Trey Parker

Comedy Central’s “South Park” is rude, crude and one of the most successful series in TV history, having just begun its 15th season. And if that’s not impressive enough, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are also kings of Broadway. Their hit show, “The Book of Mormon,” won nine 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Parker and Stone spoke to Bankrate about the before and after of success.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone


Trey Parker, photo by Michael Yarish
Given that you became successful pretty young, did you ever have actual jobs?

Trey Parker: I was a cook at Pizza Hut for, like, a year and a half.

Matt Stone: “South Park” wasn’t our job till we were 25, 26 (years old).

Trey Parker: We worked odd jobs. At The University of Colorado, I worked at the film desk, renting out equipment and stuff.

Matt Stone: I worked in restaurants. I did a lot of landscaping and house painting. Then, when we moved to L.A., we did some PA (production assistant) work.

Trey Parker: We’d get little odd jobs to work on this shoot, or this video, or whatever. We weren’t living well, that’s for sure.

 
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Comedy Central’s “South Park” is rude, crude and one of the most successful series in TV history, having just begun its 15th season. And if that’s not impressive enough, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are also kings of Broadway. Their hit show, “The Book of Mormon,” won nine 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Parker and Stone spoke to Bankrate about the before and after of success.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Matt Stone

Matt Stone, photo by Michael Yarish
Once you got your first big contract, did you splurge on anything special?

Trey Parker: It’s funny, because when we got these checks for $20,000 or whatever for the first run of “South Park,” we were like, “We made it. We’re done,” because we had been living for several years on nothing. So I went out and bought a convertible Toyota Celica, and I was like, “I’m a bada– motherf—–r.”

Matt Stone: I bought a red 4Runner — not new, but it was only two years old, and I’m like, “It’s pretty new. I have a pretty new car.” The car I had before that I sold for $400.

Bankrate: And then when you started getting really big contracts …

Trey Parker: It seemed to come really slowly.

Matt Stone: I bought my mom and dad a car. I did that whole thing — I showed up at the house.

Bankrate: What did you get them?

Matt Stone: A Subaru. My parents lived in Colorado, and they would use a Subaru.

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Comedy Central’s “South Park” is rude, crude and one of the most successful series in TV history, having just begun its 15th season. And if that’s not impressive enough, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are also kings of Broadway. Their hit show, “The Book of Mormon,” won nine 2011 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Parker and Stone spoke to Bankrate about the before and after of success.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone
South Park

Photo courtesy of Comedy Central
Now, many millions of dollars later, do you have extravagant lifestyles, or do you try to stay reasonable and somewhat frugal?

Matt Stone: I’m not frugal. I can’t say that. Trey is definitely not frugal.

Trey Parker: It’s crazy, because I’m extremely extravagant in some ways. I still go to McDonald’s and whatnot, but sometimes it’s like, this is insane what I’m doing right now. When I was in Colorado, I got my dad, my sister and my friend’s mom cars at the same time. I went down to Toyota and said, “Give me three of these cars,” and got them for those people.

Matt Stone: I can fly myself and my wife first class someplace, and it’s like … I totally don’t know what a dollar’s worth anymore. I’m out of touch. But I have to say … (he points to his clothing: jeans, sneakers and a T-shirt).

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