'Kenny' alive with Stone, Parker


Matt Stone and Trey Parker have joined up with the team behind Canadian series "Kenny vs. Spenny" to produce new episodes of the comedy-reality series for Comedy Central.

The network has licensed 10 new episodes of the show, in which childhood friends and series co-creators Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice battle each other in outrageous competitions, and also has acquired 10 episodes from the show's library. The series is set to premiere Nov. 14.

Stone told The Hollywood Reporter that he and Parker became fans of the series after Kyle McCulloch, a producer on their Comedy Central show "South Park," introduced them to an episode in which the duo competed to see who could stay up the longest without sleep. Stone said the episode really hit home.

"It was right after we finished 'Team America' in a six-day marathon," he said. "It was the worst time of my whole life. The physical torment that they put their bodies through touched us. It was just so funny but also realistic and raw."

After randomly running into Rice at LAX and introducing themselves -- "He was freaked out because he thought nobody would recognize him in America," Stone said -- Stone and Parker developed a friendship with Hotz and Rice and offered to help them get the show on the air in the U.S. It airs in Canada on Showcase and before that had been on CBC, which still airs reruns, Hotz said.

"They had already done three seasons of it in Canada and were trying to decide what to do with their lives," Stone said. "Basically, my whole thing was, 'This is a great show; stick with it.' "

So they offered to help get "Kenny" on Comedy Central, where it likely will air in a late-night slot. The show has aired in the U.S. on GSN, but those were "heavily censored" episodes that had already aired in Canada, Hotz said.

"I'm so proud of this show, and I'm blown away by what those guys did for us," Hotz said. "In Canada, it kept getting canceled and renewed and moved from place to place. To be on Comedy Central is major, and Matt and Trey are my favorite comedy duo in the history of Hollywood. This is a real Cinderella story for us."

He added, jokingly, that "this has always been a Comedy Central show; I just wish they realized that earlier. We're lucky Comedy Central picked it up; we were about to do a deal with al-Jazeera."

The new episodes, which also will air in Canada and Europe, will feature such competitions as who can eat more meat in a week, who can "blow the biggest fart" and who can hold out longer without getting an erection, Hotz said.

"Comedy Central is the only network in America with the balls to show (the series without censoring it)," he added.

Lauren Corrao, executive vp original programming and development at Comedy Central, said the series is perfect for the network's audience, adding that the appeal of the show along with Stone and Parker's involvement was a "collaboration we couldn't resist."

" 'Kenny vs. Spenny' is a show that everyone can directly relate to," she said. "Who among us hasn't challenged someone to a staring contest or dared a friend to wear a dead octopus on their head longer than you can? Viewers in Canada have really taken to the ongoing rivalry between Kenny and Spenny, taking sides and rooting for their favorite."

Despite Parker and Stone's involvement in the new episodes, Stone said that "this is still very much (Hotz and Rice's) show," noting that "our main artistic thrust is still 'South Park.'

"But when friends have a great idea and we can help them get through the process of all the trials and tribulations, that's really cool," he said.

The new episodes will be produced by Blueprint Entertainment and Breakthrough Films & Television in association with Showcase in Canada and Comedy Central. Hotz, Rice, Stone and Parker executive produce with John Morayniss, Noreen Halpern, Peter Williamson, Ira Levy and Abby Finer.