With the release of “Team America: World Police”
Friday, writer/director Matt Stone feels relieved. “This
movie killed us,” he said, referring to his work with
partner-in-crime Trey Parker. The duo, best known for the
subversive satire “South Park,” are turning their guns
toward Hollywood again, along with the political world, with their
latest release.

Eston Bond
Terrence, is that a penny stuck up your ass? (Courtesy of Comedy Central)

“Team America” was inspired by the British puppet
series “Thunderbirds.” Stone describes his inspiration
as having “such an interesting look and feel.” It
proved to be the catalyst for new types of humor. “When you
decide to do an R-rated puppet movie, there’s just a lot of
fertile ground,” joked Stone.

The film features marionette puppets, unfortunately not
anatomically correct, and still caused quite a stir with the
censors. “We have sex scenes with puppets. They are like
Barbie and Ken dolls. We put them in positions and rub them
together … the (Motion Picture Association of America) had a
problem with some of the positions we picked,” Stone
explained in regards to the controversy. Stone is no stranger to
battles with the MPAA, as the “South Park” movie was
wrangled with restrictions for its liberal use of language. Stone
said, “I think the MPAA is a pretty broken organization. I
don’t think it serves artists very well, and I don’t
think it serves parents very well.”

But the risqué nature of “Team America”
isn’t the only thing that’s stirring up controversy.
The movie lampoons major political figures and actors. Stone
doesn’t agree with actors making major political stands.
“We definitely tried to satirize what became, to us, the
arrogance of Hollywood celebrities who can’t distinguish the
difference between being good actors and knowing everything about
the world that there is to know.”

And Stone doesn’t pretend to spread his political agenda.
“We know about making movies, but I really don’t know
anything about politics more than anything else.” In fact, he
thinks that it would be a disservice to follow his ideals. “I
don’t think anyone should take their political views from me
or Trey, ’cause we’re pretty fucked up people. At least
we can admit it. I don’t want anybody changing their mind
because of this movie.”

Though Stone takes great pride in this film, he still sees his
future in “South Park.” The hit cartoon comedy about
foul-mouthed fourth graders is about to enter its ninth season.
“ ‘South Park’ is so much fun and after doing
this movie, that’s all we’re going to do for the next
year or two,” Stone said. But even though Stone and his
partner have finished the film, they still haven’t started
the new season of “South Park.”

“We haven’t gotten back to work on it yet,” he
admitted. Still, he shows no signs of concern because of the
show’s incredibly quick production time. “The creative
turnaround is great. It’s almost (got) a live performance
feel to it,” Stone added, explaining the show’s unique
ability to skewer even the most recent events.

Stone is happy to retreat back into a more normal work schedule.
Even the process of making films wore on him; “With a movie,
you live with a joke for two or three years and it’s not
funny anymore. I much prefer TV right now.” However, he can
still joke about the whole thing. “Our biggest regret of this
whole fucking thing is that we came to L.A. to be in a band and we
got side tracked by this stupid fucking television
thing.”

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