Funny 115 - version 2.0
The Amazon Story
Tocantins - episode 9
It is Day 21 of Survivor: Tocantins, and a very sad moment has just
taken place in the game.
Joe has just been medevaced out of the game because of a knee infection
Joe awaits his sad exit
Sad music plays
Good bye, noble warrior
at camp, the rest of the tribe is unaware of what has happened to their
fallen comrade. They have no idea he has left the
game. They are still blissfully going about the rest of
their day, just walking around, doing Survivor things.
That means it is up to Jeff Probst to stop by and share the
"Hey guys, Boston Rob still hasn't won Survivor yet. And
it's killing me."
"Oh, and also, Joe had to leave the game because of his knee.
Joe was a very popular member of the tribe, this news does not go over
very well with the Forzas. Aww, man, that sucks.
Poor Joe. He had to leave? He had to
give up his dream of winning Survivor, just because of a something
stupid like a little
As you can guess, there are tears.
Awww, poor Joe.
Awwww, that sucks.
Lill shows stoic resolve
Stephen breaks down
So does Becky
I must break you
the tribe down in the dumps, and everybody feeling depressed and blue
over what happened to their friend Joe, it is definitely going to be a
night around Camp Forza tonight. Everybody is just going to
around the fire and be quiet and sad.
And... well... that type of behavior is definitely not
acceptable to one of the Forza members.
see, for one member of the tribe, there is no chance
that everyone is going to just wallow around and stew in their
depression tonight. No way. Because that type of
behavior is unproductive.
It is unhealthy. It is unbecoming.
And most of all,
it just isn't very noble or manly or heroic.
What's that? You say a hero will come in and rescue us?
Yes, Mister Fishbach, that is exactly what I am saying. The
Forzas are going to have a savior tonight.
And just who is this man?
Who is this man, who is going to step in and break everybody out of
their dragging and their depression?
Who is this man? Who one might refer to as some sort of a
hero? Or a legend?
It is I, Coach Wade. The dragging slayer
Yes, Coach Wade sees that the Forza tribe is going to be down in the
dumps tonight. He sees it, and he doesn't like it.
So just like any great and noble champion of the people would do, he
steps in and he decides to fix it.
Yes. He fixes it.
Just like Mother Teresa would have done.
Not unlike Jesus
Here is Coach in a confessional, explaining to us just how he plans to
cheer everyone up around camp tonight.
"Joe left camp today and there was just kind of this funk that
was permeating the camp."
*Pause for reflection*
"So we're sitting around there, looking at the fire. Nobody
was saying anything..."
"And... you know... I just wanted to share a piece of my life with
"I wanted to show them that no matter how bad it gets in your life,
there's always somethin' that's gonna make it much worse."
The burden of a hero
"So I shared with the tribe one of my stories, about the time that I
got caught in the Amazon."
"And I thought I was gonna get killed."
What follows is one of the most inspirational and triumphant and
beautiful stories in the history of Survivor.
Get ready. Grab a tissue. Give a hug to your kids.
This is a story that may very well bring a tear to your eye.
Night 21. Camp Forza. And so the legend is born...
The inspirational pep talk begins
Oh. And he will.
Only three people?!?! Holy shit!!!
"I look over and I see some indigenous people that are sitting there,
creeping through the bush."
"At first I counted six or seven of them."
"Now they were probably four, four and a half feet tall."
"They've got their bows and arrows... they've got their bows and arrows
"They jerk me out of the kayak."
"They tie me up."
"They tie my hands behind my back."
"They tie my feet. They drag me into this hut..."
"I got in the kayak and I dipped it in the water."
"And I paddled like hell."
"I paddled so hard, my hands started bleeding."
And there you go. Story over. Legend created.
Ah yes. The birth of a legend. The Amazon Story.
Now... okay, let's get down to business.
Here's what I love about Coach's inspirational pep talk story.
Actually, no, there are lots of things I love about it.
Why don't we just go on down the list?
The Number One Thing I Love about
the Amazon Story:
I love Debbie's immediate reaction to it.
"I don't want to say Coach, heeeeeeeeey, let's have a reality check
"But no one said a word. It was silent when he finished."
"And everybody was like..."
"Kind of going around, looking at each other."
Number Two Thing I Love About the Amazon Story:
I love the random cameo from Ted's long haired friend from There's
Something About Mary
"You're a fucking liar!"
Number Three Thing I Love About the Amazon Story:
love Brendan's immediate reaction to Coach's "I kayaked down the Amazon
and I almost got raped and killed by pygmies" story. Brendan
steps up and he immediately calls bullshit on it.
In fact, here's a funny summary of why Brendan's reaction to the story
is so awesome, written by my friend Mark Polishuk:
"The scene where Coach told this story was
amazing. He finishes this cavalcade of bullshit, there is a
of stunned silence from everyone in the group, then Brendan immediately
with, "Huh. So how much does it cost to rent a military
"So anyway, yeah, that's what happened. Yeah, I'm awesome."
"Yeah, so how much does it cost to get a military copter to drop you
"That would be free."
This, of course, is followed by this awesome Brendan confessional.
"Coach is either the new coming of Jacques Cousteau."
"Or he's, you know, basically the biggest fraud in the game."
Number Four Thing I Love about the Amazon Story:
me, this is the most underrated aspect of the whole Coach pygmy story.
Get ready for this one, I bet you have never thought of it
know how when you think of the Coach story, the first thing you think
of is, as Mark Polishuk just described, how it was "a unbelievable
cavalcade of bullshit"? You know how when you think of this
first thing that springs to mind is how ridiculous it was, and how
funny everyone's reaction was to it afterwards?
Well how about this? This will top them all.
now on, whenever you think of Coach's Amazon story, just
yourself that Coach didn't tell it because he wanted to brag about
himself. He didn't sit there and go on and on about himself
because he wanted them to all think what an amazing guy he was.
Coach told this story to the tribe... because... are you ready for
BECAUSE HE WAS TRYING TO CHEER EVERYONE UP! THIS
BIG INSPIRATIONAL PEP TALK FOR EVERYONE!
Seriously, this was his pep talk. Be careful, or one day
you might get your ass eaten by pygmies.
guys, sometimes life sucks. And sometimes small people tie
and beat you with sticks. Now let's go out there and let's
Yeah! Let's do it! Let's win! No more
is the aspect of the Amazon Story that I don't think gets made fun of
nearly often enough. I mean, come on. The only
came out at all is because Coach was trying to give a pep talk.
Look at it this way. If Coach ever has a son, and if the
little boy comes home from
school one day sad because a bully made fun of him, this is the story
Coach would tell him to perk his spirits up. He would give
the old cliched "One time I almost got my ass eaten by pygmies, so buck
This seems to be Coach's go-to pick me up pep talk story.
*sob* "A boy was mean to me at school today, dad."
know, one time small men tied me to stake and beat me within an inch of
my life. They were probably going to eat my ass."
"I'M STILL SAD! THAT DOESN'T HELP!!"
Oh yeah, and speaking of getting your ass eaten...
Number Five Thing I Love about the Amazon Story:
Most people remember this story as the "I almost got my ass eaten by
pygmies" story. But if you want to get technical, that part
the story doesn't actually come up until later in the episode.
is the famous "pygmies wanted to eat my ass" postscript to the story,
as told by Coach and Taj later that episode, at Tribal Council.
The Forza tribe is at Tribal Council, and Erinn just told Jeff that she
thought Tyson was the funniest member of the tribe.
"J.T., who tells the best campfire stories?"
"Uh, Coach probably tells the best campfire stories. No
Yes. Yes I do.
"Taj, what's the best story Coach has told?"
Oh goody. Here we go.
"Well I love the Amazon story"
(breathlessly, mocking him) "Because he told us how he was captured by
"And he was beaten..."
You know it
"And he escapes! And he's like paddlin' for two days down the
Amazon River to get away."
I love Jeff's reaction. Great WTF face.
"It's so unbelievable, Jeff. It was... it was... incredible."
Jeff, of course, is amused by this story. As well he should
"Coach, this really happened?"
"Or this is a movie version of what you want
And now? The exciting epilogue to the Amazon Story.
This is the too hot for TV version we didn't get to see earlier in the
"I tried actually to tone it down. Because if I tell 'em
that, you know, the tribe was..."
"You know, looking at my ass..."
"Talking about eating my ass..."
Ha ha. Ass eating.
"So actually, you know, when I tell these stories I usually
try to give, like, the PG-13 version of it."
Stephen could not be more delighted by this
Yet I'm here. And I still have my ass. Point, Wade.
And anyway, so there you go. Coach and his infamous Amazon
The only story in Survivor history that finished with somebody having
their ass consumed.
Ass. It's what's for dinner
Coach's Amazon story true? Was it just an enormous cavalcade
bullshit? In the end, I guess we will never know.
know is that he told it to inspire his troops. He told it to
cheer up his tribe. And inspire them and cheer them up he
There will never be another Survivor story that is more beloved than
They told me I could be anything I wanted. So I became a god.
A god with an ass
I was originally going to call this entry "Coach's stories",
it was going to be about all the stories he told and all the wonderful
tales he wove around camp. But when I sat down to actually
the entry, I realized that A) The Amazon Story was far and away his
best story, and B) Most of his other stories, we don't
hear first hand anyway. For the most part, we only
about his other stories second hand, through hearsay
through other people who are describing them to us.
So anyway, no. No "Coach's stories" entry. Sorry
I couldn't write a whole entry about his stories, instead I decided to
do the next best thing. What I did is I went to people who
actually played Survivor with him, and who actually spent the nights
around the campfire listening to his stories. And I said,
what is the best Coach story that we never saw on TV? Is
anything you wish they had shown in the episodes, something maybe that
was just as funny as the Amazon story?"
I'm not going to
identify who said every quote, but here are the best responses I got
back from the people who replied to me. As you can probably
guess, there were a lot of people who were excited to share their
all-time favorite Coach memory. And you'll never guess who
which quote, because I changed the language around in a lot of them to
help disguise their identity. So don't even bother.
are all 100% real responses though.
Coach Story Memories:
"One funny thing that nobody knows is that Brendan used to
about his stories in the Amazon. "Coach how did you get there?" "Oh,
uh, a military chopper picked me up." "How did you get a military
helicopter to drop you off?" "Uh, contacts in the military."
saw some of that in the Amazon Story, but Brendan used to do it a lot.
It was kind of a game."
"Boston Rob used to regale us every night in Heroes vs
with "Coach" stories. He could actually tell a Coach story as
well as Coach could."
3. "I can't think of anything off the top
of my head. Just the same old crap about 25 foot sharks
attacking his kayak and pygmies torturing him."
4. "Is it common
knowledge that he claims Linda Ronstadt rescued him on his
kayaking trip? Yeah apparently she was in a yacht just
"The best part of the Amazon Story is that somebody asked him
what he ate on his trip. He claimed he had Power Bars
saved in the kayak. Oh, and that the Amazonian tribe
leave them in there for him. Pretty good stroke of luck, huh?"
"There are kernels of truth in every Coach story, that's the
beautiful part. Like, he did go on a kayak trip.
wasn't bitten by a shark. And he wasn't dropped off in a
military plane at the mouth of the Amazon. Do you know he told his
employer he was getting a rare medical procedure for a brain
when he left for Survivor?"
"Dad, I asked a girl out on a date and she laughed in my
It just isn't fair. Why don't people like me?"
know son, one time Sir Galahad and I broke into Fort Knox and we made
love to an eagle."
"IT'S NOT! FUCKING! HELPING!"