‘South Park’ Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone Once Said There Was One Idea They Could Never Make Funny

South Park has made hilarious episodes out of some pretty random subjects. There was one about trying to take the world’s biggest crap. There was another about a talking towel. Towelie became a recurring character. But, there was one idea Trey Parker and Matt Stone said they could never quite make work. 

Trey Parker and Matt Stone pose for a photo
L-R: Matt Stone, Trey Parker | Michael Yarish/Comedy Central

Parker and Stone spoke with reporters in 2005 for the DVD release of Team America: World Police. One year earlier, Comedy Central advertised a new Lemmiwinks episode of South Park, but the episode “Awesome-O” aired instead. In that 2005 interview, Parker and Stone explained why they could never figure out Lemmiwinks.

Who was Lemmiwinks on ‘South Park’?

In the South Park Season 6 episode “Death Camp of Tolerance,” Mr. Garrison tries to do the most offensive thing possible to get fired. One of his attempts is shoving the class gerbil, Lemmiwinks, inside Mr. Slave. This traumatizes the children, but Lemmiwinks has a whole adventure inside Mr. Slave where he meets the Frog Prince, Sparrow King and Catatafish. However, subsequent Lemmiwinks episodes faltered.

South Park teacher Mr. Garrison brings Mr. Slave to class
L-R: Mr. Garrison and Mr. Slave | Comedy Central

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“There really was a Lemmiwinks debacle,” Parker said. “There’s been many times we tried to fall back on it. We started this Lemmiwinks thing.”

Stone added, “We keep thinking Lemmiwinks is going to be the best episode ever. We keep starting it.”

Trey Parker and Matt Stone reveal the unfinished Lemmiwinks episode 

Since Parker and Stone produce South Park episodes in a week, they had already started the Lemmiwinks episode when Comedy Central advertised it. They also had time to quickly switch gears when it wasn’t working. 

“We got into it,” Parker said. “We created all these other characters. It was going to be an Easter episode actually, a year ago. And it was gonna be that the Easter Bunny had been found dead with his balls stuffed down his throat. So all the critters of the forest got together and said ‘We need a new critter to be the new Easter critter’ and they voted on the Gerbil King and they go to find the Gerbil King and we’re like, ‘This is great…’

Stone said they had “this entire mythology figured out and everything.”

“The Badger Prince was, of course, the backhanded one going, ‘You’ll never make it Lemmywinks,’” Parker said. “But Lemmywinks was never doing anything, just sitting there being a gerbil.”

That evolved into another classic ‘South Park’ episode

Lemmiwinks finally did return in the South Park Season 15 episode “Bass to Mouth.” Parker and Stone never finished the Easter episode, though.

“We started animating it and it’s just one of those shows that happens,” Parker siad. “You start animating it and you get to Friday and you get to Saturday and you go, ‘This is not funny, like we haven’t figured something out, scrap it.’”

South Park: Stan meets the Woodland Critters at Christmas
Stan and the Woodland Critters | Comedy Central

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The idea of the forest critters became the classic episode “Woodland Critter Christmas,” but without Lemmiwinks.

“We still have it in the computer to fall back on at some point,” Parker said. “It actually sort of became this other idea that we did last Fall. It became ‘Critter Christmas.’”