What Happened To Trey Parker ?

Trey Parker

Randolph Severn “Trey” Parker III (born October 19, 1969) is an American actor, voice actor, animator, writer, producer, director, and composer. He is known for co-creating South Park (1997–present) and co-developing The Book of Mormon (2011) with his creative partner Matt Stone. Parker was interested in film and music as a child and at high school, and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he met Stone. The two collaborated on various short films, and starred in the feature-length musical Cannibal! The Musical (1993).

Parker and Stone moved to Los Angeles and wrote their second film, Orgazmo (1997). Before the premiere of the film, South Park premiered on Comedy Central in August 1997. The duo possesses full creative control of the show, and have produced music and video games based on it. A film based on the series, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999), received good reviews from both critics and fans. Parker went on to write, produce, direct, and star in the satirical action film Team America: World Police (2004), and, after several years of development, The Book of Mormon premiered on Broadway to good reviews. In 2013, Parker and Stone established their own production studio, Important Studios.

Parker has been the recipient of various awards over the course of his career, including five Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on South Park, as well as four Tony Awards and a Grammy Award for The Book of Mormon, as well as an Academy Award nomination for the song “Blame Canada” from the South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut movie, co-written with Marc Shaiman.

Early life

Parker was born in Conifer, Colorado, the son of insurance saleswoman Sharon and geologist Randolph “Randy” Parker.He was a shy child who received “decent” grades and was involved in honors classes. He idolized Monty Python, which he began watching on television in the third grade; his later ventures into animation would bear considerable influence from Terry Gilliam. In the sixth grade, Parker wrote a sketch titled The Dentist and appeared in his school’s talent show. He played the dentist and had a friend play the patient. The plot involved what can go wrong at the dentist; due to the amounts of fake blood involved, Parker’s parents were called and were upset, with Parker later recalling that “the kindergartners were all crying and freaking out”.

Parker has described himself as “the typical big-dream kid” who envisioned a career in film and music. He made short films on the weekends with a group of friends, beginning when he was 14. His father had purchased him a video camera and the group continued making films until graduation. He became interested in pursuing music at 17, but only comedy-centered songs; he wrote and recorded a full-length comedy album, Immature: A Collection of Love Ballads For The ’80’s Man, with friend David Goodman during this time. As a teenager, Parker developed a love for musical theatre, and joined the Evergreen Players, a venerable mountain community theater outside of Denver. At 14, he performed his first role as chorus member in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Flower Drum Song and went on to also design sets for the community theater’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. In high school, he also played piano for the chorus and was president of the choir counsel. As Evergreen was nationally known for its choir program, Parker was a very popular high school student, connected to his position as the head of the choir. He was typically the lead in school plays and was also prom king. While in school, Parker had a part-time job at a Pizza Hut and was described as a film geek and music buff.

Following his graduation from high school in 1988, Parker spent a semester at Berklee College of Music before transferrin to the University of Colorado at Boulder. During his time there, he took a film class in which students were required to collaborate on projects. In the course, he met Matt Stone—a math major from the nearby town of Littleton—and the two immediately bonded over provocative, anti-authoritarian humor and Monty Python.[4] Parker’s first film was titled Giant Beavers of Southern Sri Lanka (1989), parodying Godzilla-style rampages with beavers; fellow student Jason McHugh later remarked that the idea nearly got him laughed out of class. Parker and Stone wrote and acted in many short films together, among those First Date, Man on Mars and Job Application. Parker later remarked that he and Stone would shoot a film nearly every week, but he has since lost most of them . Parker first used a construction paper animation technique on American History (1992), a short film made for his college animation class. It became an unexpected sensation, resulting in Parker’s first award—a Student Academy Award. Parker recalls sitting in the auditorium in front of students from animation schools such as CalArts, saying

And there are all these Cal Arts kids behind me who had submitted these beautiful watercolor and pencil things. And here’s my shitty construction-paper thing-which makes South Park look like Disney, by the way, and they’re all fuming.


Career beginnings

Cannibal! The Musical (1992–1994)

In 1992, Parker, Stone, McHugh, and Ian Hardin founded a production company named the Avenging Conscience, named after the DW Griffith film by the same name, which all four actively disliked Parker again employed the cutout paper technique on Avenging Conscience’s first production, Jesus vs. Frosty (1992), an animated short pitting the religious figure against Frosty the Snowman.

The quartet created a three-minute trailer for a fictional film titled Alfred Packer: The Musical. The idea was based on an obsession Parker had with Alferd Packer, a real nineteenth-century prospector accused of cannibalism. During this time, Parker had become engaged to long-time girlfriend Liane Adamo, but their relationship fell apart shortly before production on the trailer had begun. “Horribly depressed”, Parker funneled his frustrations with her into the project, naming Packer’s “beloved but disloyal” horse after her .The trailer became somewhat of a sensation among students at the school, leading Virgil Grillo, the chairman and founder of the university’s film department, to convince the quartet to expand it to a feature-length film. Parker wrote the film’s script, creating an Oklahoma!-style musical featuring ten original show tunes. The group raised $125,000 from family and friends and began shooting the film. The film was shot on Loveland Pass as winter was ending, and the crew endured the freezing weather. Parker—under the pseudonym Juan Schwartz—was the film’s star, director and co-producer.

Alfred Packer: The Musical premiered in Boulder in October 1993; “they rented a limousine that circled to ferry every member of the cast and crew from the back side of the block to the red carpet at the theater’s entrance.” The group submitted the film to the Sundance Film Festival, who did not respond. Parker told McHugh he had a “vision” they needed to be at the festival, which resulted in the group renting out a conference room in a nearby hotel and putting on their own screenings. MTV did a short news segment on The Big Picture regarding the film, and they made industry connections through the festival.They intended to sell video rights to the film for $1 million and spend the remaining $900,000 to create another film. The film was instead sold to Troma Entertainment in 1996 where it was retitled Cannibal! The Musical, and upon the duo’s later success, it became their biggest-selling title. It has been labeled a “cult classic” and adapted into a stage play by community theater groups and even high quality schools.

The Spirit of Christmas and Orgazmo (1995–1997)

Following the film’s success, the group, sans Hardin, moved to Los Angeles. On arrival, they met a lawyer for the William Morris Agency who connected them with producer Scott Rudin. As a result, the duo acquired a lawyer, an agent, and a script deal.[5] Despite initially believing themselves to be on the verge of success, the duo quarreled for several years. Stone slept on dirty laundry for upward of a year because he could not afford to purchase a mattress. They successfully pitched a children’s program titled Time Warped to Fox Kids, which would have involved fictionalized stories of people in history. The trio created two separate pilots, spaced a year apart, and despite the approval of Fox Broadcasting Company development executive Pam Brady, the network disbanded the Fox Kids division.

David Zucker, who was a fan of Cannibal!, contacted the duo to produce a 15-minute short film for Seagram to show at a party for its acquisition of Universal Studios. Due to a misunderstanding, Parker and Stone improvised much of the film an hour before it was shot, creating it as a spoof of 1950s instructional videos. The result, Your Studio and You, features numerous celebrities, including Sylvester Stallone, Demi Moore, and Steven Spielberg. “You could probably make a feature film out of the experience of making that movie because it was just two dudes from college suddenly directing Steven Spielberg,” Parker later remarked, noting that the experience was difficult for the two.

During the time between shooting the pilots for Time Warped, Parker penned the script for a film titled Orgazmo, which later entered production. Half of the budget for the picture came from a Japanese porn company Kuki, who wanted to feature called its performers in mainstream Western media. Independent distributor October Films purchased the rights to the film for one million dollars after its screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film received NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America, which resulted in the poor box office performance of the film. Parker and Stone attempted to negotiate with the organization on what to delete from the final print, but the MPAA would not give specific notes. The duo later theorized that the organization cared less because it was an independent distributor which would bring it significant less money.

Parker and Stone also made a short film called The Spirit of Christmas (although it is now usually called Jesus vs. Frosty). Brian Graden (then at Fox) liked this short and asked Parker and Stone to produce a video greeting card (for which he paid with his own money) he could send to friends, this film is now usually known as Jesus vs. Santa. Both Jesus vs. Frosty and Jesus vs. Santa had The Spirit of Christmas as opening credits. Graden sent the film on VHS to several industry executives in Hollywood; meanwhile, someone digitized the short film and put it on the Internet, where it became one of the first viral videos. As Jesus vs. Santa became more popular, Parker and Stone began talks of developing the short into a television series called South Park. They first pitched the show to Fox, but the network refused to pick it up due to not wanting to air a show that included the talking poo character Mr. Hankey. The two were initially successful of possible television deals, noting that previous endeavors had not turned out, but then entered negotiations with both MTV and Comedy Central. Parker preferred the show be produced by Comedy Central, fearing that MTV would turn it into a kids show. When Comedy Central executive Doug Herzog watched the short, he commissioned for it to be developed into a series.

Personal life

Parker married Emma Sugiyama in 2006. The officiant was 1970s sitcom producer Norman Lear. The marriage ended in divorce in 2008. Parker subsequently began a relationship with Boogie Tillmon, whom he later married in 2014. The marriage gained Parker a stepson. Their daughter, Betty Boogie Parker, was born in 2013. The couple divorced in 2019, citing irreconcilable differences.[89] While they remain divorced, they have since reconciled to parent their children together.

Parker resides in Los Angeles, California. He owns properties in Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Kauai, Hawaii; Seattle, Washington; and Midtown Manhattan in New York City.

In a September 2006 edition of the ABC News edition of the ABC Nightline, Parker expressed views on religion, uses that program that he suggests in “a God” and that “there is knowledge that humanity does not yet possess” while cautioning that it long time to explain exactly what he meant by his belief in God. Parker all religions are “silly”. He stated: “All the religions are super funny to me… The story of Jesus makes no sense to me. God sent His only Son. Why could God only have one son and why would He have to die? It’s just bad writing? And it’s really terrible in about the second act.” Parker further remarked,

Basically… out of all the ridiculous religion stories which are greatly, wonderfully ridiculous—the silliest one I’ve ever heard is, ‘Yeah… there’s this big giant universe and it’s expanding, it’s all gonna collapse on itself and we ‘re all just here just ’cause… just ’cause’. That, to me, is the most ridiculous explanation ever.

A 2001 Los Angeles Times article describes Parker as “not overly political” and quoted him as saying he was “a registered Libertarian”. In 2004, Parker summed up his views with the comment:

What we’re sick of—and it’s getting even worse—is: you either like Michael Moore or you wanna fuckin’ go overseas and shoot Iraqis. There can’t be a middle ground. Basically, if you think Michael Moore’s full of shit, then you are a super-Christian right-wing whatever. And we’re both just pretty middle-ground guys. We find just as many things to rip on the left as we do on the right. People on the far left and the far right are the same exact person to us.