Who Quit South Park for Isaac Hayes?


Via Reddit comes this Fox News piece suggesting that Isaac Hayes, who suffered a stroke in January, didn't quit South Park over the show's recent episode mocking Scientology. Rather, writes, Roger Friedman, one of the Shaft composer's Scientologist handlers did the quitting:

I can tell you that Hayes is in no position to have quit anything. Contrary to news reports, the great writer, singer and musician suffered a stroke on Jan. 17. At the time it was said that he was hospitalized and suffering from exhaustion.

It's also absolutely ridiculous to think that Hayes, who loved playing Chef on "South Park," would suddenly turn against the show because they were poking fun at Scientology.

Last November, when the "Trapped in a Closet" episode of the comedy aired, I saw Hayes and spent time with him in Memphis for the annual Blues Ball.

If he hated the show so much, I doubt he would have performed his trademark hit song from the show, "Chocolate Salty Balls." He tossed the song into the middle of one of his less salacious hits and got the whole audience in the Memphis Pyramid to sing along….

It's hard to know anything since Hayes, like Katie Holmes, is constantly monitored by a Scientologist representative most of the time. Luckily, at the Blues Ball he was on his own, partying just with family and friends. He was very excited about having gotten married and about the impending birth of a new child.

Friends in Memphis tell me that Hayes did not issue any statements on his own about South Park. They are mystified….

That certainly begs the question of who issued the statement that Hayes was quitting "South Park" now because it mocked Scientology four months ago. If it wasn't Hayes, then who would have done such a thing?

Whole thing here.

Watch episode here.

Reason's Tim Cavanaugh on the Hubbard hub-bub here.

NEXT: A Bad Tax With Good Timing

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  1. This still just goes to show that Scientologists are the most fucked up of all believers?
    Aside from the Mormons, and the Catholics, and the Baptists, and the Hasidic Jews, and of course the Shiites, and don’t forget the Greek Orthodox, Oh and the Hindus – holy cow you ever try to sort out that menagerie? And the Wiccans, and the Moonies, And the?

  2. Actually it doesn’t beg the question, it raises the question – if that.

  3. I’d rank Scientologists as slightly less fucked up than Mormons, Wiccans, and Moonies and certainly less fucked up than Catholics, Baptists, Jews, and Greek Orthodox. There’s a great deal of variation among Hindus. A large percentage are atheists, and many of them don’t take their stories very literally. The other groups you mention are fucked up to some degree, but if you’re suggesting that they’re less fucked up than Scientologists, I’d have to disagree. Does anyone know of a good scale of religious kookiness on the Internet? There must be one.

  4. Hey Warren…

    You forgot Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  5. If I had a designation it would be Christian, thought it’s more the philosophy than the diehard religion for me.

    Anytime I start thinking the Scienos are wierdos, I remember that a lot of Christians buy the whole rap about Jesus coming down to Earth in his Flaming Chariot to smite the Evil Doers and then I realize it’s all pretty wierd.

  6. Christians may have whacky beliefs, but in general they abuse their members much less than Scientologists. Check out Operation Clambake.

  7. So did Issac Hayes quit or not? I hate finding out that something was false after everyone’s pissed off!

    And, what gives the Church of Scientology the right to be tax exempt? What if I start my own Church of Jim Morrison? Do I get a tax exempt status. Prove he’s not a prophet.
    In fact, you should have to have solid proof that your deity exists before you tax exempt status.

  8. Has any one ever read the SF Novel “The Mind Game” by Norman Spinrad. When I read it it seemed to me like he was using Scientology as his model for the “Religion” in the book.

  9. I read the Spinrad book, and you bet your ass he was using Scientology as his model! It features a big cult, fingers in numerous businesses, all started by a mediocre science-fiction writer who wanted to me a buck – I do not believe that this was a coincidence.

  10. This ‘ll make a great episode–I can see it now. …The Scientologists get ahold of Chef, and then he goes around tellin’ everybody he can cure psychiatric problems with a tuning fork. …until Mr. Hankey shows up and saves the day–Heidy Ho Everybody!

    Mr. Hankey reminds Chef that his Chocolate Salty Balls have healing properties all their own. Mr. Hankey tells him that the tuning forks are just a sham to get money out of little kids. …and then Mr. Hankey puts the Scientologists in their place.

    The whole thing writes itself.

  11. I say, Paul Horner and Fred Durks have astonishingly similar writing styles. You two fellows should meet–I bet you would have a lot to talk about!


  12. 1) My shooting-from-the-hip theory is that Hayes entrusted a friend to handle things if he was no longer able to handle business and legal matters. This hypothetical friend would be a Scientologist.

    2) Is there any secondary confirmation of the Fox News story? I still can’t find one, and my South Park and Hollywood sources are bone dry on this one.

    3) My take (can’t survive 24 hours) at the “Comment by” link.

  13. I’m going to theorize that Fox News fucked up the story and that Hayes didn’t have a stroke but that Chef will appear tomorrow night on the show to have had a stroke. The stroke will make it easy for them to have him be voiced by someone else (not sure who: unfortunately BW and Lou Rawls are dead; Billy Dee Williams would rock) and go out acting all crazy. The show will no doubt have a line like this toward the end:

    “Oh my god, Kenny, you killed Chef!”

    If I was Parker/Stone, I’d go with a “Typhoid Mary” theme where a crazy Chef was knowingly poisoning (the minds) of kids, and had to be stopped at all costs.

  14. And, what gives the Church of Scientology the right to be tax exempt?

    Highly paid lawyers.

  15. In fact, you should have to have solid proof that your deity exists before you tax exempt status.

    That pretty much rules out all tax exemptions for religion, then. I’m okay with that.

  16. Stephan Gordon,

    Because my gut tells me that Hayes has been such a vital organ (or at least a reproductive one) of the program for years, this seems a bit out of character.

    Well, not really. I don’t recall much of him at all in the last couple years. But I have to agree, this whole thing has CoS handlers written all over it.

    The 10th season of Comedy Central?s highest-rated series premieres tomorrow night with, of all things, ?The Return of Chef.?

    W-w-what?? Now that is a bombshell. Bring it on!

  17. That Chef is still comin’ ’round?

    Well, I gave him a dollar yesterday.

    What?!! You gave him a dollar? No wonder he keep comin’ ’round here asking for tree-fitty!

  18. Perhaps Parker and Stone knew about Hayes’ stroke, knew he couldn’t “quit” anything, but they either orchestrated or went along with the recent announcement-in-Hayes’-name because — well, hey, the 10th season of South Park begins this Wednesday March 22, 10PM ET and PT on Comedy Central!

    What a great way to get publicity in this business we call “show.”

    I’m still gonna watch.

  19. Highly paid lawyers didn’t give Scientology their tax exempt status. Highly paid lawyers [i]failed[/i].

    The IRS refused to grant Scientology tax-exempt status sometime back in the 80s, claiming that Scientology was a for-profit business, no matter what they called themselves.

    The Church sued, the IRS won. The Church appealed — it went all the way up the chain, and the IRS won at each step. With all appeals exhausted, Church officials met privately with certain IRS officials and suddenly they had their tax-exempt status.

    The IRS fought to deny them that status for years, won every battle then…changed their mind after a private meeting.

    I suspect it was highly paid private investigators that got them their tax exempt status.

  20. I’d rank Scientologists as slightly less fucked up than Mormons, Wiccans, and Moonies and certainly less fucked up than Catholics, Baptists, Jews, and Greek Orthodox.

    I’m not sure about Mormons, but as loopy as some Wiccans are, I’ve never seen “Wicca handlers” quiting people’s jobs for them.

  21. Good point, Eric. Replace “less” with “more” in that whole post. Sorry about that.

  22. Perry:
    What if I start my own Church of Jim Morrison?

    Or start the Church of the Fonz, like Peter Griffin. “Let us aaaaaaay.”

  23. I just figured that the Return of Chef would feature Chef falling under the influence of Scientologists.

  24. Oh and the Hindus – holy cow you ever try to sort out that menagerie

    Bwahahha, holy cow.

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