After Donald Trump shocked the world by becoming the 45th President of the United States, despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by over three million, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were forced to scramble. The post-Election Day episode was re-written within 24 hours of the results (they, like many others, thought Clinton was a lock to win; the episode’s original title: “The Very First Gentleman”), and there was an obvious (and not always successful) chain effect throughout the rest of the season.
A season that was, notably, free of Donald Trump.
Instead, South Park turned Mr. Garrison into a Trump stand-in, right down to the orange skin, insults, and desperately short temper. Parker and Stone backed off lampooning the Giant Douche — and Clinton’s Turd Sandwich — because, as they told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “It’s tricky now because satire has become reality.” Parker continued, “It’s really hard to make fun of and in the last season of South Park… we were really trying to make fun of what was going on, but we couldn’t keep up and what was actually happening was much funnier than anything we could come up with. So we decided to kind of back off and let them do their comedy and we’ll do ours.”
This is a slight change from what Parker and Stone said last year, when they explained they chose Garrison-as-Trump instead of Trump because they “didn’t really want to service Trump as a character.” Stone added, “We were like, f*ck him, we don’t want to give him the satisfaction.” Either way, it’s hard to parody real life when real life is already so ridiculous.