Libertarian Pop Media: South Park Creators Interviewed by GQ

GQ just interviewed Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park, and it’s great. To illustrate, here are the opening lines of the article:

You did an episode about Paris Hilton, in which she opens up a retail store called Stupid Spoiled Whore. Why pick on Paris?

Trey Parker: Okay, for me, she’s a whore. Whatever. She’s a dumb, ugly whore. But then I walked into a Guess store, and she was all over the place. I’m like, Wait a minute, they’re treating her like a glamorous model now? Does anyone notice how dangerous this could be to little girls?

On-screen she eventually competes with Mr. Slave in a “whore-off.” How do you come up with an idea like that?

TP: I think she came up with that idea, actually. We just made a cartoon out of it.

Normally, its pretty easy to either smackdown an article or provide a bit of snark to liven it up. As they left absolutely nothing to bitchslap, I’m relegated to merely reproducing a few quotes. On libertarianism:

Do you feel pressure for South Park to be overtly political?

MS [Matt Stone]: We’re libertarian. Which is basically: Leave me alone; and I’m okay with drugs and gays. As soon as someone says, “Oh, you’re this way,” it probably influences us to go the other way. We’ve had L.A. people — Democrats — come up to us and say, “How are we gonna get Al Sharpton out of this Democratic primary?” We’re like, What the fuck are you talking about? I don’t care about that shit. If you have hard-core political leanings, you’re like, Let’s fucking influence some people. Not us. I think it would cheapen the show. I kind of think South Park is more important than Democrat or Republican.

On libertarian friends:

What took you so long to take on Scientology? Was the network worried about it?

TP: To be honest, what kept us from doing it before was Isaac Hayes [who does the voice of Chef]. We knew he was a Scientologist. And he’s an awesome guy. We’re like, Let’s just avoid that for now. But we’re friends with Penn Jillette, and Showtime wouldn’t let him do an episode of Bullshit! on Scientology. We’re going, That’s fucked up. And hearing other people say, “You can’t do that,” you can only say “You can’t do that” so many times to Matt and me before we’re gonna do it. Finally, we just had to tell Isaac, “Dude, we totally love working with you, and this is nothing personal, it’s just we’re South Park, and if we don’t do this, we’re belittling everything else we’ve ripped on.” So we realized we had to do it, and now that we’ve done it, now it’s like we’ve sort of opened the floodgates. People will be less scared.

On censorship:

Sometimes the show is so perfectly offensive it seems like the people in charge of standards aren’t paying attention. Like, Oh, it’s just those crazy kids at South Park! Does the show get a pass?

MS: We got one note last week. This character says, “No more blowing guys on Colfax Avenue for a pint of vodka for this cowboy!” And they’re like, Can’t say “blowing.” But we begged and they said okay. Did you see the one where the Virgin Mary was bleeding out of her ass? A lot of times, when the whole show hinges on one thing, we’ll tell the network the idea first, to make sure they’re not gonna pull it on us. They had some comments on that one. They didn’t want it to look like a butt. And they didn’t want anybody putting their finger in the butt. We don’t set out to offend people. But sometimes, it’s like when you flip off the principal and he doesn’t care. You’re like, You’re supposed to care about that. We absolutely get a pass.

TP: We’re almost disappointed when we don’t hear from anyone. The notes are really inconsistent. In the first year, they’re like, “You can’t say ‘fag.’ There’s no way. And you can’t say, ‘That’s gay,’ because it’s offensive to homosexuals.” It’s like, Yeah, but that’s how kids talk. Finally, Mr. Garrison could say “fag” because he said, “I”m gay. That means that now I can say the word fag.” Now, nine years later, Garrison can scream, “We’ll see about this, you fudge-packing fags!” to two gay people who want to get married. It’s funny to watch the evolution. I don’t know if evolution is the right word, but it’s funny.

It’s a long interview which covers all the bases — and then some. Check it out! I might even renew my expired GQ subscription. Props.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

9 Comments
  1. Trey and Matt are always funny in interviews. I love the Paris Hilton episode. But I haven’t seen the Bloody Mary one yet cause it hasn’t aired where I live yet, it’ll be on in a couple of weeks though.

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