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South Park's Secret Recipe For Never-Ending Success: Whatever Happens Today Can Be An Episode

"South Park" has been a staple of adult animated television for over 20 years, and although the show has certainly earned a reputation as one of the most crass and offensive programs on air, it remains to this day one of the most iconic and beloved television series of all time. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the series' longevity is the relative simplicity of its premise, as the series primarily follows the lives of four fourth graders attending South Park Elementary: Kyle Broflovski (Matt Stone), Eric Cartman (Trey Parker), Kenny McCormick (Stone), and Stan Marsh (Parker).

The adventures of these four friends (and the supporting cast of elementary schoolers and fellow "South Park residents) seem to grow more outlandish with each passing season — ranging from more grounded episodes about school bullying and politically-correct teachers to full-on epic journeys that pit our character against Eldritch horrors like Cthulhu, or lead them into the depths of Hell to confront Satan and Saddam Hussein. Indeed, it seems as though anything and everything is on the table when you turn on an episode of "South Park," and at a certain point, one has to wonder how Trey Parker and Matt Stone keep coming up with these ideas.

As it happens, the two series co-creators actually have a secret recipe for "South Park's continued success — one which focuses on current events in the real world and applies them to the town.

The writers take current events and apply them to the town of South Park

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Matt Stone and Trey Parker explained that the core of "South Park's" continued success is the fact that the series focuses on a town rather than set characters — and that by taking current events and applying them to that town, they have a seemingly unlimited number of possible stories to explore.

"It's not about a family or a kid, it's about a town," said Parker. "And in any given episode, we can focus on the teacher, or we can just focus on Cartman, we can just focus on the mailman, we can just focus on whatever we want... you know we can sit down in the writer's room and go 'what's going on in the world?' 'How do we have that happen in South Park.'"

Indeed, "South Park" has become well-known for making episodes about current events and popular news stories, keeping the show fresh and culturally relevant over the past two decades. The ongoing 26th Season of "South Park" has already satirized Kanye West's recent anti-semitic tirade, the absurd tell-all book released by Prince Harry, and several trending sounds on TikTok. By taking what's happening in the world right now and applying it to the residents of South Park, Parker and Stone seem to have created a recipe for a nearly endless supply of stories. As long as there are current events to satirize, "South Park” should have plenty of fresh, hilarious content for many years to come.