South Park's Fourth Graders Turn 25: How The Foul-Mouthed Now Millennials Pushed The Envelope - But In A Good Way

South Park’s motley crew of Stan, Kyle, Eric, Kenny as well as their friends, family and lovable school principal Mr. Mackey ("Drugs are bad, Mkay?") are celebrating 25 years on the air.

The show’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who met in a college film class in Boulder in the early 1990s, made "The Spirit of Christmas” in 1995 - the story of a demented snowman who comes to life. It was their first creation in which they introduced Stan, Kyle, Eric and Kenny

Four Fourth Graders: South Park Is Born

Stone and Parker moved on to develop a cartoon series with their four fourth graders and South Park hit the airwaves. By 1997, it was picked up by Comedy Central and the first episode aired on August 13, 1997. 

The show got blowout ratings...and those were in the days of cable TV. It was also the infancy of the Internet but the video went viral. Within a year, advertisers were paying Comedy Central about four times more than they had for ads the previous year.

Although the Parents Television Council, and several more of that ilk, totally freaked out. The Council rated it so offensive that it "shouldn't have been made."

Westword wrote: “More often than not, South Park sparked controversy for its insensitive and disgustingly on-the-nose themes, barely avoiding the guillotine on more than one occasion." But yet they persisted.

At last year's 24th birthday, Parker and Stone, both Colorado natives, joined Governor Jared Polis to celebrate. They ended up having another event to celebrate that day: a $900 million deal with ViacomCBS VIAC to create six more seasons of South Park and fourteen movies drawing from the show for Paramount+ PARA - one of the biggest talent deals in television history.  

As keen observers of what’s been going on in the United States for the past 25 years- another milestone in the history of TV as one of the longest-running series - Stone and Parker's characters continue to take on all manner of controversial political, social, environmental and cultural issues including inequity in the cannabis industry. And they’re still at it.

Watch this brilliant and historically correct 90-second "Do You Have Any Tegridy/" South Park episode. 



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Posted In: CannabisEntertainmentESGMid CapNewsMarketsMediaGeneralComedy CentralMatt StoneSouth ParkTrey ParkerViacomCBS
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