Xeni Jardin sits down with Matt and Trey on the eve of their 200th episode:
Everyone knows I'm a fan of South Park, to put it mildly. But this interview illuminates one reason I revere these guys. They are unafraid. They have taken on some really tough issues - Scientology, celebrity, child-abuse, anti-Semitism, free speech, Catholicism, Mormonism - and uttered what so many are afraid to utter. They retain a WTF edge that actually is a real edge, and not a phony one. They take risks. They even challenge their own bosses and industry with a tenacity Washington journalists could learn from.
The non-puss factor is why I see the Dish and South Park as coming broadly from the same sensibility and philosophy.
We're politically incorrect on all the dumb stuff, but deadly serious about free speech, and getting to the unsayable truths of the day. We're uncomfortable in lock-step liberal circles and ideological conservative ones. South Park, of course, has the advantage of being able to say things that we all know are true - like Tiger Woods' "sex addiction" hooey or the nonsense of ex-gay therapy or the infuriating smugness of many liberal celebs - through the mouths of cartoon kids. The Dish has to do it all with seriousness, although we try to leaven it as much as we can. But our spirit is SP, I hope. At least, I've done my best to express it that way - because it's how I see the world as well.
South Park almost never puts out a duff episode and with each season their cultural critiques get sharper, braver, and deadlier. And yet they have never for a millisecond lost the anarchic humor and schoolboy snicker that still makes it all fucking hilarious. The Dish reveres and honors them - for the very rare combination of not losing your balls as you get richer and more successful.
And Matt now has that kickass Jew-beard!
With love from all three of us to all of you. Anne and David too.
(Full disclosure: yes, Matt and I are good friends, and I know some of the SP crew.)