Production Blog 10/03/2007

South-tober

The days are getting shorter, nights are getting longer, and the weather is staying exactly the same out here in sunny Los Angeles, California.

Hello, and welcome back to another amazing series of episodes from everyone here at SPS. Mike the PA here, with deep apologies for the lack of blogs since the end of our last season.

The blogs don’t really happen when we aren’t in the meat of the run, because we traditionally do them on the nights that we’re in the office all night, the night before the show airs.

However, you who are outside the walls of SPS can miss out on some pretty critical happenings at the show that occur during the time that we don’t regularly blog. I want to take a moment to fill you in on some of that. . .

Many people know that the show isn’t finalized until the night before it airs, but did you know that there’s about a month of preparation before that first night? The new people in the office get some time to learn the ropes, while the battle hardened veterans gear up to conquer another series of late nights with lots of laughs. During that time the PAs do stuff like make sure that the food and the liquids all make their way to the proper places, and that everything is stocked at all times. Which brings me to the first important event of the break:

South Park Studios has new coffee! After years of sticking with a particular brand, everyone was tired of having it ground into their DNA from hours of slurping and ahhing. So along came a new company, with spectacular fresh coffee accompanied by clever new names. No longer do we use the glass pots, but tall urns that go by the name of “Pumpskins”. Coincidentally, “Rumple Pumpskin” was the porn star name I had secretly nicknamed PA Nate in my head, so I was extremely happy with the new urns.

Now, the coffee was great, but nothing compared to the ZOMG BEES! A huge swarm of, what I assume were, gigantisized/mutated Japanese hunting bees. Someone disrupted their hive in our parking lot, and man was it scary. Nobody got stung, but it certainly did leave a mental sting on the arm I have in my mind. Trey and Kyle seemed to settle them down by going outside and waving their arms around at them. Note: never, ever try to calm down bees by doing this.

The best part of the break, however, was the Guitar Hero contest. The GH contest is key, because I won it, and I want to make sure that it’s recorded on the blog for posterity. PA Jeff and I were called up to play a game of guitar hero against each other in front of the entire crew. Not exactly a group of people you want to look like a fool in front of. Jeff and I were to be playing a song called “Jordan” by Buckethead, a prolific guitar player whose identity is hidden by a KFC bucket on his head. Not to be outdone, Jeff and I both wore KFC buckets over our heads (with eye-holes cut out) while we played. It was a tough battle, but I prevailed. It wasn’t easy with a room full of hooting South Parkers and sweat filling the god-damned chicken bucket.

So that’s about all the big news that happened during the break. The show won an Emmy for the Make Love Not Warcraft episode, and there was a big announcement in the trades about an unprecedented deal Matt and Trey struck with Viacom over some digital stuff I don’t really understand, but man: those bees! Really scary. Oh, Bioshock and Halo 3 came out too. What a treat.

But enough about the nonsense months, now we’re back to the good stuff: the run!
So far everyone seems to be getting along great; the show is coming together and everyone is at their desks doing whatever the heck it is they do while I’m up in the front office making jokes at Rumple Pumpskin’s expense. Currently the PAs are each doing a different diet: Nate has started “Halftober”- during the entire month of October he’ll only be eating half of what he would usually eat! Rob disagrees, and is doing his own “Healthtober” where he drinks a ton of water and eats a lot of salads. Jeff, the “face” of our operation- handsome, svelt and thin, is trying to meet our level with “Fat-tober” and I’m doing half of Healthtober, which might just be Halftober but I don’t really care anymore.

The first episode of this run is about a young Mr. Eric Cartman learning a valuable lesson about what it’s like to have Tourette’s syndrome. Hopefully we can all learn a lesson with him.