The 115 Funniest Things to Ever Happen on Survivor

#5. Bobby Jon goes apeshit
Palau/Guatemala - Multiple Episodes

I love this entry. I very nearly ranked it #2 overall. In fact, when I first sat down to make the Funny 115, the "Bobby Jon Goes Crazy" moment was ranked #2 for a while. And it had a very legitimate chance of eventually being number one. And sure, okay I ended up dropping it to #5 on the final list. But that doesn't make it any less funny. Because no matter where it ranks (#1, #2, or #5), Bobby Jon's repeated forays into crazyville truly was one of the funniest subplots in Survivor history. I can't think of a single person who would argue that it doesn't belong somewhere in the top 20.

Oh, and the best part about this entry? The fact that it actually happened in more than one season. That's right, we got to see Bobby Jon flip out and turn into a psychopath during both Palau and Guatemala. We got two seasons, two mental illnesses, and we got it all for the price of one! How can you beat that?!

Bobby Jon spazzes out in Palau

Bobby Jon spazzes out in Guatemala

So why does Bobby Jon take the coveted spot at #5? Easy. It's because of his uncanny ability to flip out and go absolutely apeshit whenever it was time to compete in a Survivor challenge. It happened in almost every challenge he ever competed in (in both seasons!), and it always kills me every time I see it. The image of Bobby Jon screaming at the top of his lungs, with his eyes bugged out, his face bright red, and his head about to explode, never fails to make me laugh. In fact no matter how many times I've watched and rewatched my favorite Bobby Jon moments on tape, I have to say they've never actually gotten any less funny. If anything, I laugh at them now as hard as ever.

When I say "Bobby Jon goes crazy", I'm not kidding around about this, either. The man turns legitimately insane. Because the minute he hears the words "Survivors... ready, go!" it's like Bobby Jon Drinkard turns into an entirely different person. The minute Pavlov Probst rings that Survivor bell, it's like Bobby Jon drops his mask of civility and turns into a snarling, snapping, wild dog. And I swear to God it happens in almost every single Palau and Guatemala episode. "Bobby Jon will go crazy during a challenge" is one of the most predictable sentences in Survivor history, and it leads to one of the funniest transformations in Survivor history. It's like he suddenly turns from mild-mannered David Banner into the snarling Incredible Hulk. Just take a look for yourself.

Normal, polite Southern gentleman Bobby Jon Drinkard

"Survivors, ready, go!"

There's the signal. And here comes the transformation! The "psycho face" starts to come out...

Gone are the polite southern manners.

Gone is the mask of genteel Alabama civility.

And here comes the crazy person!

Look at him go!

Flinging himself through the air!


A heated exchange with Jamie

He's still going! He'll never give up until he's dead!

I love this picture. The producers loved the image of Bobby Jon spazzing out so much, they actually used it during the opening credits in Palau. Awesome!

Futility, thy name is Bobby Jon.

Bobby Jon made the switch from "respectful southern gentleman" to "chaotic apeshit berserker" so many times that I wish I could find pictures to document them all. Sadly I could only find a few. But take it from me that you have to see some of the Bobby Jon faces to really appreciate him. In particular, go watch the scene in Palau where he beats himself up and starts pounding himself in the face. For this reason alone, I'd be willing to say that Bobby Jon was very nearly as entertaining a Survivor character as Judd. Sure, he might not have been as loud or consistently (if unintentionally) hilarious as Judd. But Bobby Jon did manage to turn into Mr. Furious from "Mystery Men" every time he heard Jeff Probst ring the Pavlovian challenge bell. And if that's not good TV, then I really don't know what is.

Two minutes before the challenge? Bobby Jon holds the door open for "Miss Stephenie", and lays down his coat so she can walk across a puddle.

Two minutes into the challenge? Bobby Jon has just slammed his head through a tree.

Here's the great scene where Bobby Jon starts pounding himself in the face

Katie, Jeff, and Chad all react to this ritual in horror

Bobby Jon was wonderful in both seasons he competed in, but Palau was really his season to shine. And only because he was so predictably futile. Because the guy gave at least 700% during every challenge in Palau, yet he was successful in approximately zero of them. Bobby Jon was out there dripping blood, drenched in sweat, with his shoulder torn away from his torso, and every single week he lost immunity to the hated Korors. And if that's not futility, I don't know what is. No matter what Bobby Jon did, no matter how hard he tried, and no matter how many blood vessels he ruptured, Bobby Jon never won a single Palau immunity challenge. And that officially made him the Charlie Brown of Survivor: Palau.

Well, that is if Charlie Brown screamed a lot, punched his fist through walls, and nearly died of massive internal hemorrhaging each time he failed to kick Lucy's football. But otherwise the parallels are pretty close.

Bobby Jon kicks a football

Bobby Jon Drinkard was an amazing, entertaining, totally crazy, utterly improbable Survivor character. I'm really glad they brought him back a second time.

And I'm glad he was even more crazy the second time during Guatemala.

God bless you, Bobby Jon.

P.S. I would be remiss if I didn't also mention my all-time favorite quote about Bobby Jon. This came during the season premiere of Guatemala, from the surprisingly-funny-and-blunt Brandon Bellinger:  "Bobby Jon is kind of a little bit... dumb... I guess you'd say." Ha ha. Thanks Brandon.

P.P.S. I'm sorry, but I'm just never going to stop posting this image. Tell me this is not the single funniest picture in Survivor history. Go ahead and tell me. I dare you.

I will always wave this picture in your face

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