Trey Parker and Matt Stone The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Published Jun 01, 2005What are you up to?
Trey Parker: My current project is trying to get bored. We honestly haven't been bored in two and a half years because we've gone straight from working on a movie to working on South Park to working on a movie to working on South Park with literally three days in between. We both really need to go get bored because that's where you really come up with stuff.
Matt Stone: We're going to try and get bored this summer. Project Boredom. We're going to do it by using lots of drinking.
What are your current fixations?
TP: I've always watched A&E but the programming has just become amazing between Dog the Bounty Hunter, which is one of my favourite shows, and Family Plots. Basically it's all that kind of reality show, not like Survivor and stuff like that, but the ones where they're following a real family. It's a super guilty pleasure of mine.
MS: I just finished God of War for PlayStation 2. I've killed Ares and now I've become the God of War. I don't know what my next project is as the God of War.
TP: That's why games are great because last month Matt killed Ares and became the God of War and about a week ago I killed Aries and became the God of War.
Why do you live where you do?
TP: Purely because of work.
MS: We both live in Los Angeles and you have to live there to do what we do.
TP: Where would I live otherwise? I love the northwest. I love exploring and it's this whole region that I really just want to check out.
MS: I've never really given it much thought because you have to live in L.A. I hate those people that live in L.A. and hate it. I don't hate it, but it's also that thing where you have to come to terms with the fact you have to live here so you better learn to like it.
TP: L.A. has awesome weather and I've realised how great that really is.
Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art:
TP: It's super cliché, but A Clockwork Orange really did fuck me up. I'm sure that's what 80 percent of the people say though. I don't know, a woman?
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig?
MS: When we wore the dresses to the Oscars, a lot of people thought that was a publicity stunt but it was not. That was our big middle finger to the industry and I still think that's one of my proudest moments.
TP: That took more balls than anything we've ever done because we had to be there. Usually it's our little cartoon characters doing shit, but that had to be us.
What have been your career highs and lows?
TP: We're pretty even-keeled guys. We sort of see the bad in everything and the good in everything.
MS: I think one of my career highs was after the South Park movie came out, because before that the trajectory was South Park had hit really big and then we were kind of on the down. We didn't feel that way, but all the press and the outside world was saying, "Well that was nice but now it's kind of on its way out." And then the movie came out and it defied expectations and bought us years of legitimacy. A lower point was probably just two months before that when we were doing the South Park movie and the whole world was like…
TP: This movie is going to suck.
MS: We didn't even get that. The summer movie previews would come out and it was the first Star Wars, Austin Powers 2 and all this great stuff and then it would be the little short ones like documentaries and movies from Iran, and then: "the South Park movie. Uggh." It was hard making a movie under those circumstances, but now looking back it's kind of changed a little bit because Team America was hard because the expectations were high. I think we need more low expectations.
What's the meanest thing ever said to you before, during or after a gig?
MS: When people say to me, "God, you guys have one of the best shows on television. You and Family Guy." That fucking hurts so bad.
TP: Very well said. It's such a kick in the balls. And the other one is, "Oh my God, it's those guys from BASEketball." Which happens a lot.
What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?
TP: I'm special and I'm caring and I have great friends. And I sometimes want to murder people. I sometimes think about taking people's heads off with shovels.
MS: And the bad ones would be?
What advice should you have taken, but did not?
TP: Right as South Park came out we were at the Aspen Comedy Festival and we sat down with some of the Monty Python guys - before our Gods. They said, "So South Park seems to be pretty successful." And we said, "Yeah and we got this and we're going to do that" and Terry Gilliam said, "Don't over-extend yourselves." And he was so right, and we've been over-extending ourselves for the past decade.
MS: We finally realised that Terry Gilliam is totally smart.
What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?
TP: Me having an orgasm?
MS: "Get out of here!"
TP: Me being done?
MS: "Get out of here!"
TP: "That was awesome, now get the fuck out of here."
What do you think of when you think of Canada?
TP: Kraft Dinner and Tim Hortons.
MS: Peameal bacon. Is that what it's called? I really do think about the little weird food differences. Like fries with gravy. Exactly the same food, but just one little thing is different on the menu.
TP: (pulls out driver's license) What do you call this? I went to two different places today shopping and I handed them my credit card and someone called it something that I've never heard before. And then I went to another place and the exact same thing happened. I can't even remember what it was that they said because the words were so strange. My Kraft card or something?
What is your vital daily ritual?
TP: I have to check out "The Drudge Report" or else I feel like the morning hasn't started. That's the only thing I do every single day. It's not like I read every single thing. I just want to know if the world is ending.
MS: Like if Rome blew up or something big has happened.
TP: Or if Michael Jackson has been acquitted.
What are your feelings on piracy, internet or otherwise?
TP: I think pirates are awesome. I love that whole era.
MS: There are new pirates now taking over ships in Malaysia or something. But they're not as cool.
TP: If they dressed up like old pirates?
MS: That would be pretty fucking good.
What was your most memorable day job?
TP: A cook at Pizza Hut, just because at the end of the day you could make your own pizza. So I just got really creative and made all these special topping pizzas and take them over to my friend's houses.
MS: You know what's weird? I used to work at Little Caesar's Pizza for a couple of weeks with my friend and we had the keys to the place, so when would all go and get drunk we'd come in at 2:30 in the morning and make pizzas.
How do you spoil yourself?
TP: Oh my God, you should ask us how we don't spoil ourselves. We spoil ourselves in every way imaginable.
MS: I spend so much on food. I eat so well compared to what a normal person should be able to eat.
TP: We probably eat five-star dinners four or five times a week.
MS: It's retarded how well we eat. We've just spent so many years like, "Okay I've got those three dollars for the burrito I'm going to eat tonight and this money is for my pack of smokes." So it's pretty great to just to be able to eat whatever you want whenever you want.
If I wasn't a comedy writer I would be?
TP: I would love to be a crime scene investigator. I'd never be able to do it though because I would just fuck it up. "Body? Yeah, I don't know where I put it. It's somewhere around here I'm sure."
MS: Obviously I would be playing in the NBA. I'm an awesome basketball player, but I just can't do both.
What do you fear most?
MS: That's not a bad fucking fear, I must say.
TP: They're going to freak out and try it again.
MS: That's a great quote that I think Dennis Miller said about the new Pope. He said, "Whenever I see a German in power with throngs of people I start getting nervous." I don't want to judge the German people, but you kind of have to. And I'm especially fucked if they rise again, because I'm a Jew berry. They picked me off the Jew tree.
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
TP: Waking up, Al Green and Canadian chicks.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
MS: Maybe Kenny and Spenny last night? We got totally wasted with Kenny and Spenny. We're huge fans of the show.
TP: We watched all the episodes and we were basically in a Kenny vs. Spenny episode last night. They're not kidding at all.
MS: It was great actually. It was pretty surreal.
TP: I was at an Academy Awards party once, the year after I wore the dress, and Jennifer Lopez came up and shoved me and walked away. Fucking bitch.
America. Fuck yeah! That's the freedom-fighting message that director/writer Trey Parker and producer/writer Matt Stone deliver in the brilliant Team America: World Police, an epic series of explosions and bad acting performed entirely by marionettes. You might think that this impressive feat must have been an easy project for the South Park creators to execute, with no actors and only miniature sets to construct, but given the amount of frustration it takes to direct a puppet through full-on action sequences, you best not hold your breath for a sequel. "If we knew it was going to be a tenth as hard as it was, we never would have done it," admits Trey Parker. "When we watched old Thunderbirds episodes we wondered why they didn't do anything - it's because they can't do anything," says Matt Stone. "We really underestimated it. We were originally going to do a ten week shoot with one camera. It ended up taking 14 weeks with four cameras. It was excruciating."
While voice-over opportunities abound in such a project, Parker and Stone wanted to save the film's budget for what really mattered most. "We wanted that money on the screen," says Parker. "Nowadays it's like a gold rush for celebrities to get into the voice-over business," adds Stone. "Some people are really good at voices, but they could get anyone to do the voice of the chick in Shrek, not Cameron Diaz for 15 million dollars. That's ridiculous."