July 15th, 2011
"South Park" shares its favorite snack with fans
The New York Times
VIEWERS who have wondered how Cheesy Poofs — the favorite snack of characters like Eric Cartman and Kyle Broflovski on the animated series “South Park” — might taste will get a chance to find out.
As part of an extensive promotional campaign, Year of the Fan, to observe the 15th season of the show, Comedy Central, which has been presenting “South Park” since August 1997, is teaming up with the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo to produce 1.5 million packages of Cheesy Poofs to be sold in Wal-Mart stores beginning next month.
Anyone reluctant to pay $2.99 for a 2 3/8-ounce bag of Cheesy Poofs can get a free bag at an exhibit, called the Ultimate “South Park” Fan Experience, that Comedy Central is sponsoring in conjunction with Comic-Con International in San Diego July 21 to 24. The real version of the imaginary snack will be available at a replica of the school cafeteria from “South Park,” which will be near a replica of South Park Avenue, another major feature of the make-believe South Park, Colo.
The exhibit, running 15,000 square feet, will also offer artwork, memorabilia, photo and tattoo booths, trivia contests and a station to create “South Park” avatars that can be uploaded to profile pages in social media like Facebook.
Anne Garefino, who is an executive producer of “South Park” along with its creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, likened the exhibit to the street fairs she attended as a child growing up in New Jersey.
She said she hoped the attractions would offer “silly fun, playful things” as a way to thank viewers.
“To be honest, Matt and Trey said, ‘We don’t want to be celebrated,’ ” Ms. Garefino said. Rather, she added, the concept became “let’s do it” but “let’s make it about the fans.”
It is unusual, but not unprecedented, for fans of a television series to tour the set on which their favorite show is filmed. It is more difficult to do so when the series is animated and the set does not exist, much less the location the set represents.