Weight Gain 4000
Cartman wins a "Save Our Fragile Planet" essay contest, for which he's to receive a trophy from Kathie Lee Gifford on national TV. To "get in shape" for his big moment he gorges on a high-calorie body-building product called Weight Gain 4000. Soon he's packing on pounds of extra fat.
The entire town goes berserk over Gifford -- except for Mr. Garrison. Decades earlier Gifford crushed and humiliated him during a children's talent show. Mr. Garrison -- and, more importantly, Mr. Hat -- never forgave her.
On the day of the award ceremony Mr. Garrison takes a rifle up to the second floor of the town's book depository and waits for his chance. Wendy, who gets wind of his plan, enlists Stan to help her stop it.
Kathie Lee Gifford finally arrives, encased in a bullet-proof plastic bubble. Mr. Garrison, figuring she'll have to expose herself to give Cartman his trophy, bides his time. Suddenly Wendy and Stan burst in and try to talk him out of it. He hears them out, then goes ahead and squeezes off a shot at Gifford. But the stage collapses under the strain of Cartman's Jabba-esque bulk, launching Gifford out of harm's way. The bullet instead hits Kenny, who is blasted high into the air and impaled through the head by a flagpole.
Gifford is hustled out of town. Wendy announces to the crowd that Cartman's "winning" essay is really a copy of Walden with Henry David Thoreau's name scratched out and Cartman's written in. No one cares. Mr. Hat is arrested and sent to a mental hospital to recover. Of course Mr. Garrison, for obvious reasons, has to go too.
There's a happy ending of sorts. Chef has sex with Kathie Lee Gifford, and Cartman finally gets on TV -- specifically a Geraldo episode about the morbidly obese.
- "Get out of my ass you stupid rainbows!" (Cartman)
- "How are my little crackers today?" (Chef)
- "Screw you, hippie!" (Cartman)
- "C'mon people! We've got to turn this place around! Hang up the lights, string up the banners, castrate the cows!" (Mayor McDaniels)
- "Beefcake! BEEFCAKE!" (Cartman)
- "God damnit, that's a big fat ass!" (Kyle to Cartman)
- "Follow your dreams. You can reach your goals. I'm living proof. Beefcake. BEEFCAKE!" (Cartman)
What I Learned Today
"You can't win all the time. And if you don't win, you certainly can't hold it against the person who did, because that's the only way you ever really lose."
Chef serenades Kathie Lee with "Kathie Lee, You're My Sexual Fantasy", much to the horror of Mayor McDaniels. He gets cut off before the climax of the song, but Kathie Lee had already heard enough (as we see at the end of the episode).
Behind The Scenes
Pop Culture References
When Wendy pleads with Mr. Garrison not to kill Kathie Lee Gifford, he responds by saying, "It is too late for me . . . young Wendy." The line is a lift from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Also, Gifford's talent show song, "If They Could See Me Now," is the same tune she sang when shilling for Carnival Cruise Lines during the early '90s. When Mr. Hat is arrested by Officer Barbrady at the end of the episode, he says "I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids". This is a reference to a popular line used in "Scooby Doo", usually uttered by villains after their plans were thwarted. After becoming so obese on the Beefcake diet that he can't even leave his house, Cartman makes an appearance on the skeevy daytime show "Geraldo" as a "Fat Ass".
Singer, hostess, and actress Kathie Lee Gifford, who at the time was the co-host of the daytime show "Live with Regis and Kathy Lee". In the course of the episode, Chef professes his love for her while Garrison confronts his hatred for her. Kathie Lee's husband Frank Gifford also gets a nod, as Chef tells the boys that he's "three times bigger" than him. Chef's talking about his chocolate salty balls, of course. Mr. Garrison's hatred for Kathy Lee was foreshadowed in "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", where the sentence, "I'm not positive, but I think that Cathy (sic) Lee Gifford is much older than she claims to be," can be seen on his classroom's chalkboard.
In his talent show flashback, the 8-year-old Mr. Garrison is shown already bald on top, with gray on the sides. Yet in a flashback during "Cartman's Mom Is A Dirty Slut", he possesses a full head of hair. This show also contains the first reference to "Jesus and Pals", a public access TV show hosted by no other than Jesus himself. Although we only see a commercial for it here, "Jesus and Pals" can actually be seen in the next episode "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride". The rest is history.