For the first nine seasons of South Park, before his unfortunate involvement with the Super Adventure Club, Chef was the guiding light for the boys on South Park. Whenever they were in a jam, Chef was the person they’d look to for help and guidance. His advice could often come in the form of killer funk songs, like the one he sings after breaking up with his fiance at the end of the “Succubus” episode. But while his advice was always enjoyable, was it actually all that useful? That’s where things get a bit tricky.
Let’s look at the Season 2 episode “Ike’s Wee-Wee.” In this episode, his advice is a bit of a mixed bag. He actually does give some sound tips on drug use (“There’s a time and place for everything and it’s called college”), but when tasked with explaining circumcision, he fails miserably, giving the boys the impression that the procedure cuts of the entire penis as opposed to just the foreskin. They spend the entire episode on a meaningless quest to save Ike’s wee-wee, all because Chef doesn’t understand how a circumcision works.
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In Season 5’s “Proper Condom Use,” the kids take sex ed classes and things go horribly wrong. Since we all know about Chef’s sexual exploits, this would seem to be the perfect spot for him to save the day, and to a certain extent he does. His rigid stance against teaching condom usage in school is a bit surprising considering how progressive he generally is about the subject, but if nothing else, his rationale for feeling that way makes sense.
As for when the right time to have sex, he gives a succinct answer: 17. No caveats here, just 17. This is obviously a bit too simplistic of an answer, but for once, he’s not totally wrong, and his advice directly applies to the topic at hand. For that reason alone, it might be the best bit of advice he ever gave.
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Perhaps the most obvious example of Chef’s advice being downright strange comes from South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, when Stan asks for advice on how to make Wendy like him again after she falls for Gregory and he responds that all he has to do is “find the clitoris.”
Did Chef momentarily forget that he was talking to an 8-year-old boy? Of course, because this is South Park, the Clitoris is actually a magical creature that appears to Stan in a dream and gives him good advice on how to get Wendy back. So…..Chef was right about this one? But how would he have any way of knowing that? How is this not just the crazed ramblings of a man who maintains an odd relationship with the children he serves food to?
What’s frustrating about this advice — other than how inappropriate it is for a kid Stan’s age — is his failure to elaborate. He doesn’t explain what the clitoris is, or why Stan needs to find it. A similar problem occurs in the Season 4 episode “Fat Camp.”
In this episode, Kenny begins eating gross objects for money after being inspired by Jackass. His actions are condemned by Jesus, who tells Kenny that what he’s doing makes him a prostitute. Confused, the boys ask Chef what a prostitute is. He responds by singing a song — with James Taylor — about how great prostitutes are, but gives them no essential information. So, Kenny keeps up his antics for the rest of the episode, but doesn’t gain any valuable information from Chef.
Chef was undoubtedly a friendly, well-meaning guy — until that fruity little club scrambled his brain — but any advice he gives you should be taken with a huge grain of salt. His songs are catchy enough to momentarily make you think he’s right, but there are multiple occasions where it seems like he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. If you want to know how to cook a mean Salisbury steak, Chef’s the guy to talk to. Otherwise, you probably want to look elsewhere for guidance.