Crude, Offensive, Show or Intelligent Comic Relief?.
Not Third-Graders, Stan, Kyle, or Cartman, who himself confronts alien visitors, brain-eating zombies, and death. Not their friend Kenny - he gets killed in every episode. His carcass carted off by scurrying rats. Not even the towns people, who are attacked by vicious, genetically engineered turkeys, narrowly escape molten lava, and even host a boxing match between Jesus Christ and Satan.
Amazingly, for all its self-conscious offensiveness, the show has generated little negative attention. Ethnic , religious, sexual, and political subjects are all fair game for the show's creators.
South Park started as a five minute cartoon short called "The Spirit of Christmas". In this, Santa Claus and Jesus Christ use hand to hand combat to determine who truly reigns over the holiday. Creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, use construction paper for the characters and background, filming the show in stop motion photography. This short film caught the eye of many Hollywood producers and agents, gaining much underground popularity. It became an instant hit. Eventually, the video made it to the internet where many web surfers were able to view it. It became apparent the cartoon would be made into a TV series. Cable Network, Comedy Central, commissioned Trey and Matt to produce a series.
After debuting August 13, 1997, South Park is now in its seventh season on Comedy Central. The show's contract was recently renewed through the 2005 season with an option to expand to the following season. This negotiation could make South Park the longest running Primetime Comedy Series in Cable television history.
Since its introduction, South Park has been made into a Full Length Feature Film, and has become a merchandising phenomenon. Items such as CD's, T-shirts, magnets, and plush toys have grossed over $300 million.
I happened upon the show one day early in its first season and have been an avid fan ever since.