South Park

See ya, Chef!!

“South Park” Roasts Chef, Literally
Trey Parker and Matt Stone have buried the hatchet with–sorry, into– Isaac Hayes.
On Wednesday’s South Park 10th season premiere, Hayes’ Chef character was struck by lightning, impaled, shot, mauled by a mountain lion, eaten by a grizzly bear, and, oh, yes, accused of being a child molester.
An estimated 3.5 million people–the most for a season premiere since 2002–were witness to the carnage, the Associated Press reported.
The episode was the capper to Hayes’ Mar. 13 resignation. South Park chieftains Parker and Stone cranked out the inaptly named “The Return of Chef!” as an answer to the defection.
In an off-screen twist, doubt has been cast as to whether Hayes really meant to depart the animated series. columnist Roger Friedman reported Monday the 63-year-old “Shaft” soul great suffered a stroke on Jan. 17 and “is in no condition to quit anything.”
“My sources say that someone quit [the show] for him,” Friedman wrote.
Previous reports had Hayes hospitalized Jan. 17 in Memphis for what was said to be exhaustion. The reputed stroke diagnosis was said to be news to Comedy Central.
In his headline-making, episode-inspiring statement, Hayes, a Scientologist, said he could no longer support a show that disrespected religion. The move was widely seen as a response to a Scientology-specific South Park episode that first aired last November. (A rerun of the show, “Trapped in the Closet,” was abruptly pulled from Comedy Central’s schedule last week. Tom Cruise, a Scientologist, and a “Closet” parody target, denied flexing his superstar muscle to keep the episode off the air.)
Thanks to some manipulation of old sound bites (“suck on my chocolate salty balls”) and song snippets (“make love…”), Hayes was heard in Wednesday’s opener. But Parker and Stone got in the last words.
And for the record, not one of Parker and Stone’s words was “Scientology.”
In the completely made-up story, Chef is brainwashed by an organization of child molesters called the “Super Adventure Club.” In order to cure Chef, Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny take their friend to a psychiatrist, a frowned-upon profession among Scientologists.
In the end, Chef dies a million Kenny deaths, only to live on, sort of, as a Darth Vader version of himself.
At his funeral, Kyle urges South Park residents to remember Chef as he was, before the brainwashing. If there is to be anger, he says, don’t direct it at the beloved cafeteria worker.
Rather, says Kyle, “we should be mad at the fruity little club for scrambling his brain.”