Ever wonder how South Park happened? Like, how did creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone ever convince a basic cable network to air a show about four potty-mouthed kids, crudely made out of constrution paper—in the relatively conservative television landscape of the mid-1990s, no less?
Parker and Stone were totally untested in TV. South Park was about children, but aimed at adults. The pilot scored so terribly in a focus group that watching it actually made a couple of the participants cry. (Kids shouldn’t say such things!) Somehow, though, the show made it to the airwaves—where it’s remained for 20 seasons and counting, winning five Emmys and a slew of other awards along the way.
We interviewed Parker, producer Brian Graden and former Comedy Central president Doug Herzog for an oral history of how South Park was created. Read it in full on EW longform: How South Park Was Born: An Oral History of The Spirit of Christmas.