Good news for South Park fans. Despite the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, becoming the toast of Broadway, they will be continuing the show that has made them household names – for another two years, anyway.

The renewal may come as a bit of a surprise after Parker and Stone hinted that the show might be close to an end during last month’s mid-season finale ‘You’re Getting Old’ – leading many to speculate that when the series returned in the fall, the remaining episodes could be the show’s last.

Additionally, with the duo’s recent haul of 9 Tony Awards  (including Best Musical) for The Book of Mormon, it seemed like South Park would soon be in Parker and Stone’s rearview mirror.

Nevertheless, news came earlier this week when Comedy Central announced the pair had committed to keeping South Park‘s run on the network through 2013 – which, for those who are counting, would be an astonishing 17 seasons.

It’s hard to imagine where other programs would take their characters after nearly two decades, but South Park has the dual benefit of characters who never age, and writers who can pull the funny out of whatever topics happen to be dominating the news.

Unlike other programs (animated or not) where the production schedule requires the script to be written several months in advance – to allow producers, directors and actors ample time to create a finished product – South Park can produce a show practically overnight, which allows Stone and Parker the ability to lampoon events while they are still fresh and topical. Some recent examples include Tiger Woods, Britney Spears and, most recently, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The ability to occupy the frontline of popular culture (and occasionally world news) has allowed South Park to stay on the air for so long, without losing any of its edge.

In their 15 seasons, Stone and Parker have proven themselves more than capable of crafting funny and biting social commentary, which rivals that of their Comedy Central brethren like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and occasionally earns the ire of celebrities, political parties and religious groups, which only serves to increase South Park‘s profile.

It’s safe to say the South Park has become something of an institution, and although no one knows what the future will bring when 2013 rolls around, there will certainly be a grand farewell, should the foulmouthed kids from Colorado make their exit.

South Park returns with seven new episodes, October 5 @10pm on Comedy Central.

Source: Entertainment Weekly