Anytime a show makes it to the point where it’s one of the longest running series on TV, conversations inevitably turn to when it might end, and South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are no strangers to such questions, as they’ve been putting together one of the most consistent pieces of fiction for 18 years now. And if you were worried or hopeful that the duo might want to hang up their colorful hats for good at some point after the already-ordered Season 20 airs, take comfort in the knowledge that they seem to be leaving that particular ball in Comedy Central’s court.
While speaking with IGN at E3 about their upcoming video game sequel South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Parker and Stone were asked about their thoughts on a last episode and when it might be coming. And after joking about how they’ve been expecting to get canceled by Comedy Central for the past 18 years, they seem to want that to actually be the reason why they have to quit. Says Stone:
We won’t stop until we get canceled. We’re renewing. They have to fucking cancel us, goddammit.
Putting together episodes of South Park is a rough gig, given the ridiculously quick turnaround, and Parker and Stone have both voiced their frustrations in the past. Thankfully, though, they chose to just keep later seasons’ episode counts trimmed rather than packing it in for any extended amounts of time. That could actually be working against them, though, since it gives the show fewer chances to riotously point a mirror back at pop culture and piss off just about everyone in the entertainment field. And without people getting enraged and/or litigious, Comedy Central has virtually no reason to ever pull the plug for good.
But if that sad day would ever actually come, would the final South Park episode be an explosion of explicitly ribald comedy? Perhaps not.
Trey Parker: I think it’s going to end with a fizzle, for sure. I think it’s just going to end with some dud, and we’re gonna go, ‘Fuck this, man,’ and walk away.
Let’s just hope that day never actually comes, so that we’ll never have to see what it looks like. Perhaps Parker and Stone can create a pair of artificially intelligent versions of themselves to keep pumping out celeb-skewing comedy for the next thousand years. By that point, maybe even The Simpsons will have ended. In the meantime, we’re waiting on Season 19 to hit Comedy Central later this year, and if you want to hear more from Parker and Stone, you can check out the rest of that interview here.