Trey Parker, Matt Stone and the writers on their new show sat around Parker's house watching the election returns Tuesday night, trying to figure out what to do.
The "South Park" creators have signed a deal with Comedy Central to produce a live-action sitcom scheduled to debut Feb. 28. The show, called "Family First," will irreverently portray the home life of the next president of the United States -- whoever that is.
What was your reaction to Bush's apparent victory?
Parker: I'm actually surprised. I didn't think I would be, but I've been thinking about the show in terms of Al Gore for so long. But lately, as the polls came in, we started saying, "You know, this show might wind up being about George W. Bush. And it doesn't really matter." But the whole premise from the beginning was that either one of these guys totally sucks, so it'll really work either way.
What about you, Matt?
Stone: I pretty much agree with Trey. We've been working for a couple of months thinking about ideas for the show, and it would have made two different kinds of shows, but I think it's going to be fine for us ... [Pause] That's funny, all we care about is our show.
Parker: Yeah. At 3 [PST] Tuesday afternoon, just like everybody else, we were thinking, "Well, it's going to be a show about Gore." And we're sitting here with the writers and coming up with Gore ideas, and all of a sudden they pull Florida back out. And it was like, "Oh, wait a minute." It's just so funny that this election, the one our show hinged on, was the one that was just too close to call.
Stone: It's kind of creepy that in these past weeks both candidates have been campaigning in Florida, and then it really did come down to Florida. They really do know scientifically how we're all going to vote. It kind of creeped me out. It took all the fun out of it.
What do you think affected the outcome in the end?
Parker: They're both such big dorks, but Gore is just the biggest dork in the world. It seemed like the more people saw of him, the more he was in the public eye, the more they were like, "Ugh."
Stone: I think Gore, from the get-go, should have said, "You know, I'm a boring guy, I'm a superboring guy. But don't worry about it, I'm going to do my best job. Instead, he was like, "I'm exciting, watch me dance; look, I'm gonna run around, watch me kiss my wife!"
Parker: But it's great for us, for the show. It's just great. It's now proven that either way, we're going to have a president that literally half the country doesn't want in there.
So what does that mean for the show?
Parker: I think we knew what direction to take either way. With Gore it was about a big dork trying to run Washington. And with Bush it was about a big "fish out of water" dork trying to run Washington. We're not trying to make a very political show. We're trying to make a show where the trippiness of it comes from the real people involved.
Did you vote?
Parker: Uh, no.