The problem with arranging Matt Stone and Trey Parker's guest appearance at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts was in keeping it a secret from students beforehand, the professor whose class they visited said on Thursday. "The producers warned me just keep on your toes and be prepared for anything," professor Ken Liotti said via telephone. "This was all spontaneous stuff. They were either going to come into the class 10 minutes in or an hour in." The South Park and Book of Mormon creators worked out a "shave-and-a-haircut" knock with the professor to identify themselves, "so in case some student knocked I wouldn’t accidentally introduce Trey and Matt."
Stone and Parker dropped in Liotti's Storytelling Strategies class for the show "Stand In," on MTV's college network, mtvU, in which celebrities make surprise appearances at college lectures in their field. In a video clip The New York Times ran on Thursday, Stone and Parker explain how to get through a story by linking scenes with "therefore" and "but" rather than "and then." (It's worth watching.) Liotti said they also talked about procrastination, the bane of almost every writer. "They kind of just said you just do it. You procrastinate, you know you’re procrastinating, and then you wait for the last minute, and then when they’re forced to do it, then they do it. Procrastination is a part of the process. I spoke about how when I write I start to realphabetize my album collection. And they said yeah, we do that all the time, but when the deadline approaches and you have to do it, you just do it."