For 15 seasons and counting, South Park – the comedic inspiration fomented and created by the notorious duo, Trey Parker and Matt Stone – has been stirring up laughs in households worldwide, hosted by the cable TV network, Comedy Central. There have been many accolades achieved from this off-color, in-your-face comedy that centers upon the doings of four potty-mouthed 8-year-olds who lead rather eccentric lives in the redneck town of South Park, Colorado.
For those familiar with this sensational comedic offering, it’s uproariously hilarious and always original and entertaining. Sometimes the show borrows from popular culture for an episode, other times it’s a unique and entirely original offering. Always, it’s laugh-out-loud funny. Join us today as we explore some rather surprising factoids you probably never knew about South Park.
The show was created back in 1992, when Trey Parker and Matt Stone created an animated short called “The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs. Frosty” as part of their University of Colorado submission for animation. The four minute cartoon esplanade was made using standard construction paper and glue. It would later go on to become one of the Internet’s first viral videos. It only cost $750 to make. Three years later, an exec from Fox tendered $2,000 to Parker and Stone to create a similar video that he could send to his friends and family in a holiday greeting card.
Comedy Central was still in its infancy and was struggling to stay afloat. An exec came across the 1992 that Parker and Stone made and was impressed, so much so that he offered them their very own show on the network. Nancy Cartwright, who voiced Bart Simpson, was offered a shot at the pilot voice, but quickly left the studio in what she described as: “disgust.”
When the show premiered in August of 1997 with the first episode “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe,” it was the very first weekly show with a rating of MA. It would quickly move on to become the highest rated show on basic cable. In 1997, Comedy Central only was in an estimated 9.7 million homes. By 1998, South Park propelled the network into 50 million homes. By 2003, Comedy Central was in 82 million homes.
The episodes only cost a mere $250,000 to create in 2003, compared to the average $600,000 per episode of other sitcoms of the time. When the show debuted (1997), ad slots were selling for a meager $7,500 per slot. Within six months, that number shot up to more than $30,000 per slot.
15 years following its debut, South Park is still Comedy Central’s most watched show. The show averages 3.5 million viewers per episode. It’s known for being on topic, a method that Trey Parker and Matt Stone pride themselves on. They create, edit and produce each episode for airing in just seven short days; the shortest of any TV show in history. To-date, South Park has won 4 Emmys, a Peabody Award, and countless others. In 2007, Time Magazine listed the show in its “100 Greatest Shows of All Time” list.
South Park: Best Moments
We leave you with this awesome compilation of the best moments in South Park from the past 15 years. This video has become so popular on YouTube that it’s earmarked some serious clout in the form of 2 million plus views. You are certain to laugh your socks off. And if you have yet to see South Park, give this video a whirl, your funny bone will thank you afterwards.
The smash-hit animated series on Comedy Central, South Park, has run for 15 years. Learn some astounding facts you never knew about this popular cartoon.