South Park is a long-running franchise which started as an Animated Series by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Spawning from two animations called The Spirit of Christmas (1992, a.k.a. Jesus vs. Frosty) and Jesus vs. Santa (1995), the show was picked up by Comedy Central in 1997; entering its twentieth season in 2016, South Park is currently the third longest-running animated series.note
Despite strong critical and commercial success, South Park quickly became highly controversial by being offensive in about as many ways possible — in a nutshell, the show is filled with bad language, violence, nudity and perverse sexual references, and often contains witheringly sarcastic, highly irreverent, and downright obscene approaches to race, religion, celebrities, politics, homosexuality, obesity, the mentally challenged and just about everything that's possible for people to get riled up over. To add fuel to the fire, all the main characters are children, and the animation is done in a deliberately crude, brightly colored style that made it look like it was made for or by pre-schoolers.
In just two years since its pilot, South Park saw a movie release based on the series, and even had a short (for Hollywood) turn-around time as well. Titled South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, the movie is surprisingly a musical, and (even more surprisingly) received widespread critical acclaim. Further, whilst structured differently to the movie, the series has also seen three trilogy-sets of episodes built like Made For TV Movies: firstly, Imaginationland followed terrorists attacking the physical location of everyone's imagination; secondly.Coon and Friends, which followed the boys pretending to be superheroes and tangling with a demonic force; and then finally, Black Friday, which followed the boys turning the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 console war into an actual war Game of Thrones style.
Outside of TV and film, the show has had a variety of releases through video games, which have been produced over the years of varying gameplay style, quality, and level of involvement of Stone and Parker. The Obsidian Entertainment title South Park: The Stick of Truth and the Ubisoft title South Park: The Fractured but Whole were both scripted and creatively overseen by Stone and Parker, and specifically developed to look and feel like a TV episode.
There was also an arcade pinball game, posthumously famous for having a Video Mode too offensive for Comedy Central and for being the last game manufactured by Sega Pinball (the two items are presumably not related).
Major entries in the South Park franchise:
- South Park: The main series, which has continued running since 1997.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: The theatrical musical movie released 1999.
- South Park: Post Covid: The first of 14 planned direct-to-streaming movies made for Paramount+, released in November 2021.
- A second film, South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid, released in December 2021.
- The third Paramount+ film, South Park: The Streaming Wars, released in June 2022.
- The fourth Paramount+ film, South Park: The Streaming Wars Part 2, released in July 2022.
- South Park Pinball: A pinball game released in 1999.
- South Park: A first-person shooter adventure video game released in 1998 for Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and PC.
- South Park: Chef's Luv Shack: A party game released in 1999 for Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Dreamcast.
- South Park Rally: A racing game released in 1999 for Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Dreamcast.
- South Park 10: The Game: A mobile platform game released in 2007, but only in Europe.
- South Park Digital Studios:
- South Park: Let's Go Tower Defense Play! & South Park: Tenorman's Revenge: Two Xbox LIVE Arcade titles released respectively in 2009 and 2012 and the first of the games developed by South Park Digital Studios.
- South Park: The Stick of Truth: The 2014 Role-Playing Game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
- South Park: The Fractured but Whole: The 2017 sequel to Stick of Truth for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
- South Park: Phone Destroyer: A mobile side game for iOS and Android devices.