During an interview with Bill Simmons in May, the South Park guys said that President Donald Trump presented exhausting creative challenges. They even had to change their election-week episode for the first time in the show’s 20 years on Comedy Central, having made the mistake of planning for a Clinton win.
In an interview last week with the Los Angeles Times, series co-creator Trey Parker said the show will go a step further. Despite forays into political comedy for most of its run, Parker said that the show’s upcoming 21st season will go out of its way to ignore the president.
“This season I want to get back to Cartman dressing up like a robot and [screwing] with Butters, because to me that’s the bread and butter of South Park: Kids being kids and being ridiculous and outrageous but not ‘did you see what Trump did last night?’ Because I don’t give a [sh*t] anymore. We probably could put up billboards—‘Look what we’re going to do to Trump next week!’—and get crazy ratings. But I just don’t care.”
Parker and co-creator Matt Stone also told Simmons that their humor was based on “flipping off the principal.” But Trump poses a serious problem to comedy writers, they said: What happens when the principal flips you off right back? Despite serializing the show during season 20 and writing in Trump humor, it appears the answer is to just find punchlines elsewhere.
It’s also interesting that they want to emphasize their core cast of kids. The duo said that in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado, there are few teens and 20-somethings. In real life, Parker and Stone have toddlers, and as grumpy dads have come to identify most with lovable everyman Randy Marsh.