Subversive, satirical, and sold out

Matt Stone and Trey Parker are co-creators of the hit Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon" - it's both irreverent and heartwarming, just like their other creation: "South Park"

(CBS News) After 15 years, Comedy Central's hit animated series "South Park" is still dishing up crude jokes and subversive plot lines. Its irreverent creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone haven't found a line they won't cross. Correspondent Steve Kroft profiles the team, following their zany creative process from television to Broadway, where their musical comedy, "The Book of Mormon," is also a huge success.


The following script is from "Parker & Stone" which originally aired on Sept. 25, 2011 and was rebroadcast on June 20, 2012. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. Graham Messick, producer.

If you came to New York this year to see a Broadway play or a musical, chances are the one show you couldn't get tickets for was "The Book of Mormon," which won nine Tony Awards this time last year. The musical is from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of "South Park," a show that changed the face of cable TV, and is currently in its 16th season. As we first reported last fall, Parker and Stone have worked their magic on the Great White Way with another outrageous satire, which will soon be heading to Denver, Chicago and London.

This has been the scene outside the Eugene O'Neil Theater for over a year, as people line up for "The Book of Mormon," the hottest ticket on Broadway. It's grossed $85 million, broken 34 house records, including 500 performances without an empty seat. And that is music to the ears of its two creators, Trey Parker, on the left, and Matt Stone, on the right.

Steve Kroft: Were you surprised it's been so successful?

Trey Parker: Yeah. I mean we thought it was good. We thought the songs were really good, but we didn't think it was going to be like this.

Elder Price in "The Book of Mormon" [singing]: Hello. My name is Elder Price.

The musical is not just a satire of clean-cut, earnest Mormons with some unorthodox beliefs. It's a playful send- up of all organized religion.

Elder Young [singing]: Hello, my name is Elder Young. Did you know that Jesus lived here in the U.S.A?

It's the story of two mismatched missionaries played by Andrew Rannels and Josh Gad, who are sent to Africa to proselytize to pagans who have heard similar spiels before with no meaningful results.

Mafala: In this part of Africa, we all have a saying. Whenever something bad happens, we just throw our hands up into the sky and say, "Hasa Diga Eebowai."

Elder Cunningham: Does it mean no worries for the rest of our days?

Mafala: Kind of!

Mafala [singing]: We've had no food for several days. And 80% of us have AIDS.

All [singing]: Hasa Diga Eebowai! Hasa Diga Eebowai.

What the Mormons don't know, but soon will find out is that the locals are flipping the finger at their heavenly father.

Elder Cunningham: F.U. to Heavenly Father?! Holy Moly, I said it like 13 times!!

It is rude, crude, lewd and blasphemous. But it hasn't kept critics from proclaiming "The Book of Mormon" the best Broadway musical in a decade, or stop it from racking up nine Tony Awards. And for theater-going fans of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it's exactly what they expected from the creators of "South Park."

Matt Stone: A lot of the stuff, the subject matter we've tackled, the way we found ourselves there, is simply by trying to do something that no one else has touched. And so it's like, "There's a reason why people haven't touched that." And we're like, "Oh yeah, cause we want to do jokes other people haven't done, you know."

Kroft: Are there lines that you won't cross?

Stone: No. I don't, yeah, we haven't found one yet.

They are barely 40 and have already been collaborating for 20 years. They met in film class at the University of Colorado and were partnered up to work on a project, quickly discovering that they shared a love of Monty Python and a subversive sense of humor.

Kroft: What were you like back then?

Parker: Really cool. Just amazingly cool.

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