Trey Parker is an actor, voice artist, animator, screenwriter, director, producer and musician, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Matt Stone, as well as co-writing and co-directing the 2011 multi-Tony Award winning musical The Book of Mormon.
Parker started his film career in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. His first success came from Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short titled Jesus vs. Santa, which led him and college friend Stone to create South Park, which began airing on television in 1997. He has won four Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning for both “Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour” and “Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour”.
In 1992, Parker and Stone created Jesus vs. Frosty. It included four boys, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Kenny McCormick and Eric Cartman. Both Jesus vs. Frosty and Cannibal! The Musical were made while they were students at the University of Colorado film school, studying under both Stan Brakhage and Jerry Aronson. Afterwards, the two friends set off for Hollywood in hopes of making more movies. Brian Graden, then an executive at Fox, put Parker to work making a pilot for a musical children’s television series called Time Warped. The pilot, called “Rom and Jul,” was a love story about a Homo erectus and an Australopithecus. Fox passed on the series, but Graden paid Parker and Stone $1,200 to make a new version of The Spirit of Christmas he could send out as a video Christmas card.
They came up with two worthwhile ideas; one a sequel to Jesus vs. Frosty, titled Jesus vs. Santa, and one about a character that would later be recurring in South Park, Mr. Hankey. They chose to write about the four boys. The result was The Spirit of Christmas, an animated short film that centered on four crude-acting, blob-shaped third-grade boys forced to intervene in a nasty fistfight between Jesus Christ and Santa Claus. The tape was a smash, passed around and copied endlessly in media circles in Los Angeles and New York City. The video landed in the hands of Doug Herzog of Comedy Central. “It literally was the funniest thing I’d ever seen,” he said in a 2006 interview. “We said, ‘Develop a show.’ So they went off and developed the show.” Stone and Parker produced 13 episodes for season 1. South Park is currently still under contract to produce new episodes through 2016. As of 2007, Parker is credited with directing and writing the vast majority of South Park episodes, and voicing most of the regular and guest characters.
In 1997, they also released Orgazmo, a movie rated NC-17. In 1998, they starred in (but did not write or direct) BASEketball, another feature film, while being renewed for a second season of South Park. In 1999, Parker and Stone made South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, which gave the series a new level of prominence. Trey Parker was nominated for an Academy Award as the co-writer of one of the film’s songs, “Blame Canada,” but did not win.
In 2001, the duo announced they would do 39 shorts between the lengths of 2 and 5 minutes. Although originally thought to be South Park related, they decided they would do something different. The result was the shorts Princess. The content was so extreme that it was cancelled after two shows aired. In 2001, they also created That’s My Bush!, another television series, which was cancelled after one season. In 2004, they made a film, titled Team America: World Police. The film was not considered a box-office success, grossing 51 million dollars in theaters, despite largely positive reviews (78% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com).
In 2013, South Park will begin its seventeenth season with new episodes to air starting September 25.
How Trey Parker Made His Money – Acting and Animation
Estimated Net Worth: $300 Million
Birthday: October 19, 1969
[image via ensceptico]