The "South Park" creators teach "BASEketball"'s director how to be outrageous

After casting “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in the movie “BASEketball” (which opens today), director/cowriter David Zucker learned that bad taste has changed since he cocreated the gag-a-minute spoofs “Airplane!” and the “Naked Gun” films. “Sometimes Matt and Trey would say, ‘That’s funny, but that’s too tame,'” says Zucker, 50. “They would suggest other ways to make scenes outrageous.”

Zucker says that bad taste in comedy is less a matter of subject than execution. “Almost anything can be made to be funny — it’s the context that’s the important thing. If you do it right, you will get a laugh,” he explains. “If you miss, there will be a gigantic sucking sound in the theater and no laughs.” Speaking of sucking, certain jokes in “BASEketball” flopped before test audiences and got cut from the film. “There was a line where a TV announcer says, ‘And everyone in the stadium is on their feet!’ And the camera pans until it gets to the wheelchair section, and the announcer says, ‘Well, almost everyone.’ It got a laugh, but not a big enough laugh.”

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