Starvin' Marvin (episode)
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. "You better watch what you say Cartman," Kyle warns. "You might be poor and hungry someday." He has no idea how soon. That evening government agents show up at his out 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 hideous, bloody battle ensues, with the humans finally annihilating the turkeys. But not before the birds peck out Kenny's eyes, killing him. Meanwhile, back in Africa, Cartman is at the end of his rope. Suddenly he spots a small building that contains mountains of food, plus a big-screen TV and elegant furniture. Also, a grotesquely obese Sally Struthers. Cartman, angry as hell, tells the Ethiopians that Struthers is hoarding food. Marvin is returned to Ethiopia and Cartman comes back to South Park. The plane that brings Marvin home is also stuffed with the dead, evil, but totally edible turkeys. The villagers hoist Marvin on their shoulders and march him through town -- right past Sally Struthers, who's 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." Kyle points out that, using this line of logic, MacGyver is a real person, too.
- "No, Starvin' Marvin that's my pot pie!" (Cartman)
- "We're not gonna let our Thanksgiving be ruined by a bunch of turkeys!" (Chef)"We want to adopt an Ethernopian." (Stan)
- "There are no stupid questions, just stupid people." (Mr. Garrison)
- "I think I hear the flower children calling." (Cartman)
- "Something went wrong. And the turkeys broke free. And the worst part is .they're really pissed off." (Dr. Mephesto)
- "Wow, those are some pissed off turkeys!"
- "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)
Behind The Scenes
Pop Culture References
Before the battle, 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 "Full House" has been mentioned, the first being in "Death". It's also not true. Garrison tells the kids that Englebert Humperdink was the "first person on the moon". He is an internationally known singer, but no Neil Armstrong. Wendy and Cartman, while debating the usefulness of a canned food drive for the poor, lapse into dialogue from Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Mr. Garrison ends their bickering by saying, "Okay kids, that's enough Dickens for one day." Cartman calls Stan a "vas deferens", which is actually a scientific term for a sperm-carrying duct in the reproductive system. However, it doesn't appear that Cartman known's what he talking about.
Sally Struthers, who's introduced to us as a 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 famous British actress.
Cartman's mother calls Kyle's mother Carol, even though in Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo she's called Sheila. Also, a couple slaughtered by turkeys at Stark's Pond are inexplicably resurrected for the final battle. Finally, Jerry Seinfeld expressed interested in voicing a character for the show, but his "people" turned down the proffered role -- one of the turkeys in the climactic battle scene. Specifically, turkey No. 4. The episode aired a week before Thanksgiving, hence the overt Turkey Day theme and the "Terrance and Phillip Thanksgiving Special". This is the first time we see Kenny's family and their home.