Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls
|"Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker
Nancy M. Pimental
|Original air date||August 19, 1998|
"Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls" is the ninth episode of the second season of the animated television series South Park, and the 22nd episode of the series overall. "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls" originally aired in the United States on August 19, 1998 on Comedy Central.
Park City, Utah is in the midst of the Sundance Film Festival. Sundance's founder, Robert Redford, has decided that Park City has become too run down by the annual migration of the Hollywood jet-set and commercialism, so he decides to move the festival next year to another small mountain town: South Park, Colorado.
The Sundance Festival relocates to South Park, which is immediately deluged by Hollywood tourists. In school, Mr. Garrison gives the students an assignment to see one independent film during the festival and write a report on it. Cartman objects to the films shown at the festival, insisting that they are "black-and-white hippie movies" and feature "gay cowboys eating pudding." Stan, in the meantime, tries to watch some of the films with Wendy so she could hold his hand; some of the films they see are erotic in tone, even one actually involving gay cowboys eating pudding.
That night, Kyle is using the toilet, when he thinks he hears Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo calling to him from the toilet. He becomes convinced that Mr. Hankey needs his help. Kyle persuades Stan, Cartman, and Kenny to help him find Mr. Hankey, and they enter the sewer system looking for him. They first find Mr. Garrison snorkeling amongst the sewage with Mr. Twig for some unknown reason, even though he mentioned something of filing a police report. They then find Mr. Hankey, who tells Kyle that he lives in the sewer during the year, but the influx of all the Hollywood tourists, with their health-food diets (two tourists were seen asking Chef for various yuppie foods earlier in the episode, such as couscous, steamed celery and tofu), have disrupted the "delicate ecosystem" of the sewer, which has made him deathly ill.
Kyle and the others appear before a film's showing, and Kyle pleads with the Hollywood visitors that their presence is causing the death of his good friend Mr. Hankey, but they all think Kyle is trying to pitch a script, and they offer movie deals and script changes. One agent approaches Cartman and attempts to convince him to sell the rights to Kyle's story, and of course Cartman readily agrees (despite deriding independent films as being about "gay cowboys eating pudding.").
The South Park locals are beginning to tire of the festival, seeing that it is causing the town to become overrun with commercialism and Hollywood kitsch. Even Chef realizes the large sales of his Chocolate Salty Balls is undercut by the fact that South Park is getting run down. Robert Redford's assistant points out that South Park is being slowly corrupted just as Park City was. Robert Redford reveals that this was his intent: to make all the small towns overrun with Hollywood culture, since he cannot escape it, so he wants to inflict it on everyone else.
A new film appears overnight, based on Cartman's "treatment" of Kyle's story, starring Tom Hanks as Kyle and a monkey as Mr. Hankey (even though Cartman wonders who cast Tom Hanks, stating that he "can't act his way out of a nutsack!"). Cartman later starts selling "Mr. Hankey" movie T-shirts for quick cash after being cheated by the agent in a classic case of Hollywood Accounting, who got more money whereas Cartman got very little. After the film is shown, the emerging crowd tramples Kenny to death. But instead of the usual "Oh my God! They killed Kenny!" "You bastards!" catchphrase, a man says, "Oh my God! I found a penny!" followed by another man saying, "You bastard!"
Kyle tries to show Mr. Hankey to the moviegoers, but Mr. Hankey is pale and near death. Kyle and Chef stand vigil over the dying Mr. Hankey, but Chef feeds Hankey one of his Chocolate Salty Balls, causing Mr. Hankey to return to life. Stan, Kyle, Chef and Mr. Hankey approach Robert Redford as he is on a podium to announce the return of the film festival the next year. After he callously ignores their pleas to relocate the festival, Mr. Hankey rises above the crowd, donning a magician's hat. Mr. Hankey causes the sewers to erupt over South Park, causing Robert Redford and his wife's car to fill up with feces, drowning them, and all the tourists to flee the town. The South Park townspeople are relieved to see them all leave, and are grateful to have South Park "back to the way it was" - albeit now completely covered in 's**t.' This is followed by Mayor McDaniels sarcastically saying, "Oh yeah, now all we have is a town covered in shit. This is much better!"
Cartman refers to independent films as being about "gay cowboys eating pudding." This episode aired seven years before the independent film Brokeback Mountain was released in 2005, but one year after the publication of the short story of the same name by Annie Proulx in 1997. In an interview with the Associated Press in October 2005, Trey Parker and Matt Stone responded to questions about the prophetic statement by Cartman. Parker quipped "...if there’s pudding eating in there, we’re going to sue" and Stone claimed that "No [we're not prophets], but Cartman is. [Laughs] We went to Sundance a lot in the mid-to-late ’90s, and you could just tell it was going toward gay cowboydom."
The episode also features a character resembling Andy Warhol.
- "Parker and Stone: ‘South Park’ prophets". The Associated Press. 27 October 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
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- "Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls" Full Episode at South Park Studios
- "Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls" Episode Guide at South Park Studios
- "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls" at TV.com