|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 7
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||November 5, 2003|
"Grey Dawn" is the tenth episode in the seventh season and the 106th overall episode of the animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on November 5, 2003. In the episode, senior citizens are running over people in the city of South Park, causing them to lose their driver's licenses. Soon, the AARP comes to help them, using weapons. In the end, Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny stop the senior citizens by cutting off their food supply.
The second half of the episode and the name of the episode parody Red Dawn, a 1984 movie that depicted a group of small town Colorado kids as they resist the Cuban, Nicaraguan, and Soviet invasion of the United States.
At the South Park Farmer's Market, Priest Maxi holds a memorial service for nine people who died the previous day when they were run over by senior citizens. The proceedings are marred by another unfortunate senior related driving incident. Stan asks his father Randy why old people are still allowed to drive. Grandpa Marvin Marsh overhears his son's opinion and lets his own feelings on the matter be known; he still wants to be able to drive. The news covers the recent rash of senior related driving tragedies, mentioning the DMV was planning to suspend driver's licences from senior citizens over 70. Grandpa Marsh and the other seniors have a meeting at the community center to decide what to do. However, they forget what they were there for in the first place. When Randy finds out about the meeting he realizes that when the meeting is over, all the seniors will be driving on the road at the same time. Horrified by the thought, Randy goes into town and shouts out a cry of alarm, causing mass panic. He asks Gerald where the boys are, who tells him that the boys are playing street hockey. Randy manages to save the boys and they flee from the many cars recklessly wandering the streets, eventually hiding in an abandoned house. Moments later, the house gets overrun by seniors making wrong turns and going the wrong way (even on the second floor).
Because of the incidents, the state of Colorado demands all seniors turn in their driver's licenses, much to the seniors' anger. One old man states that it is wrong to punish an entire group, pointing out that he never caused an accident and would have voluntarily stopped driving if it was determined his condition was deteriorating. Stan's grandfather wants Stan to accompany him to go and pick up his new Hover Round. All the boys accompany Grandpa Marsh on the trip, theorizing they will be safer if they are in the car. Officer Barbrady pulls the car over after Grampa Marsh causes road rage and since he does not have a license, takes him to jail. Randy is reluctant to bail his father out, and he is now angry at him for putting Stan and his friends in danger. Randy demands Marvin to apologize to Barbrady and the kids for his actions, but Marvin angrily refuses, as he has called the AARP to send their aid. During a class session later on, Mr. Garrison notices a large number of old people dropping out of the sky. The AARP has airdropped in reinforcements. They begin taking hostages and liberating their colleagues from the retirement home. They state that "The revolution is on" and begin to take over the town. To show they mean business, the AARP starts killing hostages.
More reinforcements arrive, but then so does the military. The seniors list their demands: their driver's licenses, more Medicare, and keeping kids from skateboarding on the sidewalk. The AARP leader realizes they could even take over the whole country, and demonstrates, as do other members of his army, that they are willing to kill hostages and soldiers to get their demands, but Marvin feels this goes too far beyond their original demands. The children find their parents under lockup. Randy tells the boys that the seniors were able to organize so effectively because they get up earlier than everyone else, representing an advantage over their children, who prefer to sleep late. Randy then realizes that the children get up almost as early as the seniors, and are the only hope for getting the town back. Fleeing to the woods, the boys resolve to board up the Country Kitchen Buffet restaurant in order to cut the seniors off from their food supply (as Cartman says that these restaurants serve as seniors' "lifeforce", and cites how when a Country Kitchen Buffet closed in another town two years prior, the seniors living there died of starvation). The AARP plans on taking stronger action, but their plans are thwarted when they start collapsing from hunger outside of the locked Country Kitchen Buffet. The Army takes the town back and arrests the AARP. Marvin is turned back over to his family, but when Randy admonishes him for his actions, Stan rebukes Randy, telling him that the condescending manner in which he treated Grandpa like a child is one of the main causes that led to the crisis in the first place. Stan also tells his grandfather that he should be proud to be a senior, but he should realize that he is a killing machine when he is driving, an assessment that Grandpa accepts. As the reconciled family goes home, Stan mutters, "Dude, I hate my family."
The episode, according to the creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, was partially inspired by the case of George Russell Weller, an elderly man who in 2003 accidentally killed 10 people at a Santa Monica farmers market by driving through the crowd.
- "Grey Dawn (Commentary)". Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "Elderly Man Convicted of Manslaughter in Farmer's Market Crash That Killed 10". Fox News. October 20, 2006. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
- Grey Dawn Full episode at South Park Studios
- Grey Dawn Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "Grey Dawn" at the Internet Movie Database