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Not every episode of South Park is a hit, and not every episode of South Park is a miss. However, every week without fail, South Park co-creator Trey Parker has to be talked down off the ledge regarding the quality of an episode the Comedy Central animated series has produced. In a recent interview, he explained what happened the one time South Park produced an episode that he thought was so remarkably bad that he basically lost it. Here’s what he had to say:
Every Tuesday, Matt (Stone) and Anne (Garefino) know they have to talk me off the cliff. Every show, I’m like, ‘This is a horrible show, I don’t want anyone to see it.’ There’s one episode we did, it was the first show of the season, and I’m like, I’ve lost it. I don’t know how to do this anymore. I was like, please, I was begging Anne, ‘Do not let this go on the air, because I don’t want the South Park legacy to be ruined, and this show is going to ruin it, because it’s so bad and I’m just going to feel terrible.’ We just ended up going, it’s just got to go on the air, Trey. I just went home and was depressed and couldn’t sleep, and I got in the next day and they’re like, dude, people really like that show. And it was the show about World of Warcraft.
As Trey Parker continues to note to SBS2 Australia, it was the World of Warcraft-based episode that caused him so much stress. “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” is probably one of the most famous episodes of South Park ever, hitting the schedule back in 2006, when World of Warcraft was still new-ish and incredibly popular. In the episode, Carman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny get way too involved with the game, growing overweight as they drink mostly energy drinks and eat mostly Hot Pockets to get back to the game as quickly as possible. The episode is made even better because Blizzard Entertainment, which owns the World of Warcraft property, is actually involved.
I have no idea how Trey Parker thought that episode would be a big fail for the Comedy Central series, but apparently, “stress” and “stomach trials” are pretty common when the South Park gang is trying to put a new episode together each week. The hectic week starts out on Thursday, and by the weekend the team is cramming to try to churn an episode out for the following week. Long hours and hard work are involved, but the South Park creation process has worked for the past 19 seasons and should continue to work in the future.
Despite the fact that the guys go through the same level of turmoil each week, Matt Stone and Trey Parker have never missed a deadline with Comedy Central due to freaking out over a comedy idea. In fact, they’ve only ever missed a deadline once, and that was due to a power outage that was out of their control.
South Park had an exceptionally good season this fall, and it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. In fact, over the summer Comedy Central signed on for a slew of additional seasons for the new series, announcing that South Park has been renewed through Season 23.