South Park Creators Dish on Casa Bonita at Tribeca Fest | Westword

Casa Bonita Screening Tidbits: South Park Easter Eggs, Bathing Suits and Robert Smith

After the world premiere of the documentary, Matt Stone and Trey Parker served up more stories about their $40 million project.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone at the world premiere of ¡CASA BONITA MI AMOR! at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone at the world premiere of ¡CASA BONITA MI AMOR! at the Tribeca Film Festival. Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for Paramount+
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The audience at the world premiere of ¡CASA BONITA MI AMOR! at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 7 consisted largely of movie-industry types, members of the film’s crew, and South Park fans. After the screening, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with the documentary’s director, Arthur Bradford, spoke during a Q&A moderated by Andy Cohen.

A few highlights:

The documentary wasn’t planned:
 Bradford has known the South Park creators since the 1990s, and shot the Emmy-nominated 6 Days to Air (2011), about the making of an episode of the cartoon. He continued recording them over the years, and decided to make a documentary after they bought Casa Bonita. “I find what they do so funny,” Bradford said.

A South Park-themed restaurant or amusement park would be too “dirty":
 Asked whether they would ever create a South Park-themed restaurant or amusement park, the cartoon's creators responded that the show was too adult. Because of the 2003 Casa Bonita episode, Parker said that the restaurant had basically become a South Park destination and started selling “little crappy kinds of plush dolls” of South Park characters. “It became sort of this place that people would go, ‘Oh, I want to see a South Park thing.’” While they intentionally avoided showcasing South Park in the renovated Casa Bonita, “there is some hidden stuff, especially for a South Park fan,” Parker admitted.
click to enlarge cartoon drawing of Casa Bonita on South Park
The 2003 South Park rendition of Casa Bonita.
South Park
The Cure visited Casa Bonita while on tour in 2023: The South Park creators had kept in contact with singer Robert Smith after The Cure frontman famously appeared in the last episode of the show’s first season to defeat Mecha-Streisand (go watch it), and Parker invited the band to Casa Bonita when the Cure was in Denver on tour last June. The musicians showed up in black SUVs, and after he saw Casa Bonita, Smith told Parker, “Wow, this is mental” -- he thought they were “just having tacos." Another surprise: The band didn't know that the restaurant's Day of the Dead amusement featured its song “The Blood” (with the proper licensing, of course). When Parker showed it to Smith, he responded with this: “That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Parker and Stone scripted the new puppet show and voiced talking skeletons:
 In one hilarious scene in the documentary, Parker and Stone voice talking skeletons that can’t understand each other because they don’t have lips. They also scripted an entirely new, G-rated puppet show. “It was cool,” Parker said.

The diver swimwear will be available in the gift shop:
The South Park creators said they've made a deal with Jantzen swimwear to bring back the original diver swimsuits from the 1970s. Yes, you will be able to buy them.

One audience member described herself as a “child survivor of Casa Bonita”:
When she asked the South Park creators how much nostalgia influences their writing, Parker said that you just had to watch the show to catch all the ’80s references. But the show has changed over the years: “Now there are ’90s references and 2000s references.”

This story has been edited to clarify that Casa Bonita was licensed to use The Cure's "The Blood."
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