Matt Stone

Matthew Richard Stone (born May 26, 1971) is an American animator, producer, screenwriter, actor, and composer.[2][3] He is known for co-creating South Park (1997–present) as well as co-writing the Tony Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon (2011) with his creative partner Trey Parker. Stone was interested in film and music as a child, and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder following high school, where he met Parker. The two collaborated on various short films, and starred in a feature-length musical, titled Cannibal! The Musical (1993).

Stone and Parker moved to Los Angeles and wrote their second film, Orgazmo (1997). Before the premiere of the movie, South Park premiered on Comedy Central in August 1997. The duo, who possess full creative control of the show, have since produced music and video games based on the show, which continues to run. They worked on a feature film titled South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999), which received acclaim from both critics and fans. Alongside Parker, he has also produced various feature films and television series, including Team America: World Police (2004). After several years of development, The Book of Mormon, a musical co-written by Stone, Parker, and composer Robert Lopez, premiered on Broadway and became immensely successful. In 2013, he and Parker established their own production studio, Important Studios.

Stone has been the recipient of various awards over the course of his career, including five Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on South Park, as well as three Tony Awards and one Grammy Award for The Book of Mormon.

Matt Stone
Matt Stone by Gage Skidmore
Born
Matthew Richard Stone

May 26, 1971 (age 47)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
EducationHeritage High School
Alma materUniversity of Colorado Boulder
Occupation
  • Animator
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • actor
  • composer
Years active1989–present
Home townLittleton, Colorado, U.S.
Spouse(s)
Angela Howard (m. 2008)
Children2[1]

Early life

Matthew Richard Stone was born on May 26, 1971 in Houston, Texas, to economics professor Gerald Whitney Stone and Sheila Lois (Belasco). He is of Irish-American heritage from his father's side and Jewish heritage from his mother's side.[4][5][6] The South Park characters Gerald and Sheila Broflovski were named after them. Stone and his younger sister Rachel were raised in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, Colorado, where both attended Heritage High School.[7] He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Career

Career beginnings

Cannibal! The Musical (1992–94)

In 1992, Stone, Parker, McHugh, and Ian Hardin founded a production company named the Avenging Conscience. The company was named after the D.W. Griffith film by the same name (which was actively disliked by the group.)[8] Parker again employed the cutout paper technique on Avenging Conscience's first production, Jesus vs. Frosty (1992), an animated short pitting the religious figure against Frosty the Snowman.

The quartet created a three-minute trailer for a fictional film titled Alferd Packer: The Musical. The idea was based on an obsession Parker had with Alfred Packer, a real nineteenth-century prospector accused of cannibalism.[9] During this time, Parker had become engaged to long-time girlfriend Liaene Adamo, but their relationship fell apart shortly before production on the trailer began.[9] "Horribly depressed", Parker funneled his frustrations with her into the project, naming Packer's "beloved but disloyal" horse after her.[9][10] The trailer became something of a sensation among students at the school, leading Virgil Grillo, the chairman and founder of the university's film department, to convince the quartet to expand it to a feature-length film.[10] Parker wrote the film's script, creating an Oklahoma!-style musical featuring ten original show tunes.[11] The group raised $125,000 from family and friends and began shooting the film. The movie was shot on Loveland Pass as winter was ending, and the crew endured the freezing weather.[8][11] Parker — under the pseudonym Juan Schwartz — was the film's star, director and co-producer.[10]

Alferd Packer: The Musical premiered in Boulder in October 1993; "they rented a limousine that circled to ferry every member of the cast and crew from the back side of the block to the red carpet at the theater's entrance."[11] The group submitted the movie to the Sundance Film Festival, who did not respond. Parker told McHugh he had a "vision" they needed to be at the festival, which resulted in the group renting out a conference room in a nearby hotel and putting on their own screenings.[9] MTV did a short news segment on The Big Picture regarding the film,[8] and they made industry connections through the festival.[9][12] They intended to sell video rights to the film for $1 million and spend the remaining $900,000 to create another film.[12] The film was instead sold to Troma Entertainment in 1996 where it was retitled Cannibal! The Musical,[13] and upon the duo's later success, it became their biggest-selling title.[10] It has since been labeled a "cult classic" and adapted into a stage play by community theater groups and even high schools nationwide.[14]

The Spirit of Christmas and Orgazmo (1995–97)

Following the film's success, the group, without Hardin, moved to Los Angeles.[11] Upon arrival, they met a lawyer for the William Morris Agency who connected them with producer Scott Rudin. As a result, the duo acquired a lawyer, an agent, and a script deal.[12] Despite initially believing themselves to be on the verge of success, the duo struggled for several years. Stone slept on dirty laundry for upwards of a year because he could not afford to purchase a mattress.[12] They unsuccessfully pitched a children's program titled Time Warped to Fox Kids, which would have involved fictionalized stories of people in history.[13] The trio created two separate pilots, spaced a year apart, and despite the approval of development executive Pam Brady, the network disbanded the Fox Kids division.[11] While at Fox, executive Brian Graden cut Parker and Stone a personal check of a few thousand dollars to produce a video greeting card he could deliver to friends; the film would be a sequel to their earlier short Jesus vs. Frosty.[11] Graden sent the film on a VHS to several industry executives in Hollywood; meanwhile, someone digitized the clip and put it up on the Internet, where it became one of the very first viral videos.[11][15][16] As Jesus vs. Santa became more popular, Parker and Stone began talks of developing the short into a television series. Fox refused to pick up the series, not wanting to air a show that included the character Mr. Hankey, a talking piece of feces.[17] The two were initially skeptical of possible television deals, noting that previous endeavors had not turned out successful.[12] The two then entered negotiations with both MTV and Comedy Central. Parker preferred the show be produced by Comedy Central, fearing that MTV would turn it into a kids' show.[18] When Comedy Central executive Doug Herzog watched the short, he commissioned the development of the show into a series.[15][19]

David Zucker, who was a fan of Cannibal!, contacted the duo to produce a 15-minute short film for Seagram to show at a party for their acquisition of Universal Studios.[20] Due to a misunderstanding, Parker and Stone improvised much of the film an hour before it was shot, creating it as a spoof of 1950s instructional videos.[20] The result, Your Studio and You, features numerous celebrities, including Sylvester Stallone, Demi Moore, and Steven Spielberg. "You could probably make a feature film out of the experience of making that movie because it was just two dudes from college suddenly directing Steven Spielberg", Parker later remarked, noting that the experience was difficult for the two.[20] During the time between shooting the pilots for Time Warped, Parker penned the script for a film titled Orgazmo, which later entered production. Half of the budget for the picture came from a Japanese porn company called Kuki, who wanted to feature its performers in mainstream Western media.[11] Independent distributor October Films purchased the rights to the film for one million dollars after its screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.[11] The film received an NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, which resulted in the poor box office performance of the film. Parker and Stone attempted to negotiate with the organization on what to delete from the final print, but the MPAA would not give specific notes.[12] The duo later theorized that the organization cared less because it was an independent distributor which would bring it significantly less money.[12]

South Park

Premiere and initial success (1997–98)

The pilot episode of South Park was made on a budget of $300,000,[21] and took between three and three and a half months to complete, and animation took place in a small room at Celluloid Studios, in Denver, Colorado, during the summer of 1996.[22][23] Similar to Parker and Stone's Christmas shorts, the original pilot was animated entirely with traditional cut paper stop motion animation techniques.[22] The idea for the town of South Park came from the real Colorado basin of the same name where, according to the creators, a lot of folklore and news reports originated about "cattle mutilations and UFO and bigfoot sightings."[24]

South Park premiered in August 1997 and immediately became one of the most popular shows on cable television, averaging consistently between 3.5 and 5.5 million viewers.[25] The show transformed the then-fledgling Comedy Central into "a cable industry power almost overnight".[15] At the time, the cable network had a low distribution of just 21 million subscribers.[25] Comedy Central marketed the show aggressively before its launch, billing it as "why they created the V-chip."[26] The resulting buzz led to the network earning an estimated $30 million in T-shirts sales alone before the first episode was even aired.[25] Due to the success of the series' first six episodes, Comedy Central requested an additional seven; the series completed its first season in February 1998.[27][28][29] An affiliate of the MTV Network until then, Comedy Central decided, in part due to the success of South Park, to have its own independent sales department.[30] By the end of 1998, Comedy Central had sold more than $150 million worth of merchandise for the show, including T-shirts and dolls.[31] Over the next few years, Comedy Central's viewership spiked largely due to South Park, adding 3 million new subscribers in the first half of 1998 alone and allowed the network to sign international deals with networks in several countries.[25]

Parker and Stone became celebrities as a result of the program's success; Parker noted that the success of South Park allowed him to pursue, for a time, a lifestyle that involved partying with women and "out-of-control binges" in Las Vegas.[12] Their philosophy of taking every deal (which had surfaced as a result of their lack of trust in the early success of South Park) led to their appearances in films, albums, and outside script deals. Among these included BASEketball, a 1998 comedy film that became a critical and commercial flop.

Bigger, Longer, and Uncut and continued success (1999–present)

Trey Parker Matt Stone 2007
Trey Parker (left) and Matt Stone (right) continue to do most of the writing, directing and voice acting on South Park.

Parker and Stone signed a deal with Comedy Central in April 1998 that contracted the duo to producing South Park episodes until 1999, gave them a slice of the lucrative spinoff merchandising the show generated within its first year, as well as an unspecified seven-figure cash bonus to bring the show to the big screen, in theaters.[32] During the time, the team was also busy writing the second and third seasons of the series, the former of which Parker and Stone later described as "disastrous". As such, they figured the phenomenon would be over soon, and they decided to write a personal, fully committed musical.[33] Parker and Stone fought with the MPAA to keep the film R-rated; for months the ratings board insisted on the more prohibitive NC-17.[34] The film was only certified an R rating two weeks prior to its release, following contentious conversations between Parker/Stone, Rudin, and Paramount Pictures.[35] Parker felt very overwhelmed and overworked during the production process of the film, especially between April and the movie's opening in late June. He admitted that press coverage, which proclaimed the end of South Park was near, bothered him.[12] The film opened in cinemas in June 1999 and received critical acclaim while grossing $83 million at the box office.

Parker and Stone continue to write, direct, and voice most characters on South Park. Over time, the show has adopted a unique production process, in which an entire episode is written, animated and broadcast in one week.[36] Parker and Stone state that subjecting themselves to a one-week deadline creates more spontaneity amongst themselves in the creative process, which they feel results in a funnier show.[15] Although initial reviews for the show were negative in reference to its crass humor, the series has received numerous accolades, including five Primetime Emmy Awards, one Peabody Award, and numerous inclusions in various publications' lists of greatest television shows. Though its viewership is lower than it was at the height of its popularity in its earliest seasons, South Park remains one of the highest-rated series on Comedy Central.[37] In 2012, South Park cut back from producing 14 episodes per year (seven in the spring and seven in the fall) to a single run of 10 episodes in the fall, to allow the duo to explore other projects the rest of the year.[38] The show is currently renewed through 2016, when it will reach its twentieth season.[39]

South Park has expanded to music and video games. Comedy Central released various albums, including Chef Aid: The South Park Album and Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics, in the late 1990s.[40][41][42] The song "Chocolate Salty Balls" (as sung by the character Chef) was released as a single in the UK in 1998 to support the Chef Aid: The South Park Album and became a number one hit.[43] Parker and Stone had little to do the development of video games based on the series that were released at this time,[44][45] but took full creative control of South Park: The Stick of Truth, a 2014 video game based on the series that received positive reviews and for which they won the 2014 Writing In A Comedy award and Stone (as Various) was nominated for Performance in a Comedy, Supporting by National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers (NAVGTR).[46][47] Broadcast syndication rights to South Park were sold in 2003,[48][49] and all episodes are available for free full-length on-demand legal streaming on the official South Park Studios website.[50] In 2007, the duo, with the help of their lawyer, Kevin Morris, cut a 50-50 joint venture with Comedy Central on all revenue not related to television; this includes digital rights to South Park, as well as movies, soundtracks, T-shirts and other merchandise, in a deal worth $75 million.[51]

Television and film projects

That's My Bush! (2000–01)

In 2000, Parker and Stone began plotting a television sitcom starring the winner of the 2000 Presidential election. The duo were "95 percent sure" that Democratic candidate Al Gore would win, and tentatively titled the show Everybody Loves Al (a pun on the show Everybody Loves Raymond).[52] The main goal was to parody sitcom tropes, such as a lovable main character, the sassy maid, and the wacky neighbor.[53] Parker said the producers did not want to make fun of politics, but instead lampoon sitcoms.[52] They threw a party the night of the election with the writers, with intentions to begin writing the following Monday and shooting the show in January 2001 with the inauguration. With the confusion of who the President would be, the show's production was pushed back.[52] The show was filmed at Sony Pictures Studios, and was the first time Parker and Stone shot a show on a production lot.[54]

Although That's My Bush!, which ran between April–May 2001, received a fair amount of publicity and critical notice, according to Stone and Parker, the cost per episode was too high at "about $1 million an episode".[55] Comedy Central officially cancelled the series in August 2001 as a cost-cutting move; Stone was quoted as saying "A super-expensive show on a small cable network ... the economics of it were just not going to work."[56] Comedy Central continued the show in reruns, considering it a creative and critical success.[55] Parker believed the show would not have survived after the September 11 attacks anyway, and Stone agreed, saying the show would not "play well".[57][58] During this time, the duo also signed a deal with Macromedia Shockwave to produce 39 animated online shorts in which they would retain full artistic control; the result, Princess, was rejected after only two episodes.[59][60]

Team America (2002–04)

In 2002, the duo began working on Team America: World Police, a satire of big-budget action films and their associated clichés and stereotypes, with particular humorous emphasis on the global implications of the politics of the United States.[61] Team America was produced using a crew of about 200 people; sometimes required four people at a time were needed to manipulate a marionette.[62] Although the filmmakers hired three dozen highly skilled marionette operators, execution of some very simple acts by the marionettes proved to be very difficult, with a simple shot such as a character drinking taking a half-day to complete successfully.[62] The deadline for the film's completion took a toll on both filmmakers, as did various difficulties in working with puppets, with Stone, who described the film as "the worst time of [his] life", resorting to coffee to work 20-hour days and sleeping pills to enable him to rest.[62][63][64] The film was barely completed in time for its October release date,[65] but reviews were positive and the film made a modest sum at the box office.[66]

Broadway and movie studio

The Book of Mormon (2011–present)

Parker and Stone, alongside writer-composer Robert Lopez, began working on a musical centering on Mormonism during the production of Team America. Lopez, a fan of South Park and creator of the puppet musical Avenue Q, met with the duo after a performance of the musical, where they conceived the idea.[13][67] The musical, titled The Book of Mormon: The Musical of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was worked on over a period of various years; working around their South Park schedule, they flew between New York City and Los Angeles often, first writing songs for the musical in 2006.[13] Developmental workshops began in 2008,[68] and the crew embarked on the first of a half-dozen workshops that would take place during the next four years.[13] Originally, producer Scott Rudin planned to stage The Book of Mormon off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop in Summer 2010, but opted to premiere it directly on Broadway, "[s]ince the guys [Parker and Stone] work best when the stakes are highest."[69]

After a frantic series of rewrites, rehearsals, and previews,[13] The Book of Mormon premiered on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on March 24, 2011.[70][71] The Book of Mormon received broad critical praise for the plot, score, actors' performances, direction and choreography.[72] A cast recording of the original Broadway production became the highest-charting Broadway cast album in over four decades.[73] The musical received nine Tony Awards, one for Best Musical, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The production has since expanded to two national tours, a Chicago production, and a UK production, and Parker and Stone have confirmed a film adaption is in pre-production.[38][51]

Important Studios and future projects (2013–present)

Trey Parker and Matt Stone by Gage Skidmore
Parker (left) and Stone at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2016.

On January 14, 2013, Stone and Parker announced that they would be starting a film production company called Important Studios. Inspired by the production work of Lucasfilm and DreamWorks, Stone and Parker considered founding the studio for approximately two years before committing. The initial financial assets of the studio are valued at $300 million, with the majority of the money originating from South Park, The Book of Mormon, while $60 million is from an investment from Joseph Ravitch of the Raine Group, giving him a 20 percent minority stock.[74]

Personal life

Since 2001, Stone has had a relationship with Angela Howard. The two met while Howard was a Comedy Central executive.[13] In 2008, Stone married Howard. Together they have two children.[1][75]

Stone has described himself as ethnically Jewish, on account of his mother being Jewish.[76][77] Regarding his beliefs, Stone self-identifies as an atheist.[78][79]

Politically, Stone describes himself as libertarian.[80] Stone summed up his views with the comment, "I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals."[81]

Discography

Albums

Soundtrack albums

List of soundtrack albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
US
[82]
Can
[83]
Chef Aid: The South Park Album 16 14
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
  • Release date: November 24, 1998
  • Label: Atlantic Records
  • Formats: CD, vinyl, digital download
28 20
Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics
Team America: World Police
  • Release date: October 19, 2004
  • Label: Atlantic Records
  • Formats: CD, vinyl, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Cast recording

List of cast recording albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
US
[84]
The Book of Mormon: Original Broadway Cast Recording 31
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Filmography

References

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External links

Chef (South Park)

Jerome "Chef" McElroy is a cartoon character on the Comedy Central series South Park who was voiced by Isaac Hayes. A cafeteria worker at the local elementary school in the town of South Park, Colorado, Chef is generally portrayed as more level-headed than the other adult residents of the town, and sympathetic to the children. His guidance is often sought by the show's core group of child protagonists — Eric Cartman, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and Kenny McCormick — as he is usually the only adult whom they consistently trusted. To an inadvertent fault, he frequently gives inappropriate advice, usually in the non sequitur form of a lascivious soul song.

Chef was inspired by Hayes and other popular soul singers of the 1970s, as well as an actual dining hall worker encountered by series co-creator Trey Parker while he attended the University of Colorado. Chef played a less prominent role as the series progressed beyond its earlier seasons, and the character was retired at the beginning of the tenth season in "The Return of Chef" following the controversial departure of Hayes.

Gerald and Sheila Broflovski

Gerald and Sheila Broflovski (sometimes spelled Broslovski, Broslofski, Brovlofski or Broflofski) are fictional characters in the animated television series South Park. The two are an upper middle-class married Jewish couple who raise their ten-year-old son Kyle and three-year-old Canadian-born adopted son Ike in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado.

In tradition with the show's animation style, they are both composed of simple geometrical shapes, and are animated with use of a computer, though they are given the impression of being construction paper cutout compositions animated through the use of stop motion, which was the technique used to animate the "Spirit of Christmas" shorts and the show's first episode. Gerald is voiced by series co-creator Matt Stone and Sheila was originally voiced by Mary Kay Bergman and is currently voiced by Mona Marshall. Their first names are derived from the first names of Stone's parents, Gerald and Sheila Stone.

How's Your News?

How's Your News? is an American television series and also a feature film. It aired Sundays on MTV in the United States, and the feature film based on the same concept was released in 2003. It stars a group of reporters with developmental disabilities who interview celebrities and politicians. It is the continuation of a documentary film project started in 1999 by Arthur Bradford at Camp Jabberwocky in Martha's Vineyard, which was made into a movie of the same name and shown on HBO in 2003. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone serve as the show's executive producers. Season One had a total of 6 episodes.

According to the How's Your News? website on April 9, 2009, the show has not been renewed for a second season on MTV, stating:

"The decision had little to do with the quality of the series, which was one of the most enthusiastically received and best reviewed programs on mtv this year. It’s just a tough financial time and mtv needed to keep pushing for higher ratings with other shows. Also, we always knew that our series was an unusual fit for their style of programming. We’re not “The Hills” or “America’s Next Best Dance Crew” after all…"

After completing the feature film for HBO, the concept was pitched to the Trio network, who subsequently backed the short film "On the Campaign Trail", about the How's Your News? teams trip to both the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2004. The half-hour film was broadcast on Trio and Channel Four England and featured candid interviews with Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Andre 3000, Ben Affleck, Howard Dean, Michael Moore and Newt Gingrich, amongst others. Although it was rarely seen, this half-hour documentary was well reviewed and helped convince MTV of the viability of the concept as mainstream TV series. They funded a pilot in 2006.

List of South Park characters

South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. The ongoing narrative revolves around four children, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick, and their bizarre adventures in and around the fictional and eponymous Colorado town. The town is also home to an assortment of characters who make frequent appearances in the show such as students and their family members, elementary school staff, and recurring characters.Stan is portrayed as the everyman of the group, as the show's official website describes him as "a normal, average, American, mixed-up kid". Kyle is the lone Jew among the group, and his portrayal in this role is often dealt with satirically. Stan and Kyle are best friends, and their relationship, which is intended to reflect the real-life friendship between South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is a common topic throughout the series. Cartman—loud, obnoxious, and obese—is sometimes portrayed as the series' main antagonist and whose anti-Semitic attitude has resulted in an ever-progressing rivalry with Kyle. Kenny, who comes from a poor family, wears his parka hood so tightly that it covers most of his face and muffles his speech. During the show's first five seasons, Kenny would die in almost every single episode before returning in the next without explanation.

Stone and Parker perform the voices of most of the male South Park characters. Mary Kay Bergman voiced the majority of the female characters until her death in 1999. Eliza Schneider (1999–2003), Mona Marshall (2000–present), and April Stewart (2003–present) have voiced most of the female characters since. A few staff members such as Jennifer Howell, Vernon Chatman, John Hansen, Adrien Beard have voiced the other recurring characters.

List of South Park episodes

South Park is an American animated television sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for Comedy Central that debuted on August 13, 1997. The series originated from a pair of animated shorts titled The Spirit of Christmas, and the first episode of South Park originally aired on August 13, 1997 on Comedy Central. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become infamous for its crude language and dark, surreal humor that lampoons a wide range of topics. The story revolves around four boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick—and their bizarre adventures in and around the eponymous Colorado town.

Episodes of South Park have been nominated for a variety of different awards, including 3 Annie Awards (with one win), 2 Critics' Choice Television Award (with zero wins), 17 Emmy Awards (with five wins), 3 TCA Awards (with no wins), and received a Peabody Award. Several compilation DVDs have been released. In addition, the first twenty seasons have been released on DVD and Blu-ray.The show remains Comedy Central's highest rated program and second-longest-running, behind The Daily Show. A feature film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, was released on June 30, 1999. Comedy Central has renewed South Park through 2019, which will bring the show to 23 seasons. Parker and Stone have expressed interest in continuing the series until Comedy Central cancels it. The twenty-second season, consisting of 10 episodes, premiered on September 26, 2018. As of December 12, 2018, 297 episodes of South Park have aired, concluding the twenty-second season.

List of South Park families

The following are fictional characters in the American animated television series South Park.

Matt Stone Racing

Matt Stone Racing is an Australian racing team competing in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with Todd Hazelwood in the No. 35 Holden VF Commodore . They are also competing in the second-tier Dunlop Super2 Series with Bryce Fullwood and Tyler Greenbury.

Orgazmo

Orgazmo is a 1997 American superhero sex comedy film written, directed and edited by Trey Parker, and co-produced by Matt Stone. It is Parker and Stone's second film, following 1993's Cannibal! The Musical, which received distribution from Troma Entertainment in 1996.

Randy and Sharon Marsh

Randy Marsh and Sharon Marsh (née Kimble) are fictional characters in the animated television series South Park. They are the most prominent set of parents on the show and a middle-class married couple who raise their 10-year-old son Stan and 13-year-old daughter Shelly in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado. Their first names are derived from the first names of series co-creator Trey Parker's parents, and Parker describes Randy as "the biggest dingbat in the entire show". According to the season 16 episode "Reverse Cowgirl", the Marsh home address is 260 Avenidas de los Mexicanos.

In tradition with the show's animation style, Randy and Sharon are both composed of simple geometrical shapes, and are animated with use of a computer, though they are given the impression of being construction paper cutout compositions animated through the use of stop motion, which was the technique used to animate the "Spirit of Christmas" shorts and the show's first episode. Randy is voiced by Parker, whilst Sharon was originally voiced by Mary Kay Bergman, then by Mona Marshall, then by Eliza Schneider, and currently by April Stewart.

South Park

South Park is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone and developed by Brian Graden for the Comedy Central television network. The show revolves around four boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick—and their exploits in and around the titular Colorado town. Much like The Simpsons, South Park uses a very large ensemble cast of recurring characters. It became infamous for its profanity and dark, surreal humor that satirizes a wide range of topics towards a mature audience.

Parker and Stone developed the show from The Spirit of Christmas, two consecutive animated shorts. The latter became one of the first Internet viral videos, ultimately leading to South Park's production.

Since its debut on August 13, 1997, 297 episodes of South Park have been broadcast. It debuted with great success, consistently earning the highest ratings of any basic cable program. Subsequent ratings have varied but it remains one of Comedy Central's highest rated shows, and is slated to air in new episodes through 2019. The pilot episode was produced using cutout animation, leading to all subsequent episodes being produced with computer animation that emulated the cutout technique. Parker and Stone perform most of the voice acting for the show's male characters. Since 2000, each episode has typically been written and produced in the week preceding its broadcast, with Parker serving as the primary writer and director. The show's twenty-second season premiered on September 26, 2018.

South Park has received numerous accolades, including five Primetime Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and numerous inclusions in various publications' lists of greatest television shows. The show's popularity resulted in a feature-length theatrical film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut which was released in June 1999, less than two years after the show's premiere, and became a commercial and critical success, even garnering a nomination for an Academy Award. In 2013, TV Guide ranked South Park the tenth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time.

South Park (season 1)

The first season of the animated television series South Park ran for 13 episodes from August 13, 1997 to February 25, 1998 on the American network Comedy Central. The creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone wrote most of the season's episodes; Dan Sterling, Philip Stark and David Goodman were credited with writing five episodes. The narrative revolves around four children—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick—and their unusual experiences in the titular mountain town.

South Park originated from Parker and Stone's 1992 animated short, Jesus vs. Frosty. The low-budget, crudely made film featured prototypes of South Park's main characters and was followed in 1995 by another short film, Jesus vs. Santa. The latter became popular and was widely shared over the Internet, which led to talks for a series with representatives from Fox Network and Comedy Central. It debuted on the latter with an initial run of six episodes; due to its success, an additional seven episodes were quickly produced. The complete season was released on DVD in November 2002.

The first season was a ratings success for Comedy Central. The Nielsen ratings rose from 1.3 to 6.4 from the first to the tenth episode. Several episodes received award nominations, including for a 1998 Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)" and a GLAAD Award in the "Outstanding TV – Individual Episode" category for the episode "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride". During the season, South Park won a CableACE Award for "Best Animated Series" and was nominated for a 1998 Annie Award in the "Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Primetime or Late Night Television Program".

The show was a financial success for Comedy Central and helped the network transform into "a cable industry power almost overnight". Despite this, critics gave the season mixed reviews. Parents Television Council rated it so offensive that it "shouldn't have been made": "it doesn't just push the envelope; it knocks it off the table", while another critic thought of it as "coming pretty damn close" to being a "perfect" television series season.

South Park (season 2)

The second season of South Park, an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, began airing on April 1, 1998. The second season concluded after 18 episodes on January 20, 1999; it remains the longest season of South Park to date. While most of the episodes were directed by series creator Trey Parker, Season 2 includes two episodes directed by Eric Stough.

South Park (season 3)

The third season of South Park, an American animated television comedy series, originally aired in the United States on Comedy Central between April 7, 1999 and January 12, 2000. The season was headed by the series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who served as executive producers along with Anne Garefino. The season continued to focus on the exploits of protagonists Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny in the fictional Colorado mountain town of South Park.

The season consisted of seventeen 22-minute episodes, which aired mostly in two groups separated by a three-month gap. Continuing their practice from previous seasons, Parker and Stone wrote and produced each episode within the week before its broadcast date. They produced the first half of the season simultaneously while working on the show's film adaption, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, which was difficult. The show's creators considered the third season an improvement on the previous season, due to a heavier focus on strong storytelling structure and character development, as well as increased creative control. In the second half of the season, the show was dealt a blow with the death of voice actress Mary Kay Bergman, who provided many of the female voices on the show. The remaining three episodes in the season are mostly absent of female voices for this reason.

The third season satirized such topics as the Waco siege, tropical rainforest conservation, and sexual harassment, films such as Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Tron, and Gettysburg, and television shows such as Scooby-Doo and Pokémon. It also continues the show's tradition of lampooning celebrities, which in this season include Cher, Pat Robertson, and Rod Stewart. The season features a guest appearance from both the nu metal band Korn and Friends actress Jennifer Aniston.

South Park (season 5)

The fifth season of South Park, an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, began airing on June 20, 2001. The fifth season concluded after 14 episodes on December 12, 2001. The 14-episode season length would become a standard for later years of the series (up until the seventeenth season).

South Park Republican

A South Park Republican (coined by Andrew Sullivan in 2001) is a person who holds center-right political beliefs influenced by the popular American animated television program South Park. Many may hold generally conservative views on fiscal issues, but some, but not all, may be more moderate or liberal in regard to social issues such as LGBT rights and abortion.

The Book of Mormon (musical)

The Book of Mormon is a musical comedy. First staged in 2011, the play makes light of various Mormon beliefs and practices, but ultimately endorses the positive power of love and service. The script, lyrics, and music were written by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone were best known for creating the animated comedy South Park; Lopez had co-written the music for the musical Avenue Q.

The Book of Mormon follows two Mormon missionaries as they attempt to preach the Mormon religion to the inhabitants of a remote Ugandan village. The earnest young men are challenged by the lack of interest of the locals, who are distracted by more pressing issues such as AIDS, famine and oppression from the village warlords.In 2003, after Parker and Stone saw Avenue Q, they met with the musical's co-writer Lopez and began developing the musical, meeting sporadically for several years. Parker and Stone grew up in Colorado, and references to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been commonplace in their previous works. For research, the trio took a trip to Salt Lake City to meet with current and former Mormon missionaries. Beginning in 2008, developmental workshops were staged. The show's producers, Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino, opted to open the show directly on Broadway.

The show opened on Broadway in March 2011, after nearly seven years of development. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded indifferently; however, they did purchase advertising space in its playbill in later runs. The Book of Mormon garnered overwhelmingly positive critical responses, and set records in ticket sales for the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The show was awarded nine Tony Awards, one of which was for Best Musical, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The original Broadway cast recording became the highest-charting Broadway cast album in over four decades, reaching number three on the Billboard charts. In 2013, the musical premiered in the West End, followed by two US national tours. A production in Melbourne and the first non-English version, in Stockholm, both opened in January 2017. Productions in Oslo and Copenhagen followed.

The Book of Mormon has grossed over $500 million, making it one of the most successful musicals of all time.

Todd Hazelwood

Todd Hazelwood (born 25 September 1995) is an Australian motor-racing driver. He currently competes full time in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with Matt Stone Racing in the No. 35 Holden ZB Commodore. Hazelwood previously contested in the 2017 Dunlop Super2 Series with Matt Stone Racing in a VF Commodore and went on to win the series.Hazelwood won the Mike Kable Young Gun Award in 2014.In November 2018, Todd Hazelwood has confirmed that he'll move into the current Jamie Whincup Triple Eight ZB Commodore for the 2019 Supercars season.

Trey Parker

Randolph Severn "Trey" Parker III (born October 19, 1969) is an American animator, director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and composer. He is known for co-creating South Park (1997–) along with his creative partner Matt Stone, as well as co-writing and co-directing the Tony Award-winning musical The Book of Mormon (2011). Parker was interested in film and music as a child and at high school, and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he met Stone. The two collaborated on various short films, and starred in a feature-length musical, titled Cannibal! The Musical (1993).

Parker and Stone moved to Los Angeles and wrote their second film, Orgazmo (1997). Before the premiere of the film, South Park premiered on Comedy Central in August 1997. The duo, who possess full creative control of the show, have since produced music and video games based on the show, which, as of 2014, continues to run. They worked on a feature film titled South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999), which received acclaim from both critics and fans. Alongside Stone, he has also produced various feature films and television series, including Team America: World Police (2004). After several years of development, The Book of Mormon, a musical co-written by Parker, Stone, and composer Robert Lopez, premiered on Broadway and became immensely successful. In 2013, he and Stone established their own production studio, Important Studios.

Parker has been the recipient of various awards over the course of his career, including five Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on South Park, as well as four Tony Awards and a Grammy Award for The Book of Mormon.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Feature films
Television
Music
Theatre
Video games
Characters
See also
Awards for Matt Stone

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