Christian Rock Hard
The boys garage band Moop hits a creative wall -- they can't seem to find their musical direction. Cartman suggests they form a Christian rock band (so they can get rich). The boys kick him out of the band. Pissed, he bets Kyle that his Christian band can make a platinum album first. Cartman then enlists Token to play bass (even though he's never touched one in his life) and Butters to play drums. They call their band Faith +1. Meanwhile, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny download songs off the internet to find a sound for their group. They're immediately arrested by the FBI for music piracy and given a crash course in the "evils" of free downloading. They become so violently opposed to the process that their band goes on strike until free downloading stops. Cartman, on the other hand, busily writes songs for his Christian band. By simply replacing words like "baby" and "darling" with "Jesus," he masters the craft of Christian songwriting. Soon his group is signed by a major record label and becomes a huge success. Meanwhile, Metallica hears about Moop's refusal to play and joins them -- along with a host of other big-name acts. As the strike drags on, Kyle gets a letter from Cartman informing him that Faith + 1's album has officially gone platinum. Kyle realizes he's been so busy trying to protect his music that he neglected to create any. He and Stan announce that their group is about art rather than cash and that they're abandoning the strike. The other big-name artists, who are just in it for the money, decline to follow suit. Kyle has no choice but to admit Cartman won the bet and pay him $10. The next day, Cartman hosts a lavish award ceremony to honor Faith +1. In front of the entire town, however, Cartman learns that the Christian Recording Industry hands out "myrrh" albums to million-selling artists, not platinum. On this technicality, Kyle refuses to pay up. Cartman goes berserk, smashes his award, and shouts " F*** Jesus!" -- ending his Christian rock career on the spot. Token beats him up and then Butters farts on his head and flips him off.
What I Learned Today
"People are always gonna find a way to copy our music and swap it for free. If we're real musicians, then we should just play and be stoked that so many people are listening."
- "Token, how many times do we have to go through this? You're black. You can play bass." (Cartman)
- "I'm going to kill you one day, Token." (Cartman)
- "I wanna get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus! I wanna feel his salvation all over my face!" (Cartman)
- "We're just about the money." (Britney Spears)
- "Relax and enjoy, black asshole." (Cartman)
- "First one to have a platinum album wins. GO!" (Cartman)
- "Haven't you guys ever seen an album cover? You're supposed to be standing in random places, looking away like you don't care!" (Cartman)
- "Butters, remind me later to cut your balls off." (Cartmant)
- "I want to walk hand in hand with Jesus on a private beach for two. I want him to nibble on my ear and say 'I'm here for you'." (Lyrics to Faith +1 song)
- "PS - Nya nya nya nya nyaa nya, ha ha ha ha haaa ha." (Cartman's letter to Kyle)
- "This is the worst day of my life." (Kyle)
- "This is the best day of my life." (Cartman)
Sergeant Yates, a leading officer at the Park County Police Department. He will become a main fixture in the crime-solving department in future episodes, such as "The Jeffersons" and "Miss Teacher Bangs A Boy" . We also meet pop star Britney Spears for the first time here. She will get her own special episode with "Britney's New Look."
The Lords of the Underworld, Timmy's band from "Timmy 2000," can be seen striking along with other major artists at "Strikeapalooza."
Moop kicks off the episode with their screetchy, awful "Summer Time." We also get a healthy dose of Faith +1's catalogue: "Needing You," "Don't Ever Leave Me Jesus," "When You Are Gone," "I Wasn't Born Again Yesterday," "Start Pleasing Jesus," "The Body of Christ," "Three Times My Savior," "Up On That Cross," and their breakout hit "Jesus Baby."
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
This episode sprang from Matt and Trey's longtime dream of cutting a Christian rock album that sounded legit, unless you listened to the lyrics very closely. If you did, you'd realize the songs weren't about loving Jesus, but about having a love affair with Jesus. They even planned to call it Faith +1.
Pop Culture References
When the FBI agents lecture Stan and Kyle about the evils of free downloading, they state that rapper Master P's son won't get his own island in French Polynesia for his birthday. It's a parody of a scene in A Christmas Carol, which foreshadows the possible death of Tiny Tim. Cartman describes Christian Rock music as "the easiest, crappiest music in the world to write," further backing it up with: "it worked for Creed." Also, the Christian rock band Sanctified is bedazzled with various religious symbols made to look "hardcore," including the ever-popular "Jesus Fish" with a pierced nose.
A number of famous musicians join Moop's "Strikeapalooza": Metallica; Alanis Morissette; Britney Spears; Blink 182; Master P and his family; Missy Elliot (seen briefly in "Cancelled"); as well as Rancid, Meatloaf, Ozzy Osbourne, and Rick James (all previously featured in "Chef Aid"). Although they're not shown picketing, the boys also illegally download some Stevie Wonder and Judas Priest. And in their most trying moment, Kyle urges his band members to "fight through the hard times like Journey."
Performers who complain about free downloads don't get much love here. When FBI agents show Kyle and Stan examples of the "carnage" downloading causes, we see Britney Spears having to trade down from a Gulfstream IV jet to a Gulfstream III, and Lars Ulrich, the drummer from Metallica, forced to refrain from installing a gold-plated shark tank bar next to his pool.
When describing their musical influences, we learn: Kyle's a fusion guy, Kenny's background is more Latin jazz, and Stan is more Hip Hop and R&B oriented. Cartman, on the other hand, just likes money.
The Faith Records building is modeled after the iconic Capitol Records building in Los Angeles.