U.S. Comedy Arts Festival am 7.3.1998 (Comedy Central)
So please welcome back to their home state, where there really is a South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. (applause) You're very welcome.
MATT STONE: A little country kitchen setting. Hi, welcome to the Trey and Matt show. (laughter)
LIEBLING: Can we turn the lights up so people can ask some questions? Anybody have questions to start?
TREY PARKER: Well, first of all, you know, sorry you all came, but Matt and I are actually really boring people. (laughter) So you're trapped.
STONE: Everybody expects us to do "South Park Live" or something. (laughter)
LIEBLING: Well, I can start. Why don't you guys tell us a little bit about how you met and got together and how you launched this partnership?
STONE: Well, it was love, I think.
PARKER: Yeah, we met at -- we both went to the University of Colorado in Boulder. (applause) Yeah, they kicked me out. (laughter) I got kicked out. But we met in film school. They had just started the film school there. And so that's where we met. And we were doing lots of short, stupid things like the ones they showed. And we met and, you know--
STONE: We were like the two people who were into comedy and doing, like, weird little films that weren't like black-and-white lesbian, like, sexual exploration pieces. And so we kind of -- we were kind of thrown together because we were the only two who wanted to not do -- you know, not be Martin Scorsese.
PARKER: And we were the only two guys in film school that cared about the Buffs and, you know, the Broncos.
STONE: Yeah, we liked sports and didn't drink a lot of coffee. (laughter)
PARKER: So are a lot of people here from Colorado? Is this like a big Colorado--? (applause/cheer.) Just have to say, Matt and I, because of this -- thanks to Comedy Central, we were, like, 50-yard line, tenth row at the Super Bowl.
STONE: Yeah, it warn the greatest day of my whole life by far.
PARKER: It was so awesome. (laughter) To just get kicked in the nuts like that every year, and then finally be at the one that they win was just the best. We were crying and s***. It was great. (laughter)
LIEBLING: You guys want to talk about some of the influence in your comedy, both music and comedic, because music plays a very big role in your work as well?
PARKER: Well, part of the reason we're psyched to be here is because, as we've said in every interview, our biggest influence is "Monty Python." (applause) And I think, you know, I remember that was the show -- it was like Thursdays at 10:00 at night, being in third and fourth grade and watching that show, and not even getting a lot of it, but just knowing it was really funny. (laughter) And it was the same with -- I think that's why Matt and I hit it off so well is because we had this very big "Python" background.
STONE: Still to this day when our heads are getting a little big, if we go and put on an old "Flying Circus" or something, you just watch that and you're like--
PARKER: We suck.
STONE: --what the hell are we doing. (laughter) Yeah, so we do that every once in a while to check ourselves.
LIEBLING: And you were going to talk about music a little bit, because there's so much music in your work, in both "South Park" and your film, "Cannibal: The Musical," which actually played here yesterday. I don't know if some of you got it, but there's clearly a love of musical theater that--
STONE: Yeah, we both, before we were in film or anything, we were both musicians. Like I play drums and bass and guitar, and Trey can play piano like a son of a bitch. And that's like -- so when it came around to do the show -- I mean, you can go back to "Cannibal" -- but when it came around to do the show, I mean part of the reason we wanted Chef to sing songs was so we could just have a musical element to the show, you know.
PARKER: It's our favorite part when we get to that part of the script and we're recording where it's like, okay, Chef sings. We just sit down and start playing it, and we send it to Isaac, and it's great. Because we're playing for Isaac. It's really cool.
LIEBLING: Talk about some of the characters in "South Park." I know some of them represent real people in your live, or amalgamations of real people and real experiences you've had.
PARKER: I think that, you know, when we started talking about this show, even when we were doing the shorts, you know, it was like there was always a leader kid, there was always -- but what we realized -- Matt and I didn't grow up together, but we both were talking about -- we had this one fat kid. You know, it was like, oh, everyone had the fat kid, or "at one time I was the fat kid" -- and then it was -- and you always had the poor kid, you know, who died every week. (laughter) And so it was just sort of a very -- it started off a very cliché group of boy friends that just sit around and cuss at each other. And, you know, that's what's been the most fun for me about "South Park," has been Cartman, because to see him grow from --you know, in "Spirit of Christmas," he's just a big fat f*** (laughter) that, you know, that just bitches a lot. And to go from that to him having a tea party (laughter) with his stuffed animals and doing their voices and stuff, has bean great.
STONE: Yeah, Cartman has just become a force of nature. That guy has gotten so complex. (laughter)
PARKER: That's why when people are saying, you know, are you worried you're going to run out of ideas, you know, it's just like the way we've set Cartman, we need 20 years to explain that guy. (laughter)
STONE: Yeah, but it's like every situation we think of, it's like -oh, one of the boys do this or go to the White House or whatever -it's always if you think about Cartman in that situation, material just starts like throwing itself at you, you know.
QUESTION: Who is Cartman's dad?
PARKER: Oh, it's -- oh, you almost got me. (laughter) We'll find out in April.
STONE: We'd have to kill everybody in the room if we were to say it. (laughter)
QUESTION: How did you get kicked out of college?
PARKER: I got kicked out because we made "Alfred Packer, Cannibal: The Musical." I mean, it wasn't because I made it. It was because I made it and didn't go to any of my classes because I was making that movie. (laughter) But it was a real -- we were in film school. I was engaged to be married. I was, like, 21. You know, because I was, like, a small mountain town boy. You know, you get married when you're 21. And she totally dumped me. Totally dumped me on my ass, right? And I just -- it was like, I'm going to make a movie, I'm going to make a movie. And we went -- and I went to Matt, and we read, like, every book we could find on how to make a movie and how to get money for it. And it was all a big joke. I mean, everyone in the film school was like, right, you guys are going to get $125,000. And what we did was we went and made -- for like 300 bucks, we went and shot a preview of the movie. And then we went around to rich people and said, "We need finishing money." Like this movie is almost done, we're so close, here's the preview. And they saw the preview and go, oh, that's really funny, here's some finishing money. And all of a sudden, like, two months later, we had $125,000. And it was the same as the "South Park" phenomenon. We were both just like "how did we do this?!" But it was in the middle of the semester. And so I had a choice to either, you know, go spend this money and make a movie or stay in class. And I made the movie.
QUESTION: What's she think of you now? (laughter/applause)
PARKER: I invited her to come see me on "The Tonight Show." (laughter) And she came. (laughter)
QUESTION: Do you guys actually write dialogue for Kenny?
PARKER: Yeah, usually.
STONE: Yeah, a lot of times in the script, it just says, you know, mmph-mmph-mmph." But when it comes around to it, you always have a line in mind that, you know, needs to fit there.
PARKER: And sometimes it's a little too clear and we have to do it over.
STONE: Yeah, yeah. He always says something.
QUESTION: Could you do a voice for us?
PARKER: Who do you went?
PARKER: Oh, jeez. (as Cartman) "You son of a bitch, I'll kick you in the nuts!" (laughter/applause)
QUESTION: Matt and Trey, I notice that religion seems to play an important part in the comedy series. And I'm just wondering what is at the root of all that, between the two of you?
STONE: Well, religion is funny. (laughter)
PARKER: Wait a minute, this whole thing is a room? I thought that was a mirror the whole time.
STONE: No, that goes -- that's why I've been spacing out.
PARKER: I didn't know there was this many people. Whoa.
STONE: When we walked in originally, they showed us the room, it ended right there.
PARKER: Oh, my god.
STONE: So that's why when I walked out, it was like--
PARKER: Holy s***, there's a lot of people in here! (laughter)
STONE: I got a big laugh! (laughter)
QUESTION: I have a question for you.
STONE: Oh, wait, we've got to answer the religion question.
QUESTION: (off mike/inaudible)
PARKER: Why is that so funny? I think that it's just because it's so not something you make fun of. And, you know, to us. part of what we loved about "Python" was when they were saying stuff that if you said in school you got smacked in the mouth. And that you -- what was so funny about it is like, oh, you're not supposed to make fun of that, are you? And so, immediately you make -- just Jesus made out of construction paper is funny. (laughter) You know, it's like we didn't even have to have him say anything. And I remember when we were doing "Spirit of Christmas," and I cut him out and I'm laughing the whole time. (laughs) I showed it to Matt and we're just like, "Huh-huh-huh!" (laughter) You know, it's just inherently funny.
STONE: I mean, look at "Life of Brian," like going back to "Monty Python." Just that movie is like -- somebody told me they originally wanted to name it, like, "Jesus Christ: Lust For Glory." (laughter) And they wouldn't let them do it. It's just great, man. It's hilarious.
QUESTION: I have a question for you. Since I live with Cartman, which makes me the "Bitchbitchbitch," will there be a cattle call, so to speak, for this feature movie that y'all are working on?
STONE: Oh, it's an animated feature, is that what you're asking?
PARKER: Well, is there going to be -- are we going to have other people do voices, is that what you mean?
QUESTION: I got the impression in the beginning that maybe you were talking about like live characters.
STONE: Oh, no, it'll be animated.
PARKER: Yeah, it'll definitely be animated.
STONE: It would be fun to find a real Cartman. We should do like a search for the real Cartman. (laughter)
PARKER: Because it's actually -- what we're really excited about with the movie is that we're going to do it all on construction paper. Because what's cool, like all this stuff, we only had the money to go right back to video. So we shot it on film -- and Matt and I have seen "Spirit of Christmas" projected, the 35-mm prints, and it's gorgeous. I mean, it's like the detail of the construction paper is really cool. (laughter) So when we went to Paramount, we said we've got to do this on construction paper. (laughter)
QUESTION: What does "Shpedoinkle" (sp) mean?
QUESTION: "Shpedoinkle." (sp)
PARKER: "Shpedoinkle?" (sp)
QUESTION: Yeah, what does that exactly mean?
PARKER: It means everything and nothing. There's a word in "Alfred Packer," in "Cannibal" -- everyone says "Shpendoinkle" (sp) all the time. And it is -- I don't know, it's like "tootsie bars" and "cheesy poofs," you know. We just make up words just for the hell of it.
QUESTION: You guys, with everything that you have been able to do, what in the hell have you not been able to do on television?
PARKER: Get chicks. (laughter)
STONE: We wanted to do an episode with the Nation of Islam, a whole episode about that. (audience reacts) And Comedy Central wouldn't let us do it. Not because -- I mean, they were like fine with the humor and fine with all that, but they just, you know, feared that they would get bombed and we would get lynched. So...
PARKER: So we're going to do it in the Fall. (laughter)
STONE: Now we've got a little more clout, maybe we'll be able to do it.
QUESTION: How did you get Primus to do the opening?
PARKER: That was actually -- that was one of the coolest parts, because we got approached to do the show. And again, we had done pilots before, so we were kind of like -- we had had small bits of money thrown at us to do stuff, and we knew that it might not go anywhere. But we were like, you know, we need a theme song. And Matt and I were just huge Primus fans in college. And we said, maybe we could get them to do the theme song? And it was like now why would they do that, they're not going to do that. And so we just -- it was a shot in the dark. We sent them "Spirit of Christmas." And we were sitting around. We had a really tiny, crappy office, and we had one production assistant. And she just came in like three days later and she's, like, "Matt, Les Claypool is on line one." And we're both just like -- (gasps). (laughter)
STONE: Freaked out.
PARKER: And I've never seen Matt so, like -- he's just on the phone going, "Yeah, yeah, that's killer." (laughter)
STONE: Freaked out, yeah.
PARKER: And they were into it. They were into it.
STONE: Yeah, they were totally into it.
PARKER: So it was great. It was really cool. Between that and Isaac, I mean, it was actually pretty easy. You know, Isaac was our first choice, and he just said he'd do it. So it was cool.
QUESTION: Trey, I got hold of an advance copy of "Orgazmo." And Rick Lynch got it for me. And I'm just wondering, where did you learn the karate for that movie?
PARKER: I actually studied Tae Kwon Do from the time I was, like, 12 until I was about 22. So it was -- that's what it was.
QUESTION: I saw you kick Ron Jeremy's ass.
PARKER: Yeah. (laughs) (laughter)
QUESTION: Have you ever -- on the Internet, there's a lot of scripts for the episode. of "South Park" floating around. Have you ever seen those, and what they are claiming is what Kenny is actually saying?
STONE: Yeah, we've seen them.
PARKER: And nine times out of ten, they're wrong.
STONE: Yeah, it's wrong.
PARKER: But, you know, and it's so funny, I mean, the things that on the Internet they'll catch. I mean, they catch stuff we don't, for sure. And they -- you know, they'll say this meant this, and when they said that it meant this. And especially with the whole Cartman's father thing, they're like, "Well, I went through it frame by frame and there actually is another townsperson in the background." Which was just a f***-up on our part. (laughter) But of course now we're going to make it huge. You know, we'll play that up. And you know, what people will interpret, you know, is really funny.
QUESTION: How old are, like, Kyle and Cartman?
PARKER: They're supposed to be in third grade. So, eight-nine.
QUESTION: In Spin magazine, there's a part about the future of "South Park." How much of that is true?
PARKER: None of it. F*** Spin magazine. (laughter/applause)
STONE: That was -- they made every word of that up. We had no --everything that's in Spin--
PARKER: Everything that's in Spin--
STONE: And the cover, everything we had no input on.
PARKER: And that we were shooting porno. And, you know, we made a movie, "Orgazmo," that's about porno. I mean, it's a spoof on porno. And, you know, they got pissed off because we wanted the cover of Rolling Stone. And so they decided to release a cover at the same time to piss us off. And then they slanted all of the article.
STONE: So that's really the worst part. You know, we can take, you know, like, someone saying -- you know, someone parodying our show even is like -- okay, okay, we can take that, or whatever. But the fact that people think that those are the episodes that are coming out, that that's an advanced viewing guide, really pisses us off.
PARKER: But actually what we're going to do that's really cool is we are going to make all those episodes.
STONE: Yeah, just steal the ideas. (laughter)
PARKER: And then just steal, and they can sue us for the idea. You know, whatever.
STONE: You said it was ours, so... (laughter)
PARKER: You say we did it. (laughter/applause)
QUESTION: I might be reading too much into it, but is the Barbra Streisand episode, do you guys, like, hate her as much as we do, because she boycotted Colorado?
STONE: Oh, yeah.
PARKER: I mean, as a Coloradoan, you've got to love the Broncos and hate Barbra Streisand. You know, I mean that's just--(laughter)
QUESTION: My friends live in New York, and they didn't know why you got on Barbra Streisand.
STONE: Yeah, no, people in other states don't get it. You know, it was a very Colorado-specific episode.
PARKER: Yeah, remember when she said she wouldn't come back to Colorado anymore, and everyone was, like, "Good!" (laughter) She can helicopter into Aspen to the top of the mountain. It's like, you know, who cares.
QUESTION: Are we going to see Mr. Hankey in another episode?
STONE: Oh, yeah.
PARKER: Yeah, he's coming back. We've already...
QUESTION: Trey, will you talk about the history of Mr. Hankey and where he originated from? (laughter)
PARKER: Let's talk about the history of poo. I actually -- I had -- my dad is a really f***ed-up guy. (laughter) And he would just, you know, mess with me all the time. And one day, I think I was three or four, and my mother -- I guess I had a problem with flushing the toilet. Like I would go poo and then wouldn't flush it. And my mother would yell at me and yell at me. And finally she said, "Randy, you've got to have a talk with Trey." And so my dad -- the geologist in "South Park" is my dad. My dad is a geologist, worked for the USGS in Colorado forever. And that's what he looks like, that's what he sounds like. So my mother said you need to have a talk with Trey about flushing the toilet. And my dad said, "Well, Trey, you need to flush the toilet because if you don't, Mr. Hankey is going to come out and kill you." (laughter) And I was like -- you know, I'm three years old, and I'm like, what do you mean? And he goes, "Well, it just sits there, and you flush it. But if you don't, he'll come to life and he sings a little song and he kills you." (laughter) And I was just like -- so I f***in' flushed the toilet, man, seven, eight times. (laughter) But then I started developing that into -- I started drawing him in high school with the little sailor's hat. And I remember we were at Fox. One of the first people we met in L.A. was at Fox Studios. And we were with Brian Graydon, the guy who financed "The Spirit of Christmas." And he's like, you know, what do you guys want to do as a TV show? And I was, like, "Mr. Hankey," the TV show. And he was like, "Okay, what is it?" And I was like, "It's a little piece of poo with a sailor's hat." (laughter)
STONE: "Stop." He was just like, "That's all, stop. Next idea."
PARKER: And he goes, "I can say pretty readily that I will not be making a show about talking poo." (laughter)
STONE: We almost made a "Mr. Hankey" short instead of "Spirit of Christmas." We wanted to do that for a long time.
PARKER: But it was funny because then we were meeting with --you know, we got a lot of offers for the TV show, and one of them was Comedy Central. And we were out with Debbie and Eileen Katz. And we knew that "Mr. Hankey" was going to be a part of "South Park" then. And we're talking. And you know, it was the typical, like, you know, "we love you, we love you, we love you." (laughter) And then I said, "How do you feel about talking poo?" And Eileen Katz went, "Love it." (laughter/applause) We signed the deal.
STONE: That was pretty much it. So it separated Comedy Central from the rest of the pack.
QUESTION: (inaudible) -- with Dr. Katz -- (inaudible)
STONE: Yeah, we've actually thought about having Cartman just, you know, one day, just-- (laughter)
PARKER: Just start shaking and going (as Cartman) "Yeah, who am I, who am I?"
STONE: Just do him in squiggle-vision for a shot. Kids will be like, how did you do that?
QUESTION: Matt, I'm wondering if any -- I'm all the way in the back -- if any of your relatives are depicted in the show? If there's anybody from your family that you think is prominently portrayed in the show?
STONE: Well, yeah, I mean there's characters, but basically --but I wanted to add that there's a picture in the pilot episode of "South Park" when Cartman's on the couch, and he's only -- the kitty, about his pot pie and stuff--
PARKER: There's a real picture.
STONE: There's a real picture next to him, and people always wonder who that is. That's my sister, and she's sitting right there. Stand up and show your face. Come on, Rachel. (applause) She's too shy. But anyway, we thought that would be really funny. Rachel doesn't really think it's that funny. (laughter)
PARKER: But I actually -- growing up, one of the hardest times I had is my sister Shelley, who kicked my ass every day. (laughter) So I called her and I said, "Shelley, I made you into a character on 'South Park."' She's like, "You did?" "Yeah, it's like you kick my ass every day after school." She's like, "I didn't kick your ass every day after school." And it was just like -- so she's pretty pissed off -- she's probably going to kick my ass again. (laughter) But you know, you base everyone on real people. And my newest favorite is the Counselor, because I went to West Jeff (sp) Junior High, which is in Conifer, and we had this counselor, Mr. Lackey (sp). And you know, he had slicked-back hair, little tiny guy. And we would do his voice to him all the time, and he never got it. And we would walk into school and go (as Mr. Lackey) "Hi, Mr. Lackey." And he'd go, "Hi, boys, how are you today?" (laughter) "Oh, fine, Mr. Lackey, how are you?" (laughter) And everyone in the school did it to him and he never caught on.
QUESTION: Your show takes place in Colorado and you're from Colorado. But you know, most of Colorado can't see your show.
QUESTION: What's the deal?
PARKER: Yeah, what is the deal?
QUESTION: TCI sucks!
STONE: We can't say it because we get in trouble.
PARKER: We can't say it but you say it loud and clear.
STONE: What did you say?
QUESTION: TCI SUCKS!!
STONE: Oh, that's strange, why did you say that? (laughter)
PARKER: No, it's funny because, you know, in L.A., we're big hotshot. and stuff, and we go places. And I come to Colorado and see friends from high school and they're like, "Hey, Trey, what are you up to?" (laughter/applause) But, you know, all we hear is they're working on it. So we'll see.
QUESTION: Are you going to release them on video?
STONE: Yeah, they're coming out, I think, in a couple months.
PARKER: In May.
LIEBLING: May 5th. (applause)
PARKER: And we did a -- we're pretty proud of it, because they said, you know, "We want an interview with you guys on it." And we're just like, "Nah, we don't want to do that." And they're like, "No, just some cool MTV hip thing." And it's just like --because they wanted a chat with the creators, you know, and stuff. So we're like, "Okay, well, you know, give us the money and we'll go do it." And so-- (laughter) --so we did this thing and we got a fireplace, and we put on turtleneck. (laughter) And we have a dog. And we're just like, "This is Old Scratch." (laughter) And we're just like trying to come off as the most wholesome guys in the world.
STONE: And they spent so much money on it. (laughter) It is so funny.
PARKER: They are so bummed. (laughter)
QUESTION: Are you going to be doing "Shaft," Isaac Hayes as "Shaft"?
PARKER: The problem is, we were about to, and then suddenly the Beavis and Butt-head movie came out, and they did a whole thing with "Shaft."
STONE: And he's done the whole thing with Mr. Potato Head for Burger King and Shaq. (overlapping)
PARKER: So we think we're going to -- the cool thing, though, we are doing the "South Park" soundtrack that we're working on, this album, is Chef's album. And so it's all --it's Chef with people like Fiona Apple and Beck and Ozzie Ozbourne. (laughter) And it's just Chef duets with big people. So it's going to be pretty rad.
QUESTION: Are there any other shows out there that you guys like right now?
STONE: I like the Broncos winning the Super Bowl.
PARKER: Yeah, we have the videotape of the Broncos winning the Super Bowl. We just watch it every weekend.
STONE: Over and over. "I know what's going to happen now!" (laughter) Better watch out, Favre. That's okay, that interception is okay." (laughter) We like "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast," that's pretty funny.
PARKER: Yeah, I mean, the truth is--
STONE: But we don't have a lot of time to watch TV.
PARKER: Yeah, we don't have a lot of time to watch TV. But we're both -- you know, we're big fans of "Beavis and Butt-head." And it's been cool to -- we know Mike now, and he's been a big help in -- "All right, now here's what's going to happen and here's what's going to happen. And they're going to say this and then they're going to do that."
STONE: Then kids are going to set themselves on fire and you're going to get in trouble. (laughter) Goes down the list.
QUESTION: Do you surf your unofficial Web sites?
STONE: Oh, yeah. There's this one guy -- the biggest unofficial Web site, which is "Taison Tan" -- is that his name? Taison Tan's Web site, whatever, which was one of the first big Web sites. About once a week, I'll go to it just to find out what's going on. Because he knows more than we do. I swear.
PARKER: "Trey Parker and Matt Stone signed to "Dumb & Dumber." Wow, cool! (laughter)
STONE: Really. I mean, he knows stuff before we do and he knows -- it's amazing, like the network that guy has.. Like he gets articles from everywhere. Like when a school bans a T-shirt, he's the first to know before anybody else. So about once a week we go find out what's happening in our lives with--
PARKER: And it's great for -- you know, to know press -- because you just get bombarded with, "Well, so-and-so is pissed off because of this, and so-and-so said this about 'South Park,' and so-and-so said this about Trey Parker." And it's just like you don't know what to respond to and what doesn't matter. But the Internet is a great -- you know, if people are really talking about it, you can say, all right, I should probably respond to it, or not. So it's a great tool, really great.
QUESTION: Who's next on your hate list?
PARKER: I don't know. Barbra Streisand again, I think. (laughter)
STONE: Just double up.
PARKER: Just do it again.
STONE: F*** her. (laughter) We'll just make it the "F*** Barbra Streisand Show." (laughter)
PARKER: Yeah, that'll be the spin-off. (laughter)
QUESTION: "South Park Live"?
QUESTION: "South Park Live"?
PARKER: Well, maybe.
STONE: Just me beating up Barbra Streisand. (laughter)
QUESTION: What was your meaning between like Jay Leno, the cat and George Clooney as the dog?
STONE: It just was something -- because George Clooney was the first guy -- I mean A-list celebrity or not -- he was the first person to say I want to do a voice for the show. I mean, I don't know -- he said, "I just want to do a voice." And it just seemed so funny to us to get like the biggest star in the whole world and make him do a dog.
PARKER: Because we didn't want to do -- because "The Simpsons." had done the whole like celebrity guest star and getting that whole thing going. And we didn't really want to do that. We just wanted to make fun of that, you know what I mean?
QUESTION: Is that actually him doing the sound?
PARKER: It is. That's George Clooney doing the dog and--
STONE: Oh, yeah, absolutely.
PARKER: --and Jay doing the cat.
STONE: Yeah, took a tape recorder over to the set of "ER," and he just barked like a dog.
PARKER: Just like "Woof, woof !" "Thanks, George, bye-bye." (laughter)
STONE: And he thought it was great. He loves the fact that we made fun of that whole thing, you know.
PARKER: Because the thing is, with celebrity voices, we either want to -- you know, it's sort of like with "The Simpsons," they had to because they bring these people on to do voices, then they have to be nice to them. So it's like we'd rather bring them on in really small parts and do the celebrity voices ourselves so that we can totally rip on them.
QUESTION: What do you guys think of "The Simpsons"?
PARKER: Well, it's great. No, it's way better than our show.
STONE: Yeah, "Simpsons." is one of the best shows ever on TV. I mean, nobody can say anything other than that. (applause) Thank you. Thank you.
PARKER: Thank you. We worked hard on "The Simpsons."
STONE: And I like chocolate cake, too. (laughter)
QUESTION: Are you going to make a "South Park" movie?
PARKER: Yeah, we are making it. What?
QUESTION: They did "Shaft" in the karaoke bar.
PARKER: Well, you know, it's so funny because you can't -- we discovered very early on you can't ever say, "Well, 'The Simpsons' did that, because 'The Simpsons' has like 3,000 episodes, you know what I mean, so they've done everything.
STONE: Yeah, we can't even watch "The Simpsons." anymore because we're like, oh, we were going to do an episode about that. Yeah, everything has been on "The Simpsons."
PARKER: Yeah, they've done it all. So all we can do is do it. And the thing is, we haven't seen so much of it we're bound to do it differently because we haven't seen it.
PARKER: Oh, absolutely a big influence. And so is Beavis, and so is all these things that sort of led up to--
PARKER: What's that?
PARKER: No, f*** "The Flintstones."
STONE: Yeah, not "The Flintstones."
PARKER: But all these things, "Simpsons" and "Beavis and Butt-head really did lead -- you know we obviously couldn't have come out with "South Park" four years ago. You know, people would have just been like, "What?!" But they really opened the door for it. So it's great.
QUESTION: Who does which voices?
PARKER: I do Cartman and Stan and Mr. Garrison and Officer Barbrady, and the Counselor. And Matt does Kenny and Kyle and Jesus. (laughter) And Jimbo. I do Ned.
QUESTION: Mr. Hankey?
PARKER: I do Mr. Hankey.
QUESTION: Do Mr. Hankey.
QUESTION: Do Mr. Hankey for us.
PARKER: (as Mr. Hankey) "You smell an awful lot like flowers." (laughter)
QUESTION: Who did Barbra Streisand?
STONE: We have a -- what is her name?
PARKER: She uses three different names.
STONE: Yeah, she uses all these different names. Like she has a real name and a SAG name and then the name she uses on our show, because she's SAG or something.
PARKER: But anyway, one woman does all the female voices in "South Park."
STONE: I call her Mary Kay, but I think that might be her real name so I probably just got her killed. (laughter)
PARKER: (overlapping) Yeah, that is her real name. But she does - she's great. She does all - you know, Cartman's mom, Kyle's mom.
STONE: She's amazing. Just like, do this person, do that person, she can do anything.
PARKER: She's Sally Struthers.
STONE: We almost -- I wanted to do Sally Struthers. (does voice) (laughter)
QUESTION: Back to the celebrities. Do you guys - from your Jay Leno interview, did you get the hot chick from "Species"?
PARKER: Well, we got her right before that actually. Actually, we had recorded her that day. And it was just a call to her agent, and she was at the "South Park" offices.
STONE: Yeah, she just came in the office. She was great. She was really nice.
PARKER: From "Species." She's hot. (laughter)
STONE: She did a great job. Wonderful to work with her.
QUESTION: What's the inspiration for "Terence and Phillip"?
PARKER: "Terence and Phillip" to us is us making fun of what the critics say "South Park" is. You know, because when we read these articles that say "South Park" is wall-to-wall fart jokes, that's all it is, it's like, no, here's wall-to-wall fart jokes. (laughter/Parker laughs)
STONE: And what's so funny about "Terence and Phillip" is like, yeah, fart jokes are stupid here, and everyone just laughs their asses off at it. Face it, fart jokes are funny.
PARKER: Yeah, I mean, we love fart jokes, you know, and we still -- you know, if Matt farts, I bust out laughing.
STONE: Yeah, just like ten minutes before we came out, we went into the bathroom and Trey farted. I f***in' rolled. (laughter) So funny.
PARKER: It's funny. But, you know, it's great because we -- the truth is -- and actually I don't know how many people caught it from the last episode, but Terence and Phillip are Canadian. That's why they look so different. (laughter) Because we're trying to establish this precedent of -- you know, and, well, maybe Ike's Canadian.
STONE: Ooh, a secret review.
PARKER: But it's -- you know, it's really fun to do. Because then that's all we do is go in there and turn on the mic and go, "Hey, Terence, I'm about to fart!" (makes fart noise/laughs) (laughter)
STONE: You have to yell the voice to get it right. Just turns into the most annoying voice.
PARKER: But the coolest part -- because when we -- the big thing about getting voices, we had to get the chick from "Species," we had to -- I had to get Robert Smith of The Cure, because I just love The Cure. So we called and they sent Robert some tapes. And again, it was the same kind of thing. I was sitting in the office and they were like, "Robert Smith is on the phone." And I was like, "Oh, my god." And he's like, "I really like your show." (laughter) And I was like, "Wow, thanks, man, because we really want you to do a voice, to play yourself in an episode." He was like, "I really enjoy the two British gentlemen that fart on each other." (laughter) Right on! (laughter/laughs)
QUESTION: That article in Rolling Stone, they mentioned you had legal problems with "Ren & Stimpy" about the talking poo.
PARKER: Yeah, f*** that guy, too.
STONE: You know, he wrote -- the problem is that he had this character that was called like "Stinky" or something like that. I can't remember. But he wrote this letter basically -- he wrote this letter that was so accusatory -- he didn't come to us or whatever --
PARKER: He went to the press himself.
STONE: --or handle it like a man. He went right to the press. He had to generate his own press and he started slinging mud. And then Trey wrote back a letter explaining this is how -- just so you know, artist to artist--
PARKER: And all these huge people in Hollywood -- here, you can talk to this person.
STONE: (overlapping) We pitched this show three years ago.
PARKER: Yeah. By these people.
STONE: And then once he got that letter, then he wrote back a letter kind of -- that was kind of nice, not really -- he was kind of like a--
PARKER: He was just kind of douche bag. (laughter)
STONE: Yeah, kind of a dick.
PARKER: Because he said -- because he wrote back a letter saying, "Okay, I see now that you created 'Mr. Hankey' on your own. But you should just admit you're a big 'Ren & Stimpy' fan.
STONE: Yeah, he was -- it was like one and the other. It was like admitting, okay, you're right, I'm sorry I slung this mud, but in the same sentence, "Admit it, you love me." (laughter)
PARKER: "Ren & Stimpy" is stupid.
QUESTION: How do you guys feel about pirated merchandise?
PARKER: It's fine with us.
STONE: We don't make any money anyway.
PARKER: We don't make any money on the merchandise anyway. (laughter) We should go out and pirate the merchandise. We'd make more money. (laughter/applause) That's the big -- all the articles you read about $33 million in T-shirts...
STONE: The truth is, it's just like, yeah, god, we read those same articles and we're like--
PARKER: We are so RICH, dude! (laughter)
STONE: We got our checks, it was like, "Heehaw." (laughter) It's not the windfall that everyone thinks for either us or the network, you know.
QUESTION: What were the cartoons y'all watched when y'all were kids? (inaudible)
PARKER: He was asking what cartoons we watched growing up. And I wasn't a big cartoon freak, actually.
STONE: Just the Chuck Jones--
PARKER: Yeah, I mean obviously all that stuff is great. But I think that obviously from the animation style that we came up with, it was all very -- it was all Terry Gilliam. Because it was -- not only did we love-- (applause)--not only did we love "Monty Python," but that was probably -- at least when I was a kid, that was my favorite part, was when a little cartoon would come on. And just the way that it was so jittery and stupid. You know, just go-- (raspberry) -
STONE: That's animation that you could figure out. Like, oh, I see, they move it. And everything else was so -- couldn't figure it out. So... (laughter) Like drawing.
QUESTION: Who does your animation, and how long does it take for each episode?
STONE: Well, we take -- now we take three weeks an episode. I mean, we have five episodes in production at any one time. So one is at a script form, one is we're recording the dialogue, one is being animated, one is being, you know, the sound is being done at the end. And we have like -- boy, I don't even know. We have so many people now because we're ramping up, we're doubling our production. But we have like 15 animators. And actually our animation director is here. And his name is Eric.
PARKER: Eric! (applause as Eric stands)
STONE: So, yeah, now it just gets to be too much. And we actually, for the show, we went from an all-construction-paper-on-f film process to a computer-enhanced -- kind of using computers to do it. Because it's the only way you can do this much material and be able to like go back and fix it or change it if you need to, and that kind of stuff, so--
LIEBLING: Five more minutes for questions, just so everybody knows.
QUESTION: Are there any taboos left?
PARKER: There's lots of taboos left. I mean, yeah, I think that we've certainly -- you know, we've been developing, just sort of talking about the next 12 episodes. And there's so many places you can go in this show, you know, because it's not focused on any one character, and it's not focused on -- you know, we've seen -- you know, the fans seem to enjoy the fact that we can let a character do something completely -- like Garrison flip out and about to kill somebody, and the next week he's fine. And because of that, it's just really a limitless thing. So I think we have some more good ones in us, I hope.
QUESTION: Question about the video. More than half the videos in the country are sold through Wal-Mart, Target, and grocery stores. And these buyers are already scared to death to carry it. Will there be a marketing effort? Even King Supers in Denver and city markets here are petrified. Will there be a marketing effort to get these guys to bring it in for sale?
PARKER: I kind of hope not. I mean, it's like I think we've proven to ourselves at least, that we don't need a big market. You know, everyone told us the same thing just about Comedy Central. They're like, "You guys, you could be on MTV, you could be on Fox with this show. Lot more people." And it's just like, it worked out the way it had to work out on Comedy Central.
STONE: If you do a good show, people are going to find the tapes. It's not like, "I can't go to King Super, ah, s***, where do I go?"
PARKER: Yeah. (applause)
STONE: (overlapping)--they'll go to wherever and find it if they really want it, you know. Won't get the impulse buys, I guess.
QUESTION: Who does the voice for Ike?
PARKER: For Ike? A real two-year-old. We got a two-year-old that we knew through a friend of a friend and just sat her down --it's actually a little girl -- and just had her babble and just taped her for two hours. We have enough for, you know, four years. (laughter) And she would say things like -- she looked up -- in the pilot when Cartman gets sucked up in the ship and Ike says, "Oh, he's flying at the sky," we were sitting there and there was a fly on the ceiling. And the little girl looks up and she goes, "Oh, he's flying at the sky." And I just went, "YES!" (laughter)
QUESTION: So would you be willing to compromise your vision and style to fit into a network TV model?
PARKER: Oh, if it meant more money, sure. (laughter)
STONE: Yeah, money is always the thing. (laughter)
PARKER: No, we probably could have gotten more money even when we were completely broke. We could have gotten more money going somewhere else, and we didn't. So I think that it's not very likely we're going to do it now. You know, because we can make money doing other stuff now by saying, "Hey, we thought of a new show." "What?" "It's a stop sign and a squirrel." (laughter)
STONE: I swear, we can walk into anywhere right now and pitch any crap-- (laughter)
PARKER: In fact, we're going to -- I don't know how many studio people are here -- I hope, not many -- but we were talking--
STONE: Don't tell them if you -- you know, don't tell them.
PARKER: -- we were talking to Mike Judge, and we had worked out --me and Matt and Mike Judge were going to go in and say we have an animated show--
STONE: And just improv.
PARKER: -- together from the creators of "South Park" and "Beavis and Butt-head." And just make it up am we went. And we know --and we were going to make studios pay $40,000 to hear the pitch. (laughter/cheers/applause)
QUESTION: Is Jimbo's goal to get -- to make every animal endangered to be deceased?
PARKER: Is whose?
QUESTION: Jimbo's goal.
PARKER: Oh, yeah. I mean, Jimbo -- for the people that are here -- might know, near Conifer there was this big thing a few years ago where a guy shot a black bear out of a tree -- remember, and it was a big thing -- because the law is you can't shoot a black bear unless you're in danger. And he went -- going, saying, "Well, I was in danger!" And the thing was in a tree with her two cubs. And he shot the bear and her two cubs. And it was a big thing in Conifer, at least. And, you know, the guy got off. I think.
STONE: He shot them out of the tree and said, "They were coming right for me."
PARKER: And that's where got that line, "They're coming right for us."
STONE: "They were coming right for us."
STONE: Like shot him out of a tree.
LIEBLING: We have time for one more question.
QUESTION: How much do you draw from Colorado?
PARKER: Well, I mean I'd like to say everything just because it's -- you know, it's -- since I take the first pass at everything, everything that's drawn, I draw first, so you know, it's -- unless it's Mecha-Streisand, who I've never seen in Colorado. But things like the schools. And we have even have the little hot-dog restaurant that's there on 285. And there's a lot -- a lot of it's Colorado, definitely.
STONE: I mean, I think people from Colorado get this show on just a little bit deeper level than other people. I mean, I hope that -- you don't need to be from Colorado to get it, but I mean people from Colorado are like, "I can tell you guys are from Colorado," which is kind of cool, I guess.
QUESTION: We still can't get it.
STONE: Yeah, still can't get it. So the three people who have seen it get it--
PARKER: But you still get it on a deeper level even though you can't see it. (laughter)
STONE: But you can feel it, because you're from Colorado.
PARKER: You can sense it. (laughter)
LIEBLING: We're about to show you the original pilot that Trey and Matt produced for Comedy Central. They finished it in October of '96. Do you guys want to talk about it a little bit?
PARKER: Yeah, I mean, what happened -- this again came right after "Spirit of Christmas," and it was very experimental. You know, we didn't know -- and it was really me and Matt and Eric did the entire thing ourselves. It took forever.
STONE: It took 70 days or something.
PARKER: You know, in this dark little room. And unlike--
STONE: Yeah, that summer.
PARKER: -- unlike the show, it is all construction paper, just like "The Spirit of Christmas." Because at the time we thought we could actually do the series that way before we got bitch-slapped by this, and it took way longer than we thought it would. (Laughter) But, you know, we learned a lot. And I think it's -- you know, they're going to show you this because it's -- you know, it is interesting to see what we ended up cutting out. You know, because we made this and it was a little long.
STONE: It was way long. Four minutes long, and we had no idea how to fit it down.
PARKER: Yeah, and we still didn't have quite the grasp on the characters.
STONE: It was really linear. That was the biggest thing. It just was like kids here, kids there, kids there, kids there, kids there. One of our biggest lessons was learning how to make a story move by cutting back and forth between things.
PARKER: Yeah, but it is interesting--
STONE: No one taught us that in film school.
PARKER: -- in that it is sort of the first thing we made. So that's about it.
STONE: This was basically our entire summer of '96.
LIEBLING: A little anecdote: they were locked in this dark room. I just had a vision of them in this basement in Denver somewhere, cutting and shooting, and I spoke to them one day and they sounded really, really bad. And we said, well, why don't we just push the delivery date a week so you guys can take a couple days off? And they said okay. And then I found out that they took those two days off and made a film. (laughter)
PARKER: But it's really funny.
STONE: We shot a story, yeah.
LIEBLING: So, we're ready to roll it. Thanks.
PARKER: Well, thank you all.
STONE: Thank you very much. (applause/cheers)