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South Park episode
Eric Cartman Chickenlover.jpeg
Cartman as a cop in this episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 3
Written by Trey Parker
Matt Stone
David Goodman
Directed by Trey Parker
Production no. 203
Original airdate May 20, 1998
Episode chronology
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"Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut" "Ike's Wee Wee"
List of South Park episodes

"Chickenlover" (also known as "Chickenfucker" or "The Magic of reading") is the 16th episode of Comedy Central's animated series South Park. It originally aired on May 20, 1998.



The episode starts with Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman visiting a book mobile bus. They start to get interested in reading, but after meeting the Book Mobile driver and realizing how weird and annoying he is, they give up on reading, except for Cartman who is intrigued by romance novels.

Then, word eventually spreads that a pervert is molesting chickens in town. When Officer Barbrady starts the investigation, he is confronted with his illiteracy (proclaiming "I'm illegitimate"). He resigns in shame and anarchy immediately breaks out. Barbrady is put into the boys' class to learn to read. Meanwhile, the "Chickenlover" strikes again.

Officer Barbrady's book report on Go, Dog. Go! gets him an A. He then starts to enjoy the school life a little too much. Mayor McDaniels forces him to learn reading more quickly to solve the case. He recruits the four boys as deputies to help him in his task, showing his knowledge of the Police Code. From then on, Cartman patrols the town on his Big Wheel, enforcing his own brand of justice and dealing violently with those who fail to respect his "authoritah" (mainly by taking out a police baton and using it to attack peoples' shins). Examples include beating Stan's dad for driving on the speed limit, another man on prostitution charges, and Mr. and Mrs. McCormick for domestic violence. His methods are nonetheless effective. Meanwhile, Barbrady puts some clues together by reading some children's books. When he almost gives up, the boys keep up his spirits.

The molester is finally caught in the petting zoo wearing a mask of Richard Nixon, and turns out to be the Book Mobile driver. He plotted this all along to encourage Barbrady to learn to read. He gives Barbrady a copy of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Cartman then begins clubbing the man in the legs, to which Officer Barbrady steps in and takes his club, telling him that "this isn't the way to uphold the law" and that he has to hit him in the head to make him go down quicker, giving a demonstration that kills the man (moments later, his legs are seen on the side of the screen in a small pool of blood). Barbrady tells the children he will "get in the bathtub, and then curl up with a good book", after which a generic crime drama theme tune plays as Barbrady gives the children the thumbs up. He remains, seemingly unable to move, in this position as the children walk away. The town holds a parade for Barbrady, and when he is asked to give a speech, he tells how Atlas Shrugged convinces him that reading "totally sucks ass." In the end, he swears never to read again. It is shown that Jesus drives the pick-up Barbrady stands in.

At the end of the episode, the crime drama theme plays again, and still shots of the parade are shown, including Kenny's death, as he is crushed under a tree.

During the episode, the TV show COPS films how Cartman and Barbrady are fighting crime.

Production notes

Originally, Cartman was supposed to receive a gun (instead of a nightstick) and shoot at people (instead of beating them) during his stint as a deputy police officer, but Comedy Central's censors were reluctant in showing a child with a firearm (despite airing the episode "Volcano" with seemingly no qualms).[1] The episode shows Barbrady's signs of illiteracy by having every sign he comes across written in characters belonging to languages which do not employ Latin alphabet; a "STOP" sign, for example, is distorted into Korean characters from Barbrady's point of view. In the introduction for the South Park: Volume 8 home video, Trey Parker and Matt Stone explain that the title was originally going to be "Chickenfucker" but was changed due to the use of profanity.

Cultural references

The music that plays over the end credits is a spoof of 1980's crime drama theme songs, most obviously Magnum, P.I. as both songs feature a similar flanged guitar riff.


External links

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