It’s not uncommon for TV shows to make the leap to the big screen, and when they do, to go beyond what’s allowed by broadcast TV standards. When it comes to a show that already had a reputation to push the bounds of acceptability though, you might be able to understand Paramount executives’ unease at allowing “South Park” to get an R-rating. But that didn’t stop the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, from digging in their heels and refusing to do anything less.
In 1998, with the series a smash hit for Comedy Central, “South Park” began its journey to theaters, and in April of that year, a report from E! Online declared that Parker and Stone had finally secured an R-rating. “They really wanted to be able to go beyond the South Park television show,” Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox told TV Guide, according to E!. “They really fought hard for and won the right to make an R-rated movie.”
The article does ask what the movie could possibly achieve that the show already hadn’t, where sexually suggestive dialogue and scenes of human feces were commonplace. Well, we know the answer today, as the entire plot revolves around the use of repeated obscenities. But it wasn’t just bad words, as excessive violence and sex jokes riddle the film, making it plainly obvious why it needed its R-rating.