Few predicted that Donald Trump would emerge victorious from the 2016 U.S. presidential race, and that included “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
So certain were they of a Hillary Clinton win that they had already prepped an episode — “The Very First Gentleman” — spoofing Bill and Hillary returning to the White House. When that turned out to not be the case, the duo had some scrambling to do, which they explained in a recent interview with “The Bill Simmons Podcast”.
“‘Go black was what we talked about,” Stone told Simmons of considering not airing an episode at all. “[We discussed] airing the show as-is and just being like, ‘Here it is, it’s a document for history.’ We called [former president of Viacom Music and Entertainment] Doug Herzog and said, ‘We can’t get the show done. It’s just really screwed up, and sorry.’ And he was like, ‘I’m at ‘The Daily Show’, everyone’s crying, I’ll call you back,’ or something like that. It was like, his world was like, everyone was coming to him saying, ‘We can’t do this tonight.’ We show up Thursday morning and start another one. No time to process.”
What they ended up doing was revamp the existing episode, which was rejigged and retitled “Oh Jeez”.
“We just got to the dry-erase board and just started erasing s**t and filling in and going, ‘How can we line this all up to make it make sense?’” Parker added.
“By 9:30 or 10 we kind of had it figured out. I think [Herzog] would have been OK with us just going black, but it was also nice for at least real diehard ‘South Park’ fans to see that everything was still [going]. Everyone was so shell-shocked and it was like you didn’t want to see that the world had changed. You wanted to be like, ‘OK, this horrible thing has happened, and [Trump] has been elected president, [but] ‘South Park’ is still on the air. The sun’s still rising. Water’s still clear.’”