How South Park episodes are made

Each episode of Comedy Central’s series South Park is written, recorded, and animated in just six days, and that insane process is explored and revealed in a new documentary, aptly titled Six Days to Air: The Making of South Park. The documentary, which follows the show’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, debuts at 10 p.m. ET tonight on Comedy Central.

As you can see in the trailer below, the episode featured is last spring’s “HumancentiPad,” which satirizes Apple’s products and draconian terms of service agreements by having characters shit into each others’ mouths–classic South Park, basically, cutting satire and hilariously over-the-top humor.

The film’s director, Arthur Bradford, who also created How’s Your News, said that Matt and Trey “wanted it to look like a real documentary, not a reality show; not a celebrating all their accomplishments kind of thing, try to make it a true documentary. That was the esthetic I was working on.” He also said that “Matt and Trey can smell bullshit a mile away so they just didn’t want a network puff piece about South Park.”

Bradford also said that the show’s creators originally rejected his request to film them. “I asked Matt years ago about the possibility of doing a documentary about the way they make South Park–having seen the way it was done I know it would be a good subject–and he had actually said no. So I kind of forgot about it and then Matt approached me when they were doing Book of Mormon and said, ‘We’ve got this new project, want to document that?'”

The director is still working on that documentary, but in the meantime, we have this behind-the-scenes look at South Park:

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.