March 22 2006

The Return of Chef!

South Park is over, and as the title promised, it was indeed “The Return of Chef!”. They used pieced together sound clips of Isaac Hayes from various episodes to provide his voice and made no effort to hide it, just adding to the comedic effect.

In short, the episode was brilliant. We learn that Chef left town to join the Super Adventure Club (SAC), which sounds innocent enough. Upon his return to town though, the boys can tell something is…different about Chef, and it’s not his stilted speech pattern, it’s his desire to make love to young boys. It seems the SAC travels around the world so they can have sex with the young boys of the world. After the boys discover this, they also learn SAC brainwashed Chef and they do everything they can to bring him back to “normal”. They succeed, but in the end Chef tries to go back to the SAC and ends up being killed by a fall…then a mountain lion…and a bear. There was a funeral and then SAC rebuilds Chef in to…Darth Chef, complete with glowing spatuala.

It was much funnier than my transcript, but that’s not the point here. The episode was all about the boys (who embody creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone) trying to save their friend (Isaac Hayes) from the “silly little club”. While this episode could have been an all out attack on Isaac, it wasn’t. It was actually a touching story of how they are sad this happened and they want him to know they love him and will miss him. Kyle summed it up best at the funeral for Chef:

“A lot of us don’t agree with the choices Chef has made in the last few days. Some of us feel hurt and confused that he seemed to turn his back on us. But we can’t let the events of the last week take away the memories of how Chef made us smile. I’m going to remember Chef as the jolly old guy who allways broke in to song. I’m going to remember Chef as the guy who gave us advice to live by. So you see, we shouldn’t be mad at Chef for leaving us, we should be mad at that fruity little club for scrambling his brains.”

This is one of the things that kills me about this show. People look at it and just see crass toilet humor, and I’m not denying it’s there, but if you pay actual attention to it, you will find that Trey and Matt are very passionate men about any range of subjects. If tonight’s episode is to be believed, they are hurt by what’s happened with Isaac and feel no ill-will towards him, just towards the “Church” of Scientology. I, for one, stand firmly behind Trey and Matt and applaud them for their…classy…handelling of the situation. (Yes, there was a bowel joke towards the end, so not sure you can label it classy)

Now comes the question, will Darth Chef be a recurring villian? And also, will the seeming “war” with Scientology continue?

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