South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been blessing us with their genius for almost two decades now. South Park went from crude shock laughs to a genuinely poignant, politically relevant comedy. Whenever something happens in American culture, most people my age are curious as to what South Park thinks about it.
People sometimes forget, though, that in between the birth of South Park, and the massive cultural juggernaut it has become, was Team America: World Police. While not the sweeping success that South Park and The Book of Mormon, Team America was nonetheless essential Parker and Stone.
One of the funniest aspects of Team America was the apparent mental retardation of Matt Damon. Surprisingly enough, this was actually not the plan for Damon’s character What had actually happened was that the Damon puppet came in, well, disfigured, and they didn’t have time to fix it before they started filming. So, instead, they decided to make Damon mentally retarded. If that ain’t South Park, I don’t know what is. Via IMDB:
“Originally, Matt Damon (who Trey Parker and Matt Stone have admitted is really a “pretty cool guy”) was going to be portrayed as intelligent and articulate, but when they saw the puppet, they noted that it made him “look retarded” and decided to portray him as such.”
It’s been over a decade since Team America came into our lives, and after all this time, no one has ever really known what the real life Matt Damon thinks about the whole thing. He’s Matt Damon, he’s a hella chill bro. So one would only imagine he loved it as much as we did, right? Well, kinda. The word he used was during his Reddit AMA was ‘bewildered’, which I think is a very reasonable reaction to his character in the movie. Via Reddit:
I was always kind of bewildered by Team America, I think because it’s hard for us to understand what our images are in public, I think we’re not good judges of that, and when I saw myself on screen just only able to say my own name and not really that well, I kind of wondered “Wow, is that how people perceive me?” At that point I just kind of was like, I’m a screenwriter and an actor, and like really? I can barely say my own name? So I was always bewildered by that, and I never talked to Trey and Matt about that. And Incidentally, I believe those two are geniuses, and I don’t use that word lightly. I think they are absolute geniuses, and what they’ve done is awesome and I’m a big fan of theirs, but I never quite understood that one. But I will say this. Those of us who were parodied in that video were parodied because we were against the Iraq war, and we went on the record against that war, and so history is on my side not theirs.
I think I’m gonna watch Team America tonight.