incredibly busy – television low on the list of priorities. All that changed tonight – my son reminded me of a South Park episode – I started watching again. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are pure genius; their political satire and social commentary – flawless.

Parker and Stone met in film class at the University of Colorado in 1992. Their first collaboration was a stop action short using paper cut-outs called The Spirit of Christmas. Brian Graden, a Fox Network executive commissioned them to make a video Christmas card. People who received Graden’s “card” copied and posted it on-line where it soon became one of the first “viral” phenomena. Parker and Stone, buoyed by their internet success started plans for a TV series. Fox wasn’t interested in a program featuring Mr. Hanky or anal probes; ultimately it was the Comedy Network who debuted South Park in 1997.

In South Park nothing is off limits, no subject escapes scrutiny, wicked satire leaves you gasping for breath. Not often do I find myself laughing out load – certain South Park episodes find me dissolving into a puddle of laugh tears. Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart and Rick Mercer deserve honourable mentions – South Park reigns supreme.