“South Park” creator Trey Parker says his subversive show won’t feature too many Trump-themed gags in its upcoming season, a deliberate effort to avoid becoming a cable news show disguised as an animated comedy.
Parker told the Los Angeles Times that he never intended “South Park,” now entering its 20th year, to be a show that obsesses over every political controversy of the moment, which today usually involves the president’s latest tweet.
“We did start to become that, though, especially the last season,” he said. “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.’ Matt [co-creator Matt Stone] and I hated it but we got stuck in it somehow.”
“South Park” has earned legions of fans — and the distinction of being the second-longest running animated series in TV history — by skewering the sacred cows of both the progressive left and the family-values right. Over years of taking on, among other sensitive topics, Christianity, Islam, gay rights, illegal immigration, and transgenderism, the show has become perhaps the foremost political satire in popular culture. (RELATED: ‘South Park’ Mocks Black Lives Matter, Colin Kaepernick In Season Opener)
But Parker says “South Park” has always been, at heart, a show about bored, small-town kids getting into mischief. He intends to return to that dynamic this year.
“This season I want to get back to Cartman dressing up like a robot and [screwing] with Butters, because to me that’s the bread and butter of “South Park”: kids being kids and being ridiculous and outrageous but not ‘did you see what Trump did last night?’” Parker told the L.A. Times.
“Because I don’t give a … anymore,” he added.
Trump’s freewheeling, combative political style and daily Twitter outbursts make him an appealing target for “South Park,” but the show’s iconoclastic creators are content to leave jokes about the president to someone else.
“We probably could put up billboards — “Look what we’re going to do to Trump next week!” — and get crazy ratings,” Parker said.
“But I just don’t care.”