South Park

Season 10 Episode 1

The Return of Chef!

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 22, 2006 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
830 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The town is excited when Chef returns to town after world traveling with the “Super Adventure Club,” but the boys notice something is different about Chef. It seems that Chef’s new sense of adventure has gotten the better of him and the boys try to save him.moreless

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  • The perfect way to end the saga of a man killed by Scientology.

    Ah yes, Isaac Hayes. August 20, 1942 - August 10, 2008.

    Known as a legendary R&B singer (and admittedly a very good one, back in the day), he made another claim to fame outside his musical career: the voice of Jerome "Chef" McElroy, the overweight cafeteria worker at South Park elementary who, if asked a question relating to sex in some way, will break into inappropriate songs at a moments notice.

    And a Scientologist.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I respect Scientologists - they have just as much right to believe in Xenu as I (a Buddhist) have to believe in Buddha. However, there are some aspects of the religion which are downright creepy. Case in point, recruitment.

    Scientology will prey on customers, suckering them in by convincing them they're depressed. Scientology does have the right to follow as they wish; it's just the depression element that doesn't sit right.

    Anyway, they then get their customers to take a series of courses which gradually brainwashes them, convincing them that each time a higher course is taken, they will become less depressed. Eventually, gradually, the courses taken drill into their minds, and they now feel that Scientology is everything; should you diss the religion, you are now the enemy. To me, that's creepy. And unfortunate.

    Back to topic - this episode aired 9 days after Isaac Hayes' sudden departure from the series on the basis that Parker & Stone had mocked his personal religion, Scientology. Parker and Stone agreed to the deal, but it wouldn't be without its consequences.

    The episode begins with a "previously on South Park" (not a flashback to an actual episode). In this, the boys are distraught to learn that Chef is leaving them for the recently discovered "Super Adventure Club." In this episode, it's announced he's returning to South Park - but at the celebration at Jimbo and Ned's, Chef talks for the first time, and something seems wrong with his voice. It seems wrong, disjointed - not so subtly made up from spliced voice footage from past episodes. The next day, the boys are horrified when Chef starts talking about wanting to have sex with them. Upon investigation, they learn that he's been brainwashed by the Super Adventure Club - a not so subtle parody of Scientology, whose organization is devoted to molesting children. This is based on reports that L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, was a child molester himself, and also accused Jesus of such acts.

    Anyway, the boys rescue Chef, and tell him to come back with them, and that they love him - but he can't bring himself to do it, instead beginning to return to the club. On the way, however, he is struck by a lightning bolt, and falls to his very gruesome death. Following a memorial service back in South Park (attended by Elton John, Kathie Lee Gifford and Terrance & Phillip, among others), Chef is reconstructed as "Darth Chef" by the Super Adventure Club, now completely converted.

    This episode is brilliant, for a number of reasons. As the audience, you can feel the anger toward Hayes; Parker and Stone obviously aren't happy with his decision, which was a rather hypocritical move, but aren't outright referring to him as such. At the same time, they seem to understand his decisions, famously summed up by Stone:

    "(We) never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."

    Now, I'll say this. I do respect Scientology, and it is unfortunate that Hayes would die two years after the episode aired. At the same time, though, I can't deny that it was incredibly stupid on his part; after seeing every race, religion and nationality possible mocked for nearly ten years, Hayes quit when it personally offended him. By signing the contract, Hayes agreed to be potentially offended, and so for him to quit not only made him an imbecile, but also cast further doubt on Scientology.

    Ultimately, I'm left with very strong feelings about the episode. I'm certainly not amused by the subject matter, but it perfectly dealt with the hypocrisy of Hayes' decision, and was damn well pulled off.moreless
  • chef

    chef returns from the super adventure club and begins acting weirdly. the boys learn the super adventure club goes exploring and are a bunch of pedophiles, and have turned chef into one. can they help chef?

    good episode. not that funny but the plot was nice and the way they killed off chef was pretty good. they did it with respect. farewell chef. overall, whilst i did not think it was a real funny episode i still liked it a lot, and so i give "The Return of Chef" episode an A+ for my grade. Great farewell to a popular charactermoreless
  • Perfect; Farewell Chef

    In this episode of South Park, Chef returns to South Park after a mysterous disappearance from joining the Super Adventure Club. Everybody is happy, but many of the kids are noticing a real change in him. He asks the boys to have sex with them, and when the police get involved, the boys head to the Super Adventure Club to figure out what's wrong with Chef, only to learn they brainwashed him. Will the boys be able to save Chef in time!? This was a very sad episode, both to see Chef leave, and also how hard the boys tried to save him. It was the perfect mix of funny and emotion. One of the highlights of s10 for sure. 10/10 A+moreless
  • Chef 'returns' from joining the 'Super Adventure Club' and starts behaving very in a very concerning manner around the children, in this episode that leaves a bad taste in the mouth...moreless

    As all 'South Park' fans surely know, Isaac Hayes – the voice of Chef – left the series after the controversial episode 'Trapped in the Closet' in the previous season which poked fun (to word it lightly) at Scientology. Hayes is a Scientologist and didn't agree with the episode, and walked out over it (although there are some reports that his shaky health also played a part).

    Although Chef was one of my favourite characters (and one of the key members of 'South Park's foundation years, being present in every single episode of the original season), I can stand writing him out. And being South Park, it is to be expected that they do it with a twist. But the way in which they did it I found to be really over-the-top and slightly degrading.

    With Hayes walking out over a dig at his own religion, whereas he has been happy to go along with digs at just about everything else, I can understand them taking a poke at Hayes (being 'South Park', I EXPECT it), but I just found the way it was all executed unfunny and almost unwatchable.

    The fact that this miserable (in all senses of the word) episode falls at the start of a season makes it all even worse.

    Even beyond the whole 'evening the score' with Hayes and the whole killing-of-Chef in general, I just didn't find the episode that funny, and it had little to like about it. The way in which they blatantly edited together old audio recording of Chef to make up his 'new' dialogue was the funniest thing about the episode, but I just wish they had taken it in a different, better direction.

    I'm not objecting to the subject material – on other occasions, child molestation has been done very well (the fourth season's 'The Wacky Molestation Adventure' is great), just in this episode I found it unfocused and unnecessary, only used as if to have one last pop at Hayes.

    At the end, the balance is redressed slightly, as Kyle tells the town (and us viewers) that we should just have happy memories of Chef, but after all that had gone before in the episode, I found it all a bit hard to stomach. One of my least favourite and least watched episodes; I'd rather just try and forget about it.moreless
  • I don't think they could have pulled it off any other way...

    "The Return Of Chef"

    Grade: A*

    This episode of South Park touched me in a way where you realise that Chef is gone from South Park forever, and for some reason the way Matt and Trey have set the episode up in a way to describe Issac Hayes departure from the show worked because it allowed us to understand that Chef was there since the beginning, and just seemed unfair for him to just turn on our backs for the wrong reasons.

    The plot is that Chef goes to a club named The Super Adventure Club and when he returns he acts differently to everyone in the wrong way (wanting to have sex with children) and nevertheless the boys are concerned. They try to get him back and confront the club again to rescue Chef, but it goes horribly wrong and Chef is killed. A funeral is set and Kyle describes in a few sentences how Chef affected their lives and we should forgive him.

    This episode is a classic because the message is described very well and the humour works effectively in describing the departure situation in South Park style. There's not any other way in my opinion that Matt and Trey could have getting Chef a better departure, because in a way its a mix of revenge, sadness, and betrayal to both Chef and Issac Hayes, whilst the creators show their opinions about it without too much trouble.moreless
Trey Parker

Trey Parker

Voice of Stan Marsh; Eric Theodore Cartman; Herbert Garrison; Officer Barbrady; Terrance; Timmy; Ned Gerblanski; Satan; Randy Ma

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

Voice of Jerome "Chef" McElroy

Matt Stone

Matt Stone

Voice of Kyle Broflovski; Kenny McKormick; Gerald Broflovski; Pip Pirrup; Jesus; Jimbo Kearn; Phillip; Saddam; Various Others

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Chef: Come on, children. Let's all go home and make love.
      Stan: You need to see a psychiatrist, Chef. It's for your own good.
      Chef: I just like to make love up your butt.
      Woman: (turns away) Oh my God!
      Nurse: Mr. Chef, is it?
      Kyle: All right, come on. (they follow the nurse in)

    • Super Adventure Club Leader: Okay, you know how like when you want people to leave but they wont leave and it's really frustrating?
      Kyle: Where not going anywhere without Chef.
      Super Adventure Club Leader: Cool people leave before they've over stayed their welcome.

    • Cartman: Look, if you wanna go around the world molesting kids, that's totally fine. But why do you need Chef?

    • Kyle: Draw two card, fatass.
      Cartman: Reverse to you, Jew.

    • Psychiatrist: What was Chef's favorite thing to do before having sex with children?
      Stan: Having sex with women.

    • (The four boys look over a cliff at Chef stabbed by a tree stump, his face torn off by a mountain lion, and his arm and leg torn off by said lion and grizzly bear.)
      Cartman: Maybe, maybe he's still okay.
      (Everybody looks at Cartman, confused.)
      Cartman: No, really! They say the last thing you do before you die is crap your--
      (Chef's feces fly out of his butt.)
      Cartman: Oh, never mind.

    • Chef: How would you like to sodomize my black ass?

    • Chef: Doctor, do you have any children?
      Psychiatrist: Why yes I have two young boys.
      Chef: Have you all been sodomizing your children too?

    • Psychiatrist: I thought that club went hiking and kayaking.
      Kyle: No that's the Adventure Club; the Super Adventure Club molests kids.
      Psychiatrist: Really? Oh that's right.

    • Chef: I'm gonna make love up your butt!
      Woman: Oh my God!

    • Kyle: (after hearing the story of the Super Adventure Club) … Do you realize how retarded that sounds?
      Super Adventure Club Leader: Is it any more retarded than the idea of God sending his son to die for our sins? Is it any more retarded than Buddha sitting beneath a tree for twenty years?
      Stan: Yeah, it's way, way more retarded.
      Super Adventure Club Leader: Well, now that you know our club secrets, it appears you … leave us no choice. I'm afraid we're going to have to… ask you to leave. (dramatic fanfare)
      Stan: We're not leaving without Chef!
      Super Adventure Club Leader: If you choose not to leave, then I'm afraid we're just going to have to… call security and make you leave. (dramatic fanfare) You'll be let out by security and it will be super-embarrassing and everyone here will see! (laughs sinisterly)

    • Detective Jarvis: We have evidence to believe that Chef has been and still is a… pedophile.
      Stan: No, he's not.
      Detective Jarvis: Yea, yea he is so.
      Stan: No. He's not.

    • (After the Club Leader tells the boys that they molest kids as a hobby)
      Kyle: I thought you guys went hiking and kayaking.
      Club Leader: No, that's the Adventure Club, we're the Super Adventure Club! Next week, we'll be heading to the outer banks of the Amazon, where we will make camp and have sex with children of the Ugani tribe, then it's off to the mighty Himalayas, where we will climb K-2, and molest several Tibetan children on the east summit.
      Kyle: … Dude!
      Club Leader: I know, but it gets even better! From there we will kayak to the fruitful banks of the Mele River in Africa, where the secret and mysterious Hanimi people have children who have never seen a white man's erect penis! Of course, we're always looking for kids to have sex with on the plane rides over to these places, so how would you ALL like to join the Super Adventure Club!

    • Cartman: Come on, bitch, dance.
      Stripper: Up yours, fatty.
      Cartman: Bitch, I'll twist your nuts off.

    • Cartman: Hey, you guys, do you know what they call a Jewish woman's boobs? Joobs.

    • Clyde: You guys! You guys!
      Stan: What?
      Clyde: Something's wrong with Chef. He's saying some really weird stuff.
      Kyle: Like what?
      Clyde: I think, I think he wants to have sex with me.
      Stan: What!
      Clyde: I got, I got to go.
      Kyle: Weirdo.

    • Randy: Well it seems the Super Adventure Club is just what you needed, Chef. You must be feeling very happy that you've found a club to belong to, with new friends, but you can also live here in South Park with all your old friends, with whom you care for deeply. Right?

    • Chef: Hello there, children!
      Boys: Hey Chef.
      Chef: How's it goin'?
      Kyle: Good.
      Chef: Well, how about I meet you boys after work and we MAKE LOVE?!
      Cartman: (stunned) Excuse me?!
      Chef: Come on, children! You're my sexual fantasy. Let's all make sweeet love.
      Kyle: (stunned) ...Chef?? A-are you okay?
      Chef: I WANT TO STICK MY BALLS inside your rectum, Kyle.
      Stan: (stunned) Dude, what are you saying??!
      Chef: I'M GONNA MAKE LOVE TO your asshole, children.
      Stan: ...WHAT?!

    • Det. Jarvis: Did Chef ever touch you here? (point's towards the inner thigh)
      Stan: No.
      Det. Jarvis: Ok did he touch you here? (Rubs the doll's crotch)
      All Children: NO!!!
      Det. Jarvis: Did he ever do this? (Rubs the doll's nipples) How 'bout this? (licks the doll's crotch)
      Butters: My Uncle Bud did that to me once!

    • Super Adventure Club Leader: Chef... Can you hear me? Say something
      Darth Chef: Hello there children, How'd you like some Salisbury steak?
      Super Adventure Club Leader: Yes go on!
      Darth Chef: And for dessert, How would you children like to suck on my chocolate salty balls?
      Super Adventure Club Leader: (impersonating a child) Oh you mean like a chocolate candy?
      Darth Chef: No I mean my balls.
      Super Adventure Club Leader: Yes YEEEEEEEEESSSSS hahahaha!

    • Kyle: We're all here today because Chef has been such an important part of our lives. A lot of us don't agree with the choices Chef has made in the past 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 much Chef made us smile. I'm gonna remember Chef as the jolly old guy who always broke into song. I'm gonna 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 little fruity club for scrambling his brains.

    • Chef: Hello there children!
      Boys: Hey Chef!
      Chef: How's it going?
      Kyle: Pretty good.
      Chef: Well then why don't we all go to my house and make sweet love?

    • Stan: Oh my God, They killed Chef!
      Kyle: You bastards! You BASTARDS!

    • Kyle: Ha! I knew it!
      Stan: Knew what?
      Kyle: The reason Chef has been saying those terrible things about us is because he's been brainwashed by this fruity little club!
      Cartman: Aw, son of a bitch.

  • NOTES (5)


    • The Simpsons:

      When Chef falls down the cliff, he hits several rocks on the way down, similar to Homer Simpson's fall down Springfield Gorge in the episode "Bart The Daredevil".

    • Child Sex Tourism:

      The practices of the Super Adventure Club are somewhat similar to those of some Child Sex Tours, as such tourists travel to other countries to have sex with children (in an attempt to avoid legal prosecution for such activities in their own countries). Some of Asians also believe that having sex with young people will increase their energy, which is related to the concept of Ying & Yang. In many developed nations, people who participate in a child sex tours may be prosecuted in their home countries.

    • Star Wars: Episode III:

      The ending of the episode where Chef transforms into an assimilation of Darth Vader is a spoof of a scene from the 2005 film "Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith."