The 115 Funniest Things to Ever Happen on Survivor
#35. The Legend of Heidi Strobel
Amazon - Multiple Episodes
Hotter than you
Way back at the start of this countdown, I said that my favorite characters on Survivor were the ones who were unintentionally funny. They were the ones who weren't -trying- to be funny, but somehow they just were anyway. These were the players who have always made me laugh the most.
Some good examples of this would be Robb Zbacnik, Chris Daugherty and Judd Sergeant. These three players were so intense, and so dramatic (when they didn't need to be), that it always cracks me up just hearing them talk. Matthew von Ertfelda was also quite amusing without intending to be. I would also include the names Rudy Boesch, Mike Skupin, Rupert Boneham, and Silas Gaither on this list.
When looking over the list above, I noticed a specific pattern that should jump out immediately. Do you see it too? Or maybe you didn't notice that all my unintentional favorites were males. That's right, there's not a single female named above on my list.
But don't be alarmed, ladies. Don't worry, you will be represented too. Because not -all- the unintentional comedy legends on Survivor were males. There was actually a female from the Amazon who can proudly stand among any accidental comedian in this category.
Her name is Heidi Strobel.
She's the smartest person in the world.
And there has never been another player remotely like her.
Invented the hydrogen bomb; likes glitter
Ahh yes, Heidi. One of my all-time favorites. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to finally welcome her to the Funny 115. So welcome, Heidi. Welcome to a very deserved spot in the top forty. I hope you will stop by for a while and be able to provide some commentary.
"I'd love to. I'm actually really good at making top 100 lists. People don't know that about me, but it's true. List makers really seem to love me."
No matter what, Heidi Strobel was a player who was destined to be remembered. The minute she was cast on the show, the producers probably knew they had a future Survivor legend.
"That was what I thought too. I was actually kind of surprised they filmed five seasons without me. It was just so bizarre."
Because here you had a girl from the midwest who was unlike anybody they had ever cast on the show. From a character standpoint, Heidi Strobel was totally, completely, one hundred percent unique.
"I'd say about 110 percent unique, actually. I'm literally ten percent more unique than is humanly possible. And I've actually worked the numbers to prove this too. I did it in my laboratory last night."
To begin with, Heidi was a 24-year old sizzling hot gym teacher. And if that isn't an anomaly in itself, I don't know what is. Most gym teachers in America tend to look large, soft, and doughy. Most of them don't have beautiful blonde hair and a giant pair of implants. In fact the average gym teacher in America (male or female) probably looks more like Judd Sergeant than Heidi Strobel. So right off the bat Heidi was an interesting person. Just from her choice of profession alone, she was already somebody who got our attention.
"I'm a really good teacher, too. There are literally teenage boys lined up and down the hall just to sign up for my class every year. It must be because I teach them the best fundamentals."
So here comes Heidi Strobel, a 24-year old gym teacher from Missouri. She's got flowing blonde hair. She has an exceptional body. And she's really quite stunning to look at, especially for a middle school gym teacher. There's really no other way to describe her.
Plus she got really big titties.
"Daddy like. Humina humina humina!"
What? Tom! Clay! This isn't your entry. Please, just wait your turns. And please go hose each other off. Both of you. I beg you.
So as I was saying... Heidi is cute, she's got a big smile, and in pre-season interviews Jeff calls her "a sweetheart with a dagger." Why, this girl is going to be one of the greatest Survivor players of all time!
"I just want to clarify that I don't actually own any daggers. That part of the quote wasn't altogether correct. Everything else was okay though."
What we don't know at the time (indeed we don't actually find out until the Amazon reunion) was that Heidi was also the smartest player ever to be cast on the show (at least through six seasons). She not only aced the pre-season personality tests, she also blew away the pre-season IQ test. On paper, Heidi Strobel was the single smartest player ever to be cast on Survivor!
"I was also one of the fastest, too. Little known fact, I can actually outrun an antelope on a flat surface."
So here's Heidi, a bona fide Survivor legend. She's hot. She's smart. She's strategic. She can outrun an antelope. And, again, she has huge jugs. Can't forget about those.
"I never did."
The first episode of Amazon was mainly dedicated to the guys talking about how hot the girls of Jaburu were. And (not surprisingly) the one who got the most attention was Miss Missouri herself, Heidi Strobel. The guys were particularly entranced by this beautiful blonde gym teacher in the skimpy bikini. And none of them were more entranced by her than Rob Cesternino.
"Heidi is so hot, she could put Viagra out of business."
"*laughs* The funny thing about that quote is that I actually am quite hot. Rob was dead on. That's too funny."
"Although I'm not actually in competition with Viagra. That was sort of a fallacy. I have no interest in the pharmaceutical industry, although I'm sure I'd be quite good at it if I wanted to."
Through the first two episodes of Amazon, the main things we knew about Heidi were that she was hot, the guys were in love with her, and that she was very very good at riding down a Flying Fox. And for most of us, that was really good enough. If Heidi had remained just a beautiful blonde piece of eye candy, I actually think it would have been better for her. Because it means she wouldn't have made any enemies.
But no. Sadly, Heidi started making enemies in episode three. Because this is where she ended up saying things she was probably going to regret. That's right, episode three is where Heidi first really opened her mouth, and it was the first time she said something that was completely inflammatory. This is the moment that she pissed off every female over the age of 30 on the entire planet. And she did it with the following quote:
"The cuter girls kinda went off from the older women because we're younger, and we're cuter, we've got better bodies, and for some reason that's like a huge issue with older people."
(Note: I'm not allowed to post my wife's reaction to this quote but needless to say she is 31 and she was -not- a Heidi fan after this. And I don't think she was alone in her response, either.)
"That's because older women can't take the truth. Once I hit thirty I'll probably be giving up on life too. And I just think it's really sad."
But the scariest thing about this comment, was the fact that Heidi's quote in episode three wasn't even her most offensive quote of the season! I know it's hard to believe but she actually topped it in episode four. Because that's when she was talking about why the older women of Jabaru did more work around camp than the younger women. And that's when she gave us the following gem:
"Bigger women have more fat to live on. They can put out more effort."
Oh, Heidi. Oh, please just stop. Why couldn't you have just quit while you were ahead?
"But it's true. Fatter women can do more work."
Well technically -yes- that's probably true. But do you really think you should be saying that? Weren't you aware of how that would look when the (mostly-female) American public saw this episode on TV? Didn't you worry about what they were going to think?
"I didn't think a bunch of housewives would be able to understand it. I mean, most of them didn't even go to college."
Okay, Heidi. That's enough. Please just stop. Moving on...
Heidi's complete inability to understand how others perceived her turned into one of my favorite running subplots during Amazon. Because she made inappropriate quotes like this all time. She would constantly say the wrong thing, or phrase things in the wrong way. And I figured out later that it was because she had no self-awareness. She really had no idea how other people viewed her, and that most people thought she was a blithering bubble-headed moron.
Heidi knew she had the highest IQ out there. She knew she was probably the smartest person in the cast (yes, even over the rocket scientist). But the problem was that Heidi didn't realize that other people didn't know this. Nobody else realized she was actually smart. So Heidi continued to spout wisdom like she was Socrates, she continued to think of herself as a Survivor mastermind, but she never seemed to realize that other people thought she was just some bimbo in a skimpy bikini. Heidi seemed to have no idea that other people actually made fun of her, and it made for some incredibly funny and memorable Survivor moments:
* In episode 9 Heidi is hobbled due to a spider bite, and she alludes to this fact during Tribal Council. She states that normally she brings two things to the Survivor table: Athletic ability and intelligence. But now because of her injury one of them is gone. Check out Jeff's not-too-subtle dig towards her in response:
"My strongest assets to this group are athletic ability and intelligence. And... hello... one of them is gone right now."
* In episode eleven Heidi agrees with Jenna that their extreme beauty is indeed a Survivor handicap. And yes, even though neither of them actually uses "the H-word" it is still pretty clear that is what they are implying. By being pretty, they have had to work extra hard in this game to succeed.
"Which means that Christy wasn't actually handicapped, because Christy wasn't actually pretty. And I thought it was sort of an ironic reversal in that sense."
Oh shut up.
Heidi's lowest moment in the game (and that's saying something) actually happened in episode twelve, her eventual boot episode. And for Heidi to have a lowest moment at all is actually pretty impressive, all things considered.
"I agree, I rarely have them."
Heidi was about to be booted out of the game. So right before the vote, she went on a big rambling tirade about how the guys were all scared of her and how she was such a mastermind and that's why they needed to get rid of her. And I'm sure much of America watching this was saying to themselves "WTF? Heidi the big strategic mastermind?"
Here is her actual quote, from Tribal Council #12 just before Heidi was voted out of the game:
"I've been a mastermind behind half the plans in this game, and right now there are three guys who are scared to death of me."
Dave's wonderful reaction when he hears this quote
Now there are two possible explanations as to why Heidi would say something like this right before she knew she would be voted off:
A) Because she was mad about leaving the game, and she wanted to piss everybody off by saying that everybody else left in the game was an idiot.
B) Because she really -did- think she was the mastermind, and she wanted everybody in the game, and everybody watching at home on TV, to know it.
I have no idea what the real story was. I'm guessing it was just because she was mad and she wanted to take a dig at Rob by saying he was overrated. But who knows? Heidi, do you remember why you said that?
"Sorry, I wasn't paying attention. I was just thinking I looked really good in that clip. Even hotter than Jenna, if that's possible."
So Heidi the Mastermind left the game in episode twelve, and she did it after one of the more insulting voting comments of the season (courtesy of Rob Cesternino.) Still don't believe that other players viewed Heidi differently than she viewed herself? Check out the quote below, and tell me if that isn't 180 degrees from the way Heidi viewed herself in the game of Survivor:
ROB (voting for Heidi): "Two girls. One brain. Divide by two. Only one halfwit left."
So Heidi exited the game, without ever being able to convince people that she was actually a super genius. And this, of course, leads us to the single greatest Heidi Strobel moment of all time. This is the one that tops all the others, by far.
You may remember it as Heidi's jury speech to Matt and Jenna. The one where Heidi tries to get them to admit that she was one of the best players in the game. This is the Heidi moment that nearly everybody remembers. It is classic Strobel.
It's the final Tribal Council, and the seven Amazon jurors are asking their questions to decide who they will vote for to win the game. And when Heidi comes up to the podium, she asks a doozy of a question. She asks Matt and Jenna...
"Is there a particular person over here who would be more deserving to be in your position?"
I have no idea what Heidi intended to do with this question, but it sure looked like she wanted somebody to answer "Yes, you Heidi. You really deserved to be sitting up here." But neither Matt nor Jenna actually say that. Both of them answer "Rob". Rob is the player in the jury who should be sitting up here in the final two.
Heidi's none-too-pleased reaction to this answer
Even though "Rob" was the only answer that was given, Heidi doesn't appear to be 100% satisfied. She appears to be still looking for someone to say "Heidi." So she actually -continues-! She follows up by then asking Matt and Jenna, "... I mean... is that the only person...?"
Rob can't believe he is hearing this
Matt and Jenna offer no other names, so Jeff Probst puts an end to the festivities before Heidi can follow up with, "I was thinking of maybe a blonde girl on the jury. Did you think she was a really good player? And extremely beautiful too? What was her name again?" But Jeff cuts her off before she can go there.
"I think they answered the question, Heidi. You can sit down now."
"Are you sure? Because they haven't said me yet. Can we give them a few more tries?"
"Just sit down."
Ah yes, one of my all time favorite Survivor moments. And I'm not alone either. When people heard that Heidi was going to be included on the Funny 115, nearly every single one of them said the exact same thing: "Oh you have to include her jury speech at the end, when she tries to get them to say she was the smartest player. That was hilarious!" And of course there was no way I wasn't going to include it. That was the single best Heidi moment of them all.
The legend of Heidi Strobel may have died at the end of Amazon, but we can still live vicariously through her by re watching the tapes over and over again. She may not have been selected for All-Stars (an outrage, by the way), but to this day she remains the most unintentionally funny female player of all time.
She also remains the only Survivor ever to be fired from her job because she got naked for a plate of peanut butter. So much for being the world's hottest gym teacher. Thousands of teenage boys in Missouri were probably heartbroken.
"If you were in my class I could have taught you how to do squats!"
So anyway, God bless you, Miss Strobel. You truly were one of the all-time greats. And thanks for taking the time to stop by and help me out with the countdown.
"No problem whatsoever. I was actually the mastermind behind like half the items on the Funny 115. Most people don't even realize that."
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