Helen Keller! The Musical
- 1 Story
- 2 Characters
- 3 Locations
- 4 Original Songs
- 5 Behind The Scenes
- 6 Pop Culture References
- 7 Bonus Factoids
- 8 Season 4
When the fourth-graders hear that the kindergartners' Thanksgiving play is going to blow their own production of The Miracle Worker (with Helen Keller played by Timmy) out of the water, they panic and start making changes. Kyle and Timmy are sent to purchase a turkey that can do tricks, while Cartman brings in a more experienced actor to help with the fourth grader's production. They even change the show into a musical.
But things go bad from the start.. Timmy purchases a physically disabled bird, which he names Gobbles. The kids then bring in a professional performing turkey who comes with her own handler Timmy won't work with the new turkey -- he wants Gobbles. -- and Timmy is the only one who can play Helen Keller. Cartman decides to kill Gobbles by "accident." But the light he rigs to fall on Gobbles kills Kenny instead.
The handler of the professional turkey comes up with a new plan to get rid of Gobbles. He convinces Timmy that Gobbles will be taken from him and used for hideous experiments unless Timmy lets him go free -- which he promptly does. Gobbles is then picked up by a man driving an Uncle Joe's Fresh Turkey truck.
The night of the show, Timmy realizes he's been tricked and leaves to find his pet. Gobbles escaped the butcher shop, only to be cornered by Jimbo and a team of hunters. Timmy intervenes at the last possible moment by jumping in front of the bullet meant for Gobbles. The hunters then bring Timmy and Gobbles safely back to the show and gun down the ringer turkey in retribution. The audience goes wild.
Shortly thereafter the kindergartners put on their extremely uninspired play, which lasts approximately 30 seconds.
What I Learned Today
"They loved it!! THEY LOVED IT!!!"
- "That's Gobbles, the physically challenged turkey." Cartman
- "We can't be outdone by the kindergartners!" Kyle
- "Come on, you blind bitch! Channel your spirit through me!" Cartman
- "Helen Keller, Helen Keller, blind as a bat / She can't hear us speak. What's up with that?" Kids' chorus
- "Gobbles!!! Timmy!!!" Timmy Burch
- "Kyle, why do you do these things to me?" Cartman
- "My turkey does not work with other turkeys!!" LaMonde
- "Alright, maybe I tried to have Timmy's turkey crushed by a stage light, but I didn't do anything else. I'm not an asshole." Cartman
- "I swore that if I had to see it one more time, I'd put a bullet in my head. But luckily I got really stoned before I came." Principal Victoria
Gobbles the turkey. Originally Matt and Trey planned to use a tiny, physically challenged puppy, but the scene in which Timmy abandoned it was simply "too fucking sad."
Geoffrey Maynard, the "expert" on musical theater who sings most of his dialogue. LeMonde, the animal trainer, and his show-stealing turkey from Broadway, Alinicia.
Kenny, crushed by a stage light meant for Gobbles. A whole truckload of turkeys at Uncle Joe's Turkey Farm, as well as the ringer turkey, Alinicia, who is gunned down by Jimbo and his hunting buddies.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
Matt and Trey decided that even though Timmy can't talk, they still wanted to make him the center of a big, emotional story.
Pop Culture References
The tearjerking scene in which Timmy abandons Gobbles is an homage to a similar moment in the 1997 movie Air Bud. Also, the death of the turkeys at the slaughterhouse mimics the human euthanasia scene in Soylent Green.
Geoffrey Maynard, the expert on musical theater, is an homage to the character Jean Valjean of Les Miserables.
When Gobbles is about to get shot by Jimbo, Timmy jumps in front of the turkey in a super slo-mo shot yelling, "Gobbblllleeess!!". This is a classic action movie scene, where the hero takes a bullet for their friend (and only winds up with a flesh wound).
While trying to sweat out the lyrics for the show's songs, Cartman fumes about whether Tim Rice had to deal with such distractions while writing The Phantom of the Opera. He didn't, in fact, write that (he wrote Jesus Christ Superstar).
LeMonde hints that Gobbles could meet an "unfortunate accident", and Cartman laughs, "You mean like Geena Davis getting her own TV show?" He's referring to The Geena Davis Show, a sitcom that lasted less than a season.
Timmy selecting a handicapped turkey is an homage to Charlie Brown's selection of an unattractive Christmas tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas. The same scene was also parodied in the Halloween special "Spookyfish". Only that time it concerned a puny-looking gourd that Kenny picked for a pumpkin-carving contest.
Cartman has a poster for Mr. T on his wall. He also has a still photograph of Helen Keller on his desk, which he uses to channel her blind spirit.
When Cartman covers his ears and blindfolds himself to try to experience what Helen Keller felt, the images that flash through his mind are perhaps the most disturbing 10 seconds in television history. He sees, in rapid succession, a man on fire, a desiccated mummy, a grisly operation, a mouse eating the brain of a dead mouse, and more. But even worse, when the professional actor who suggested the technique asks if he saw anything useful, Cartman says, "No, just the same old crap I always see when I close my eyes."
- e1 Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000
- e2 The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000
- e3 Quintuplets 2000
- e4 Timmy 2000
- e5 Pip
- e6 Cartman Joins NAMBLA
- e7 Cherokee Hair Tampons
- e8 Chef Goes Nanners
- e9 Something You Can Do With Your Finger
- e10 Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?
- e11 Probably
- e12 Fourth Grade
- e13 Trapper Keeper
- e14 Helen Keller! The Musical
- e15 Fat Camp
- e16 The Wacky Molestation Adventure
- e17 A Very Crappy Christmas