Trey Parker and Matt Stone tell the August edition of Details magazine that before actor George Clooney started showing their Park pilot, "The Spirit of Christmas," to Hollywood friends, they were turned down flat by Fox executives during a pitch session for the animated series.
According to Parker, the show's irreverence didn't go over well with the once-daring network.
"They told us it will never work," Parker says, in the mag. "The advice we got was, 'It should be three boys and a girl. One of the kids has to be black or Mexican.'"
Another piece of imparted wisdom was to give the cut-out cut-ups a family, à la The Simpsons. Stone countered that the South Park tots do have a family.
"What people don't remember is when you're in the third grade, your close friends almost are your family," Stone says, in Details. "You have this little collective consciousness with your friends."
The sting of the Fox rejection behind them, these are frenetic weeks for Parker and Stone. They try their luck at movie stardom this month in BASEketball, director Jerry Zucker's sports spoof.
Also on their plates: a second season of South Park for Comedy Central, preproduction for the R-rated movie version of the 'toon and the fall premiere of Parker's porn-culture film comedy, Orgazmo.