Jared Has Aides
|"Jared Has Aides"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||March 6, 2002|
"Jared Has Aides" is the first episode of the sixth season of the American animated television series South Park. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on March 6, 2002. The episode was rated TV-MA in the United States, except on syndicated broadcasts, where it is rated TV-14 instead. In the episode, weight loss advocate Jared Fogle incurs the wrath of South Park after he announces that he lost weight because he has aides (misinterpreted as AIDS). This leads the boys to try to use Butters as their own advocate for City Wok. The episode also parodies the film Philadelphia.
"Jared Has Aides" was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker. The episode, which satirizes former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, was inspired after Parker saw several commercials featuring Fogle on television. While the episode has received positive reviews from critics, it has been criticized by Rick Hollingsworth, an AIDS activist. Fogle himself reacted positively toward the episode, calling it "flattering."
Jared Fogle gives a speech at South Park, touting how easy it is to lose weight by simply eating a diet of Subway sandwiches. Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Butters visit Jared, and are dismayed when Jared reveals that his weight loss is not only the result of eating sandwiches, but also with the help from his aides (a personal trainer and a dietician). Kyle convinces Jared that he is being dishonest by never referring to his assistants, and Jared realizes the boys are correct, and plans to give another speech to discuss them. At Jared's next announcement, he raves about his aides. The townspeople misconstrue the statement, thinking that he is infected with AIDS, and become repulsed by him. After being fired by Subway, Jared begins to wish he never hired aides. His assistants convince him that people are upset because they cannot hire their own assistants, inspiring Jared to start the "Aides for Everyone" (misinterpreted as "AIDS for Everyone") foundation. The townspeople are angered further, and chase him through town. When Jared is caught, the mob prepares to lynch him; however, Stan and the boys intervene, and clarify that Jared was not referring to AIDS, but his assistants. The townspeople apologize, and begin laughing at their mistake. Everyone declares AIDS is finally humorous, and begin celebrating as a banner, with "AIDS is Finally Funny" inscribed on it, is unveiled.
In a subplot, Cartman devises a scheme to earn money after discovering that Jared did not have to eat sandwiches to lose weight. He proposes that Butters gain lots of weight and then become fit by other means, while pretending that he lost weight by eating at City Wok. After striking a deal with the manager of the restaurant to film several commercials, Butters manages to gain the weight, but finds himself unable to lose it, and the boys resort to liposuction. As they perform the operation, Butters' parents return home, and ground him for performing surgery in the house. When it is time to film the commercials, Butters states he is grounded and will not leave; however, the boys manage to convince him to come as Cartman stays behind at Butters' house to cover for him. Butters' parents call the house, with Cartman replying to them each time with crude language. Meanwhile, when Stan discovers City Wok's owner will only pay them 15 dollars, he severs the deal, and Butters returns home. Just before Butters' parents arrive, Cartman brings over a lawn chair, a drink, and a box of popcorn, then sits outside and watches as Butters' parents ruthlessly beat him for the language that Cartman, pretending to be Butters, used on the phone.
"Jared Has Aides" was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker. The episode, which heavily satirizes former Subway spokesman and weight loss advocate Jared Fogle, was inspired by the fact that Parker and Stone had seen several Subway commercials featuring Fogle; as Parker said, "there was a Jared commercial on all the damn time, and it was getting pretty out of hand." The subplot from the episode, featuring Butters faking losing weight in order to strike a deal to film commercials with City Wok, was inspired by Parker and Stone wondering if Fogle really lost weight by eating a diet consisting entirely of submarine sandwiches, with Stone saying on the commentary that "I could go gain 20 pounds, and then eat nothing but McDonald's. I just wouldn't eat very much McDonald's." The character of Jared Fogle would later return in the fourteenth season episode "200", as one of several celebrities who returned to South Park for justice, and again, albeit briefly, in the season nineteen premiere "Stunning and Brave".
The episode features the first appearance of restaurant City Wok and its manager, who would later become a recurring character. Parker and Stone were inspired to include a parody of the restaurant in South Park while working on their film Orgazmo. They wanted Chinese food, so they ordered from City Wok. The person answering the phone said, with an Asian accent, "City Wok", which Parker and Stone heard as "Shitty Wok". They began laughing, and would call the restaurant several times just to hear the person say "shitty".
"Jared Has Aides" was originally titled "Subway Sandwiches Gave Jared AIDS". However, while working on the episode, the Comedy Central advertising department contacted Parker, saying that they were not allowed to use the word "Subway" disparagingly in the episode, as Stone said, "We're like, 'Come on, you know they're trying to sell food by telling you you're going to be thin, and it's just terrible.' 'But Subway is one of our biggest sponsors, so you can't do it.' That is censorship. It absolutely is. It's just economic." However, Parker decided to "just [do] it anyway." As such, the episode was finished "at the last minute," in order to avoid network oversight. The finished episode aired with numerous references to the Subway restaurant and brand.
"Jared Has Aides" has received positive reviews. DigitallyObsessed called "Jared Has Aides" a "standout" of the sixth season. Amber Conrad of InsideCRM included "Jared Has Aides" in her list of "25 Things I Learned About Business From South Park," saying that "basically, the lesson here is that sometimes you have to do uncomfortable things like stuff yourself with food then starve yourself to get money. But it's still money." Jared Fogle indicated he had no problems with the episode in a 2003 interview with The Washington Post; although saying it had "typical[ly] tasteless humor", he called the fact that an entire episode was devoted to him "very flattering" and said "you know you've made it when shows like South Park start parodying you."
While admitting he had not seen the episode, Rick Hollingsworth, a Canadian AIDS activist, was critical of "Jared Has Aides", calling it a "sad reflection of society today." Stone defended the episode, saying that "we wanted to put it on the table" and that "people always said you can't do jokes about AIDS. We say maybe you can if you do it in a stupid way like this." Hollingsworth criticized Stone's rebuttal, telling him to "try explaining that to five million AIDS orphans around the world." The ending of "Jared Has Aides" also caused controversy, as due to the ending scene where Butters is beaten by his parents, the episode was pulled by Comedy Central.
- "Jared Has Aides". IGN. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Trey Parker, Matt Stone (2008). South Park: The Complete Sixth Season: "Jared Has Aides" (DVD). Comedy Central.
- O'Neal, Sean (April 14, 2010). "South Park: "200"". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- Rosenthal, Phil (6 March 2002). "'South Park' vs. Subway". Chicago Sun-Times.
- "Carey, 'South Park' rapped for edgy jokes". Media Life Magazine. 2002-03-07.
- "dOc DVD Review: South Park: The Complete Sixth Season (2002)". digitallyObsessed. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- Conrad, Amber (1 October 2009). "25 Things I Learned About Business from "South Park"". insideCRM. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- Levey, Bob (18 March 2003). "Q&A With Bob Levey". The Washington Post.
- Biroux, Bill (6 December 2002). "Going South". Toronto Star.
- Lake, Dave. "The 10 Most Controversial 'South Park' Episodes". MSN. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
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