Starvin' Marvin (episode)
The boys are accidentally mailed an African child. Mistaking Cartman for the child, government authorities send him to Ethiopia where he runs into Sally Struthers.
After seeing a commercial in which Sally Struthers begs for money to help starving African children, the boys decide to pitch in -- mostly because they get a free digital sports watch for their trouble. But due to a clerical error they receive not a watch but an actual Ethiopian child. Cartman names him Starvin' Marvin.
They bring him to school, to the delight of the kids and horror of the teachers. Mr. Garrison and Principal Victoria contact the Red Cross to have him taken home. The boys are pissed off except for Cartman, who isn't too troubled about sending their "friend" back to poverty.
Kyle warns Cartman he might also become poor and hungry someday if he doesn't watch what he says. Later that evening government agents show up at Cartman's house and, mistaking him for the African child, bundle him off to Ethiopia. The agents give Marvin a sports watch as they depart.
Meanwhile, a pack of evil mutant turkeys developed by Dr. Mephesto are on the loose. Chef tells a crowd gathered in the town square that they have to destroy them before they conquer the world. A bloody battle ensues, with the humans finally annihilating the turkeys. The birds peck out Kenny's eyes which kills him.
Cartman is at the end of his rope in Africa. Suddenly he spots a small building that contains mountains of food, plus a big-screen TV and elegant furniture. There occupies a grotesquely obese Sally Struthers. FUrious, Cartman tells the Ethiopians that Struthers is hoarding food.
Marvin returns to Ethiopia and Cartman comes back to South Park. The plane that brings Marvin home is also stuffed with the dead but completely edible turkeys. The villagers hoist Marvin on their shoulders and march him through town, right past Sally Struthers who is bound to a pole.
What I Learned Today
"It's really easy not to think of images on TV as real people, but they are. That's why it's easy to ignore those commercials. But people on TV are just as real as you or I."
- "No Starvin' Marvin, that's my pot pie!" (Eric Cartman)
- "We're not gonna let our Thanksgiving be ruined by a bunch of turkeys!" (Chef)
- "We want to adopt an Ethernopian." (Stan Marsh)
- "There are no stupid questions, just stupid people." (Mr. Garrison)
- "I think I hear the flower children calling." (Eric Cartman)
- "Something went wrong. And the turkeys broke free. And the worst part is they're REALLY pissed off." (Dr. Alphonse Mephesto)
- "OK, people, move along! Nothing to see here, you lookie loos!" (Officer Barbrady)
- "These fudged up turkeys from the crustaceous era can take our lives, but they can never take our FREEDOM!" (Chef)
- "Every turkey dies, not every turkey truly lives." (Chef)
His eyes are taken out by a turkey.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
South Park's first Thanksgiving episode and a criticism on American gluttony and indifference towards impoverished countries.
The episode was inspired by commercials for the Christian Children's Fund shown at the time. Its spokeswoman Sally Struthers encourages viewers to donate money for starving children in Africa. Trey found the idea of an obese woman making a public plea for food for others ironic. He was also inspired by the idea of a starving African child's reaction to a large self-indulgent buffet dinner in America.
Pop Culture References
Chef, his face painted blue and white, rallies the townspeople with a speech lifted more-or-less straight out of the movie Braveheart. At the same time the leader of the turkeys, his face also painted blue and white, gives a similar pep talk to his fellow birds.
When they first see Sally Struthers on TV, Kyle tells Stan that she used to be on Full House. This is the second time the sitcom Full House has been mentioned, the first being in "Death". It's also not true.
Garrison tells the kids that Engelbert Humperdinck was the "first person on the moon". He is an English pop singer, but no astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Wendy and Cartman, while debating the usefulness of a canned food drive for the poor, lapse into dialogue from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Mr. Garrison ends their bickering by saying, "Okay kids, that's enough Dickens for one day."
Actress and activist Sally Struthers, known for being in the sitcom All in the Family. She is introduced as an obese, cake-eating, help-the-children spokeswoman.
When Dr. Mephesto asks Chef to look into his microscope, Chef says he see's "an extreme close up of Vanessa Redgrave's private parts". She's a British actress famous for her role in 1977 film Julia.
- The episode aired a week before Thanksgiving, hence the overt turkey theme and the "Terrance and Phillip Thanksgiving Special". This and "A History Channel Thanksgiving" are so far the only Thanksgiving specials on the show.
- Cartman's mother calls Kyle's mother Carol. From "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo" and onwards, she is renamed Sheila. The name Carol has also been once assigned to Mrs. McCormick and Linda Stotch.
- A couple slaughtered by turkeys at Stark's Pond are inexplicably resurrected for the final battle.
- Cartman calls Stan a "vas deferens", which is the scientific term for a sperm-carrying duct in the male reproductive system. It doesn't appear that Cartman knows what he is talking about.
- Jerry Seinfeld expressed interest in voicing a character for the show, but he was "put off" and did not accept the proffered role -- one of the turkeys in the climactic battle scene, specifically Turkey No. 4.