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The South Park Creators Got Some Sage Advice From Monty Python Legend Terry Gilliam

"South Park" has been known in the past to wear its influences on its sleeve. From a fight scene inspired by John Carpenter's "They Live" to a particularly creepy influence from Tod Browning's seminal cult classic "Freaks," the show has never been shy about paying homage to pieces of pop culture.

The creative team behind the show is often able to keep up to the minute with pop culture happening due to the show's breakneck production pace in which they make each episode of a season within six days before it hits the air.

The show's creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, have made it known for years their love of the comedy stylings of "Monty Python and the Flying Circus." Monty Python's sketch comedy show tended to bend into absurdism, and the duo really latched on to their ability to world-build. One of the group's founding members, Terry Gilliam, offered them some friendly advice that they just didn't take.

Terry Gilliam warned the South Park creators not to over-extend

In an interview with Exclaim!, Stone and Parker recounted the time they received advice that they wished they had taken. When the show was first premiering, the duo attended the Aspen Comedy Festival and met some of the Monty Python team. They had a sit-down chat with the troupe when the topic of "South Park" and its success came up.

Parker recalled: "We said, 'Yeah and we got this and we're going to do that' and Terry Gilliam said, 'Don't over-extend yourselves.'" Following the success of the Monty Python sketches and films, Gilliam went on to make movies like "Brazil" and "Time Bandits," the latter of which Sean Connery at one point literally dubbed over-ambitious, so, he knows a thing or two about over-extending. He even worked for nearly 30 years on getting the 2018 film, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" off the ground (via The New York Times).

Parker conceded that Gilliam was absolutely correct, saying, "We honestly haven't been bored in two and a half years because we've gone straight from working on a movie to working on 'South Park' to working on a movie to working on 'South Park' with literally three days in between. We both really need to go get bored because that's where you really come up with stuff." Talk about over-extending.

The South Park duo didn't take Gilliam's advice at all

Matt Stone and Trey Parker never took a break between giant projects. The two movies Parker referred to are "South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut" and "Team America: World Police." The "South Park" movie was released in 1999, and "Team America" came out in 2004, but the duo never stopped working on their iconic animation — that's five years of a whole lot of creative output.

Stone added to the topic of planning to slow down, "We're going to try and get bored this summer. Project Boredom. We're going to do it by using lots of drinking." He also added, "We finally realized that Terry Gilliam is totally smart."

The interview this was taken from was conducted in 2005. Over the next 17 years after they said all of this, "South Park" continued to be a juggernaut and spawned several more straight-to-streaming films throughout the early 2020s. Fans have to wonder: did "Project Boredom" ever come to be for the hard-working creators or will it not happen until "South Park" comes to an end?