As Christmas approaches, I feel the spirit of giving and sharing. And that includes sharing the origins of South Park.
In 1992, two University of Colorado students named Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who had met in a film class, did a animated short movie entitled Jesus vs. Frosty. It introduced several of the characters that would later make up South Park. In 1995, an executive at FOX network saw the short and asked Parker and Stone to make to make another film that he would use for an animated Christmas card to his friends. It then quickly spread over the internet. I saw it the first time when an old friend's brother showed it to me during a raucous weekend right after my first marriage exploded in my face. I recounted that adventure, where I learned that it's all fun and games until someone gets an eye put out in another post.
In August of 1997, the short was developed into a series, first on Fox and then Comedy Central. It's currently in its 12th season. Here's the original short from the animated Christmas card.