Hello friends - Our dear friend Matt Karpman was recently diagnosed with ALS and he and his family need our help - Yes he is the namesake for one of television's most famous animated characters - South Park's Eric Cartman - Here is the story of how it happened (written by Jason McHugh) -
On January 29th 1995 “The Fat Kid” from the famous animated short film The Spirit of Christmas became Cartman, who would soon move on to immortal infamy as one of the powerful, perplexing and completely ridiculous animated characters of all time.
Trey, Matt and I had just finished a pilot for Fox called Timewarped, which was in limbo and we were all broke and fresh out of college. Brian Graden from Fox had recently kicked Trey and Matt some Christmas spending money - since our pilot was going no where slowly - and they cleaned up and finished this little animated Xmas short that Trey had been tinkering with which had shown glimmers of greatness.
Trey was staying with me at my Mom’s pad in Marin County before our next big couch-surfing trip back to Hollywood.
It just so happened the that my favorite NFL team the San Francisco 49ers were in the Super Bowl playing the San Diego Chargers and I was invited to a Super Bowl party at my pal Brian Clahan’s house, where a posse of my old high school buddies were getting together. Trey of course was and is a fan of the Denver Bronco’s - so he was less then thrilled about the match up but came along to enjoy the Super Bowl party.
I was especially excited to see one of one of those old pals Matt Karpman, who I had not seen in awhile. Matt was the semi-notorious slightly-over weight, shorter late bloomer yet super obnoxious and verbally skilled kinda dudes. Karpmen was famous for his zinger comebacks that he used to combat upperclassmen during High School. Karpman’s older brother Dave was on the LaCrosse team and so when Karpman joined the team - he got hazed much harder then the rest of us and that’s how he quickly became a comeback master when it came to verbal abuse. Presently, Matt was in the midst of blossoming into manhood - he had lost his baby fat via bench pressing and was now taking high level Karate classes and bragging that he would “Bung Sao your ass” if you messed with him….
So the game kicked off and the Niners quickly established dominance on their way to routing the Chargers, almost to the same degree that they crushed the Broncos a few years earlier. The Niners seemed unstoppable and before you knew it the score was 16-0. Our posse had now enjoyed several High Fiving celebration moments of revelry. We were quickly becoming jaded winners during the “Boring” Super Bowl route. As per usual, there was plenty of back and forth old school trash talking between Karpman and all the Bros during this game. So at one point Karpman jumps up to high five all of his friends and is met with a “Shut up Karpman” from one of us that eroded quickly into more hilarious trash talking.
All the sudden, Trey who had been sitting quietly in the corner observing this bro fest, blurts out “Cartman! That’s the perfect name for the Fat Kid” He said it loudly and we all heard it and started laughing at Karpmen, who was quick to retort with something like “Fuck you Trey! I will bung sao your ass!” And then Karpmen and Trey started on a hilarious dialog of insults aimed at each other, which just cemented the fact in Trey’s mind that “The Fat Kid” now had to be named “Cartman.” It was a done deal.
So Matt Karpman wasn't the actual inspiration for the actual character Cartman, but he certainly was the namesake and provided huge inspiration at a pivotal moment during the ramp up to the creation of South Park.
Since then Matt got married - had two beautiful kids and now is faced with ALS. We thank Trey Parker, Matt Stone and everyone who has donated to this GoFundME to help our old friend and his family in their hour of need. Please give what you can, thank you and Happy Holidays to your family from ours -