Oh no, they killed Chef
The thinly disguised satire broadcast on Wednesday night in the US continued the cartoon's feud with Scientologists.
The soul singer has voiced the Chef character in South Park since 1997, but left recently because of what he allegedly called the animated show's religious "intolerance and bigotry". Founders Matt Stone and Trey Parker said that Hayes, a Scientologist, was angry that South Park mocked the religion in an episode last November.
Hayes did not participate in making Wednesday's episode; the character's lines appeared to be patched together through tapes of past dialogue.
The children try to rescue Chef, but in the end he turns to head back to the "Super Adventure Club" - until he falls off a bridge on to rocks, is burned, stabbed and mauled by a mountain lion and bear.
Then he apparently dies.