Art News

South Park Creators Tell Governor They're Buying Casa Bonita. No Joke.

South Park Creators Tell Governor They're Buying Casa Bonita. No Joke.
South Park
It sounded like an episode of South Park, or maybe just a Friday the 13th joke, but no: At 9:30 a.m. today, August 13, Governor Jared Polis actually interviewed Colorado natives Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of the Comedy Central staple.

It was billed as a celebration of the 24th anniversary of South Park but it turned out to be much more: Stone and Parker announced that just an hour earlier, they'd come to an agreement with owner Robert Wheaton to buy Casa Bonita, the pink entertainment complex...assuming that they can work out the deal with the bankruptcy court.

In the meantime, they'll have plenty of other things to keep them busy: There will be at least six more seasons of South Park, after the show took a pandemic hiatus last year. Stone and Parker just signed a $900 million deal with ViacomCBS to continue the animated sitcom through 2027, for a total of thirty seasons; they will also create fourteen original South Park movies exclusively for the company’s Paramount+ streaming platform.

That gives them what Stone called major "fuck you money" in a Bloomberg newsletter interview.

They already had plenty of fuck-you money, of course: Back in 2007, when few people were thinking of streaming or other online opportunities, the South Park creators made a deal that gave them a 50 percent stake in all non-TV rights to South Park. They've been able to use that money to fund Book of Mormon, a Broadway smash, as well as other projects.

Pretty good for two University of Colorado film students whose academic days in Boulder included creating a musical based on the life of a cannibal, as well as the forerunner of South Park.

And they certainly have enough cash to purchase Casa Bonita, which they celebrated in a classic South Park episode in 2003. In a Hollywood Reporter exclusive late last month, Parker revealed that the two wanted to buy the pink entertainment palace that's been closed to dining (or whatever you call eating there) since March 2020, though it's currently open for tours. “We started talking about the changes we’re going to make — mostly with the food,” Parker told the Reporter.

Back in April, the owner of Casa Bonita, Summit Family Restaurants, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the original eatertainment complex, which opened at 6715 West Colfax Avenue back in 1974.

Polis had tweeted his approval of the possible deal after the news broke in the Reporter, which also inspired a campaign to persuade Casa Bonita owner Wheaton to sell to Stone and Parker. But there's another cadre of loyal fans who set up their own petition to Save Casa Bonita back in March, and have been taking action to do just that, including becoming parties to the bankruptcy action by buying out a couple of creditors.

Stone and Parker gave them a shout-out during the Polis interview.

Raise the flag for endless sopaipillas.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun