'South Park' Responds: Chef's Goose Is Cooked

A hastily put-together episode titled
A hastily put-together episode titled "The Return of Chef!" kicked off "South Park's" season to replace its Tom Cruise spoof. (Comedy Central)
By Lisa de Moraes
Thursday, March 23, 2006

"South Park" fans have struck back, threatening to boycott Viacom's upcoming Tom Cruise flick "Mission: Impossible III" until Viacom's Comedy Central puts back on its schedule the show's Scientology spoof episode the network yanked last week.

Meanwhile, Comedy Central and the show's creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, hoped to placate the angry mob (as if) with a hastily thrown together season-opening episode in which Chef is brainwashed by "a fruity little club" whose members travel the globe having sex with children.

Celebrity Scientologist Isaac Hayes, who had provided the voice of Chef, South Park's beloved school cook, since the show started, announced early last week that he wanted out because he had discovered "South Park" pokes fun at "religious communities." Two days later, Comedy Central yanked the scheduled rerun of the "Trapped in the Closet" episode that skewered Scientology and its most famous member, Tom Cruise.

The response to Hayes's exit was last night's slapped-together 10th-season opener, "The Return of Chef!" The producers sliced and diced lines Hayes had recorded in previous seasons to produce Chef's new lines for the episode, a Comedy Central rep told The Post's John Maynard.

In the episode, pals Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman are thrilled when Chef, who'd left South Park to join the Super Adventure Club, returns. But in school the next day, he says to them, "How about I meet you guys after work and we make love . . . come on children, you're my sexual fantasy, let's all make sweet love." Those are the printable things, anyway.

The guys take Chef to a shrink, who pronounces him the worst case of brainwashing he's ever seen.

They take him to a strip club to try to deprogram him. Chef is cured, but then is shot with darts by members of the Super Adventure Club -- "South Park's" new, thinly veiled metaphor, in case you haven't figured it out yet, for Scientology.

Chef is taken back to HQ, where the Super Adventure Club continues the brainwashing.

The boys follow and learn the secret of the Super Adventure Club, founded by a guy who was an explorer, only every time he got someplace he discovered someone had beat him there. So he decided to become the first explorer to have sex with the native children in the various remote locations, which he felt would make him immortal.

Long story short: The boys rescue Chef and they run across the rope bridge over the deep ravine that takes them to safety. But once they're on the other side, the Super Adventure Club's big chief shouts to Chef, "Don't you remember why you left South Park in the first place? You sought adventure . . . because your life had become dull and empty."

The boys plead with Chef:

"Chef -- we love you!"

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