The 115 Funniest Things to Ever Happen on Survivor
#11. The Return of the Fafaru
All-Stars - Episode 14
There is no way I can describe this moment and manage to do it justice. I'm sorry but I just can't. This is one of those wonderful visual moments that All-Stars is most famous for, it's one of those "blink and you'll miss it" moments of spontaneous hilarity, and there's no way you'll be able to appreciate it if you don't actually see it for yourself.
So go out and buy the All-Stars DVD, just for this moment alone. I promise you won't regret it.
To be honest, I know I do my fair share of All-Stars bashing in my Survivor writeups. I'll admit it, I do. But I do have to give that season credit from a comedic standpoint. All-Stars is easily one of the funniest seasons overall, and that's mostly because it has lots of referential callbacks. All-Star Survivor is full of jokes from old seasons, it's the only season that could possibly do this, and most of these moments really are pretty funny when the editors manage to handle them right.
So anyway here's my favorite callback joke, and the moment that I consider to be the comedic apex of Survivor: All-Stars. Don't blink, or you are going to miss it. It's time for the return of the fafaru!
Not approved by the FDA
You remember fafaru, don't you? It was the putrid-smelling, raw, sewage-like fish chunks that the players had to gag down during the second episode of Survivor: Marquesas. Fafaru was probably the most disgusting food item they have ever featured on Survivor, people still talk about its disgusting smell to this day, and it was notorious for giving us this image, which I'm sure everybody remembers from Survivor: Marquesas.
That's right, it's our old friend Boston Rob Mariano. He couldn't handle the disgusting fafaru in Marquesas. He puked it up into a great big pile of bile-y white goo, and it was the single most humiliating moment of his Survivor career. Nobody ever forgets Rob barfing up a half-eaten piece of fafaru, and I'm sure he never forgot about it either. It's the type of thing you are just never going to live down over the course of your life.
And that's where we come to the single funniest moment from Survivor: All-Stars.
It's the fourteenth episode of All-Stars, and the players are in the middle of the gross food challenge. All their relatives have come out to play, everybody is having a lot of laughs, and Boston Rob is having a wonderful time laughing and joking with his brother. In fact, things could not be going better for Boston Rob at this moment in the game. He has complete control of the tribe, he has handled every strategic move with the greatest of ease, and there's really very little right now that can stop him.
And that's when Jeff brings out the fafaru.
Rob is sitting there, just smiling and laughing with his brother. Then he suddenly catches a whiff of the approaching fafaru. And Rob's face immediately drops. The grin disappears from his face, his whole demeanor turns immediately into dread seriousness, and it's one of the funniest f'ing things I have ever seen on TV. Rob's face literally changes from exhilaration, to fear, to dread, in the time it took you to read this sentence. The minute he sees his old arch rival (the fafaru) again, it's like he suddenly doesn't want to be there anymore. And it kills me EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT.
I so wish I could upload this clip to YouTube, just so you could see it. But I don't know how to do that. The best I can do is post the frame-by-frame screen caps from All-Stars. And even though they are pretty good, even the screen caps can't begin to do this moment justice. There's just no way to convey how fast (and how drastically) Rob's expression changes when he sees Jeff walk out with that fafaru. It's just something you have to see for yourself.
Needless to say this is one of my very favorite moments on the Funny 115.
Rob is laughing and smiling with his brother. All is right in the world.
Uh oh. What's that smell?
Is that...? Is that...fafaru?
Rob makes an identification. His face drops.
The grin is gone
He freezes in mortal terror.
You might not think this deserves the #11 spot on the countdown, but you have to believe me. This could honestly be #1. Just see it for yourself before you judge. Because if you actually know the backstory behind Rob and the fafaru, there's no possible way you won't laugh when you see this. It really is that fricking funny. Just trust me!
P.S. Yes, those screen captures are almost frame-by-frame. That's how fast it happens on TV. Rob's face drops and changes in literally about a second and a half.
P.P.S. Yes this was Mario's second "golden moment" on the Funny 115. That means it was a personal favorite moment that I didn't think anybody would be able to predict. But I stand by this one 100%, just like I stand by the final "golden moment" at #4. Like this one, that one is almost entirely visual as well. But no, it's not from All-Stars.
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