Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery
It's Halloween again, and the band Korn has been booked to play at a big festival at the South Park Docks. But the musical group's van is forced off the road by what appear to be ghost pirates. When Korn finally makes it into town, the group encounters Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny who have problems of their own. In order to scare some fifth graders, they dug up the moldering corpse of Kyle's grandmother and then they promptly misplaced it.
The townspeople quickly learn of the grave robbing. Not knowing the true fate of the body, they fear it was taken by necrophiliacs. During a town meeting about the problem, they're attacked by ghost pirates who slay several residents then warn that they'll come back to finish the job if the Halloween festivities continue.
The townspeople decide that Korn is responsible for the outbreak of Satanic events, cancel their concert and roll their van for good measure. The band and the boys endeavor to solve the mystery. After what can best be described as "hijinks" they discover that Father Maxi, who loathes Halloween, is behind everything. He created the pirates using "a flashlight and some cotton swabs" and their ship using "some candles, a mirror and two squirrels." Kyle's grandma's corpse is also recovered when the dog that ate it regurgitates it in front of a crowd of horrified onlookers.
What I Learned Today
"It's easy to perceive something some way and then be wrong. So we all need to learn to be a little less perceptive."
- "Where the hell are we gonna get a dead body?" (Eric Cartman)
- "Dude, we're not digging up my Grandma! I'll get in trouble!!" (Kyle Broflovski)
- "People stealing bodies to have sex with them, pirate ghosts destroying the town -- when did everything go so wrong?" (Sheila Broflovski)
- "Aw, nuts! Come on Ned, this ain't a whore house, it's a hor-ROR house!" (Jimbo Kern)
- "Somebody wanted to have sex with her dead body." (Night Watchman)
- "Screw Halloween, I already got my Christmas present!" (Eric Cartman)
- "You best clear out of here. There's pirate ghosts and they'll kill you." (Announcer)
- "If there's one thing we like more than playng music, its solving a groovy mystery." (Jonathan from Korn)
- "LYNCH MOB!!" (Randy Marsh)
- "You son of a bitch chicken from outer space!! Come back here!" (Eric Cartman)
The real metal band Korn, who are portrayed as Scooby Doo-esque mystery solvers. The group includes Nibblet, an annoying yellow canary/chicken that serves at Korn's mascot and comic relief (like Scooby Doo).
Some Sixth Graders make their first minor appearance as the boys' bullies, including their leader who sports a green shirt with a picture of his own face on it. Only in this episode is the group referred to as Fifth Graders. After "Fourth Grade", all the students move up a grade.
Kyle's dead grandmother Cleo Broflovski is also introduced. She is a badly decomposed corpse and gets eaten by a dog.
Several residents killed by pirates. Also Kenny, shot to pieces by tiny Rebel snowspeeders from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, perhaps because the Halloween costume he's wearing at the time looks like an Imperial Walker. See Shout Outs for the details.
Behind The Scenes
Matt and Trey remember this episode as one of their most difficult episodes to produce because it was the first one after a months-long break to rest after the South Park movie. It took a while to get their creative groove back. Nonetheless, the duo have fond memories as this was the first episode to utilize a different animation style.
Where Did The Idea Come From
This episode is a parody of the cartoon franchise Scooby-Doo, portraying the band Korn with the same personalities as the cartoon's main characters. Korn approached South Park about world premiering their new single "Falling Away From Me" on the show, just a few weeks before their fourth album Issues was released. Because this episode was produced close to Halloween, Trey and Matt thought it would be funny if they portrayed Korn as cheesy mystery investigators a la Scooby Doo.
The argument between Korn's bandmates about whether the evil spirits were "pirate ghosts" (ghosts that had become pirates) or "ghost pirates" (pirates that had become ghosts) is based on an actual quarrel between Matt and one of the show's writers Kyle McCulloch during the writing process.
Pop Culture References
Metal band Korn provided their own voices for this episode. They perform and world premiere their single "Falling Away from Me" from their fourth album Issues.
This episode is an homage to Scooby-Doo by animation studio Hanna-Barbera. Fictionalized Korn is a parody of the group Mystery, Inc. (Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo) and designed like Hanna-Barbera characters. The band drives around in a tricked-out van like the Mystery Machine. Their anthropomorphic animal mascot called Nibblet is similar to Scooby-Doo. Finally, Korn's antics like splitting up into teams, setting traps, and a character losing their glasses are some well known cliches from Scooby-Doo.
Each member of Korn reveals their ability to turn into a different corn product. They shout "Korn powers, vitalize!" and "Form of... corn!" This is a reference to the shape-shifting Wonder Twins from Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends, who speak the catchphrases "Wonder Twin powers activate!" and announce their intended form through "Shape of..." or "Form of..." The Wonder Twins also have a comic-relief animal sidekick named Gleek, another inspiration for the mascot Nibblet.
Kenny's Halloween costume is a faithful reproduction of the ED-209 law enforcement robot from the movie Robocop. Coincidentally, in the film an ED-209 malfunctions and kills a man named Kinney.
Kenny's death is a reference to how the AT-AT walkers were taken down in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. The Rebels used snowspeeders to wrap cables around AT-AT legs, thus tripping and immobilizing them.
Cartman's mom gets an Antonio Banderas Blowup Doll in the mail. Cartman thinks it's a Christmas gift for him, blows it up and carries it around. Antonio Banderas is a Spanish actor known for his exotic roles as Zorro in The Mask of Zorro and Puss in Boots from the Shrek film series. The life-size blowup doll is a reoccurring object in South Park.
- The disclaimer at the beginning of every episode is redesigned from this episode onwards.
- This is the last Halloween special until "Hell on Earth 2006". This is the only Halloween special with guest stars. Also, the Halloween version of the show's intro is used for the last time here.
- When Cartman flips through a toy catalog, there are ads for Alabama Man from "Chinpokomon" and the Mr. Hankey Construction Set from "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo".
- Wendy wins the town's Halloween costume competition by wearing the same Chewbacca outfit she wore in "Pinkeye" two seasons earlier.
- At the graveyard where they dug up Kyle's grandma, one of the gravestones reads "Kenny - 1999". In another shot there's another grave that reads "Kenny - 2000".
- In one scene, Korn can briefly be heard playing a piece from Skyler's "Shelly" song in "Cat Orgy".
- e1 Rainforest Shmainforest
- e2 Spontaneous Combustion
- e3 The Succubus
- e4 Tweek Vs. Craig
- e5 Jakovasaurs
- e6 Sexual Harassment Panda
- e7 Cat Orgy
- e8 Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub
- e9 Jewbilee
- e10 Chinpokomon
- e11 Starvin' Marvin in Space
- e12 Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery
- e13 Hooked on Monkey Fonics
- e14 The Red Badge of Gayness
- e15 Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics
- e16 Are You There, God? It's Me, Jesus
- e17 World Wide Recorder Concert