Recently, the Paley Center for Media caught up with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Variety reports. The evening featured a special panel to promote the upcoming 20th season of the popular animated comedy. The event was held in Beverly Hills, CA and the pair spoke with Doug Herzog, president of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group. Their conversations largely revolved around the past, present, and future of the long-running series. South Park has been on the air for two decades and just like The Simpsons, after so many seasons, it becomes more difficult for the creators to explore new ways to show original and funny material.
In the upcoming season, South Park will tackle the upcoming presidential election just like they previously did when President Barack Obama ran against John McCain. “This is our fourth or fifth season that we’ve done an episode dedicated to the election,” Stone said. “It’s tough to come up with new ideas, but we also don’t want it to take over the season. We need to do more than that.” However, Stone said fans should not expect anything similar to previous seasons. Parker also added “We don’t try to make social commentary. We get into a room six days before we go on the air, and that’s why it ends up being somewhat relevant.”
For those who follow the show, the format has definitely changed over the last 20 years. For example, initially the show focused primarily on the four friends Eric, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny but for the past few seasons, there’s been more of a focus on the adult characters in South Park. “A lot of the jokes moved from the boys to the adults,” Stone stated. “So instead of Stan or any of the other boys having this big voice, it’s Randy [Stan’s father] who has this big voice, and it’s because that is who we relate to now. Luckily Stan has a grandpa, because the jokes will probably move to him eventually.”
South Park’s 20th season coincides with the new South Park 20 experience, an exhibit at the Paley Center that showcases 2D and 3D life-sized replicas of various South Park characters. In addition to popular moments over the past 20 years of the comedy series. The gallery features 20 original works by pop culture artist Ron English. You can experience The South Park 20 until September 25, which is free and open to the public.
Watch South Park’s “By the Numbers” promo below:
Season 20 of South Park premieres September 14, at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central.