Chef Aid

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"Chef Aid"
South Park episode
214 german dance.gif
Cartman doing "The German Dance"
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 14
Directed by Trey Parker
Written by Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Production code 214
Original air date October 7, 1998
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Cow Days"
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"Spookyfish"
South Park (season 2)
List of South Park episodes
For the album based on the episode see Chef Aid: The South Park Album

"Chef Aid" is the fourteenth episode of the second season of the animated television series South Park, 27th episode of the series overall. "Chef Aid" originally aired in the United States on October 7, 1998 on Comedy Central. Guest stars in this episode included Joe Strummer, Rancid, Ozzy Osbourne, Ween, Primus, Elton John, Meat Loaf, Rick James, and DMX.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Chef discovers that Alanis Morissette's (fictional) hit song "Stinky Britches" is a song that he wrote many years ago, before abandoning his musical aspirations. He contacts a "major record company" executive, seeking only to have his name credited as the composer of "Stinky Britches". Chef's claim is substantiated by a twenty-year-old recording of Chef performing the song. The record company refuses, and furthermore hires Johnnie Cochran, who files a lawsuit against him for harassment. Cochran employs the "Chewbacca defense", resulting in a win for the record company and damages to be paid by the defense, so Chef now has 24 hours to come up with the money or face four years of incarceration. However, instead of allowing all his stuff to be taken by the greedy record company executive, Chef decides to raise all the money by temporarily becoming a prostitute and sleeping with all the women in town. Instead of paying the executive, he will pay Johnnie Cochran the money so this time he can sue the record company. Unfortunately, Chef comes up short of his $2 million goal (he raised about $400,000), and is sent to jail the next day.

Meanwhile, Mr. Garrison witnesses many strange attempts on Mr. Twig's life; he finds him boiling in a pot of water, and later snapped in half. The evidence begins to point to Mr. Hat as the culprit, culminating in a showdown between Mr. Garrison and Mr. Hat which lands the former in jail.

The boys try to help Chef by rounding up various musicians (including Ozzy Osbourne who bites Kenny's head off), whose careers have been boosted by Chef's advice to hold a benefit concert. The record company executive sabotages the concert, but the outpouring of support for Chef touches Johnnie Cochran, whose heart "grew three sizes that day". Cochran switches sides for free and successfully defends Chef, in a new trial, although he uses the Chewbacca Defense again (resulting in one juror's head exploding), ending with Chef finally getting his name on the album. Mr. Garrison and Mr. Hat eventually make up their differences and get back together.

Album release[edit]

An album was released based on the episode. It featured 21 songs, some being extended and unaired songs from this episode and previous episodes in the series, others being completely original to the album. Many notable artists from all different genres made cameo appearances on the album.

Chewbacca defense[edit]

Main article: Chewbacca defense

The Chewbacca defense is a fictional legal strategy used in Chef Aid. It is a form of Red Herring argument, used to deliberately confuse the jury. The concept satirized attorney Johnnie Cochran's closing argument defending O. J. Simpson in his murder trial. In court, Cochran resorts to his "famous" Chewbacca defense, which he "used during the Simpson trial", according to Stan. It was a parody of Johnnie Cochran's closing arguments in the O. J. Simpson murder case where he stated to the jury: "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit", in reference to an earlier point in the trial when prosecutor Christopher Darden asked Mr. Simpson to try on a bloody glove found at the murder scene, and Mr. Simpson could not put it on because it did not fit his hand.[1]

Cochran's defense is successful and the jury finds Chef guilty of "harassing a major record label" and sets his punishment as either a two million dollar fine to be paid within twenty-four hours or, failing that, four years in prison (the judge initially sentences him to eight million years).

Ultimately a "Chef Aid" benefit concert is organized to raise money for Chef to hire Johnnie Cochran for his own lawsuit against the record company. At the concert Johnnie Cochran experiences a change of heart and offers to represent Chef pro bono. He again successfully uses the Chewbacca defense, this time to defeat the record company and make them acknowledge Chef's authorship of their song. In the second use of the Chewbacca defense, he ends by taking out a monkey puppet and shouting "Here, look at the monkey. Look at the silly monkey!" causing a juror's head to explode.

Usage[edit]

The Associated Press obituary for Cochran mentioned the Chewbacca defense parody as one of the ways in which the attorney had entered pop culture.[2]

Criminologist Dr. Thomas O'Connor says that when DNA evidence shows "inclusion", that is, does not exonerate a client by exclusion from the DNA sample provided, "About the only thing you can do is attack the lab for its (lack of) quality assurance and proficiency testing, or use a 'Chewbacca defense' …and try to razzle-dazzle the jury about how complex and complicated the other side's evidence or probability estimates are."[3] Forensic scientist Erin Kenneally has argued that court challenges to digital evidence frequently use the Chewbacca defense per se, in that they present multiple alternative explanations of forensic evidence obtained from computers and internet providers to raise the reasonable doubt understood by a jury. Kenneally also presents methods that can be used to rebut a Chewbacca defense.[4][5] Kenneally and colleague Anjali Swienton have presented this topic before the Florida State Court System and at the 2005 American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting.[6]

The term has also seen use in political commentary; Ellis Weiner wrote in The Huffington Post that Dinesh D'Souza was using the Chewbacca defense in criticism of new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, defining it as when "someone asserts his claim by saying something so patently nonsensical that the listener's brain shuts down completely."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CNN Interactive: Video Almanac - 1995". 
  2. ^ "Cochran was rare attorney turned pop culture figure". Associated Press. March 30, 2005. Retrieved 2007-01-27. 
  3. ^ Thomas O'Connor, Ph.D., Austin Peay State University Center at Ft. Campbell and North Carolina Wesleyan College. "DNA Typing and Identification". Archived from the original on 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2007-01-27. 
  4. ^ Erin Kenneally, M.F.S., J.D. "Applying Admissibility, Reliability to Technology" (PDF). Florida State Courts. Archived from the original on 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2007-01-27. 
  5. ^ Anjali R. Swienton, M.F.S., J.D. Erin Kenneally, M.F.S., J.D. "Poking the Wookie: the Chewbacca Defense in Digital Evidence Cases" (PDF). SciLaw Forensics, Ltd. Retrieved 2007-01-27. 
  6. ^ "Upcoming AAFS Annual Meeting". CERIAS, Purdue University. Archived from the original on 2006-09-16. Retrieved 2007-01-27. 
  7. ^ Ellis Weiner (January 24, 2007). "D is for Diabolical". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2007-01-27. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Arp, Robert (December 2006). "The Chewbacca Defense: A South Park Logic Lesson". In Arp, Robert. South Park and Philosophy: You Know, I Learned Something Today. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4051-6160-2. 

External links[edit]