Just when the world thought Trey Parker and Matt Stone might be running low on ways to shock, offend and somehow also delight their audience – they’ve done it again. Despite the severe impairment of attending college in Boulder, this pair of friends has created another cinematic experience that is likely to make many viewers feel guilty for laughing but unable to look away.
“Team America,” a film with a cast consisting entirely of marionettes, is the latest creation from this twisted pair that brought the world the animated series “South Park,” which is based around a small Colorado mountain town. The new film holds true to the form of comedy that earned Colorado natives Parker and Stone their fortunes.
The Collegian was invited to a conference with Stone in which he chatted about the new movie, politics and puppet sex.
What are your feelings about the ratings battle over “Team America”?
Matt Stone: I think (the Motion Picture Association) is a broken organization. I don’t think it serves artists very well and I don’t think it serves parents very well. In this movie, it’s just pointed out even more to us. We have a sex scene with puppets and the puppets are not even anatomically correct because they’re like Barbie and Ken dolls and we put them together in little positions and rub them together with some pretty music. It’s a love scene and the MPA had a problem with some of the positions that we picked … I understand that there has to be standards but once there is an “R” rating on a film I don’t understand why you just can’t do whatever the f**k you want.
And you don’t still have to bail on the censors that often?
MS: Yes we do. Every week there’s one or two things we have to fight with the network about, but that’s part of it. It’s part of the reason why “South Park” is successful is because there are limitations of TV and “South Park” is always bumping up against those limitations.
Do you find yourself to be an important political influence on your viewing audience?
MS: I have no idea, but I sure hope not. I would hate to think that anybody took their political views from me or Trey because we’re pretty f**ked-up people. At least we can admit it and that’s where we’re different from other celebrities. I don’t want anybody changing their mind because of this movie. It would be pretty weak-willed people.
Do you think your work is going to change as you get older? I mean, you said you’re not going to be making “South Park” when you’re 60.
MS: Right. No, hopefully I’m not going to be doing anything. I’ll be sitting on my ass someplace on a beach, or I hope so.
Along the same lines, are there any plans in the works ever for a full-length DVD album?
MS: Our biggest regret of this whole f**king thing is that we came to Los Angeles to be in a band and we got sidetracked by this stupid f**king television thing. On “Team America” there’s like six or seven songs in there and usually, for us, that would be our favorite part of the whole process where you would get a studio. We would go f**k around and play music and sure, you can find better musicians, but it would be us. But we just literally don’t have time. We should do a full-length DVD.
Are you guys ever tired of just being the “South Park” guys? Do you want to be the “Team America” guys?
MS: No, not really. Sometimes it gets a little tiring. It’s like, “Oh, you’re the ‘South Park’ guys,” but at the end of the day, I would rather be the “South Park” guys” than be a lot of other things.
Do you think that you’ve raised the bar with the public and the censors so that it takes a lot to be provoked by you because people are just like, “Oh, that’s just Matt and Trey. That’s what they do?”
MS: We do set out to provoke a reaction. Any writer or any creative person does. I mean, you don’t want people not to react to your s**t, but it’s not like we set out going, “OK, who can we offend?” It’s just that in talking about things, we tend to come up with offensive takes on it. I think that there is a point where people are just like, “Oh, that’s just Matt and Trey, that doesn’t count,” which is fine by us because I still think this s**t is funny.
“Team America” opens in theaters this Friday.