The Platinum Age of Television

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Before it was a TV series on Comedy Central, South Park was a bootleg: A five-minute foulmouthed holiday cartoon,  with crude construction-paper animation and dialogue to match, called “The Spirit of Christmas.” Brian Graden, then an executive at Fox, commissioned the University of Colorado film school graduates Trey Parker and Matt Stone to create a cartoon “Christmas card” he could send to friends for the holidays in 1995. “The Spirit of Christmas” featured prototypes of the characters we now know from South Park–Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny–who witness an expletive-filled fight to the finish between Santa Claus and Jesus.

-David Bianculli, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific

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