Mention Littleton, Colorado and it conjures up images of the high school misfits and a deadly Columbine High School massacre. Lesser known is the fact that Matt Stone, co-creator of the hit Comedy Central animated series “South Park”, was raised in Littleton. Like teenaged killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the “South Park” characters are over-the-top misfits without social redeeming values. These facts bring up the question “How did a squeaky clean suburban town like Littleton spawn these icons of extreme kid rebellion?”
About “South Park”
“South Park” was originally created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker as an animated Christmas card for friends and family. To Stone and Parker, their characters conjured up twisted visions of their respective Colorado home towns.
Matt Stone grew up and went to high school in Littleton. Contrary to certain Internet trivia Web sites, Stone went to Heritage High in Littleton. Heritage was located a few miles away from Columbine High School. Trey Parker grew up and went to high school in Conifer, a small mountain town as opposed to a suburb of Denver like Littleton. The physicality of “South Park” is actually modeled after Fairplay, a small mountain town near Parker’s hometown.
The “Real” South Park
Until 1974, Fairplay was called South Park City. It’s one of several small central Colorado mountain towns located in a geographic area known as the South Park Basin in Park County. Despite the town name change, there is indeed a South Park High School, South Park Community Church and South Park Medical Center located in Fairplay.
“South Park” debuted in 1997. The massacre at Columbine High School happened on April 20th (Hitler’s birthday), 1999. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed twelve students and a teacher before killing themselves.
“Bowling for Columbine”
In 2002 documentarian Michael Moore’s Academy Award-winning feature “Bowling for Columbine” was released. The film’s focus is on the cause of the Columbine High School massacre specifically and the gun violence in America in general. In the film, Moore interviews Matt Stone because of his Littleton connection and the two killers’ love of “South Park.”
In the interview, Stone blamed the Columbine massacre on the pressures of small town conformity and the conservatism of public school systems. Stone and his partner Trey Parker, however, criticized the film after its release. After Stone’s interview segment, there was an animation that closely resembled South Park’s style. On his Web site, Michael Moore answered his critics and attributed the animation to Harold Moss.
“Super Columbine Massacre”
In 2005 the video game “Super Columbine Massacre” was released. The game replicates the Columbine High School massacre. In its final scene the two Columbine High School killers fight the cartoon Satan as depicted on “South Park.”