Eric Stough

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Eric Stough
Eric Stough (cropped).png
Born (1972-07-31) July 31, 1972 (age 45)
Evergreen, Colorado, U.S.
Other names Butters
Education Evergreen High School
Alma mater University of Colorado at Boulder
(Bachelor of Fine Arts)
Years active 1995–present

Eric "Butters" Stough[1] (born July 31, 1972) is an American animator and producer. He is best known as the animation director and a producer on the television series South Park. Born in Evergreen, Colorado, Stough attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated in 1995 with a degree in film. A longtime friend of Trey Parker, he has worked with him and Matt Stone on most of their projects, including South Park, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Orgazmo, Team America: World Police and the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon.

Stough has won five Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on South Park, as well as a Peabody Award. He was the inspiration for the character of Butters Stotch on South Park.

Life and career[edit]

Stough was born in Evergreen, Colorado, and has characterized his upbringing as "well-rounded, sheltered and I did what I was told."[2] He met Trey Parker at age 13; the two later acted in school musicals and made short films together at Evergreen High School.[3] Stough grew up interested in animation and aspired to be a "great Disney animator", but was not the best at drawing. He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB), where he initially studied in their art department. Parker convinced him to instead join their film department, as he would be able to make animated films rather than spend his time perfecting his drawing.[4] He had an internship with Jim Henson Productions in college.[3]

He graduated with a film degree in 1995,[5] and subsequently worked with Parker and Matt Stone on the short film The Spirit of Christmas (1995). The film grew popular and resulted in a television deal with Comedy Central to produce an animated series based on it, which became South Park. Stough was the first crew member hired on South Park,[4] which premiered in 1997, and remains the show's producer and animation director to this day.[3] He has also worked on various South Park-related projects, including the show's theatrical film and the video game The Stick of Truth, as well as Orgazmo, Team America: World Police and the Broadway hit The Book of Mormon, which he illustrated for.[3]

The character of Butters in South Park is based on Stough and his sheltered upbringing.[6] He noted in his commencement address for UCB in 2014 "The nickname "Butters" stems from little brother, little buddy and innocent wholesome person."[2] Stough has also provided the un-muffled voice of Kenny McCormick in three episodes of the show: "The Jeffersons", "Lice Capades" and "Mysterion Rises". He did not however provide the main voice of the character's alter-ego Mysterion.[7]


Stough has been nominated for 14 Emmy Awards and has won five for South Park in "Outstanding Animated Program" category,[8] as well as a Peabody Award.[9] He also won awards for his short film Revenge of the Roadkill Rabbit at the 2000 Athens International Film and Video Festival.[6] At the 2014 National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers (NAVGTR) awards Stough was credited (along with Bruce Howell and Adrien Beard) for the Game of the Year nomination.[10]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Cannibal! The Musical Production assistant
1997 Orgazmo Arrestee
1999 South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Animation director
1999 Revenge of the Roadkill Rabbit Director, executive producer Short film
2004 Team America: World Police Additional animation
2010 The People vs. George Lucas Himself
2011 6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park Himself


Year Title Role Notes
1997–present South Park Producer, animation director Also provides the "un-muffled" voice of Kenny McCormick.


  1. ^ Every Matt and Trey Video (2016-05-20), The Making of South Park Documentary, retrieved 2016-10-17 
  2. ^ a b "Eric Stough 2014 Spring Commencement Address". University of Colorado at Boulder. May 9, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Best, Ahmed (Interviewer); Stough, Eric (Interviewee) (December 24, 2015). Das Process: Episode 25: Eric Stough (Podcast). GeekNation. Archived from the original (mp3) on March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b David Accomazzo (April 11, 2013). "Here's Butters: 'South Park' animator to speak in Boulder". Boulder Weekly. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  5. ^ Sarah Kuta (March 3, 2014). "'South Park' producer Eric Stough to speak at CU-Boulder spring commencement". Daily Camera. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "CU-Boulder Alum, 'South Park' Animation Director To Work With CU Film Students". University of Colorado at Boulder. April 21, 2008. 
  7. ^ Mysterion Rises, 2010-11-03, retrieved 2015-09-08 
  8. ^ "Nominations Search – Television Academy". Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  9. ^ "The Peabody Awards – South Park". Peabody Award. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  10. ^ "NAVGTR Awards (2014)". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. 

External links[edit]