*I miss Isaac Hayes, don’t you? Do you recall that his role as the Chef on the adult animated series, ‘South Park,’ was suddenly killed off? Now in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the late icon’s son opens up to share what really happened.
Rumors spread like wildfire saying that Hayes had quit the show in protest in 2006, after an episode showed Scientology, the religion to which he was devoted, in a disparaging light.
But now, after all these years, Isaac Hayes III tells THR that’s bull!
“Isaac Hayes did not quit South Park; someone quit South Park for him.”
Sidebar: I wonder what brought this on?
A bit of history first…
Hayes, who epitomized cool, swag and everything in between the two, died in Memphis, TN at the age of 65 on August 10, 2008. He had played the lovable Chef on South Park for 10 years prior to his sudden departure.
That year, an article in PEOPLE magazine read:
Hayes, a devout Scientologist, was said to be upset by the recent satire of the religion on the show, though Stone and Parker rebutted that their star had no trouble appearing on 10 years’ worth of episodes that poked fun of other beliefs.
In Wednesday’s episode “The Return of Chef,” the character is brainwashed by a cult called the “Super Adventure Club” – which converts its followers into child molesters.
The good kids of South Park try to break Chef of his new ways, telling him the club has “filled his head with lies,” but he decides to returns to the fold of the Super Adventure Club. As he heads back to the club though, Chef dies after he falls off a bridge onto rocks, is burned, impaled and mauled by a mountain lion and a grizzly bear.
Hayes III, aka ‘Ike Dirty,’ is in the music business and according to The Daily Beast said, “What happened was that in January 2006 my dad had a stroke and lost the ability to speak. He really didn’t have that much comprehension, and he had to relearn to play the piano and a lot of different things. He was in no position to resign under his own knowledge. At the time, everybody around my father was involved in Scientology—his assistants, the core group of people. So someone quit South Park on Isaac Hayes’ behalf. We don’t know who.”
Isaac Hayes lives on still.. through his enormous music catalog. And younger singers like the incredibly promising Alessia Cara, whose debut single, ‘Here’ has reached No. 15 on Billboard’s Top 100, uses the deep, sultry voice of the icon from his 1971 song, ‘Ike’s Rap 2 ‘ in the song’s opening.
“My father was not that big of a hypocrite to be part of a show that would constantly poke fun at African-American people, Jewish people, gay people—and only quit when it comes to Scientology.” Show co-creator Trey Parker agreed: “We knew in our hearts there was something way more rotten going on.”
Watch below as the creators of South Park discuss how they got Isaac Hayes to voice the character of Chef.