Birth Date: October 19, 1969 / Age: 48
Birth Place: Conifer, Colorado, USA
Also Credited as: Juan Schwartz
Biography: Randolph Severn 'Trey' Parker III (born October 19, 1969) is one of the creators of the television series South Park.
Randolph Severn Parker the third (hence the nickname) was born and raised in Conifer, Colorado, he is the youngest child of Randy and Sharon and has an older sister Shelley. Parker attended West Jefferson Junior High and Evergreen High in Colorado, where he was voted class clown.
Parker went to Berklee College of Music in Boston before transferring to the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he met Matt Stone. He was majoring in music, and with a goal to someday score films, and took classes to learn more about the film process. He made several animated shorts including "American History" which won a Student Academy Award, and "The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs Frosty" with Stone.
Parker's first film was a feature length film about Alferd Packer, a Colorado miner who was the only person convicted of cannibalism in America. A trailer was shot over the summer, and was used to help raise enough funds to shoot the film. “Alferd Packer, The Musical” [it was renamed "Cannibal! The Musical" when picked up in 1996 for distribution by Troma] began filming during spring break in 1993. Family, friends and fellow students all took part in the film. Students who participated received intern credit, except for Parker, who was kicked out of the university due to excessive absences from working on the film.
Parker's college film caught the eye of Brian Graden, a then FoxLab executive. In 1995, Graden commissioned Trey and Matt to create a video Christmas card based on their animated college short. "The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs. Santa" was the result -- a five minute short that featured an uncensored Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick watching Jesus and Santa battle it out for ownership of the Yule holiday. One of the recipients of the video [rumored to be George Clooney] made several hundred copies, and the animation became a must-see passed around Hollywood and the internet.
That same year, Parker created a pilot for FoxLab called “Time Warped” -- a 'musical romp through time' featuring a story about Aaron and Moses. FoxLab felt the idea would work better as a children's show so a new pilot, “Rom & Jul” was made for FoxKids -- a Romeo & Juliet-esque story about a Homo erectus and Australopithecus who fall in love despite the conflict between their species. FoxKids passed on the show.
Parker wrote, directed and starred in his second feature film "Orgazmo” in 1997, about a wholesome Mormon who becomes a celebrity in Los Angeles' adult film world. Due to the NC-17 rating given by the MPAA, it did not have a wide release.
Parker and Stone were hired by Comedy Central to create a show based on the animated characters they created in college. Though it didn't test well with audiences, Comedy Central decided to pick it up for six episodes anyway. "South Park" made its debut on 13 August 1997, and has now gone on to be the highest rated original series in the network's history.
In 1998, Parker starred with Stone and Dian Bachar in "BASEketball,” directed by David Zucker of Airplane! and Naked Gun fame. The story follows a group of friends who take their homemade game from neighborhood driveways to the professional sports world.
In the summer of 1999, Parker and Stone released their critically acclaimed feature length film, "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," which was, naturally, a musical. “Blame Canada,” a song written by Parker and Marc Shaiman, was nominated for Best Song at the Academy Awards. The award was lost to Phil Collins, which was spoofed in a later episode of South Park.
After a contract renegotiation in 2000, three more seasons were added to South Park and Parker and Stone had a deal to create a live action sitcom. In 2001, "That's My Bush!" premiered -- a sitcom that portrayed the Commander in Chief as the lovable main character. It was not brought back for a second season due to its high costs (reportedly $700,000 per episode) and meager ratings. Another contract negotiation in 2003 picked up South Park for a ninth season, with an option to pick up a tenth.
"Team America: World Police," the most recent creation from the duo, is a 'puppet movie' about a special police force dedicated to saving the world from terrorists, and was recently released in October 2004.
Parker and his creative partner, Matt Stone, have received criticism and acclaim from both sides of the political spectrum, making them hard to pin down politically, except that they display irreverence for almost any authority figure. The term South Park Republican has been coined to refer to those who claim that South Park reflects a Republican, although non-traditional, viewpoint. Historically, though, Parker has described himself as "middle-ground", and he is a registered member of the United States Libertarian Party.
Parker resides in the Los Angeles area and is currently on hiatus from South Park, which resumes its ninth season on Comedy Central on 19 October 2005.