Sunday, August 10, 2008

Former South Park voice actor Isaac Hayes passes away age 65

Man it seems everybody has been croaking as of late.  Isaac Hayes was found laying on the ground near a treadmill by a family member.  He was rushed to the hospital and an hour later he was pronounced dead.   His cause of death is currently unknown.

[caption id="attachment_162" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Issac Hayes (August 20, 1942 - August 10, 2008)"]Issac Hayes (August 20, 1942 - August 10, 2008)[/caption]

In 1997 he landed a role playing Chef in South Park.  In an interview in 1999, Hayes described the South Park cook as "a person that speaks his mind; he's sensitive enough to care for children; he's wise enough to not be put into the 'whack' category like everybody else in town, and he l-o-o-o-o-ves the ladies." (1)

On March 13, 2006, Isaac Hayes was reported to have quit South Park over objections to the show's attitudes toward and depiction of various religions, claiming that the show had crossed the line from satire into intolerance. Despite the content of the official press release, however, there remains considerable speculation about the motivations behind his departure. South Park creators Parker and Stone assert that he quit due to the controversial episode "Trapped in the Closet", and its treatment of Scientology, as Hayes was a member. Series co-creator and writer Matt Stone commented in a manner that suggested that Hayes practiced a double standard regarding the treatment of religion on South Park: "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." Others have suggested that Hayes left the show because of the external pressure forced by his fellow Scientologists and that the decision was not voluntary. It was eventually reported, however, that Hayes did not quit the show, but that the original press release announcing his departure was put out by someone who was not authorized to represent him. (2)

Parker and Stone started off season 10 of South Park by having Chef return brainwashed by the "Super Adventure Club" (AKA Scientology).  Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, and Stan realize Chef isn't his normal self and attempt to rescue Chef from this Super Adventure Club.  As the boys escape the Club, they cross a bridge with Chef behind trying to catch up until a bolt of lightning strikes.  This causes the bridge to snap resulting in Chef falling to his death where his body is ripped apart by lions and bears.

As recently as January 4, 2006, Hayes defended South Park's style of controversial humor to The Onion's AV Club and XM's Opie and Anthony Show, going so far as to note that although he was not pleased with the show's depiction of Scientology, he "understand[s] what [Matt and Trey] are doing." It has also been reported that Hayes suffered a stroke in the middle of January 2006 and may not be in a position to make major decisions for himself. The author or authors of the original press release remain unclear.


  1. Soul Legend Isaac Hayes Passes Away

  2. Chef's Article on Wikipedia