In 2016, Trey Parker and Matt Stone did an interview with Vanity Fair to discuss South Park’s impact on pop culture. When discussing the type of comedy the show did well, they started talking about not trying to chase trends or whatever is considered “cool” with teenagers. As Parker put it, “We never said, ‘Okay, how are the kids these days?’ We want to make our friends laugh, and now our friends are old bags too.”
Stone confirmed this, saying, “We realized we don’t have teenagers, and we really don’t have college kids on our show. There are children and there are adults. And these two sides of humanity. And we don’t have any representation of actually current, cool kids, we have no idea [what they’re like].” It’s like the old saying goes: Write what you know. Parker and Stone have clearly made a habit of writing certain characters a certain way, so they won’t try to have Gen Z humor – lest “South Park” be labeled “cheugy.” It’s also fun to mix the two ends of the age group spectrum without having the teenage median.
However, in the years since that interview, they’ve incorporated teen-centric stories into South Park, most notably with season 25’s “Help, My Teenager Hates Me!” Subsequently, the main boys take up airsoft with local teenagers and become de facto parents to them. It’s not necessarily the writers who are attempting teenage humor, but commenting on what they think are problems children and teenagers are facing today. Also, it makes sense that after 25 seasons they’re getting a little out of their wheelhouse.