Isaac Hayes showed up on Wednesday's 10th season premiere of South Park after all, with the voicetrack for his character Chef assembled from the soul singer's past episodes.
That is not to say that a truce has been reached between Hayes, who left the Comedy Central show last week as he criticized South Park 's "religious intolerance and bigotry," and the show's creators and writers, Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
Hayes, a devout Scientologist, was said to be upset by the recent satire of the religion on the show, though Stone and Parker rebutted that their star had no trouble appearing on 10 years' worth of episodes that poked fun of other beliefs.
In Wednesday's episode "The Return of Chef," the character is brainwashed by a cult called the "Super Adventure Club" – which converts its followers into child molesters.
The good kids of South Park try to break Chef of his new ways, telling him the club has "filled his head with lies," but he decides to returns to the fold of the Super Adventure Club. As he heads back to the club though, Chef dies after he falls off a bridge onto rocks, is burned, impaled and mauled by a mountain lion and a grizzly bear.
"A lot of us don't agree with the choices the Chef has made in the last few days," character Kyle says in his eulogy at Chef's funeral. "Some of us feel hurt and confused that he seemed to turn his back on us. But we can't let the events of the past few weeks take away the memories of how Chef made us smile. … We shouldn't be mad at Chef for leaving us. We should be mad at that fruity little club for scrambling his brains."
Meanwhile, reports The Washington Post, fans who are upset that South Park's Scientology lampoon starring Tom Cruise was yanked from the show's rerun schedule last week are fighting back by threatening to boycott Cruise's upcoming Mission: Impossible III – unless Comedy Central reinstates the episode. (Both the movie studio and Comedy Central are owned by Viacom.)
Reports have said that Cruise had a hand in the episode's cancellation, a charge that the sources close to the star have denied.