‘South Park’ Creators Explain How Many Trump Jokes There Will Be This Season

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone say they’re looking to move away from Donald Trump humor, though they say that Mr. Garrison will still be in Season 21.

In Season 20 of the show, Mr. Garrison became South Park‘s equivalent of Donald Trump, running against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Parker and Stone assumed Hillary Clinton would win the election, at which point the Mr. Garrison storyline would end and he would return to being a teacher. But when Trump won, Parker and Stone had to throw out those plans and completely rewrite an episode that aired the day after the election.

Since then, Parker and Stone have said that they want to move away from Trump jokes, and so there had been some speculation about whether they would just do a complete retcon and replace Mr. Garrison as president. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Parker and Stone said that Mr. Garrison’s Trump will play a part in Season 21, but he won’t be as significant as in Season 20.

“…[W]e just wanted to go back to the kids, which we still do,” Parker said. “But it’s also like, you can’t avoid [Mr. Garrison as Trump]. So, we are not actively putting it in, but we are not actively leaving it out. It’s the world we live in.”

Mr. Garrison as the president of the United States on South Park.

Mr. Garrison as the president of the United States on South Park. | Comedy Central

Parker and Stone also indicated that they miss when every episode of South Park could be about something completely different, with one episode focusing on the kids and another episode focusing on Randy or someone else. It sounds like this is something they’d like to get back to this year, which would explain why Mr. Garrison won’t be quite as prominent.

Back in February, Parker and Stone indicated that they want to “back off” of jokes about Trump because he is funny on his own and they can’t top what he is actually doing. They again said in a July interview that they wanted to have fewer Trump jokes in Season 21.

“We fell into the same trap that Saturday Night Live fell into, where it was like, ‘Dude, we’re just becoming CNN now.’ We’re becoming: ‘Tune in to see what we’re going to say about Trump,'” Trey Parker told the Los Angeles Times. “Matt and I hated it but we got stuck in it somehow…We probably could put up billboards — ‘Look what we’re going to do to Trump next week!’ — and get crazy ratings. But I just don’t care.”

Matt Stone and Trey Parker in 2011

Matt Stone and Trey Parker in 2011. | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

So it sounds like the reality of Donald Trump (a.k.a. Mr. Garrison) being president is something that will be dealt with in the upcoming season of South Park. But it’s not something that will be focused on too much, and viewers should not expect Parker and Stone to deal with the weekly happenings of the administration.