Chef, “South Park’s” culinary sage and one of its few voices of reason, left the show two years ago over the airing of an episode criticizing Tom Cruise and Scientology. “Trapped in the Closet,” a portion of which is shown below, was a bit of genius, but the voice of Chef, the legendary funk and soul singer-songwriter Isaac Hayes, was a real-life Scientologist, and he didn’t the jokes too funny. He was subsequently killed off in this episode.
Still, Hayes held a special place in the heart of all “South Park” fans, not to mention anyone with an ear for music, what with his “Hot Buttered Soul” and his “Chocolate Salty Balls.” (It’s difficult to remember which one of those titles were satirical.) And I found myself surprisingly saddened last night when I walked into my walked past an image of Hayes, and Chef, on the local news yesterday evening. He had died while exercising in his home. Hayes was 65.