Expect South Park’s next season to be heavy on fart jokes, to clear the air after a season that became much more Donald Trump-concentrated than the creators had intended, Matt Stone and Trey Parker told Bill Simmons – or words to that effect – on his The Bill Simmons Podcast….live early this morning.
“Where we were going with the thing, it’s all about how girls [have been] slighted,” Parker explained of the wrapped Season 20. “Girls have been marginalized in South Park too, just because we do all the voices and it’s hard for us to have people come in at 3 in the morning and change all the lines.
“We were heading down this whole path [with] this big boy-girl war going on, and everyone thinks, ‘OK well hooray, Hillary’s gonna be president.’ And that means that Bill Clinton is the first gentleman. That to us was the most ironic, coolest thing to focus on…That’s where the whole season was going and that’s what really got torn apart. Garrison was supposed to come back and just start teaching again and all this stuff and we were now just locked in to this other [timeline].”
They’d prepared an episode, dubbed “The First Gentleman” to follow Election Night, based on expectation Hillary Clinton would win. Tuesday night, around 8 PM, they knew they had to blow up that episode.
Surveying their options, “Go black was what we talked about,” Stone said, adding they also mulled airing “The First Gentleman” episode as-is, as a sort of “document for history.”
“We called [former president of Viacom Music and Entertainment] Doug Herzog and said, ‘We can’t get the show done. It’s just really screwed up, and sorry,” Stone continued. “And he was like, ‘I’m at The Daily Show, everyone’s crying, I’ll call you back,’ or something like that. His world was like, everyone was coming to him saying, ‘We can’t do this tonight’.”
“I think [Herzog] would have been okay with us just going black, but it was also nice for at least real die-hard South Park fans” to air an episode, Parker chimed in. “Everyone was so shell-shocked, and it was like you didn’t want to see that the world had changed. You wanted to be like, “Okay, this horrible thing has happened, and [Trump] has been elected president, [but] South Park’s still on the air. The sun is still rising. Water’s still clear.”
The episode, named “Oh Jeez,” aired November 9.
As to where the show goes from here – Simmons referenced how Saturday Night Live has adjusted to a Trump presidency – Parker said that show is “doing better than ever because of it, but it’s like now every week I’m seeing a headline about how SNL ripped on the Trump administration this week. They’ve become that show.”
“That was part of the bummer for us about [last] season; we didn’t want to make it a big Trump thing, and we kept thinking it was gonna go away and we didn’t want to get caught up in just being a political show,” he continued. ” There’s plenty of good political comedy out there. We like to dabble in that and do that one week, but then the next week we want to do fart jokes. We love to change tones. And it’s interesting, ’cause now people are [saying], “OK, well let’s see how you deal with Trump this coming season.” No one ever said, “Oh, the new season’s coming, how you gonna deal with Obama in this season?” We’re not that show and we never were”.
If not that, what will they do next season, Simmons asked.
Responded Parker: “Fart jokes.”
Simmons also asked, in re Trump, the two if they can remember in the last two decades somebody who “almost couldn’t be parodied because he was a parody.”
Again, Parker responded:
“If you have like a little monkey and it’s running himself into the wall over and over and you’re like, ‘That’s funny, but how am I gonna make fun of the monkey running himself into the wall?’ I can discuss the monkey running himself into the wall, I can copy the monkey running into the wall, but nothing’s funnier than the monkey just running himself into the wall.”