‘South Park’ Responds: Chef’s Goose Is Cooked

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006 12:58 pm by Neal
From ‘The Return of Chef!’
The boys attempt to rescue Chef from the Super Adventure Club, a reference to Scientology

Last week we covered the fight between the creators of South Park and scientologists Isaac Hayes and Tom Cruise in South Park Battles Scientology. Last night, the South Park team began their revenge by kicking off Season 10 with a new, hastily-assembled episode, “The Return of Chef!” Check out the article in today’s Washington Post, ‘South Park’ Responds: Chef’s Goose Is Cooked:

“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.

The article goes on to discuss the episode (note: the plot is revealed), but questions whether the South Park fans are sufficiently placated to stop their campaign against Viacom and its upcoming Tom Cruise movie.

We’re guessing the episode may still not be enough raw meat for the piranha-esque “South Park” fans, who took to the Internet yesterday urging people to write, phone or e-mail Viacom, or sign their Chef Gate petition, letting the corporation know they and their loved ones will not see “Mission: Impossible III” (due in theaters on May 5) until Comedy Central runs the more direct Scientology-skewering episode “Trapped in the Closet.”

(Normally these kinds of petitions are quixotic and kinda sweet, but there’s no denying that “South Park’s” core demographic — 70 percent male, 20 percent male teens, 30 percent men age 18-34 — is a bull’s-eye for action flicks such as “Mission: Impossible.”)

“We, the loyal viewers of television’s ‘South Park’ do hereby protest against the removal of the episode ‘Trapped in the Closet,’ ” the fans’ petition reads.

“We demand that Comedy Central put this episode back on the air and show it as soon as possible; we want everyone, including Tom Cruise, to know that censorship is wrong.”

Far more fun are the comments attached to some of the more than 2,000 signatures that had been collected by the time the petition’s Web server apparently crashed around 7 p.m. yesterday:

· Stop being girly-men.

· I would expect more moxie from Comedy Central.

· Bad Tommy! No biscuit!

· Get a sense of humor Tom, you couch jumping freak.

And, our personal fave:

· Free Katie!

Bottom line: Don’t pick on Trey Parker or Matt Stone. You will lose. Hee hee.

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