The Funny 115 - version 2.0

#21.  Erik Reichenbach could use a hug
Fans vs Favorites - episode 13

You know, when it comes to the Funny 115, for some of the entries I knew exactly what I wanted to say the moment I sat down and started writing.  For some of the entries, doing a writeup was the easiest thing in the world because the humor was so obvious.

Hi.  I'm Shane's nut sack.

And then of course there are the other types of entries.  We will call these ones "the more subtle entries."  These are the entries where I knew the humor wouldn't jump immediately off of the screen if you just saw it on TV, but if I wrote them up in a certain way, if I massaged the writeup just right, I knew they would make a good Funny 115 entry.

Hi.  I'm Coach's jacket.

So anyway, those are the two types of entries on the Funny 115.   The obvious ones, and then the ones I had to sort of put together a little bit.  I am proud of both types of entries, but they both definitely take a different style of writeup to work.

*no applause*

And then, of course, we come to the seldom-seen third type of entry.  The unique entry.  Like this one.

Hi, I'm an idiot.

Nice job, douche nozzle.

Yes, this entry is dedicated to one of the greatest WTF moments in Survivor history.   The unforgettable final moments of Erik Reichenbach.

This is a moment that not only was destined to make the Funny 115 the moment it happened, but is one that I would probably be tarred and feathered if I even so much as considered not putting on the countdown.  Yes, there are going to be many many people out there who are going to be stunned that Erik giving away his immunity necklace didn't wind up at #1.

Not number one?  Sphincter says what?

I will explain why I didn't put this moment in the top ten at the end of the entry.  For now, let's just say that I feel it straddles the line between "uncomfortable" and "hilarious."  In fact, I kind of think it kind of straddles the line a little -too- well.   This is one of those entries like Billy Loves Candice that for every person out there who thinks it is the funniest thing they have ever seen in their life, there is another person out there who is outraged I would even make fun of it at all.  And, you know, for moments like that (where the fan base is very divided) I sort of try to be conservative.


So anyway, here we go.  The final days of Erik Reichenbach.  A moment that not only was a shoo-in slam dunk for the Funny 115, but which would also be a shoo-in slam dunk for "The Awkward 115", "The Uncomfortable 115", "The 115 reasons women are evil and should never be president", and "The 115 moments where my mom wanted to give somebody on TV a hug."

Oh, and remember how I said this was a unique type of entry?

Well here is why it is unique.  

The reason this moment is unique is because there are no words to describe it.  Seriously.  There are no.  Fucking.  Words.

There is nothing I can say about this moment that would make it any funnier or any more awkward than it was when it happened on TV.  So I will just present it to you with a minimum of commentary, and you can make up the jokes on your own.  Or you can just start crying.  Your call.  You can even do both of them if you want.  It helps if you're bipolar.

Watch out, she's a cutter.

And now, here we go.  The tragic final days of Erik Reichenbach.

This is what happens, my friends, when an ice cream scooper... gets de-scooped.

"Um Jeff, can I tell the people who enjoy this entry to eat me?"

We are in the final days of Survivor: Fans vs Favorites, and a very powerful alliance has been controlling the game.  

Day in and day out, these four women have been blindsiding people, they have been sending people home, and they have basically been making a mockery out of every other player in the game.

And just who are these four particularly dangerous women?

No, not them

Ah yes, that's them.  

Yes, the four women who are controlling the game are the infamous Black Widow Brigade.

Like I said, the Black Widow Brigade has pretty much been controlling the game for the past 30+ days.  Every single player who opposes them has been destroyed.  Every single player who stands in their way has been humiliated.  Every single obstacle or potential opponent along the way has been laughed at, spit on, and later crapped out.  

Hell, they even got rid of Jason Siska, and he was a god.  That is how good this alliance has been.

You ladies outsmarted a deity?  Impressive.  I tip my cap.

There is, however, one potential problem that the Black Widow Brigade still faces now that the days in Micronesia are winding down.

There is still one thing standing in their way now that the game has been whittled down to the final five.

And just what is that obstacle?

This guy

You see, for all their strategic mastery, for all their wicked blindsides, for all their awesomeness at the game of Survivor, there is still one problem that the Black Widow Brigade faces.  And it is something that is going to be hard for them to overcome.

Erik is really really good at challenges.

And they are just a bunch of girls.

You see, Erik has won a bunch of challenges in a row.  He is turning into a bit of an immunity monster.

And it doesn't look like that is going to stop anytime soon.



A golden god

And so this is where we stand heading into the 13th episode of Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites.

The game is down to the final five.  We have the four women of the Black Widow Brigade, and we also have Erik.

The women are desperately trying to find a way to get rid of him.

And this is where our story begins...

Oh yeah, the night before, Amanda got mad at Erik for trying to get her voted out.  This will become important later.

It is the beginning of episode thirteen, and Erik knows he has reached a very desperate point in the game.  

He is aware that the women are annoyed that he is still hanging around.  He is also aware that Amanda is mad at him for trying to get her voted out.   At this point he knows full well that he pretty much has to go on an immunity run if he ever wants to make it to the end.

He knows this, and he is sad about it as he spills his guts to his only friend left in the game, Natalie.

"It looks like I need immunity the rest of the time I'm here."

No shit

"Either that or I need to find the hidden immunity idol."

He spills his guts to the only person left he is close with

"If you win the reward challenge Natalie, send me to Exile.  Let me find the idol.  And if I win, I will take you on reward with me.  This way, we can help each other out."

Sounds like a plan

So Erik and Natalie are plotting a way to find some way to keep him in the game.  They are going to try to work together on this.

Meanwhile, what are the other players left in the game doing?

Why they are figuring out a way to get rid of the challenge god, of course.

Oh yeah.  Cirie also has a backup plan in mind, just in case Erik continues to go on a challenge run.

Cirie always has some sort of a backup plan.

"Amanda, you need to find some way to get in his head.  Remember, he knows that you're mad at him.  See if you can use that against him."

Amanda takes this all in from the dead zone

"If you can get into his head that you forgive him, he will do whatever you say."

And so it begins.  Operation "Let's fuck with Erik's head."

As you can guess, it really isn't all that hard to do.

"Erik, I don't trust you anymore.  If you still want to be friends with me, I need to be able to trust you."

"All I need is some sort of a gesture of your friendship.  Please?"

She tries to give him a kittenish playful smile, but it doesn't quite work

Ah, that's better

And Erik?  

Well I believe the correct term at this point would be... pussy whipped.

"If I win reward Amanda, I promise I will take you with me.  We can work together on this."


So anyway, you can pretty much guess where it goes from here.

"Erik is very, very naive."

"So I think I can definitely manipulate his mind."

Amanda (admiringly):  "You're good at thinking, Erik.  It's like you're almost there sometimes."

Erik:  "Almost there?"

Erik:  "I mean, it's not all hair up on my head."


So the reward challenge comes and... sure enough...

Erik wins

Earlier today, Erik promised Natalie he would bring her along on reward so they could work on strategy together.

So what does he do now?

"Erik, you can bring one person along if you want."

"Well I promised Amanda"

The devil

As you can guess, Erik is now also on Natalie's shit list

Amanda:  "Oh Erik!  Thank you for keeping your word!"


And sure enough, back at camp?

"Erik is a dick!"

Cirie is ever sympathetic, as always.

"Yes I know he is, child."

So Erik and Amanda come back from reward.  And this is where all hell breaks loose.

Erik really doesn't have a chance from here on out.

"I come back to camp and Natalie didn't even look at me.  She doesn't even talk to me."

The cold shoulder

Cirie, who is really just as much the devil as Amanda is (only in a cuter way), helpfully offers advice

"What happened is, you hurt her feelings."

"You need to do something to make it up to her."

Make it up to her?

Now the girls get together and they talk about what is happening around camp.  They start to compare notes.

They realize how much Erik is over his head in trying to keep up with them.

A gab session

Cirie:  "Erik is promising everyone the exact same thing.   He doesn't realize we will just go and compare notes with one another."


Cirie and Amanda laugh about how easy it is to mess with him right now

Meanwhile... in the Fortress of Scoopitude...

Erik knows that he better win immunity today, or else he is toast.

"I have to win right now.  They all hate me."

"It's like the animal kingdom.  You either win and survive, or you fail and you die."

And now comes the all important immunity challenge.  

Erik knows that he better win immunity.  He knows that his future depends on it.  If he doesn't pull off an incredible immunity win today, he might as well go home.

And sure enough?

"Erik wins immunity!  Once again!"

Erik celebrates in exultation!  He is going to make it to the final four!  The Survivor Kid has done it!

Meanwhile, the women pout.  Erik won immunity again?  One of the members of the Black Widow Brigade is going home?

Parvati:  "Damn!"

"Erik is guaranteed a spot in the final four."

Hmmmm.  Which one of you bitches shall I pick off?


"Dance, my puppets.  Dance!"

Remember how I said earlier that there were no words to describe this entry?  How there was no way to compare it to any other moment in Survivor history, because it was too damn unique?  Well here is the part where that happens.

It is at this point in the scene where we officially go from comedic and sad... to "surreal."  

Because now it is time to show why the Black Widow Brigade was perhaps the single most dangerous alliance in Survivor history.

Are you ready for what happens next, mister ice cream scooper?

Man.  I suck.

Remember when I said that Erik really never stood a chance?

Well here we go.

The deflated Black Widow Brigade sits around camp after the immunity challenge

Cirie (sadly):  "Looks like we have to vote off one of our own tonight."

(sadly)  "He played us all yesterday."

Parvati:  "And you guys called him out on it?"

"Mmmm hmmmm"

Parvati:  "That sucks that he won immunity.  God."

Parvati:  "That sucks.  If he didn't have that necklace, he'd be gone."

(awkward silence)


Well now that could actually be an idea.

And this is where Cirie fires the first shot.  

One which would live on in Survivor history for years.


Amber immediately pipes in with her approval:  "Oh my Godddddd!"

"That would be sooooooooo goooooood!"

"Nat, you think you could talk him into giving you the necklace?"



"Nat, work your magic.  I know you can do it.  You can convince him to give it to you."

Natalie, of course, offers some skepticism.

"Um... how would that benefit him?"

"Tell him that he could never win because the jury is all mad at him.  Tell him that everyone is upset with him at this point because he has been playing everyone."

"And this would make him look better in front of the jury."

"Yeah.  Tell him that if he were to give you the necklace, that would redeem him."

"And that if he gave you the necklace, we would vote for Amanda."

Natalie gives a great WTF face

"Um.  Who would fall for that?"

Natalie:  "No one would fall for that.   I feel stupid just listening to you guys right now."

"I mean, who would be that gullible?"

Parvati quickly names off three people who probably would be that gullible.

"Ozzy.  Jason.  And Erik."


Mmmmm.  Ozzzzzyyyyyy.


Parvati (laughing):  "Erik belongs in that threesome."

Now that the idea has been proposed, and they realize who they are talking about, the girls start to have fun with it.

Because you know what?  A stupid idea like this-- under these variables, with these people-- might actually be possible.

It's crazy.  It doesn't make sense at all.  But there is a very small chance that with Erik feeling like he needs to redeem himself, a stupid plan like could actually work.

"Come on, Nat.  You're good at this."

"Yeah but... I mean... this is just ridiculous."

Natalie thinks this is the stupidest idea she has ever heard.  She thinks that no way in hell will Erik the Ice Cream Scooper ever give up immunity to four people who want to vote him out.

But there is one thing Natalie hasn't factored into the equation yet at this point.  

And that one thing is this:



And so here we go.

Poor Erik.

This is the point in the show where my mom would have wanted to give him a hug.

Natalie:  "Hey Erik, I've come up with the most harebrained idea."


"I'll run it by you, and let you make the decision."

"It's... it's crazy.   But it's brilliant."

I like peanuts.

"Me and Amanda are your biggest threats, right?"

Mmmm hmmm

"Well, what if me, you, and Cirie vote Amanda tonight?"

Um, okay...

"Now this is where it gets funny and tricky."

"You give me your necklace."


"Hear me out..."

"Give me your necklace, and then you, me and Cirie can vote for Amanda."

"Uh, what's wrong with voting out Amanda without me giving you the necklace?"

"Look, I'm thinking jury votes for you.  Everybody hates you right now."


"I just think it would be a huge pivotal move for you."




Pretty please?

(sighing)  "Well okay.  Lemme go talk to Cirie."


And then comes the inevitable...

"Hey Cirie, should I give my necklace to Natalie tonight?"

"Yeah I think you probably should."

With the women's plan now in motion, and Natalie tugging at Erik's heartstrings every chance she gets, and Erik now thinking that he has to do some big grand show of redemption to get in good with the jury, what happens next is either the funniest thing that has ever happened on Survivor, or the saddest thing that has ever happened on Survivor.  I guess it all sort of depends on what your perspective is.

Lill sure doesn't like it

Erik paces back and forth, trying to decide if he should give up his immunity to Natalie tonight

Meanwhile Cirie cuts through the bullshit in the cute funny way that only Cirie can.

Cirie watches all this go down with amusement

"If Erik takes that necklace off tonight..."


"His torch would be snuffed so quick, I don't even think he could have time to blink his eyes."

And now.  

It is time for immortality.

It is time... for Erik Reichenbach's final Tribal Council.

Erik arrives at Tribal Council with the deadly Black Widow Brigade

He is ten minutes away from immortality

Jeff asks Erik where he currently stands in the game right now.  

"People are upset with me, Jeff."

"I feel I need to come to this Tribal tonight and ask for some kind of forgiveness."

"But it's too late, Erik!  Don't you see?"

Parvati:  "You've lost a lot of respect from all the women here."

"It's apparent I need some kind of redemption here if I want to have any chance in the finals."

And then... finally...

The unthinkable happens.

"Alright.  Let's get to the vote."

"Erik, you have the individual immunity necklace.  As always, you can give it up to somebody if you choose to."

"Otherwise it is yours and you are safe tonight."

"Um, Jeff.  This is a very tough decision for me... for a lot of reasons..."




"I've made a lot of mistakes in the last couple of days..."

Even God smiles down upon this moment

"And I know that actions speak louder than words."

Whaaa the fuuuuuuuuck?

"I wanna give individual immunity to Natalie."

And this is where everyone just loses their shit.






Erik officially hands his immunity over to Natalie.

Here is a great gif of everyone's reaction to this moment.  Holy shit, the stupid "give your immunity to Natalie" plan actually worked?!?!

Well, you can probably guess what happens next.

"Okay, it is time to vote off Erik.  Let's go."

Erik walks up to cast his vote while crossing his fingers

Happy Widows

Amanda celebrates quietly in the dead zone

Erik walks up and casts his vote.  

To his credit, he is clearly aware that he might have just done the single stupidest thing in the history of Survivor.  He is well aware of how stupid this is going to look on TV if it doesn't work out.

He is taking a gamble that that isn't the case though.

"Sometimes you just have to take some risks."

(in a nervous, worried voice) "Oh Goddddddd!"

By the way, want to know how much the editors loved this scene?  

The editors were so sure that this was going to be a memorable, iconic, hilarious Survivor moment, that they showed all four of the women's votes.  Instead of just showing one or two of them, like they would have done in any other Tribal Council, in this particular episode they showed all four them.  

Complete with the stunned looks on their faces that the stupidest plan in Survivor history actually worked.

Stunned speechless

Stunned speechless

Cirie is smarter than you

Erik, what the fuck?!?

By the way, here is one of the most underrated parts of this scene.  Here are the faces that Erik is making to the jury while the Widows are up casting their votes.  Erik is clearly aware that he might have just royally fucked up here.

And then, of course... the conclusion.

I sure hope they don't vote me out.




The end.  Of an ice cream scooper.

Of course James, over in the jury, is jubilant.

"I've lost my reign as dumbest Survivor ever!"

And how does Erik react to this?  Well to his credit, he isn't really all that upset about it.  

Erik knows he screwed up.  He knows that the women tricked him.  And even though he knows how bad it is going to look on TV, he goes out with a smile on his face and a sense of humor about everything.  

Honestly, if he hadn't responded this way, I'm not sure I would have even included this moment on the countdown.

Erik (exasperated):  "You guys drive me crazy."

"I shoulda known better."

And then... the denouement

Way to go, tard.


Yet another victim of the deadly five person Black Widow Brigade

Bye.  Thanks for humiliating me.

Bye!  We love you!

And now... for another very underrated part of this scene.

Erik decides to go out with even more of a bang.  Instead of walking away from Tribal Council, he runs.

And what is the only way we can possibly end this entry?

Well with some words of wisdom from our host, of course.

Take it away, Mr. Mike Brady.

"I think that is what you call... a life lesson."

Thanks, dad.

The last thing Erik sees as he goes to sleep each night

So that's it.  The infamous final moments of Erik the Ice Cream Scooper.  Which, to this day, many people still consider the stupidest (if not the funniest) thing to ever happen on Survivor.

What do I think about it?

Well to me, the thing that I immediately think when I watch this scene is "oh that poor boy."   Because you know that Erik will never be able to live it down.  He could live to be 100 years old, he could win a Nobel Prize, hell he could even be elected president some day.  And yet the only thing that people will ever remember about him is "Hey, aren't you the guy who gave away the immunity necklace?"

I love this picture

Like I said earlier in the entry, I honestly don't know where this moment should be ranked on the Funny 115.    I do know that it is one of the most iconic moments in Survivor history, of that I have no doubt.  But is it funny?  

I asked a lot of people about the Erik Reichenbach scene when I was first researching the countdown.  And you would be amazed at how many different opinions I got.  Like I said before, for every person who thinks this is the funniest thing that has ever happened on Survivor, there is at least one person on the other side who says no way should I have ever included it.  They think it was more uncomfortable than funny.  In fact I can say with 100% certainty that this was the single most controversial entry I had to deal with when I was planning the Funny 115.

In the end, all I could do with this entry was go with my gut.  I knew that a lot of people loved it.  And I also knew that a lot of people hated it.  So when I sat down to research Fans vs Favorites, I just went into it with an open mind.

And when I finally got to episode 13 (the Erik episode), I had two reactions to it.

The first was... holy shit, that was funny.

And the second was... man, I bet my mom would want to give him a hug.

In the end, I decided to give it a pretty high spot on the Funny 115.  And I also told myself that when I got to the entry, I would try to do something to make it up to the guy.  Because you know that Erik is probably still a Survivor fan. You know he is going to read this.

"My favorite entry is the Crystal sucks at challenges entry."

So this is how I decided I would make it up to him.

You know how the only thing you ever think of when you think of Erik Reichenbach is "Oh, he's the guy who gave up immunity"?

Well now that won't be the case anymore.  Now, when you think of Erik Reichenbach, I want you to think of something else.  I want you to think of this gif.

There, now Erik isn't just the guy who gave up immunity.  Now you will also remember him as the guy who bodyslammed Amanda.

I figure it is the least I could do.  You're welcome, Erik.

P.S.  Or, you could also remember him for his awesome audition video.  "Hi, I'm Erik!  Cast me!  I'm young!  Young people do stupid stuff!"

Wait.  Actually, never mind.  No, strike that last part.  You don't want to remember him for that quote.  Just go back to remember him for bodyslamming Amanda.  I think it is better.

Bodyslam.  Noun.  Does not compute.

P.P.S.  What's that?  You say you aren't really a very big fan of Eliza?  Well never fear, Erik fans, because Erik was abusive to her too.

Here you go jabbermouth, this is from Twila.  Shit just got real.

* Special thanks to Hagrid of the Deep from Survivor Sucks, for making me my favorite CGI Brett picture of the entire countdown.

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