ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 ASIANOW
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 NATURE
 ENTERTAINMENT
   movies
   music
   tv
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 HEALTH
 STYLE
 IN-DEPTH

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 TIME INC. SITES:
 MORE SERVICES:
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines
 pointcast
 pagenet

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

 SITE GUIDES:
 help
 contents
 search

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 WEB SERVICES:
Movies

Hayes
'Shaft,' Scientology and 'South Park'

Chef keeps Isaac Hayes' career simmering along

July 7, 1999
Web posted at: 1:58 p.m. EDT (1758 GMT)

From Mark Scheerer
CNN Entertainment News Correspondent

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Musician, actor, radio jock and former Cool Brother No. 1 -- in his 35-year career, Isaac Hayes has worn many hats on that famous bald head. But it's this big white one that's drawing the most attention lately.

"I get involved in this stupid, crazy, insane cartoon, and now I'm hotter than I've ever been."
— Isaac Hayes talking about "South Park"

Hayes voices the "South Park" animated comedy's character Chef, king of the school cafeteria, known for serving up impromptu sexy ballads and dishing out pearls of wisdom to the show's potty-mouthed kids.

The new and loudly debated film "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" opened with an enviable fourth-place showing in box-office revenues over the July 4 weekend, drawing $14.8 million in ticket sales despite many cinemas' tougher enforcement of the R rating.

"Hey, let me tell you I worked years to achieve artistic excellence," Hayes says, "and then all of a sudden, I get involved in this stupid, crazy, insane cartoon and now I'm hotter than I've ever been. I love it. I love it."

Hayes jokes that the animated Comedy Central show is expanding his fan base to include anyone from age 6 to 96.

Damn right: Hayes' best-known cinematic contribution was the theme from "Shaft"

Chef: 'You got to hold your football like you hold your lover'

In his spare time, Hayes -- who'll turn anywhere from 57 to 61 on August 6, depending on which biographical source you consult -- hosts a morning show on a New York radio station.

There, the man once known for pillow talk on R&B albums -- and who had a smooth noggin long before the look was considered 'hood-handsome -- has played hardball on some high-profile but unauthorized use of his music. He put the kibosh on former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole's use of "Soul Man" (reinterpreted as "Dole Man") as a theme song during the 1996 campaign.

DISCUSSION:
Want to share your opinions on Chef, the 'South Park' series and the movie? Go to the boards!

"It wasn't authorized," Hayes says. "He didn't get permission."

Hayes co-wrote the song and dozens of other hits such as "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby" for mid-'60s stars Sam and Dave.

A rendition of "Walk on By" in the 1995 film "Dead Presidents" reminded audiences of his 1969 album "Hot Buttered Soul," which put Hayes on the music map.

"Dead Presidents" came out the same year Hayes became active in the Church of Scientology, which has drawn other notables including John Travolta and Tom Cruise.

The "South Park" movie is just the latest release in a series of '90s film work. Hayes has taken roles in "Six Ways to Sunday" (1996), "Flipper" (1996), "Johnny Mnemonic" (1995), "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" (1993) and other pictures.

But his career's most notable achievement remains, as he sums it up: "'Shaft.' Damn right."

The theme from "Shaft" in 1972 earned him an Oscar for best song, and a nomination for the film's original score. He was the first African-American to win the best-song honor.

"It was just one of those things in history that you did the right thing at the right time," Hayes says.

And perhaps history will repeat itself. Hayes says he's working on a new album for release early next year.


RELATED STORIES:
Life imitating art imitating life -- raunchy 'South Park' opens
July 1, 1999
U.S. report backs Scientologists in dispute with Germany
January 30, 1997
Celebrities speak out at the Million Man March
October 1995

RELATED SITES:
Official 'South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut' site
'South Park' on Comedy Central
Internet Movie Database: Isaac Hayes
Soul-Patrol.com
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

MORE MOVIE NEWS:
An Asimov twist: Robin Williams, robot
Beauty and the Bugs: 'Anna and the King'
Review: 'The End of the Affair' -- get out your handkerchiefs
Hanks tops box office with 'Toy Story,' 'Green Mile'
 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.