Matt Stone Biography

Screenwriter, Actor(1971–)
Actor and writer Matt Stone is the co-creator of the adult cartoon South Park. In 2011, his Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, won nine Tony Awards.

Synopsis

Matt Stone was born on May 26, 1971, in Houston, Texas, and grew up in suburban Colorado. While in college, Stone met Trey Parker, and the two went on to create the long-running adult cartoon South Park. The show consistently earned the highest ratings of any basic cable program. In 2011, Stone and Parker's satirical musical, The Book of Mormon, opened on Broadway and went on to win nine Tony Awards.

Early Life

Famed comedy writer and actor Matt Stone was born Matthew Richard Stone on May 26, 1971, in Houston, Texas. He is the son of Sheila Lois Belasco and Gerald Whitney Stone Jr., an economics professor and textbook author. Stone and his younger sister, Rachel, were raised in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, where they both attended Heritage High School. Stone double majored in film and mathematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While in college, Stone met Trey Parker, and in 1992, the two created an animated short film called The Spirit of Christmas (also known as Jesus vs. Frosty) under the moniker Avenging Conscience Films. They made the film using just construction paper, glue, and an old 8-millimeter camera. It premiered at the December 1992 student film screening.

Commercial Success

In 1995, after seeing Jesus vs. Frosty, Fox executive Brian Graden paid Stone and Parker $2,000 to make a short animated video Christmas card that he could send to friends. The duo created Jesus vs. Santa; it was first sent to 80 people in December 1995. The film then went viral on the Internet and caught catching the attention of people at Comedy Central, who hired the men to create the South Park series, based on similar characters and the cutout animation style formulated in Jesus vs. Frosty.

South Park premiered in the United States on August 13, 1997, with the episode “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe.” The narrative of the show involves four dysfunctional elementary school boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski (whose character is based on Stone), Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick—and their adventures in suburban Colorado. South Park was a huge success, consistently earning the highest ratings of any basic cable program. Parker and Stone perform most of the voice acting, with Parker doing the majority of writing and directing. The show is slated to run through at least 2016. The film version of the show, Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, was released in 1999.

In addition to South Park, in 1997 Stone and Parker released the NC-17-rated film Orgazmo. In 2001, they created That’s My Bush!, a television series based on the fictional life of George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush. The show was canceled after one season for its reported cost of $700,000 per episode. In 2004, the film Team America: World Police was released to critical acclaim. Stone and Parker, who throughout this time were members of the band DVDA, collaborated with Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez on a musical about Mormons titled The Book of Mormon. The show premiered on March 24, 2011, at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. The hilarious “missionary-in-training” Broadway musical was a huge success. In 2011, it was nominated for a total of 14 Tony Awards, winning nine, including best book of a musical, best original score, sound, lighting, direction, orchestration, set design and actress in a featured role.

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