The 115 Funniest Things to Ever Happen on Survivor
#83. Whaaaaaaaat? I'm just layin' here in the hammock!
Vanuatu - Episode 13
Ha ha. I love this moment. It was one of the funniest scenes in Vanuatu, it was one of my favorite scenes involving Chris, and it was easily one of my first choices to include when I sat down to create the Funny 115.
There are several reasons why Chris Daugherty is my favorite Survivor player of all time. One of them is the fact he sported a greasy red wifebeater all season. Another is the fact that he won the game despite impossible odds (and the added bonus that he really didn't appear to be even trying.) And of course I still say that Chris had the single best storyline, and single best comeback, of any player in Survivor history. So you take all those factors into account, and it's easy to see why Chris is my all-time favorite Survivor. There wasn't a single moment of the Chris Daugherty storyline that I didn't in some way enjoy.
That being said, there was one aspect of the Chris experience that I enjoyed more than any of the rest of them. And no, it wasn't the wifebeater. You may think it was, but you'd be wrong. No, the aspect of Chris that I enjoyed the most was the way that the guy talked. You see, Chris had three very distinct traits in the way he communicated, and together they made me fall in love with him as a memorable Survivor character.
And what were these three very distinct Chris speaking traits?
The first Chris trademark was that he was painfully overdramatic. And I'm talking like Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate overdramatic. Chris's confessionals on the show were always about 50% more dramatic than they really needed to be, and I have to say it cracked me up nearly every single time he started giving an interview. Because when Chris talked to the camera, he didn't just make points. No, Chris liked to use emphasis. Chris loved to share ideas. And Chris loved to stress important words in the middle of his dramatic sentences.
Chris loved to add drama to the middle of his sentences, even if there was never really any need to. And whenever he did this, I would joke with my wife how funny it would be to listen to Chris say something that was completely mundane. Like, say, what would it sound like if Chris read a grocery list aloud? Would he still stress words in the middle of his sentences, even if he was just talking about buying a jar of pickles? I always wondered if "The bananas are in aisle twelve" sound much more exciting if coming out of the mouth of Chris Daugherty.
Chris making a dramatic point about bananas
The second of Chris's vocal trademarks that I loved was his little sing-songy, weasely, Midwest accent. The way he talked was sort of whiny, sort of melodic, and it happened to sound exactly like one of my favorite whiny-voiced actors of all time, Mister Bill Paxton. Chris sounds so much like Bill Paxton when he talks that it's actually sort of creepy. They both have the exact same tone, the exact same weird cadence, and at times they sound almost exactly alike. In fact, the next time you watch the movie Titanic, just picture Chris saying all of Bill Paxton's lines and I guarantee it will crack you up. Because I swear to god they are almost the exact same person when they open their mouth.
"Rose, will you tell us about Titanic?"
But my favorite aspect of the way Chris talks (and the one that makes him a legend) is the fact that 99% of the stuff that comes out of his mouth is complete and utter bullshit. And I'm not talking about stuff that he said to us. No, in confessionals Chris always told the truth. But when he was talking to other players (especially after the merge) it's entirely possible that every single thing that came out of his mouth was a lie. And I'm being serious. Chris may have gone three weeks in Vanuatu without ever actually speaking the truth.
Chris got so comfortable with lying as the game went along that you could tell he actually started to enjoy it. You could tell that Chris actually got off on blatantly just lying to people. And in time, he basically just turned into one big wifebeater-wearing used car salesman. By the end of the game in Vanautu, everything that came out of Chris Daugherty's mouth was a lie. He managed to dump bullshit on people more often than a guy who was an actual used car salesman (Brian Heidik) in real life! And when you find yourself lying even more than Brian Heidik, then brother, you know you have turned into something special.
"I can't believe those suckers bought that!"
Gratuitous Movie Tie-in: One of my favorite movie characters of all time is "Simon", the used car salesman from the movie True Lies. If you haven't seen True Lies, it stars Jamie Lee Curtis as a woman who is having an affair with a man who claims to be a spy, but is really just a used car salesman with delusions of grandeur. Simon the used car salesman is weasely, he's whiny, and he's 100% completely and utterly full of crap. Everything that comes out of his mouth is complete and utter bullshit. And guess what? He's actually quite a bit like Chris!
Oh... and by the way... who plays this mysterious, whiny car
salesman with the sing-songy midwestern voice? Which actor plays this
character, "Simon", who's so similar to the winner of Survivor:
Vanuatu? Why, it's none other than our old friend Bill
Paxton! It's the same guy who tried to raise the Titanic! Only
this time, he has a mustache. Take a look!
Bill Paxton, winner of Survivor: Vanuatu
I can't tell you how many times Chris reminded me of Simon (the used car salesman) during Vanuatu. Nearly every word he spoke, and nearly every lie he told, reminded me of something Bill Paxton would have said during True Lies. In fact, at one point I half expected Chris to ask Eliza to sleep with him. And he'd coerce her by saying something like, "If not for me, do it for your country." Because if you have ever seen True Lies you'll immediately see the parallels I am talking about. Chris and Simon the used car salesman could be long lost twin brothers.
If you won't sleep with me, Eliza, please just do it for your country.
So anyway, now we get to the moment at #83 on the Funny 115. It's Chris Daugherty's best "Bill Paxton" impression during Vanuatu, and it happens in episode 13. It's the famous "Chris in the hammock" scene. And it was easily one of my first choices when I sat down to create the website for the Funny 115.
BACKGROUND: We're in Vanuatu, and we have now reached the final five. And the game has basically broken down into pairs squaring off on opposite sides. On one side you have Julie and Eliza, the younger girls of camp Alinta. And on the other side you have Scout and Twila, the older women of camp Alinta. And right smack dab in the middle you have Simon the used car salesman.... er, I mean Chris Daugherty. And of course Chris has obviously aligned himself with both of the sides. After all, why would expect anything else?
By this point, Chris has told every single player in the game that he is taking them to the final two. Because, well, that's just what Chris do. So every single player thinks Chris is on their side, every single player thinks that Chris will have their back, and that's where we get this very amusing scene that comes towards the end of episode thirteen.
Right before the final five vote, Chris and Eliza are discussing strategy.
It's right before Tribal Council, and Chris is sitting there in the hammock, relaxing. He knows he isn't going anywhere tonight. So he doesn't really give a rat's ass if he pisses anyone off today. He knows that nothing can hurt him tonight, so he is just going to relax here.
But then Eliza comes up. And she wants to talk about her plan to blindside Twila tonight. See, Eliza has been looking forward to blindsiding Twila all game, and she desperately needs Chris's help to do it. So she comes over her to start discussing the plan. And Chris, as usual, is more than happy to start conspiring with her.
Chris assures Eliza that everything will go down as planned tonight. Twila is going to go home. "Trust me!"
So Chris is laying there, plotting some sort of malfeasance with Eliza. But what he doesn't see is the fact that Twila is standing right there behind Eliza. Twila has been standing here all along. She's been watching Eliza have this conversation with Chris. And you can tell by the look on her face that she is more than a bit annoyed by it all.
Twila watches Chris and Eliza plotting her demise
Eliza turns around and suddenly notices this. Busted!
As usual, Eliza and Twila immediately square off and start yelling at one another. They've never particularly been very fond of one another, and this showdown has been more than enough to send them into another of their hate-filled yelling matches. Eliza accuses Twila of plotting against her. And Twila accuses Eliza of the exact same thing. In fact, it's the exact same fight as we've heard nearly a hundred other times throughout Vanuatu.
Eliza and Twila fighting
Showdown at Alinta
Meanwhile Chris is just sitting there, laughing. He knows better than to actually say anything. He's just going to sit here, keep his mouth shut, and watch as the women all tear each other to shreds.
Twila continues to lay into Eliza and yell at her until she... suddenly pauses... and turns her attention towards Chris. All of a sudden, Twila notices this smiling buffoon over in the hammock, and realizes that Chris may have actually been a part of this. And that's where we get one of my favorite exchanges of the Vanuatu season.
(angrily) And what's your part in all this, Chris?
And what is Chris's response of feigned and surprised innocence? Well I'm proud to say that Simon the used car salesman couldn't have phrased it any better than this.
"(in wide-eyed mock innocence) Whaaaaaaaaaat? I'm just laaayin' here. You know? In the hammock."
Ha ha ha. I love this scene. It's the ultimate Chris Daugherty/Bill Paxton moment. Because there's no way Chris could have possibly been more full of shit. In the immortal words of Scout Cloud Lee, the bullshit was so thick at this moment it was coming out of his ears. And there's no way anybody ever should have believed him. But Chris delivers this ridiculous line in such a wide-eyed innocent way, and in such a sing-songy little midwestern voice, that it never fails to crack me up. Why, it's as if Chris has no idea what Twila is talking about. Plotting? What's that? What is this plotting you women like to speak of? Chris practically turns into Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer from Saturday Night Live. He practically comes right out and says, "But I'm just a caaaaveman. I do not know of this plotting and scheming. Your world frightens and confuses me."
I'm just a caaaaaveman!
Did Twila actually buy Chris's innocence? And did she actually buy his feigned "I'm just sitting in the hammock!" defense? I really have no idea. But the mock innocence in which Chris says it has always made me laugh. Nobody could have ever been caught plotting as red-handed as he was, and nobody would have ever denied it as ridiculously as he did. But Chris Daugherty tried it. He actually tried to play the "I'm just a caveman!" card on Survivor. And it made for one of the funniest (yet ridiculous) moments of Vanuatu.
Not guilty by reason of just layin' here in the hammock
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