This page contains trivia for "Grey Dawn". Remember, trivia must be factual, provable, and it is always best to cite your source for not-so-obvious trivia. If you would like to dispute a trivia point, please discuss it in the article comments.
According to the DVD commentaries, this episode was inspired by a real incident in which an 86-year old man drove his car through a crowded farmers' market in Santa Monica, killing 9 people and injuring 54.
It is possible that sometimes in episodes, the writers draw one-time characters to resemble adult versions of the boys and then kill them off. In this episode, the man who is fishing and then killed by elderly drivers looks like an adult version of Kyle. He has red, curly hair that looks like Kyle's 'fro, and he also is wearing an orange and green color scheme that is similar to Kyle's clothing. In the news report, his name is revealed to be Carl Zorn, a name that sounds similar to Kyle. A similar phenomenon is seen in "Free Willzyx" with a truck driver who strongly resembles Stan.
References to Popular Culture
The topical reference of this show is a fatal incident at the Santa Monica Farmers market of June 2003 where the elderly driver, George Welle, killed ten people and injured many more by accelerating through the closed road. The car Weller drove, a Buick LeSabre from 1992, is also featured in the episode, as the car which killed a man who was fishing when the car was driven off a bridge. This scene also parodies Jaws, using the theme music from the movie.
The title of this episode and many of its scenes are a parody of the 1984 filmRed Dawn. Specific examples include the AARP troops parachuting into the town while Mr. Garrison lectures his class on Genghis Khan and sees them outside the window. Also many of the townspeople rounded up and held inside a prison camp, with Stan's dad talking to the boys through the fence and shouting "Avenge me!" Red Dawn also took place in Colorado.
The sequence where a convoy of elderly drivers are seen approaching (with Randy shouting for the boys to get off the road) references a sequence in John Carpenter's 1983 film adaptation of Stephen King'sChristine, with similar staging and music to this scene where Christine chases a victim at a slow pace before running him down.
Similarly, another scene in which multiple vehicles destroy the walls of an abandoned house that Randy and the boys were hiding in, and then chase them up the stairs, also comes from Christine, during the scene where she tracks down and murders Will Darnell. However, this scene does not take place in the John Carpenter film, but only in the original novel, and the house in question is Darnell's own.
Stan's grandfather states that he is "mad as hell", which is a reference to the 1976 movie Network.
The line "Mostly hippies go to farmer's markets. Mostly" harkens back to "Cat Orgy" and the film Aliens.
Randy's line, "That's our Grandpa" and the ensuing laughter echoes Stan's line in "Death", "That's my silly grampa". After that line, the family laughs.
Mrs. Wyland, the pink-haired old woman who was given a gun while lying in a hospital bed, is later seen standing at the South Park sign behind some sandbags. There, she has her IV unit with her and wears a blue dress with white flowers instead of her hospital gown.
Randy and Sharon both called Marvin Marsh "dad," even though Randy is Marvin's birth son. Sharon, however, could be speaking in the sense that Marvin is her father-in-law.
In the lake scene when the elderly couple driving and in Cartman's fictional scenario, the Country Kitchen Buffet is located on an open road without any other buildings around it. However, on the map and in the final scenes, Country Kitchen Buffet is across the street from many buildings, including Tom's Rhinoplasty.
When the AARP paratroopers land outside South Park Elementary, an old woman in a purple dress smacks Mr. Garrison with a gun. In the nursing home, however, the same old woman is seen among the residents when the AARP enters. This is likely a continuity error due to the animators using the same background character in different scenes.