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South Park is one of the longest-running TV shows of all time. The satirical animated series has been on Comedy Central since 1997, and in 2021, it doesn’t show any signs of hitting the breaks anytime soon.

Yet, believe it or not, Parker and Stone were under the impression that their 1999 movie musical would be their swan song. Little did they know the show would still be running over 20 years later.

Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick
Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick | Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

‘South Park’ started as a Christmas card

According to the South Park creators, their beloved series started as a Christmas Card video meant for all their friends. Stone and Parker made the animated short “Jesus vs. Frosty,” which became the foundation for the series that is still going strong after 24 years.

Interestingly, we have George Clooney to thank for helping South Park become the legacy that it is today. According to Entertainment Tonight, Clooney saw the Christmas Card VHS tape and sent out over 500 copies to those in the entertainment business.

“And then it just exploded, and we were just amazed,” Parker said.
“George Clooney made, like, 500 copies and sent them out,” said Stone.

The ‘South Park’ movie was supposed to be Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s swan song

1998 "Kenny", "Cartman", "Kyle", and "Stan" are the characters in the hit series "South Park."
1998 “Kenny”, “Cartman”, “Kyle”, and “Stan” are the characters in the hit series “South Park” | Getty Images

In 2020, Parker talked about South Park‘s legacy during a podcast with Book of Mormon actor Rory O’Malley. And according to the series creator, their 1999 movie was supposed to be the South Park finale.

Parker says that at the time, people weren’t watching South Park anymore. He assumed that because of this, no one would come to see the movie.

“At the end of the day, we thought when we were making the South Park movie that it was our swan song,” says Parker. “We really thought ‘This is it.’ Articles were being written of, like, ‘Can you believe South Park is making a movie? That show is already done. Who’s going to see that movie? Nobody.’ That was the pulse of it before.”

Yet, as a matter of fact, the series has only gotten more popular after their movie premiered. Now, it is listed as one of the longest-running animated series of all time.

How do Matt Stone and Trey Parker continue to make their series so fresh?


This ‘South Park’ Episode Made Trey Parker ‘Depressed’ Because He Thought It Was so Bad

While speaking on the podcast, Parker was asked how he is able to keep South Park so fresh after all these years. And according to Parker, one of the main things that keeps it going is that he has Matt Stone to ground him.

Parker also says that one thing he likes to do with South Park is consistently change it up every season. That is why some seasons heavily focus on the four boys, while others are much more focused on the adults.

“We would always talk about how great it is because on South Park, one week it can be about the kids, and then the next week it is about Garrison, and then the next week it is about Randy,” he said.