The 115 Funniest Things to Ever Happen on Survivor
#27. Clarence and the Chickens
Africa - Episode 6
This is one of my favorite Survivor scenes of all time and honestly I easily could have ranked it in the top ten. I really think it is that good.
First off, this scene gets my vote as one of the best-edited scenes in the history of Survivor. The music, timing, and comedic pauses are just perfect. The editors took a moment that was "kind of" funny on the surface, and they skillfully wove it into a scene that is guaranteed to make you laugh. The whole scene is just absolute editing gold. So bravo to the Survivor editors for this one.
Secondly, this scene happens to feature a guy who I always thought was hilarious and horrifically underrated as a character (Clarence). No, he wasn't much of a player. I mean, he pretty much torpedoed his chances of ever winning by eating an extra helping of cherries on day one. But the way he talked... and his little Eddie Murphy-like giggle... and the weird war paint he liked to wear... and his wolf-like appetite for food... all of these factors add up to a guy who I thought was the most underrated male character of all time. That's right. I said it before and I'm sure I will say it again. Clarence Black gets my vote as the most underrated male character in terms of being fun to watch.
And it's a shame that most people only remember him for the cherries and beans incidents.
Clarence wearing his ever-present war paint
The infamous "extra cherry" incident
Yeah yeah, I know that Clarence ate a can of beans when he probably shouldn't have. And that he had an extra cherry or two when people were passing around the can. But so what? I mean, the man was hungry! How was he supposed to get around that? Clarence Black was a big guy, he was an athlete's athlete, and the man loved to eat. In fact he was more addicted to food than just about anybody who has ever played the game.
We saw it with the cherries.
We saw it with the beans.
And we saw it with the #27 moment on this list, when Clarence had his heart set on chowing down on some chicken.
A potential Clarence dinner
Here's the backstory: The Boran tribe had won three egg-laying hens in yesterday's challenge, and this pleased hungry Clarence to no end. And it wasn't so much that he wanted eggs. No, Clarence wanted to get himself some meat. And he wasn't shy about telling people either. When Clarence was hungry, Clarence made sure that everybody else was going to know about it.
Clarence: "I will not deny I'm having homicidal feelings about those damn chickens."
The rest of the tribe wanted to be patient and see if the chickens were going to start laying eggs. But Clarence wasn't down with that at all. He wanted poultry, and he wanted poultry now. Screw eggs. Eggs weren't for men. Men needed to eat some meat! So Clarence planted himself outside the chicken coop, and he started telling the chickens that their time was up. He went right up to them, he pointed to the coop, and he loudly announced that it was "Tribal Council for you tonight."
The day before, at the request of the tribe, Frank had built the chickens a play yard, to see if they would run around and relax (and maybe squeeze an egg or two out of their butt). But Clarence still wasn't satisfied. So he started making threats. He loudly told everybody (including the chickens) that if he didn't see an egg by tomorrow, a chicken was going to be eaten. And that was that. Clarence was hungry, and Clarence was laying down the law. And this was a threat he was definitely willing to carry out.
Clarence: "I've talked to each of those chickens personally and I've informed them that they're on notice."
So anyway, here's the pivotal conversation between Clarence and Mama Kim, where Clarence explains what's going to happen if he doesn't see an egg. Note the exact wording of this exchange, because it becomes very important to what happens later.
(Mario's Note: I couldn't include pictures of this scene because it took place in the dark. So I just posted the transcript instead.)
Clarence: "I told them I'd give 'em 24 hours to lay an egg, and now technically it's been 48 hours. So that's on them."
Kim: "What if they lay an egg by tomorrow morning?"
Clarence: "Then we spare 'em. How's that?"
Kim (surprised): "Really?"
Clarence: "I swear."
Kim (loudly announcing to the rest of the tribe): "Hear that, guys? Clarence says if we find an egg in the morning then the chicken lives."
Clarence: "All they have to do is lay an egg. One egg."
So this is where the story gets good. And this is where the editors strike comedy gold. Because the scene opens the next morning, as dawn breaks early over Camp Boran.
Kim is the first one up, and she casually strolls over to the chicken coop to see if an egg was produced during the night. She wants to see if Clarence will be eating chicken today or not. So she reaches into the coop... she rustles around in the straw... and then...
Kim walking to the coop
Kim finds an egg!
Kim starts giggling. Because she knows what is going to happen now, especially when Clarence finds out that no one is going to be eating any chicken. And since Clarence isn't up yet, Kim decides to go have a little fun with this. She calmly strolls back to the rest of the tribe, and she places the egg on the frying pan.
And she waits to see what Clarence's reaction will be when he wakes up and he sees it sitting there.
Kim displays the first chicken egg
Kim: "So we're just gonna leave it right there on the tray until Clarence wakes up and sees the egg."
Teresa's stunned reaction to seeing an actual egg
Kim then treats us to her impression of what Clarence will say when he wakes up and he sees this piddly little egg sitting on the tray. This part always makes me laugh.
Kim: "Awww damn. Daaamn those chickens!"
So the Borans sit around in a semi-circle, trying to suppress their laughter, as they wait for Clarence to wake up and stumble out of the shelter. And sure enough, here he comes. Clarence is up, he's half-awake, he wearily wanders out to the fire pit... and the tribe waits in giddy anticipation for him to see the egg. Here it comes...
Wait for it...
And then... jackpot!
"Aw helllll no. Come on! Oh my God!"
The rest of the tribe erupts into laughter and I have to say the editors absolutely nailed the timing on Clarence's reaction. It was perfect, and it never fails to make me laugh. Especially when the rest of the tribe starts teasing him. Ethan even joyfully shouts, "No chicken for you!"
But the scene isn't over yet. Clarence may have been defeated by an embryo, he may have been conquered by the feathered ass of a bird, but he isn't about to lose with silent dignity. No, he is going to go tell the chickens exactly what he thinks of them.
"I hate you, and you, and you and you. You did it just to spite me, so whatever. You laid the smallest egg possible."
The scene ends with Kim informing Clarence that they will probably eat a chicken tonight for dinner anyway. He is just going to have to wait a little bit. And we fade out with Clarence sitting alone on the log, staring disgustedly at the egg that foiled his plans for a meal. And he's still grumbling as we fade out to commercial...
"If you scramble that egg it might disappear. (long pause) Man I hate those chickens."
Ha ha. Like I said, this entry easily could have made my Top 10 if I had really wanted it to. But I felt I would get a lot of resistance since not many people out there really like Clarence. In fact my wife and I might be the only "Clarence Black Fans" in existence. So, sadly, I dropped the moment into the 20's. But I still think it holds up well. I still think this is one of the best scenes in the history of Survivor.
Damn those chickens! DAAAAAAMN!
P.S. Luckily, this is one of the moments on the Funny 115 that you can actually watch over at YouTube. One of the fans of this list has been nice enough to go over and upload it. Thanks a lot!
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