They still haven't found a line they won't cross. The latest taboo busted wide open by "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone is religion. It's a comedic assault on religious dogma called "The Book of Mormon" and it's currently the hottest show on Broadway.
Steve Kroft talks to the pair about that musical comedy and brings "60 Minutes" cameras to observe the creative process that's kept the foul-mouthed school boys of "South Park" at the top of the basic cable television heap for years.
The profile of Parker and Stone will be broadcast on the 44th Season Premiere of "60 Minutes," Sunday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Parker and Stone say they are just trying to be different. "The subject matter we've tackled, the way we've found ourselves there, is simply by trying to do something nobody else has touched," says Stone. "No," says Parker, when asked if there was any line they would not cross.
They started out by crossing a line: pitting Jesus and Santa Claus in a fight over who was more important to Christmas. "That became so huge...it really was so viral, before YouTube," recalls Parker. That Christmas card cartoon created for $1,200 nearly 20 years ago got them a contract that led to the Comedy Central animated hit "South Park," where pretty much anything can happen and often does.
Celebrities like Tom Cruise, Barbara Streisand and Alec Baldwin are mercilessly lampooned. Issues like racism, homosexuality, war and the economy are parodied weekly with barnyard dialogue out of the mouths of four elementary school boys. It can be crude; a piece of dung once served as the main character for an entire episode.
Each week the team creates a new "South Park," now in its 15th season. Parker and Stone do all the voices of the major characters and write the entire scripts, testing the humor out on themselves and in this case, a "60 Minutes" crew. Watch an excerpt.
"We probably have more freedom than anyone in television and we have for a long time," says Parker. And they use that freedom to go where others won't dare says Stone. "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," he tells Kroft.