The Funny 115 - version 2.0

#32.  James Clement
China, Fans vs Favorites, Heroes vs Villains (but mostly China)

When I first sat down to plan out the Funny 115, there were a handful of players that I already knew were going to get character entries.  There were some Survivor players over the past few seasons that were so funny, or so memorable, or so much larger than life, that I practically could have written their character entry before I even sat down to research the episodes.

And then there were some who were just ridiculous

When I sat down to plan out the Funny 115, here are the people I knew were going to get character entries:

1. Coach, for sure.  Come on.  You have to use The Dragonslayer.  And what's great about that is that The Dragonslayer would pretty much tell you the exact same thing.
2. Randy, for sure.  I love Randy.  And now after reading his character entry, hopefully you love Randy too.  
3. Courtney Yates.  Who doesn't love Courtney Yates?  Who wouldn't like to get their own character entry, plus some ass?
4. Shane.  I knew I would have to write about Shane.  Mainly because I appreciate insanity as much as the next guy.
5. Tyson.  As per Mario's rules of the world, anybody who reminds me of Johnny Lawrence from the Cobra Kai is automatically going to get their own Funny 115 character entry.

"Sweep the leg.  Do you have a problem with that?"
"No, Sensei."

"Don't boss me around, lady."

So anyway, those were the big five.  Coach, Randy, Courtney Y, Shane, and Tyson.  Those were the five that I knew were going to get their own character entry.  I thought that BobDawg, Cirie, Dave Cruser, Jean-Robert, or Courtney Marit might also slip in there as well, but those five were never a slam dunk like I knew the first five were going to be.  

And then of course there was Danger Dave Ball, who I barely even paid attention to the first time I watched Samoa.  It took several hardcore fans of Danger Dave to convince me to pay attention to him the second time I watched.  So I did.  And I was rewarded with one of the most underrated funny characters in Survivor history.  

I will forever give thanks to the fans of Danger Dave who got me to pay attention to him and finally realize just how awesome a character he was.

Wenching.  Lots more wenching.

But as you will notice from the title of this page, this isn't a character entry about Coach.  Or about either of the Courtneys.  Or  about Cirie or Dave Cruser or BB or someone else who was kind of funny like Nate.  

No, this is a character entry that I never for one minute expected to include on the Funny 115.  Out of all the entries on the countdown, out of all 115 of them, this is the one that I had never expected to write at all.  

Why did I never expect to include it?

Well the reason for that is because when I first sat down to plan out the Funny 115, I had no idea that James Clement was so god damn funny.

"You're an interesting guy, James.  What do you do?"

Seriously, that is the first scene involving James (the gravedigger) in Survivor: China.  That is the first time he ever interacts with anyone.  And it is the first hint of the season that this giant imposing scary looking muscly dude is going to be a lot smarter and a lot funnier than you would think.


James approves

By the way, before I write the rest of this entry, there is something I should probably point out.  Most people who know my writing or know me from Sucks already know this, but to people who are not familiar with me or are just reading the Funny 115 for the first time, there is something I should probably point out before I go any further.

Here's the truth.  I am -not- a fan of modern Survivor.  I don't like the direction that the show has gone over the past few years, and I really don't like the crap that Probst and the producers (mostly Probst) have pulled over the last few seasons.  In fact, if you want my honest opinion, I think that Redemption Island (the most recent season at the time I wrote this) was a complete and total piece of crap.

If you were to ask my honest opinion, I would say that Survivor had a bunch of A+ flawless seasons at the beginning, and then it tailed off pretty dramatically.  I think the fall started around Guatemala, I think it hastened really quickly between Exile Island and Fiji, and I think the show has pretty much been flatlining ever since.   If you were to ask me what I thought about modern Survivor, I would say there has only been one spectacular A+ flawless season since Vanuatu.

Blasphemy,  There was no Survivor before me.  I'm Russell Hantz.

Like I said, I feel there has only been one A+ flawless season of Survivor over the past six years.  Sure, there might have been some fun ones during that time span, and maybe even a couple of really good ones.  But when it comes to what I all an A+ flawless season, I think there has only been one.

And just what is that season that I think is so good?   The one that I think deserves to be held among the elite of the first nine (well, eight plus All-Stars) groundbreaking Survivor seasons?

Well it is the first season featuring James, of course.  

The only "modern" season that I would rank among the elite seasons is Survivor: China.

"Gonna make 'em love me."

I was -amazed- by Survivor: China when I went back to rewatch it for my Funny 115 research.  I was just blown away.  There were just so many great characters in it.  There were just so many great scenes.  There were just so many funny little quotes and quirks and moments.

But above it all, there was one character who stood out to me, head and shoulders above the rest.  And yes, I mean -literally- head and shoulders above the rest.  Head and shoulders above the rest, along with one of the most adorable smiles in Survivor history.

Survivor: China was more or less the James Clement show

Now I know people reading this will scoff.  They will read this and say, "China couldn't have been the James show.  China was the Todd show.  That season was all about how a sneaky little gay flight attendant can pull off a nearly perfect game of Survivor."


Yes, I will agree with you.  Todd was a great winner.  In fact, Todd is actually one of my favorite Survivor winners of all time.  I wish I could have included him more often on the Funny 115.

But Todd was -not- the focal point of most of the season.  I mean, yeah he won, sure, but a lot of his storyline was just told in terms of how it intertwined with James.  James was the guy most of the episodes were centered around.

"But James wasn't even the funniest guy in the season!", I can hear you saying next.  "Courtney was!  Courtney was -way- funnier than James."

Yes, it is true.  Courtney is probably funnier than James.  But you know what?  Funny doesn't account for everything on this countdown.  Even if it is titled... um... The Funny 115.   Because when I sit down to write the character entries, I am looking for two different things from my characters.  I am looking for them to be funny.  And I am looking for them to be awesome.  And there are very few people who have ever combined funny and awesome as well as James did.

Even if his accent was so thick that half the time you couldn't even understand him.


So anyway, here we go.  My character tribute to James Clement.

Like I said, China is by far my favorite season of the past six years, and almost all of that is because of James.  He was such a standout character in China, and was so awesome, and was so memorable, and was so much more clever and sly and funny than you would think just by looking at him, that I knew he would get his own character entry the minute I finished his season.  I also knew it would probably wind up in the top 40.  

To me, his character entry was as much of a slam dunk selection as Coach's.


"Yes, I too have a thick Louisiana accent."

So here we go.  My top ten all time favorite James Clement moments (not including the awkward "I bury people" scene with Leslie, which I included above).

Sit back and enjoy.  

James is one of my favorites.


10.  James sings a good morning song to wake everyone up.

It is the morning of day 25 in China, and James has a little surprise he would like to share with everyone

As usual, he is the only one awake

Even the monkeys are asleep

Lazy asses

Looks like it is time for James to bring a bright ray of sunshine to everyone

So he walks over to the shelter...

He clears his throat...

And he takes a deep breath

(singing at the top of his lungs) "Goooooood morning!!  Good morning!"

Whaaaaaat the fuuuuuuuck?

(still singing) "I've come to say good morning!"

Even the monkeys are shocked awake

"Good morning, good morning, to you!"


A lot of people requested that I include this scene in my James entry, since it comes out of nowhere, and because it is so James.  But what a lot of people don't notice about it is that there is a very funny visual joke hidden in it as well.  Because, you see, the Hae Da Fung tribe likes their sleep.  And they doesn't take shit like this from James very willingly.

And just what is this mysterious visual joke that I didn't even catch until the fourth time I watched it?

Well just check out Peih Gee's hand.

The minute James starts to sing

Her hand pops up out from underneath her sleeping bag

And she tells him to fuck off

Oh, and here is another great James moment that a lot of people seem to have forgotten.  

I mean, come on, who can forget...

9.  His inexplicable crush on Denise

I love this storyline.  It is so random.

James and Denise walkin' down a path

Tryin' to feel up her A-S-S

"Denise really does bust her ass out here.  She's the other one that really pulls the rope around here.  I mean, you can't beat that."

"I like women like her.  She's a strong, good woman. "

"She's there to complement you and work with you.  That's attractive.  I like that."


"If Denise was ten years younger or I was older, whichever way..."

"Denise would be in trouble."

James would tap that

Saaaad Amanda

8. James drops a Muntz on them

We already talked about this one.   But I wanted to bring it up again because it is a great example of James being unexpectedly funny.

Ha ha!

7.   James and all the apple references

Want a fun Survivor drinking game?  Take a drink every time James goes all Garden of Eden and starts warning people not to take the apple.   I swear he does it at least ten times in Heroes vs Villains, at least twenty times in Fans vs Favorites, and at least infinity times in China.  Start playing the James Garden of Eden drinking game around the third episode of China, and by the episode James gets voted out you will drunker than Sugar.

Well I guess we know what James Clement's favorite Bible story was as a kid, now don't we?

"Don't take the damn apple!"

"Somebody's dumb ass is gonna take the damn apple."

"As long as none of us take the apple, we gonna be good."

"*undecipherable* dummy gonna *undecipherable* *undecipherable* gotta *undecipherable* the *undecipherable* apple!"

"Jean-Robert, I hope your dumb ass doesn't get greedy and take the apple."

"My mom used to buy me juice as a kid, Amanda.  It was Cran-damn-apple."

6.  James points out that the Chinese know how to make wontons

Ha ha.  Here is a great exchange between James and Jean-Robert when they eat Chinese food in an ancient monastery.

Yum.  Time for dinner.

Yay!  Wontons!

Everyone digs in

Jean-Robert:  "Wow!  Wontons are great!"

"James, you think they know how to make wontons here?"

James:  "Yes, I do believe."

"This place has been here for a thousand years."

"I think they might have made a wonton or two, what you think?"

The Frenchman busts up

5.  James and the two idols

Okay, by now I am pretty sure you know the story of how James was voted out in China while he still had a pair of hidden immunity idols.  

If you don't know it, here is the short and quick version:

Jaime throws a challenge to get rid of James

James is not amused.  He mentally starts digging her grave.

But wait, here comes Todd to the rescue.  He is going to give James a hidden immunity idol, so James can turn the tables and vote out Jaime instead.

Todd explains the plan.  He also promises not to take the apple.

James (excitedly):  *indecipherable*!

James gets the idol to protect himself

Then James goes and he finds a second idol.

"I went and found the other one and now I got both of them."

"That's funny."

"I'm on Survivor with two idols."

Well as high as James is at the moment, and as much willpower he has not to take the apple, unfortunately his tribesmates around him don't have quite as much apple-resisting willpower.  Because a few episodes later, still with two hidden idols in his possession, his tribemates blindside him.



The jury reacts

James gets smuffed.   Fucking apple grabbers.

In his final words, James holds up the two idols he left the game without ever playing

Now, a lot of people wanted me to include this as its own entry.  A lot of people thought that "The Fall of James Clement" should have been a Funny 115 entry on its own.

I disagreed.

But there is one aspect of this storyline that I did think was funny and I did think it was particularly awesome, and I'm not sure that everyone out there even noticed it when it happened.

Are you ready for this?

Five seasons later, James brought the two China idols as his Heroes vs Villains luxury item

4.  What in the nickelodeon??

Just like the Muntz scene, we already talked about this scene in its own entry.  However, since I love the Nickelodeon quote so much, and since I use the quote "OH BITCH!" on pretty much a daily basis, I thought it was fair to include it here as well.

"What in the Nickelodeon is goin' on 'round here?"


3.  James loves to make fun of Jean-Robert

Seriously, if there is one aspect of James that you should love in China, it is this one.  It is the fact that he pretty much makes fun of The Frenchman at least once per episode.

If ever there was a reason why I think James was the real hero of China, here it is.

Ready for some fun Bad Boy of Poker abuse?

It is night 21, and Hae Da Fung is just getting back from Tribal Council

Turns out that Jean-Robert got a couple of votes tonight.   He whines about to the cameras.

Jaime voted for me.  Waaaaaaah.

Back in the shelter?  The Frenchman is pouting in the corner because people voted for him tonight.  In fact, he won't move over when Erik comes in and wants to sleep next to him.

Erik comes in and wants to go to sleep.  Sorry Jesus.  No room at the Inn.

James hears this exchange and pipes up

Uh, yeah.  Everyone is scared of the Frenchman.

Well everyone except James that is.  James isn't the slightest bit scared of him.

"What the hell?  Move over!!"

"Goodness gracious, sakes alive."

James continue to rail on The Frenchman

"You wouldn't want to move, so shut up James."

James just stares at Jean-Robert in disbelief

And of course I love James' pitiless reply.  

What?  Somebody voted for Jean-Robert tonight?

But I'm the Bad Boy of Poker!  People fear me!

Everyone laughs as Jean-Robert just turns and pouts in the corner

Oh, here's another great scene where James just starts mocking Jean-Robert.  I love how casually he just goes right into it here.

Jean-Robert is angry about the twist.  He is furious that the tribe is about to lose Aaron and James

"I can't stand it!  We're losing our two strongest warriors!"

Courtney (snidely):  "I thought you were our strongest warrior."

James (piping in, mockingly):  "Yeah, you Jean-Robert."

James (laughing):  "Ha ha!  Yeah!"


Oh and here's my favorite James mocking Jean-Robert moment.  This one happens at Tribal Council, and even gets a laugh out of the Frenchman.  Which is pretty cool, because you don't see a smile come out of the Bad Boy of The Baguette very often.

Jean Robert is at Tribal Council:   Blah blah blah blah blah

James facepalms

"James, why does that bother you?"

"Jean Robert, he just don't be quiet. "

"I don't know.  He just don't stop."

"When he's tired, he'll announce that he's tired."

"He doesn't have to do that.  When you're tired, just go lay down."

"We understand, you're a card player.  You've never been in the sun."

"You're used to people bringing your food up to you."

"Probably putting it in your mouth, and helpin' you chew."

"You know, we don't expect that much from you."

Jeff smiles

And then...

The Frenchman smiles

Courtney smiles

Ten minutes later, even Jaime gets it

2.  James gives the funniest answer in reunion show history*
(* other than Boston Rob thanking Sarah for bringing her boobs to Marquesas)

Now normally I don't include reunion show moments on the Funny 115.  Normally, I think it is cheating because I don't consider reunion shows or recap episodes to be real Survivor episodes.

However, I will make an exception for this one because it always makes me laugh so much.  And also because this is just part of a character entry.

It is the Survivor: China reunion show, and Jeff just asked James what it is like to be so popular now.

"The reaction has been nice.  I've been enjoying it."

"I get it a lot from kids... and..."

"and... older guys?... a lot."

Why hello, sailor.

"Really?  Just kids and older guys?"

"Women too."

 "What's the craziest thing that's happened?"

"What's the weirdest situation where somebody's come up and said, hey, you're James from Survivor."

"Um, a couple weeks ago at a funeral."

"You know, I'm doing my thing."

"What is your thing?"

"I set up.  I set up the tent.  I set up the chairs.  I set everything up.  Then they bring over the deceased and do their whole ceremony, and then they leave."

"Well this time while I was waiting, I was waiting for 'em to leave.  They had two ladies, and they just stayed there."

"Usually they need help with something.  Like with flowers.  So I walked over to 'em and I was like, you know, do you need anything?"

"And they were like it's him!  It's him!  It's the Survivor guy!"

"And it's all happy."

"And I was like, who else am I gonna be?"

"So I said yes ma'am.  How ya doin?"

"I shook their hands, and I took a couple of pictures."

"Turns out later it was the mom and the sister."

1.  The legendary "You got to have one of theeeeeeeeeese!" confessional

Okay.  If you are looking for the all time best James Clement Survivor moment, I believe you have to pick this one.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that this could even be considered the all time best Survivor confessional ever.  It is this scene alone that I think pretty much skyrockets China up into the stratosphere.  To me, this is the single best moment of the entire season.

And yes, I know what you are thinking.  Yes, The Fall of Jaime Dugan is going to get an entry on the Funny 115.  Matter of fact, it is going to wind up in the Top 10.
But I love this James confessional so much that I am going to include it twice on the countdown.  I am going to include it here, as part of the James character entry, and I am going to include it again later during the Fall of Jaime entry.  That's how much I love this particular Survivor confessional.

Let's watch it again, shall we?  Maybe after this you will love it as much as I do.

It is the seventh episode of Survivor: China, and James is laughing about the fact that Jaime is about to play a fake idol at Tribal Council.  

And with that... we let the magic begin...

"There's no way this dummy grabbed the wrong one."

"Cause it would have to say immunity or somethin' on it."

He starts losing it

"The thought of this woman, havin a blank one..."

"I would not be able to take it.  I would pass out in pure joy."

"My head would explode!  (laughing)  I mih... please let that happen!"

"Please.  That would be the best thing ever!"

 (laughing)  "*undecipherable*"

At this point James is now laughing so hard that you can't understand a word he says.  Combine that with his thick Louisiana accent, and you have no idea what the hell is actually coming out of his mouth.  He is just laughing and babbling.   So from this point on (at least in this entry), I will just write it out phonetically.

"She pull out blank thing.  And sly..."

"One jew me??"

"Eyelow ha rye donnit!"

"Oughtta span unchin!"

"Why nah..."

"Wanna deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

I know, I know.  That's kind of mean.  But seriously, you try transcribing an excited and babbling James.  Between the giggling and the accent and the giddiness, that is probably my favorite Survivor confessional ever.  I love that James knew this was about to make an amazing Funny 115 entry.

How 'bout one of theeeeeeeeeeese?

So anyway, there you go.  My tribute to one of my favorite Survivor characters of all time.  A guy who, even though he looked mean and imposing and scary, was still one of the funniest and most giggly Survivor players of the past twenty two seasons.  A guy who, even though he was speaking English, they still had to subtitle.  

Did James Clement become an asshole in Heroes vs Villains?   Was he a lot less likable later down the road, as compared to the first time we saw him, in Survivor: China?  

Of course.  

In the parlance of professional wrestling, at a certain point James sort of turned heel.

Wait, who's that coming out to attack America's Sweetheart?  Good God!  That's James Clement's music!  What is he doing here??

But you know what?  Yeah James eventually turned heel.  It happens to the best of them.  But you know, Andre the Giant once turned heel too.  And by the time he ended his professional wrestling career, people came back to loving him again.

For me, all I care about is that James was one of the best characters in Survivor history when he first appeared on the scene in China.  That is all I care about, that is all I will ever care about, and to me he is the reason that China stands alone alongside the earlier elite seasons.

J.T.  "Hey James, would you like a banana?"

James:  "I would love one, J.T.  Just please don't grab the apple."

P.S.  I couldn't find a way to fit this scene into the entry, but here's a great comment about James from a reader named Matt:    

"I was just rewatching Survivor: China and in episode 4 when they kidnapped Dave, James has an awesome moment that you should include. James is eating a lime and Dave asks what it is and James gives him one. Dave gets so happy that he goes in for a hug, and James gives him this look and says "You know what I told you about hugging, right?" And Dave responds saying "Oh yeah, I know, I know."

In the short time he had been on the tribe, Dave had already tried to hug James so many times that they already had to set up ground rules about hugging.  I had to rewatch that scene so many times because it was unbelievably funny. Rewatch the scene you'll definitely want to add it to the countdown."

Not a hugger

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