- For other uses, see Eric (disambiguation).
Eric Stough currently holds the position of producer on South Park; he was previously the animation director of the show during the first few seasons of its run. The character Butters Stotch was loosely based on Stough.
Stough has collaborated with series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on numerous projects, including South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, their films Orgazmo and Team America: World Police, as well as their highly successful Broadway production, The Book of Mormon.
Born in Evergreen, Colorado, Stough reportedly went to high school with Trey Parker, with whom he appeared on short films and school theater productions. He would later go on to attend the University of Colorado with both Parker and series co-creator Matt Stone, both of whom would make separate appearances in two of Stough's student films; Stone in The Diner and Parker in Revenge of the Roadkill Rabbit.
Stough later did internships with numerous companies, including the Walt Disney Company and Jim Henson Productions, before again taking up work with Stone and Parker. He was part of the animation team on Team America: World Police and played the minor part of "Arrestee" in Orgazmo. He also worked on the original traditionally-animated pilot episode of South Park.
In interviews, Trey Parker and Matt Stone revealed that the character of Leopold "Butters" Stotch was loosely based on Stough. Stone would often tease him, affectionately calling him "buddy" or their "little buddy"; eventually giving him the nickname "Butters." Stough's cautious attitude towards the targets of the show's merciless humor inspired Butters' warm personality. An excerpt from the interview can be found here.
Eric Stough appears in the South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Blu-Ray commentary, where Trey Parker and Matt Stone refer to him as 'Butters' repeatedly and jokingly mock him, pretending to kick him out as he insists he has more stories to share from the film's production.