South Park's 200th, litigious celebs and Mohammed: Matt Stone and Trey Parker (BB Video)

Xeni Jardin at 6:00 AM April 13, 2010

sp200.jpg Watch on YouTube. or Download MP4

In this Boing Boing Video exclusive, South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker speak with Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin on the eve of the 200th episode of the hit Comedy Central series. Stone and Parker reveal their plans to revisit battles over the boundaries of what can and cannot be done on television—including a quest to see just how many celebrities they can manage to piss off in a single episode, and whether Comedy Central will once again try to stop them from depicting the image and voice of a cartoon version of the Muslim prophet Mohammed on the show.

The 200th episode airs Wednesday, April 14 at 10pm on Comedy Central. Fan tributes here: South Park 200 (southpark200.com)

Related: Reason.com on the Mohammed/South Park/Comedy Central controversy.

(Special thanks to the production team of Matt West and Eric Mittleman)

mattrey.jpg

62 Comments Add a comment

Adze #1 00:31 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Man, Parker and Stone have changed their look. I wouldn't have recognised them without the subtitle. Xeni sounds a bit like Betty White.

I find the Mohammed issue really interesting. Both in terms of western fear of offending the muslim world, and in terms of how the muslim world seems to vary in its reaction to such portrayals (I don't seem to recall riots or fatwas after the last relevant SP episode, does anyone?).

Anon #2 00:59 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

does the muslim world even care about south park?

Anon #3 01:14 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

This is my FIRST Boing Boing post ever!
Just wanted to say,
This interview is simple and profound,
just like every South Park episode,
Love it and THANK YOU!
I am an avid BOING BOING and SP fan,
Thank you for your blog and these short snippets of popular culture.
:)
-Adam Podolec

ChrisGiarmo replied to comment from Adze #4 01:19 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

what a weird-ass way to start a comment. betty white? wtf?

(this vid rocked, btw. can't wait!)

tuckels #5 01:24 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Xeni has a great laugh.

TooGoodToCheck #6 01:31 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Pretty sure that Comedy Central wimped out the last time. In 2006, for cartoon wars, no image of Mohamed was shown. Although from what I recall, it ended with Jesus, the president, and maybe some other people all pooping on each other or something.

k, found it on the south park website (skip to 20 minutes)
http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/103233


The last time that they actually _showed_ Mohamed on southpark was in 2001, before the world went ape-shit. (Super Best Friends episode, at about 13 minutes)
http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/103940/

Adze replied to comment from ChrisGiarmo #7 01:32 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

What? We're using style sheets now? :)

Anon #8 01:52 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Failed to concentrate on the video due to being distracted by Xeni's cleavage.

Hamish Grant #9 03:36 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

so.... it's a clip show?

Hamish Grant replied to comment from Hamish Grant #10 03:39 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Ok maybe not a 'clip show' per se but really, they're rehashing. I will watch it of course 'cuz rehashing South Park is like being able to smoke a ball of black over again. Rehashing, get it? I'm available if they need writers.

dhalgren #11 05:36 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

The Clash - the only band that matters
South Park - the only television show that matters

Yes you guys are still punk rock.

Seriously it amazes me every day that South Park is still going strong after all these years. What is more mind blowing, Simpsons after 20 years or South Park on their 14th Season.

You can have Family Guy, Simpsons, The Flintstones - all shows I love, but there is only one animated - or non-animated show that I care about and that is South Park.

Gratz Matt and Trey - and Orgazmo is still one of the funniest movies ever.

kossmikman #12 06:33 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Oh my! What a polite spambot.

Anon replied to comment from Adze #13 06:34 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

I never get used to hearing her talk. It always sounds like she's just returned from cheering camp and is still hoarse from all the shouting. But now that she has presented herself in front of Matt and Trey... I can't help but wonder... Will we see Xeni in a future episode of South Park?

Actually, I'd love to see them riff on Boingboing. :)

lostinspace #14 06:43 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

I like how Trey's growing out the bangs

Anon #15 06:46 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

(to paraphrase general dissarray) "SEINFELD DID IT!"

Ed #16 07:15 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

South Park is a continual breath of fresh, cultural air.

donniebnyc replied to comment from Hamish Grant #17 07:42 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

I wouldn't call it rehashing. It's a celebration of a bunch of really cool moments that make SP the best satirical show on television.

General comment:

They also make a serious point about something being lost after the Danish cartoon incident. That reaction, like much of the billions of dollars being wasted on the war on terror (and giving up our civil rights), are proof that we've lost our ability to get over our fears and deal rationally with the problem of terrorism.

We need to do all that we reasonably can to stop terrorists, but what is reasonable. The truth is that the risk of terrorist attack has been hugely inflated by those in government and the defense industry for their own gain. Since 9/11 about 400,000 people have died in car accidents. Every year more than 10 times the death toll of 9/11. Most Americans risk death every day when they drive a car, but most would probably say that the greatest threat to the country is terrorism. So they let government and corporations run rampant. This is not a rational response.

Matt and Trey are cool, but it's kind of sad that we need two guys who make a cartoon to be the voice of reason.

biggswede replied to comment from donniebnyc #18 08:34 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

"giving up our civil rights?" if you are in the u.s., which civil rights have been taken away from you? if anything, there have been more civil rights granted to u.s. citizens over the years (HIPAA comes to mind). if your concern is the patriot act, it's been re-written and judged by many in congress to sufficiently limit governmental powers. if you recall, there was a pretty dang good reason why it was written in the first place... and it was signed into law with bi-partisasn support. sunset provisions were included which allow it to be re-examined and re-written after pre-determined periods of time. it remains a work in progress. rest assured, the aclu et al is working to make it more acceptable without compromising the security it offers the u.s. citizenry.

why is it sad that "we need two guys who make a cartoon to be the voice of reason?" why not? zealous politicians, blowhard talk-show hosts and eccentric celebrities are often seen as the "voice of reason." why not two guys who don't take themselves so seriously? sometimes the true voice of reason comes from unexpected places and i've seen much more reason displayed in episodes of south park than in many political debates. at least matt and trey aren't pandering to lobbyists or fearful of being voted out of office. they generally make a case for both sides of the issue du jour, albeit in a funny, absurd or shocking way, but if you look past the comedy to what they're actually saying, it's usually a more level-headed and even-handed approach than most other talking heads offer.

just my two cents.

donniebnyc replied to comment from biggswede #19 09:15 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

You seem to have not noticed (or maybe forgotten, it is a long comment) the part where I said "that make SP the best satirical show on television."

Also, the sadness in my last line is obviously not directed at Matt and Trey (and the fact that they are the voice of reason), but rather at all the other possible sources of "the voice of reason" in our society. You mention a few in your response.

In other words, I am saddened that politicians and journalists are not reasonable voices. I am not saddened that the creators of South Park are reasonable voices, which, of course, they have every right to be.

Perhaps, if your reading comprehension improves, you will be able to better understand the evil perpetrated on our society in the name of security.

biggswede replied to comment from donniebnyc #20 10:01 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

i never questioned your comment about SP being a great satirical program. i questioned your comment about civil rights and what i perceived as a slam against matt and trey. y dn't hv t b snrky dck bt t.

s... wht hs th "vl prptrtd n r scty n th nm f scrty" tkn frm y?

donniebnyc replied to comment from biggswede #21 10:23 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

"and what i perceived as a slam against matt and trey."

That you did not understand (or perceive) what I wrote is the entire point of my previous comment. I then went on to question your ability to understand the more complex issues of national security and the abuses of government and industry.

Pointing this out does not make me a snarky dick. It makes me someone who values precision in language, and someone who fears a populace without critical thinking skills.

The fact that I enjoyed it is what makes me a snarky dick.

Anon #22 10:30 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

To be fyst upon one's own petard as Southpark doth trod the boards wouldst seem high praise.
Clever hooligins, scofflaws of the hysterical type, only laugh at those worthy of such note.
Think this one would take odds in Vegas.
(In The Garden Of Allah- Don Henley)
Allah Ackbar

biggswede replied to comment from donniebnyc #23 10:35 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

s smn msndrstnds sngl cmmnt y mk nd y wrt thm ff s ncmptnt? y mght s wll tck "pmps ss" nt yr b.

hy, hw's tht rspns t my qstn rgrdng yr cvl rghts bng tkn wy cmng lng?

biggswede replied to comment from donniebnyc #25 11:11 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

w, ws hpng "smn wh vls prcsn n lngg, nd smn wh frs pplc wtht crtcl thnkng sklls" wld b bl t frmlt thr wn pnn rthr thn rlyng ths f thrs.

jimh #26 11:15 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

This idea reminds me of the Seinfeld finale, but with more celebrities being impersonated (poorly).

Rulers of the underworld (timmay)
darkness fills my heart with pain (t-t-timmay)

JonStewartMill #27 11:18 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

South Park the best satirical program on television? I guess, if you like your satire to be utterly devoid of nuance or subtlety.

jimh #28 11:21 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

big swedish trolls do not feed dem

donniebnyc replied to comment from biggswede #29 11:33 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

I have no interest in wasting my time debating someone who needs to return to the third grade for lessons on grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. My suggestion stands; educate yourself by reading a book.

ultranaut replied to comment from JonStewartMill #30 11:37 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

What is the best satirical program on television? I'd be inclined to say Colbert. It's not exactly nuanced or subtle most of the time though.

Antinous / Moderator #31 11:45 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Wow, they got butch.

biggswede replied to comment from donniebnyc #32 11:53 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

i'm not debating you. i asked you a question and you failed to answer. i have no interest in wasting my time with someone who can't bother to answer a question with his own opinion.

Antinous / Moderator replied to comment from biggswede #33 12:20 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Compose yourself.

Terry #34 12:24 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Did I watch a different video clip than the rest of you? I missed the part about Stone and Parker being Dauntless Defenders of the American Way.

What I saw was pretty much what I expected: Stone and Parker talking about how they have spent 199 episodes pissing off pretty much everybody, and how they plan to cap it off with a 200th episode that should piss them all off again.

This is what they do. They make fun of people. All people. Equally.

Brainspore #35 12:32 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

I missed the part about Stone and Parker being Dauntless Defenders of the American Way... What I saw was pretty much what I expected: Stone and Parker talking about how they have spent 199 episodes pissing off pretty much everybody

Pissing off everybody IS the American Way, silly!

biggswede replied to comment from Antinous / Moderator #36 12:34 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

for what? asking a question of someone who made what i deemed to be an inflammatory statement, then when he fails to answer my question about it AND insults me, you tell me to compose myself? nice moderating.

thebelgianpanda #37 12:44 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Matt is rocking the mountain man look.

3x10p8 #38 12:45 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Matt and Trey are a couple of cowards, they complain about corporate censorship while hiding behind it.

JonStewartMill replied to comment from ultranaut #39 12:46 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

When it comes to subtlety, The Reporr is an essay by Jonathan Swift and South Park is a bash in the head with a rubber chicken.

Brainspore replied to comment from 3x10p8 #40 12:49 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

By all means, explain.

3x10p8 replied to comment from Brainspore #41 13:09 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Really? They couldn't find a workaround for a Muhammad based episode? Fear is a powerful thing.

querent replied to comment from biggswede #42 13:18 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

i'll not be coming back or getting into any shit over this, but warrant-less wire-tapping and access to library records stand out to me as two pretty obvious examples of loss of civil liberties in response to the new york attacks.

also: have you been through an airport lately? shit didn't used to be like that.

querent replied to comment from JonStewartMill #43 13:19 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Yeah, but dick jokes filled the seats for shakespeare. and these guys still got a medium for those with ears to hear. (not really disagreeing with you.)

dodongo #44 14:49 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Thank god someone has the nerve to finally make fun of celebrities!

funeralpudding replied to comment from JonStewartMill #45 16:53 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

It's ironic you choose to keep beating us over the head with the same post about lack of subtelty

JonStewartMill replied to comment from querent #46 18:18 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Sturgeon's Law.

arkizzle / Moderator replied to comment from 3x10p8 #47 18:52 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Work-around?

They presented the episode with Muhammad in it, and the network censored it.

querent replied to comment from JonStewartMill #48 18:57 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

aye.

Manooshi replied to comment from Anonymous #49 20:14 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

@#2: Just like every other religion, Muslims come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The "Muslim world" is NOT a monolith and is also part of the "American world", btw.

In any case, SP is one of my most favorite shows. I was first introduced to SP while a student overseas in the "Muslim World" 13 years ago. All the Muslims I know think SP totally frickin' rules. We watched SP DVD's almost every night at the time while enjoying massive amounts of herbage.

Whether or not I agree, offending a bunch of extremists is good publicity for SP, regardless of whether they may be ignorant of the fact that the "Muslim World" still hasn't forgotten the historical wounds of the West's Crusades that raped and pillaged such a world for a few hundred years, due to the West's intolerance, bigotry, and Latin Christian fundamentalism that didn't accept the Greek Orthodox presence and protection within the "Muslim World" as legit- since they were basically Arab Christians. The recent Iraq Wars and support of Zionist apartheid in have only added salt to such collective historical memories/wounds - where the "Muslim World" constantly feels attacked from Western imperialism, colonialism, racism, and illegal invasions/occupations of such a world - that again, is NOT a monolith of a world.

As long as SP equally offends everyone and ALL religions, then it shouldn't be perceived as prejudiced if they make fun of Islam. The thing is: what would they make the Muslim prophet look like? And does SP have the right to decide what his image should be? Regardless, he probably looked a lot like Jesus Christ... being that Arabs are descendants of the Canaanites. And I think SP should also include a "Black Jesus" to bring this point to home with Christians of European descent. Jesus most certainly did NOT look like a freakin' blond/blue-eyed Viking... being that he was basically a Palestinian.

My lame two cents. Peace in Middle East! \m/

robulus replied to comment from donniebnyc #50 20:25 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

"The fact that I enjoyed it is what makes me a snarky dick."

Heh heh heh. You win.

Brainspore replied to comment from 3x10p8 #51 21:02 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Really? They couldn't find a workaround for a Muhammad based episode? Fear is a powerful thing.

They made the episode exactly the way they wanted to and the network aired a censored version against their wishes so I don't really see how that makes Trey and Matt the cowards here.

Aurelio #52 21:35 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

I just wanted to throw out there that in the midst of a neat interview I was surprised to find that Xeni is totally gorgeous.

Wuss Brillis #53 22:05 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

"does the muslim world even care about south park?"

Yes they do. At least my wife does, although I've (kindly) asked her to not piss me of about it or she would find a poster of Salman Rushdie behind the toilets door.

Xeni, I hope you interview me one day. Or call me (don't tell my wife).

teapot #54 22:29 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

Best quote ever:

Parker: On one hand, we’re thinking, “We’re living in a pretty different time now. All this stuff’s getting pulled off the air.” On the other hand, we’re thinking, “Well, the Virgin Mary is shitting blood on the Pope.”

AllisonWunderland #55 23:59 on Tue, Apr.13 Reply

South Park is the reason we have the First Amendment.

gwailo_joe #56 02:32 on Wed, Apr.14 Reply

You're sure took a risk didn't you: YOU SURE TOOK A RISK DIDN'T YOU?!?

I don't want to say anything against a (possibly) local gal gettin' her report on with a comedic duo that blessed well speaks for a portion of a generation. . .

BUT: why the Muhammed thing? A super quick one-shot. You could'a brought up ImaginationLand. . . or Joseph Smith. . .Or the excellent post 9-11 Bin Laden episode. . .

But the one episode (out of 200!) you choose to publicly critique and interview. . .is the one. . .well. . .fatwahs have been spit for less.

Are you trying to KILL the comedic duo I respect so much???

Abbott and Costello: Dead.

Laurel and Hardy: Dead.

Matt and Trey: Still Alive.

Let's try and keep it that way shall we. . .

And let's face it: Religious Super Friends is NOT one of the best episodes

for Santa's sake

insatiableatheist #57 07:08 on Wed, Apr.14 Reply

I think it's about time that someone made 'the Mohammed Movie'. There've been a lot of Jesus movies, so people are fairly familiar with that myth, but wouldn't it be great to see the life and times of one of the lesser-known lunatics on the big screen?

Manooshi replied to comment from insatiableatheist #59 13:04 on Wed, Apr.14 Reply

@insatiableatheist: Dude, your Islamo-phobia, intolerance, and prejudice aside - there already was a movie made about the Muslim prophet in the late '70s. It was nominated for an Oscar. It's called "The Message." It was made by the same producer of the horror film franchise, "Halloween."

He was able to make the film from a cinematographic viewpoint where the face of the prophet was never revealed. It's actually pretty cool that he was able to accomplish this without cheapening the story, nor offend any practicing Muslims.

Again, I'm OK with Islam being made fun of... however, as long as ALL religions are made fun of... and as long as it's not disproportionate. The "Muslim World" (problematic term because it's NOT a monolith) has felt and been under attack by the West since the bastard Crusades. It's wise not to have historical amnesia about these collective wounds, considering the blood of millions of innocent Muslims is not yet dry on their soils that we have illegally invaded and occupied, ie: Iraq and Afghanistan. (Palestine too, via the US's client-state, Israel.) Please recall: the U.N. never supported Uncle Sam's bullshit "war on terror" of the Middle East, aka: American imperialism. Well, at least there's only 50 years of Arab oil left. So Uncle Sam's gonna have to invade, kill and fuck over other people in the (Orwellian double-speak) name of "freedom and democracy."

Peace.

funkyderek replied to comment from Manooshi #60 13:42 on Wed, Apr.14 Reply

Manooshi: If the "not showing Mohammed on screen" gimmick has already been done, why should another director handicap himself by emulating it? There may be some novelty in a film where the central character doesn't appear but it greatly restricts the kind of story that could be told. (The only films I've seen that use this technique are pornographic in nature.)
Millions of religious people get offended every day for all sorts of idiotic reasons. These easily-offended types are free not to watch any of these films, so there's no reason why artists should restrict themselves only to inoffensive material.
Also, don't you think it somewhat strange that you insist that the "Muslim World" is "NOT a monolith" but then declare that the film didn't "offend any practicing Muslims"? This is especially unlikely as it was banned in several Middle Eastern countries apparently because it did offend some of the most practiced Muslims in the world.
I agree with you that Islam (and all other religions) should be ridiculed, but I see no reason why it should be proportionate. Or indeed how. What level of ridicule could come close to being proportionate to such absurdity as the claim that an illiterate caravan robber received messages from God and went to heaven on a flying horse?

bja009 #61 15:43 on Wed, Apr.14 Reply

"What level of ridicule could come close to being proportionate to such absurdity as the claim that an illiterate caravan robber received messages from God and went to heaven on a flying horse?"
A farmer and part-time treasure digger from western New York, with the help of an angel named Moroni and 'seeing stones,' finds golden plates with a never-before-seen message from god (which no one else ever sees) saying kiddie fiddling is okay and native Americans are a lost Jewish tribe being punished in exile.

bja009 #62 15:55 on Wed, Apr.14 Reply

Sorry, forgot to make my point.
The ridicule of some religions will always be stronger than the ridicule of other religions, simply because some religions' belief content is just so full of ridiculousness: No matter how ridiculous Islam may seem, Mormonism is more ridiculous.

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