Matt and Trey on Charlie Rose
September 26, 2005


Charlie: [seated at his desk] Matt Stone and Trey Parker are here; they are the creators of the hit animated television series, South Park, set in their home state of Colorado. This year, for the first time, South Park won an Emmy for an episode called "Best Friends Forever." Here's a look... at part of that program.
[A brick building. Inside, a lawyer sees the four boys.]
Lawyer:...There is one more thing I would like to ask you all, as my friends. If I should ever be in a vegetative state and kept alive on life-support, please,... [Cartman is still dancing. The lawyer reaches the last page and... can't fine it]
Stan:Please what?
Lawyer:I don't know. I lost the last page.
Cartman:Who cares? Kenny's dead! [rushes up to the lawyer's desk] When do I take possession of my PSP, sir?
Lawyer:[pulls up a box from nowhere and puts it on his desk] It's right here, along with Kenny's other belongings. They're all yours.
Cartman:[salivating] Yes!
Man:[enters the office] He's alive!
Stan:What?
Man:Kenny McCormick! He's alive at the hospital! [leaves]
Kyle:Oh my God! [he and Stan rush out of there, leaving Cartman incredulous]
[The boys reached Hell's Pass and enter Kenny's recovery room ]
Stan:Kenny??
Kyle:Kenny! You're alive!
Stan:Dude, how'd you do that??
The Doctor:He can't responde to you, boys. Being dead for that long caused severe damage to his brain,
Cartman:Well... well then he's NOT alive.
Mrs. McCormick:He's alive. He-ee smiles when I talk to him. I think...
Cartman:That's not Kenny. Kenny sniffs paint and sets things on fire! Here, look. [climbs onto Kenny's bed and holds out a $1 bill] Kenny, Kenny look. Want a dollar?
Stuart:I I don't know if it's right to keep Kenny alive on that machine. I I just... I don't know what he would want.
Stan:Yeah, the lawyer lost that page.
Cartman:Oh, I just remembered! Kenny told me this one time, that he wouldn't wanna be kept alive via feeding tube.
Mrs. McComrick:He did? When?
Cartman:Um, it was um, this one time...
Kyle:He did not say that! You just want him dead so you can have his stupid PSP!
Cartman:Stupid? PSP is stupid?! [steps forth] Did you all hear that?? [steps back to his little group] Uh I mean, I mean this isn't about PSP, Kyle! This is about my friend, and his wishes. And Kenny said he didn't want to live like this!
Kyle:He did not!
Cartman:Did so!
Kyle:Did not!
Cartman:Fine! We'll see about this, you freakin' Jew! [moves towards the door] I'm gonna get that feeding tube removed if I have to go all the way to the Supreme Court! [runs out]

I am pleased to have the two creators at this table for the very first time. [turns right to address them] Welcome.
Trey: Thank you very much.
Matt: Thank you.

Charlie: Now, tell me what it is that, I mean... Tell me what that represents.
Matt: [as Trey laughs] Mo-, mostly, just a good freakin' Jew joke.
Trey: Yeah. [laughs]
Matt: I'm really proud of that part of that show. [laughs]

Charlie: Deh... Did did somebody once say to you there's nothing off, off gr- off base, but you can make no jokes about the Nation of Islam?
Trey: They-
Matt: Well, they told us not to...
Trey: They tried to say that and then we did it. [camera turns to Trey, who smiles weakly] Yeah, yeah. [back to Matt]
Matt: They told us that we couldn't do an entire show about it, but I think they were just concerned about our safety.
Trey: Yeah, yeah.
Matt: So, yeah. Someday we'll do it, though. I don't know.

Charlie: Yeah. But nothing else is o- out of bounds.
Matt: No, and like that, that, that episode was the one ahh... It was basically obviously in reference to Terri Schiavo, and it came out the week that it was hitting this like huge nashur, nana-national furor. Um, but that's, I, I think that... like, that episode was one of our better ones because, we always seem to do topical stuff best when we... In other words like, uh, when we do it with our own characters, like that that, that episode never mentioned the word "Terri Schiavo," and if you'd never heard about that whole... uproar, or didn't, you know... Ih ih it didn't matter; you'd still get it, you know? It wtill was uh... you know, a regular, it was a story a bboy who was being kept alive. On a feeding tube.

Charlie: [to Trey] How did this thing come into being?
Trey: Well it's it's actually pretty amazing because of the way we've, we've. always done this show, but now we, after doing it for nine years, we've got it down to the art form of uh, you know the show airs on Wednesday. The Thursday before that, we, Matt and I, go to work early in the morning with the writers and we go "Okay, what do we do this week?" I mean, it's it's it's a weekly- It's just like Saturday Night Live, basically. We don't know We don't know what we're doing-
Charlie: You start over every week-
Trey: Start over every week, don't know, don't plan ahead at all, and we all sit down and and... you know, I remember, it was, it was when her tube had been removed and everyone was waiting around to see if she was gonna die, and I was just like "You know, guys, I've never seen a bigger news story," like this is on every channel and it's just insane! You know? And and and, so, ih it was just early in the morning on Thursday and we said "How can we do a Terri Schiavo episode?" and then ideas start flying and by... around noon, you know, we start getting ideas and, and, the way it works is that we... [suddenly enegized] come up with a couple funny scenes and we put them in animation right away because we gotta get the crew going. And then Friday we work on it some more; we work on it Saturday and Sunday- by Sunday, Monday, we two are staying up all night and we just about kill ourselves week after week, but-

Charlie: Now, do you two d-do the same thing or do you divide up responsibility someway?
Matt: Uhh, well I mean if... it changes week to week, but it's, it's pretty much, we have a pretty much hon-, I mean, we're both in the writers' room,
Charlie: Right
Matt: we come up with the ideas, uh we both do voices. Trey directs.
Charlie: Yeah
Matt: and pretty much edits every episode. I mean, it's very concentrated... in... around... the two of us, so it's like, we can do a very tight production.
Charlie: Yeah
Matt: But...
Trey: Everything is in one building, so it's great because on a Tuesday night, say, even before the show-, we always deliever the show Wednesday morning, you know, and then it's going to air, and on Tuesday night we're always there at three in the morning going "Oh! How can we change this and change this and rewrite it, animate it, run and do the voices, put it in..." You know, and the, and then the whole process [his voice trails off as Matt speaks]
Matt: Yeah, we do the voices out of necessity, not because we think we're great voice-over artists.
Trey: <>[laughs] Yeah, it's only because we can't get people, um...
Matt: It's pretty obvious, all the voices start to sound the same-
Charlie: I understand that...
Matt: -after a while. [they all laugh]

Charlie: What... wh-wh-wh-what was the operative idea though? Was it, there's not, there's no cartoon out there that's edgy enough, that's really as, as satirical enough, that really hits it... on the head?
Matt: Uh, originally we didn't have that. I mean, uh, origianlly we were just two guys from Colorado that didn't realize you were not supposed to say... these words on television. We just thought that was funny and we were just foolish.
Trey: We were fans of Beavis and Butt-Head and The Simpsons you know, and we just thought we we just really loved that and and we were huge fans of Terry Gilliam, you know, from Monty Python, and that animation where it's just so base, you know, um,like, that was really, you know, I think, you know, a lot of people when they start off, we wuh, we weren't thinking about it too much, we were just um, [Matt laughs] "How can we go to Hollywood and make a lot of money" you know?
Charlie: And and then it happened.
Trey: Yeah! And then it worked, so...

Charlie: Yeah. So what do you do with all the money?
Trey:Oh, lots of things, boy. [Matt cracks up] It's a pretty good time, I'll tell you that. [chatter about good times, parties, and taking it slow]
Matt: We're old now, I mean...

Charlie: There's only so- There's only so many times you can do certain things.
Trey: That's true
Matt: Exactly! And it's like, we actually, it is, it's a curse and a blessing because, you know, now we, we won an Emmy,
Charlie: Yeah
Matt: now we're on Charlie Rose,
Charlie: Yeah
Matt: it is, like, how do you stay punk rock?
Charlie: Well [begins to laugh]
Matt: How do you stay edgy? How do you, like- How are you the guys giving the middle finger to the world? Well...
Charlie: We like edgy here... I mean, you're here!
Matt: Yeah yeah yeah. I, you know, I mean, Charlie Rose is a super edgy show, don't get me wrong, but you know, it's like, whih it it is a constant bat- Ya know, it's not, we're not, we're not the only ones who fight, like a lot of artists fight.

Charlie: "We have the Finance Minister of India here." It's edgy! Edgy! It's edgy! [they begin to laugh]
Trey: It's punk rock. It's definitely like punk rock. It's totally punk rock.
Matt: So it's som-, it's something that, you know, I'd rather have the money than not, and the success, than not, but it does create uh, a mental kind of game where you have to convince yourself constantly that "we're at the bottom, we're still hunbery,"
Charlie: Yeah, exactly
Matt: We still wanna, you know
Charlie: I know.
Matt: Make people mad.

Charlie: But uh I me- do ya, I don't... People always talk about burnout. I don't see that. I mean, uh, if you love what you're doing, I don't see where burnout plays a role. What does play a role is what, for example, John Clee- John Cleese once said to me about Monty-, mabout, about, Fawlty Towers
Matt: Right
Charlie: He said, he said "We just had no more ideas!"
Trey: Right
Charlie: "We found ourselves duplicating ourselves, and that when we stopped."
Trey: Yeah. I think that that, and that's always the fear, you lmow, and a-actually we started the last... three seasons, at the beginning of the season every time I've been like, "Oh man..." 'Cause we sat there in the writers' room tryin' to come up with something- we're out. We're completely out.
Matt: Yeah. [laughs]
Trey: And then, as the season would go, you know, we're like, "Okay, this Terri Schiavo thing, what can we do about that?" and end up with a great you, you know, and then the next week, you know, it just sort of keeps ramping up, and I, and, we just kept feeling like the seasons were actually getting better, and as long as that was happening... It's not fun to do, and you know what? South Park was never fun to do. It's hard, hard work, you know, and, and what's neat-

Charlie: It's not fun to do?
Trey: It's really not fun to do, and, but what the, what the, what the kids always wanna hear, you know, we go on MTV and the lods always wanna hear is "Yeah, you know, we just get drunk and we get high and we party and we come up with stuff!" you know, and it's like "that's not true!"
Charlie: "Nooo! And if we got high, and if we got drunk, there'd be no show on Wednesday!"
Trey: We get up really early... exactly, there'd be nothing on. But we go, we get a coffee, and we, you know, show up to work early and we work superhard and we almost kill ourselves almost every season to try to get it on the air-

Charlie: It reminds me of of... I think Jack Welch tells this story in his book, Jer- they were offering Jerry Seinfeld a hundred million dollars to go one more year.
Trey, Matt: Right
Charlie: And Seinfeld said "I can't do it!" He said "I sat last Christmas Eve in my apartment trying to write a script, and I'm saying, 'I don't wanna do this one more Christmas.'"
Trey: Right. And I, you know, I think that that time may come, but it hasn't yet. Thank God, so...

Charlie: What, what, what is it you think resonates? Is it the edginess? Is it-? What is it that you think makes the connection... with people
Matt: God, I wish I knew. I don't know. I I-
Charlie: I don't want to intellectualize it either, but I mean, you know?
Matt: Well, I mean, I think, part of it is, and, and, and it's not just South Park, but there's a few other shows, and amd we're, we were lucky enough with South Park to hit a level success early on where we get, we have total control over the show.

Charlie: Now you mean like, like Stew- on Daily Show or
Matt: I think it's Daily Show
Charlie: Dave Chappelle...
Matt: Daily Show is a little bit different, Dave Chappelle is a good example. I think, uh, there's other shows that are. ah, un, most of them are smaller, kind of more marginal shows, that aren't done by committee. I mean, most, most shows in Hollywood are done by committee, and-
Trey: Especially comedy
Matt: Especially comedy, you know I mean, It's like, It's like a bunch of, you know, it's usually a bunch of people-
Charlie: And especially moves
Trey: Yeah yeah.
Matt: Oh, movies, man it's like, thirty writers on the roll, it's so stupid, and it's like, for better or worse, Trey and I have always been like, this is our show, and everything on the show is bascially what we wanna say, no one tells us to, you know, what, and and... A show by committee might be a better show, but this is ours, and I think there's, I don't know, there's somethin'...
Charlie: Nothing fake about it...
Matt: Authentic about it, you know, so...
Trey: Yeah.
Charlie: Yeah.
Matt: I mean it's one thing, you know
Charlie: You have to have teamwork, and teams can do great things.
Matt: Right, we have tons of people working for us on the show.
Charlie: Exactly. Teamwork is great.
Trey: Absolutely, but at the end of the day it sorta gotta be a voice, you know, and, that's why, we've always fancied ourself more as a band, just because that's a way cooler thing to be, and so...
Matt: Than creators of a freaky animation show. [laughs]
Trey: We've always, we've alway- but it really kinda is, because we, every season comes around, it's kind of like an album, and every, every episode in, in that album is a song, and it's like, we- It's fun because since we did that, since we wrote every episode ourselves and we never got writers and put it out to them, we're able to look back now and go "Wow, that's where we were in our lives at that point, and that's where we were in our lives at that point" and see how we've changed.
Matt: The Sim-, The Sim-, The Simpsons has probably been through... four, five, six
Charlie: Thousand writers
Trey, Matt: Thousand writers! [they laugh]
Matt: Yeah. And writing teams, and voices, and although there is a few guys who stick around and they're at the top, ih it is, uh, the people working on the show today are not the same people who were working on the show... five, six years ago, and eh and eh, you know? For a show like that it has to be that way, for our show...

Charlie: Should I feel good that I've been both a character on The Simpsons and a character on South Park? [a clip of the Charlie Rose Show, SP-style, is shown]
Trey: Yes, absolutely.
Matt: Yeah, that's, yeah.
Trey: I think you should be super-flattered.
Matt: It makes you super-cool. [they all laugh]

Charlie: Now when, [turns to Trey] did you once say that you would never go out of ideas because Cartman would need twenty years to explain? [they laugh]
Trey: I don't quite remember saying that, but it makes sense. It makes sense, yeah. I mean-
Charlie: You didn't say it, but you'd be proud to have said it
Trey: Yeah, yeah. You know, ih, it's funny because, it's great- We have it-, we're lucky enough that we've created a show where it's not about... a family, or a kid, it's about a town. You know, and, and in any given epiosde, we can focus on the teacher, or we can just focus on Cartman, we can just focus on the mailman, we can just focus on whatever we want, and so it really does lend itself very well to, say, you know, we can sit down in the writers' room and go, "What's going on in the world? How do we have that happen in South Park?" Because, to some degree, I think there's a pressure val- ya know, people... Ih, it was really cool to do that Terri Schiavo episode, you know, for it to come on the air when it did, when it was happening, and here's an animated version of that. But the hard, the hard part that really goes into that is at the end of the day, we do have to come up with "what's our take on all this? What's our philosophy on this that's not just what everyone else is talking about?"
Charlie: What's our point of view?
Trey: Yeah, what's our point of view? And you know, our thought when that episode was, "well, maybe she really wishes no- that that all these people in the country weren't showing her image like this" you know, and that sort of became the whole, the whole crux of the show.

Charlie: Now, when you won the Emmy, was that a big thing for you?
Trey: Nnno.
Matt: Nnnot so much. [they laugh]
Trey: Football was on, so I didn't go.
Matt: I didn't say that. I wish I- It sounds so lame, it sounds so... ungrateful.
Charlie: You didn't care. Didn't care.
Matt: Well,we've been nominated five times...
Charlie: Who did you have pick it up for you?
Trey: Our producers.
Matt: Our producers.
Trey: We were very happy for them.
Matt: We're very happy for them. You know, Trey and I get tons of accolades for the show, and, and, we've...
Trey: Been out there-
Matt: I think we've been nominated five times?
Trey: Yeah.
Matt: And-
Trey: We always lose to The Simpsons.
Matt: We just always kinda lost to The Simpsons anyway.
Trey: And we should! The Simpsons is a great show. It's like-
Matt: Yeah.
Trey: -but, what was funny too, is that, is that we're put on the, what they call the "Crap Night" of the Emmys. Which is really funny, 'cause people don't tell us that before, a week before the Emmys, there's another Emmys for all the shows that, you know, it's just like uh, for makeup, and they were, and for some reason, Best Animated Seires is in that night. Which is so ridiculous because The Simpsons is probably the biggest show in American history, ever, and it's not on, you know, it's not on Crap Nght!
Charlie: Well,I think we oughtta be able to chage that now, don't you?
Trey: Yeah, I think so. I mean, it's pretty ridiculous.
Charlie: I think we should just have a night of prime time devoted to animated-
Trey: Yeah, I think, I think so.
Charlie: You'd buy that.
Trey: Yeah.

Charlie: Now, here's what Tony Scott said- Tony write, writes for the New Your Times. He reviews movies. He said, "I know I'm not alone in confessing that my moral-" [laughs] Don't worry about this now, "I worry that-" He says, "I'm," "I know I'm not alone in confessing that my moral and ideological guides for the past half-dozen years have included four foul-mouthed Colorado youngsters made out of torn construction paper. Without South Park I would scarcely know what to think about issues like stem-cell research, The Passion Of The Christ, and the Pokémon craze." [Trey laughs] Now, you are educating America!
Matt: Yes, we're trying to. We're trying.
Trey: That's really-, what we, what we've always said, and I think what we say with the show is not anything new, but I think it is something that is great to put out there, which is, you know, the people screaming on this side and the people screaming on that side are the same people, and it's okay to be somewhat in the middle laughing at both of them.

Charlie: So they get their education from you, and their news from... Jon Stewart.
Trey: Right. All in all, at the end of the day, there'll be a little more Zen Buddhism,I'm sorry.
Matt: We can't compete with the-
Charlie: You mean the Zen moment?
Trey: Yeah.
Matt: We can't compete with the Jon, the Jon Stewarts or the, the Jay Len- I mean, that's a different, the Jay Lenos, the Bill Mahers,
Charlie: That's mass media.
Trey: That's a different, and even though it's political and it deals with current events, it, it's just different. It's just a daily thing, and in the, end of the day those guys all have, you know where they're coming from.
Charlie: Right.
Trey: And, what we try to do on the show, it's important for like a narrative show where we try and tell stories, is, we always try to make it feel like, "Where are those guys coming from?" You know what I mean? And a lot of times, we'll do shows with moral kind of points of view that we don't normally agree with. It-
Trey: It just makes a better story.
Matt: It just makes a better story. [laughter follows]
Trey: That's right.
Charlie: It's a little play
Trey: That's right, exactly. I mean, we gotta make stories, you know. We can't just make jokes, we gotta make stories.

Charlie: Do you think you have raised the bar, in terms of what is acceptable?
Trey: It is interesting, because, you know-
Matt: We're not raising-
Trey: We, we just, I think we lowered the bar
Matt: We lowered the bar, we did something to the bar, but well...
Trey: We uh, it's really funny because we, it's it's been an interesting week for us, because this week, the, uh, South Park has gone out in syndication, which was a huge deal for us, obviously, but, it's amazing because they're like, "well okay, now it's going out on all this channels, let's look at how much they have to cut out," and to watch the first season... they don't cut anything out! You know, and it's like on all these. and it's like, they don't let you cut out anything, and when we came out, people were like "Oh my God! This is the end of the world!"
Matt: "We can't let anyone watch your show"... It was the end of the wor-, it was the end of democracy.
Trey: Yeah.
Matt: And this was 1998. You know, [makes a downward motion with his left hand] so the arrow was definitely going in the direction of, of, of
Trey: Of our show.
Matt: We're def, we're definitely from the future.
Charlie: So you're a threat to democracy
Matt: We threatened it and here we go. [laughs silently and doubles over]
Trey: ...And here we are
Charlie: You're gonna tumble down ...
Matt: We'd like to officially ap-
Charlie: four teenagers from, hehe, from Colorado.
Matt: We'd like to officially apologize for ending democracy.
Trey: That was our fault. Everyone is blaming George Bush, but actually, that was us.
Charlie: Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, and all of those guys.
Matt: It was us.
Trey: Yeah yeah, we blew it. It was going great for a while, but we blew it. Charlie: If you only do it week to week, I mean, do you have any idea where it might be, you know, a year from now?
Trey: No,
Matt: No
Trey: And that's the fun thing, I mean, that's why... uh, we have, our new sh-, our first new episode airs on October 19th.
Charlie: Right.
Trey: And... uh, as of right now we have NO idea even what that episode will be about. We haven't started it, we're not gonna start it
Charlie: You're not gonna start it until the week before.
Trey: We'll start it the week before, because e-e-every time we try to start way before... I can't write, and... we got to... you know, thinking to much about it, and we realize, too, you know, that's why something that happens is we get too much into "what's our point? What are we trying to say?" And we realize that's not our job. Our job is to make people laugh. And, and, you know, if, if it says soemthing in the background, great, but it's not our job to go out and dududududu
Matt: Right now we're, right, right now we're in an interesting dilemma because we have this uhhhh reputation for attacking or talking about current events, and we've both gotten dozens of e-mails about "can't wait to see what you guys do about Hurricane Katrina" And we're in this dilemma because we do, we, we think that would be a, we could make a great episode where a flood comes to South Park, or, you know, do some kind of natural disaster. But being it's, the expectation that we're gonna do it puts us in a weird position.
Trey: We just wanna do something else.
Matt: I don't know if we're going to to it. I don't know if we're going to to it! Like, we wanna, we wanna, you know, mess with the expectation. We always love that um, we're both big Monty Python fans and watched it on PBS... you know at, 10:30 at night, in Colorado growing up... on Channel 6. What I loved about Monty Python was, every time you tuned in, you're, NO idea where you're going. You know, and TV today is like, "Are you gonna watch tonight? They're doing this, this and this" and that's the way it's promoted, and we've always been like, we always like the South Park episodes where it starts here and then, you know, you have no idea where you ended up. So we're in this weird kind of dilemma about Hurricane Katrina. We don't know what to do.

Charlie: Have you been that way... before?
Trey: No, because first of all we s-
Matt:
Trey: Yeah, because it's never been expected.
Matt: Yeah, because now it's the new, now-

Charlie: You can deal with Terri Schiavo, you can deal with-
Trey: Oh, we could do it, it's just that people are expecting it..
Matt: It's a, it's such a dif-, it's a different thing-

Charlie: Whatever they're expecting, you might not be able to reach it because they have such pronounced ...ideas of what you do.
Trey: Yeah, and whatever they're expecting we don't want to give them because as soon as you give people what they're, you know, what they're expecting, I I just think that then, we're a sitcom.
Matt: People were blown away that we did a Terri Schiavo show.
Trey: No no, God no.
Matt: We didn't wanna do that, but, like the fact that everyone was like "I can't wait." They're gonna tune in and see what they're gonna do about Hurricane Katrina, it's such a different, I don't know, it's a different wave of, you know?

Charlie: Ahh, Monty Python was both, heroic for both of you?
Trey: Huge.
Matt: Aw yeah. It's the beginning, and the of...
Charlie: Have you seen Spamalot on Broadway, or are you gonna go?
Matt: We haven't, but I think we're going to go, maybe.
Trey: I'm a little nervous to go.
Matt: Yeah.
Charlie: Why?
Trey: Because I'm such a huge fan that I'm a, I'm a little worried. Yeah, I'm a little worried.
Charlie: You may not wanna go.
Trey: Nah, I'm a little worried.
Charlie: You may not wanna go.
Trey: I'm a little worried. It's kinda like someone is asking you to go out.
Charlie: Do you know, it's going to Vegas?
Trey: Yeah, I know. I know. [laughs] ...I don't know
Matt: I don't know.
Charlie: I don't know. Well, it's um... eum, ih, you've gotta remember, Eric created it, so therefore-
Trey: Absolutely.
Charlie: So the same writing sentiment-
Matt: Yes yes yeah.
Charlie: -is there.

Charlie: Ahhm. Politics. [to Trey] You. Are you a libertarian?
Trey: [laughs] That's a great question.
Matt: What does that mean?
Trey: Yeah, I I think there's a um,
Matt: He believes in liberty.
Trey: Yeah, I believe in liberty.
Charlie: Hehehe, what if... Are you?
Trey: [long beat] It's po-, it's possible. [Matt doubles over in laughter]
Charlie: You've never taken ??? for this?
Trey: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. It's possible. Maybe. Yeah, no, there, we did a South Park episode in which
Charlie: [to Matt] Why is he embarrassed by this?
Trey: I'm not, I'm not embarrassed at all, it's just, actually, it's a very-, it's a difficult question, because I-
Charlie: Why is it so difficult?
Trey: Because it's, it's um,
Charlie: It's like saying, are you..?
Trey: ...It's like, are you gay? It's like, a little. [everybody laughs] On a Friday night-
Charlie: There's nobody-
Trey: -there are no chicks around, sure!
Charlie: Can you imagine? It's on Friday...
Matt: You go, you go, Charlie.
Trey: You go, Charlie. You know how it is.
Matt: It's Friday night, you're a little drunk,
Charlie: Yeah, what the hell!
Matt: There's nothing good on TV, mhm mhm, I don't know.
Trey: It's so really fascinating, we always, we would always talk about how we, we grow up, sort of, I think we met, we were both Python fans and we were both sort of punk rockers. We wanted to do a punk rock TV show. And you know, and when we were growing up the way to be punk rock was to be really liberal, you know, because we grew up with Reagan in high school and all of that, you know, and then. But then we moved to, the problem is we moved to L.A. when we did the, you know, and then... The only way to be punk rock in L.A. is to be a Republican. Because it's the only way, you know, you're in a party, the only way to be is "Uh I think George Bush is awesome!" and everyone's like "WHAT??" It's just like, you know, and that, REALLY, I mean, it's just amazing! And when we did Team A-, Team America
Matt: I thnk I've even seen him do that before, too.
Trey: Yeah yeah.
Charlie: Go into a party and say-
Trey: "I think he's great."
Matt: The thethe there was this lady in Mali-, it was in Malibu, he just said, "I love George Bush and I love my gun." and this lady just face just ...melted, her skin melted-
Trey: Her face melted off. [they laugh]
Matt: It is like, you know we've got this, you know we got this reputation, there was this book that came out called South Park Conservatives where ah, you know, and it was a label I think originally given by Andrew Sullivan, uh, to the show, and I think there's a little bit of like libertarianism
Charlie: Is he your number one fan. There's some great quote about him.
Matt: Yeah, he's he's our biggest fan, and, and like he's written some really cool stuff about... the show and Team America the movie, but... I think that some of, uh, you know, we did grow up in Colorado, which is kind of a Republican state, but it's more of a libertarian kind of, live and let live kind of attitude. And, I'm sure some of that seeps though in, in, in the work, but. I mean, we've done, we've taken so many different conservative ideals to task, too. But we have just ripped on a couple of liberal ones, like, uhhh, Barbar Streisand and Rob Reiner, and all of a sudden like, we're conservatives, and it's like, to live in L.A., to live in California, those are the sacred cows. I mean literally and figuratively. Rob Rob Reiner.... oh, that was a joke, that was a bad joke.
Charlie: [laughing] Oh, it was a terrible joke.
Matt: Well, you know, I mean it IS true, I mean, it's like Trey said, it's like, you know, if you go, if we sit around in our writers' room, and we all sit around and go, and, and what I, and I think that our best stuff comes out is we try to personify this side of the argument and this side, and then we take a little, funny way out, and... uh, I'm just not interested in in, and Trey can, well just vouch for this, I'm not interested in sitting around and agreeing with other people. And where we live, it is like, the liberalist liberal part of the world, and, not because I don't-
Charlie: You mean ther's a, there's a groupthink.
Matt: There's a groupthink, and you only get to some new truth by argument and by dissent, and it's like, some of it is just. We just play Devil's Advocate all the time, you know.

Charlie: Here's what else you've said: "I am just sick of actors on CNN parroting what they read in the paper." I keep expecting Larry King to say "And now, for a work on Iraq, the Cookie Monster"
Trey: [laughs] Yes, it really was, and I mean, and that's, when we were writing Team America, I didn't know, I was-
Charlie: What is Team America
Trey: Team America is the, a movie we made, um, last year, that was all done with marionettes, and it was basically about a world police for-, international world police force that obviously parodied every, everything that's been going on, and it was so fascinating because we, you know, the whole movie starts where the international police force shows up in Paris and just blows away all of Paris in order to get one terrorist, you know, and I mean, and it's basically like, and and and it was a condemnation of that but, on the other hand, it, at it, in the middle, it sorta took a turn and started ripping on the liberal, you know, on the, on the actors that, for us, we live in L.A., we know a lot of actors, they're not smart people. Right, I mean, and, and, just like we shouldn't be on any TV show discussing what, what should, what world policy should be, you know, uh-
Charlie: I was gonna ask you to take us to the next segment, we're gonna talk about it.
Trey: Right, right. Say, rock and roll...
Charlie: Right.
Trey: You know, ah, believe me, you don't wanna hear our opinion.

Charlie: All right, roll tape. Here's a clip from the 2004 movie, Team America.


[an Arab is shooting in all directions and disperse. A leg appears]
Woman:Hey terrorist! [the Arab stops shooting and looks] Terrorize this! [she fies one shot and it sends the Arab through a store window. She whips her blonde hair back and beams. The officer with the yellow sunglasses stakes the jeep out, looking for the Arabs. He turns around and faces the barrel of a gun in the hands of a clean-shaven Arab]
Arab:Bakala! [tries to shoot, but his gun is empty of bullets. He looks down, then up again]
Brunet:All right, let's make this interesting. [drops his gun and takes a martial-arts stance] Kiyooo!
Arab:[assumes a similar position] Gaaaaah! [a few seconds later, they approach each other and begin fighting. Being marionettes, though, they don't fight very well. The officer trips the Arab down and plants a foot over him in victory] Kiyo kun! You lose.
Arab:[a different one] Bakalaka Maaladaaka
Officer:He's getting away with the WMD!
Brunet:I got him! [fires a bazooka. The missile sails towards the Arab, who just steps out of the way as the missile finds the Eiffel Tower and cripples it. The tower falls onto the Arc de Triomphe, smashing it to bits] Damn, I missed him!
Officer:[speaking into a tiny microphone on his headset] Sarah, he's got the bomb. You got a fix? [looks up into the air. A jet appears]
Sarah:I got him, Carson. He's heading for the Louvre. [she sees the crowds there dispers and then the Arab entering the Louvre through a side door] Your plans are over! [she fires off a missile and it goes down into the new pyramid entrance. Explosions rend the Louvre apart and pieces of it fly everywhere]
Carson:All right, Sarah!
Brunet:Yeah!
Blond:All right, team!
Sarah:Nothin' to it!
Woman:Woohoo!
Carson:Well all right! [the Parisians look around, stunned]
Blond:Bonjour, everyone. Don't worry, everything is "bon." We stopped the terrorists! [the Parisians look around, shocked at the destruction. Carson and the blond woman find themselves looking at each other]


Charlie: Now, did you go to school in... Columbine?
Matt: Did I go to school? [chuckles all around. then] "Did you, did you go to school?"
Charlie: Do you have an education?
Matt: What is wrong with you?
Charlie: "What is wrong with you?" [refering to his own question] I didn't make stuff like this!
Matt: [mimicking Charles] "Did you, did you go to school?"
Charlie: Did you go t- [chuckle] Were you, didja go to... school in Columbine or somewhere?
Matt: No no I went to a a a... I grew up in Littleton, Colorado, where Columbine High School is; I I went to a different high school. Littleton is not a little town, it's a big-
Charlie: Did you know Michael Moore?
Matt: I did uh, I knew him a little bit. I, I talked to him on the phone a couple of times, met him a couple of times, and then did the interview in Bowling For Columbine.
Charlie: [giggling] And, and what did you make him, a suicide what in the movie?
Trey: [Matt gazes over at him] He was basically a piece of ham. <>[Matt bursts into laughter] He he, he, blows himself up, he blows up the- Mount Rushmore, and then we did have, we had a whole, his whole puppet filled with ham. And we had this great scene that had to get cut later, but they were like "My God, Michael Moore was made of ham..."
Charlie: So the whole scene was not-, didn't make the movie?
Trey: No, the scene where he blows himself up did, but just the part where we kinda, you know, said that he was made of ham, yeah.
Charlie: Now how did he... did he like it? Did he-?
Matt: I don't know.
Trey: I hope not.
Matt: I don't know.
Charlie: [turns to Trey] You hope not...
Matt: I don't know if he liked it yet. [grins at Trey's answer]
Trey: I mean, nuno, it was really um, ah, that was a personal thing for me, anyway, because he, he actually called us when he was making the Bowling For Columbine movie, and he said um, he said "I'm making this movie about gun control; will you make an animated thing for it?" and we said "ah, no, sorry, we're busy. I have a gun, actually, you know, so uh, I'muh, I'm not really interested." But then he said, to Matt, he said "Well, we're going to interview, uhuh, we just want to interview you about Littleton, ask you about Littleton," and that seemed like a, you know, a fine thing, so Matt went and did an interview about Littleton, and then-
Charlie: [to Matt] And that's all you talked about. Littleton.
Matt: Yeh- Naw, we talked about a lot of stuff, and I said, uh, he interviewed me and he didn't misrepresent me in the movie at all, I mean, I think I, ...you know, it's not like I'm mad about my interview or anything, um, he didn't mischaracterize me, but he did do an animation that was surprisingly South Park-like. He had somebody else do an animation, and most people that see-
Charlie: Ahh, so he ripped off South Park...
Trey: Well, and what happened wa-
Matt: ...yeah.
Trey: He actually ripped off a film I made while I was in college. It was... South Park-looking
Matt: It was called "American History."
Trey: It was called "Ameri-" my movie was called "American History," and this thing ripped that off, and, they put it right after Matt's interview to make it look like we did it.
Charlie: Ohhh
Trey: So then, everyone started coming up and goin' "hey man, love that thing about, you know, glad you hate guns too!" and I'm like "I don't hate guns," you know, and it's like "hey man, the cool thing you did," and I was just like [blank stare, his eyes flit back and forth] and then people came out and started saying "well you know, Michael Moore, he just, he's a manipulator and he changes things to make things look some way," and I'm like "Yeah.I'm, I was p-a personal victim of that." It's totally true. [Matt laughs] So I made him a fat piece of ham in my movie and I blew him up. [gloating a bit] I I, I'm fine. I I feel fine now.
Charlie: It's just, it's just a puppet. It's just a puppet. Aren't you glad you got that off your chest?
Trey: Yeah. I-
Charlie: Everything's okay!
Trey: I, I'm fine. We're cool. [he and Matt laugh heartily]
Charlie: It, it, it proves the maxim, "Don't screw around with anybody who has a cartoon!"
Trey: Yeah, that's right! We'll make you into a ham and blow you up.
Matt: Make you into a puppet and blow you up.
Charlie: [laughs] Aw, congratulations. Great to have you.
Trey: Thank you very much. It's been fun.
Matt: Thank you very much.
Trey: Great fun.
Charlie: [laughs] Ahh, what else should I say about it, that's it.
Matt: Yeah, that's great.
Charlie: That does it.
Trey: Yeah, that's perfect.
Charlie: All right. Good?
Matt: Thank you very much, Charlie.
Charlie: Thank you.