"South Park" creators extend their reach

By Ann Limpert
Updated January 07, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

Who says you need Ritalin to pay attention to the Internet? Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the unabashedly raw comic minds who elevated Comedy Central’s South Park to near-Simpsonian status, will now extend their reach to the Web. The duo recently signed a contract with Macromedia’s Shockwave.com (www.shock wave.com) to create 39 two- to five-minute-long animated shorts to debut exclusively on the entertainment site in March. In return, the kings of crude get an undisclosed stake in Shockwave.com and full artistic control. The shorts will likely air weekly, and there are no restrictions—from Macromedia or the FCC. Just as important, Parker and Stone get to flex fresh creative muscles while experimenting with a new art form. Says Stone: ”What’s exciting for us is that we get to do something animated that’s not South Park. It’s cool to be able to do shorts in a real way and not just do them for your friends. You can’t really do [them] anywhere else.”

Still, much of what will draw their audience is Stone and Parker’s South Park cred. With no familiar construction-paper cutouts, will anyone log on for random shorts? Stone doesn’t seem to be worried: ”We can try really weird new stuff, and if only a few thousand people like it, it’s cool. I don’t feel that pressure. There’s no such thing as ratings yet, really.”

For now, Matt, for now.