South Park’s Trey Parker, interviewing Wonder Showzen’s John Lee: So how long does it take to do an episode?
John Lee: It took us ten months to do seven episodes.
TP: Jesus Christ, dude!
JL: It’s ridiculous, I know. It’s just Vernon and me putting it together.
TP: You need to turn down the quality valve a little bit.
South Park’s valiant role in blasting open the television medium to make way for truly advanced comedy programming is indisputable, and frankly, unfuckwithable. So don’t misunderstand the premise here: the above exchange between SP’s Trey Parker while interviewing John Lee and Vernon Chatman, the team behind one of my favorite TV efforts ever, Wonder Showzen, could be seen as a “tell” about the difference in philosophy behind the SP factory/juggernaut vs. that of Chatman and Lee. Or it could just be a joke, I don’t know. What I do know for sure is Jon Kricfalusi’s (Ren & Stimpy) extraordinarily high standards of craft and refusal to use outsourced overseas animation a la the Simpsons resulted in his torpedoing his own series in way it never recovered from. It’s not as if Parker and Stone can do no wrong – I am only saying that anyone (like myself) who wonders if he spends too much time making the stuff he makes should take notice of where the balance lies between getting it out the door and getting it right.