The 115 Funniest Things to Ever Happen on Survivor
Ahhh yes, the single greatest slapstick moment in Survivor history.
Robb and the Stingray was a very strong contender for the #1 moment on this list. In fact, it's probably the best "laugh out loud" slapstick moment out of every single moment on the Funny 115. Because, literally, this one had it all. It was quick, it was sudden, it came out of nowhere, and it had the ever-important "dad gets hit in the nuts" America's Funniest Home Videos factor that we've all come to know and love. This scene had everything you could ask for in a funny Survivor clip, and more.
I will come right out and say that Robb and the Stingray is probably the funniest moment out of the top three entries on the Funny 115. In terms of watching it happen and saying "ha ha!", I have to believe that this one is the best of the best. The only reason I dropped it to #3 was because the top two moments had more of an x-factor that elevated them just a little bit. You'll see what I'm talking about when we get there. But I could have just as easily put Robb and the Stingray at #1 and I doubt anybody would have argued. That's how wonderful this moment is.
Oh yeah, and the best part about this moment is that I don't even have to do a fancy writeup. All I have to is post the screen captures and you can pretty much fill in the blanks on your own. God bless the slapstick moments. They make my job a whole lot easier when I am posting these things.
Robb Zbacnik, about to encounter the dreaded Thai stingray
It's the fifth episode of Survivor: Thailand and the Sook Jai tribe is spending the day relaxing on the beach. The tribe has been through a lot of internal turmoil over the past few days, so today is a day for everybody just to chill out. In fact, the Sook Jais have decided that they aren't even going to think about the game today. They are just going to relax down by the beach, play around in the water, and have a good time.
And when it comes to having a good time, aint nobody better at that than the ever-hyperactive skateboard punk, Robb Zbacnik.
I love this shot. Penny and Erin are sauntering down to the water like grownups, while Robb sprints at full speed like he's six years old and high on juice box. HOLD ON WATER, HERE I COME!
Robb doesn't just wade in the surf like other people. No, he has to body surf, and he has to give it 150 to 200% maximum exertion at all times. Robb is incapable of simply sitting around and relaxing like everybody else. And apparently mommy forgot to pack his luxury item of Ritalin.
So anyway this is where the fun starts. Most of the Sook Jais are just standing around talking, while Robb the hyper hypo is bouncing around in the background, splashing around like a maniac. He's doing lots of Robb things in the water, while the rest of the tribe is standing there, completely ignoring him (probably like they always do.) So Robb is in the background, the rest of the tribe is in the foreground... and this is where we get the funniest slapstick moment in Survivor history. It happens in the background, it happens very quickly, and it happens on the very right of your screen.
Enjoy the magic.
Penny, Jake and Erin are wading in the surf, having a conversation. Meanwhile there's Robb in the back, coming back to shore after his ocean adventure.
Robb's still walking. The rest of the tribe is still talking. Nothing out of the ordinary yet...
Robb is literally one step away from destiny...
OUCH! Robb steps on a stingray. He screams out in incredible pain.
Robb screams loudly, then he goes down. Meanwhile his tribesmates are just ignoring him. They assume this is typical Robb-in-the-water behavior.
Robb submerges. And he could be dead for all we know. Note that his tribesmates don't even care.
Robb's head pops up briefly. Again, his tribesmates don't even seem to notice. They just go right on talking.
Robb comes up again, cursing and screaming. You can practically see the F-bomb coming out of his mouth. Again, nobody notices.
Robb tries to stand up, but he can't. His foot is in too much pain. So he does the most majestically awkward flop instead. He hurtles himself towards shore like a wounded antelope. Again, his three tribesmates still haven't even turned their heads.
Robb finishes his flop with the most unique AAHHHAAAAWWWW! scream I've ever heard come out of a human being. There's no way you can watch this clip and not remember Robb's inhuman scream of despair. Again, his tribesmates still haven't even flinched.
Zbacnik, exit stage right. During this entire scene, his tribemates haven't turned to look at him even once. They just go right on talking, oblivious to everything.
This clip is funny on so many levels. Like I said before, it comes completely out of nowhere, so you're not expecting it. Plus it features Robb's amazingly goofy flop (and scream), which never fail to make me laugh, no matter how many times I see it. But to explain the true humor behind this scene, I turn to my wife Diana, who loves this moment with all of her heart. And she'll explain exactly why this should have been the #1 moment on the Funny 115.
Diana: "The reason this clip is funny is because the rest of the Sook Jais don't even flinch. They just assume that this is a typical Robb noise and a typical Robb flop and they don't even take a glance over to see what is going on. And to me, that's the funniest part. They just assume that Robb is being himself, and nobody even cares that he just lacerated his foot and could actually be in pain."
Robb back on the beach a few minutes later, being attended to by the rest of his tribe
Robb displays his typical maturity and quiet dignity... by screaming at the top of his lungs, "IT HURRRRRRRRRRRRRTS!"
Shii Ann doing an impression of Robb's temper tantrum on the beach
And here's my favorite quote of the whole scene. Jake tells us that nobody thought twice about Robb flopping and screaming in the surf, "... because that was pretty typical for Robb."
So there you have it, the #1 slapstick moment on the Funny 115, and the #3 funny moment overall. Plain and simple, this is a nearly flawless Survivor comedic moment. The only thing that would have made it even funnier is if Robb had been tagged in the nuts by the stingray instead. And if the producers had added in a silly sound effect for emphasis, like "BOOOOINNNNNGGGG."
That would have vaulted it to #1, without a doubt.
P.S. This clip provides an answer to the age-old question: Who would win in a fight... a hyper-kinetic skater boy, or a stingray? This question has baffled historians for ages. But now, because of Robb, we have an answer. The winner, of course, is the viewer.
P.P.S. This is Robb Zbacnik's official last entry on the Funny 115. And he will sorely, sorely, sorely be missed.
"All I can say is... thank God it wasn't a pelican."
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