Why 'South Park' May 'Back Off' Political Satire in Trump Era
Buckle up, Buckaroos: Despite obvious opportunities for satire, the "South Park" creators plan to drive around the current political trainwrecks. Why? For the saddest, most basic reason: Reality is now funnier than their show.
Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone told Australia's ABC News that, in the recent Season 20 -- which just ended in December -- they struggled to keep up with the comedy opportunities presented by the divisive 2016 presidential election. So they may take a completely different angle when Season 21 premieres later this year (probably in September).
Trey Parker: "It's really tricky now because satire's kind of become reality. So it's really hard to make fun of. The last season of 'South Park' we just ended like a month and a half ago, we were really trying to make fun of what was going on, but we couldn't keep up. What was actually happening was way funnier than anything we could come up with. So we decided to just kind of back off and let them do their comedy and we'll do ours."
Matt Stone: "Let everyone in government do their comedy."
Stone said they don't have to do more "South Park" episodes for about eight months, so it's too early to say exactly what they might cover. People say to them all the time that they must be getting such good material from the current political climate, like they're happy about what's happening, but that's not the case at all.
Stone: "It feels like it's going to be more difficult."
Parker: "They're already going out and doing the comedy. It's not something you can make fun of."
Stone: "We're having our head blown off like everybody else."
Which is not to say that the guys are just typical Hollywood liberals. "South Park" is known for being equal opportunity -- mercilessly mocking PC culture as much as religion, and spoofing the Clinton vs. Trump race as a "turd sandwich" vs. a "giant douche." They make fun of everyone.
It's sad to think of "South Park" benching itself on politics when those have been some of the strongest, most insightful episodes of the past two decades. But, as they said, they don't even have to worry about it for several months, and by the time fall rolls around, they may have come up with the perfect political spin.
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