Funny 115 - version 2.0
Jonathan, getting frustrated by me!
Cook Islands - episode 9
One of my complaints about Survivor over the last couple of
years (my biggest complaint, actually) is that Jeff Probst has inserted
himself way too much into the show.
Back in the first
couple seasons of Survivor, Probst was pretty much just the guy who
read the votes at Tribal Council. Seriously, that was pretty
all that he did. He didn't narrate the challenges back then.
He didn't try to shape the way you watch the show during the
"Previously... on Survivor" segment. He didn't scream at
Survivors to "dig deeper!" or "work harder!" or "don't give up!"
He didn't write a blog. He didn't blatantly pick
in the cast, and claim that they were "literally carrying their family
on their back!" during a crucial immunity challenge.
Back in the
early days of Survivor, Probst was the guy who read the votes, who
explained to the audience what "Tribal Council" was, and who pretty
much kept his mouth shut about everything else.
It was a
very simple era of Survivor back then. Jeff Probst was barely
the show. And I know that a lot of us miss that.
"Hi, my name is Jeff. Mind if I tell you guys a story today?"
will often ask me when all that changed. When did Jeff Probst
from being a casual host of the show, a guy who just sat and
observed, to a guy who inserted himself into every big moment?
What was the moment where all of that changed?
don't know the specific moment all that changed, but if you are looking
for a great Funny 115 moment that shows the first time Jeff
"broke the fourth wall"* and sort of inserted himself into the show,
you need look no further than this entry.
This was easily one of the single most requested entries on the entire
* The Fourth Wall (n.):
"Breaking the fourth wall is when a character acknowledges
fictionality, by either indirectly or directly addressing the audience.
Alternatively, they may interact with their creator (the author of the
book, the director of the movie, the artist of the comic book, etc.).
This is more akin to breaking one of the walls of the set, but the
existence of a director implies the existence of an audience, so it's
still indirectly Breaking The Fourth Wall."
Oh yeah and this entry stars one of my favorite characters, Jonathan
Hey Jonathan, are you looking forward to another entry about you and
That's what I thought
So anyway, here we go.
It's the ninth episode of Cook Islands, and today we are having a
little immunity challenge.
The players will be in boats, and they will be dropping cannonballs
If you hit an underwater target with your cannonball, it will release a
set of buoys
"First tribe to hit three targets, and come back and unscramble all six
buoys into a word... wins immunity."
Raro's got it. Although Penner looks annoyed already.
Aitu's got it too.
Becky responds by unleashing a savage war cry.
"For immunity! Survivors ready..."
Jonathan leads the Raros out to their first target
They line up over their first target
And... fire away!
The first cannonball misses
usual, Jeff is standing off to the side, yammering away as he
redundantly repeats exactly what is happening for the TV cameras.
At this point in the show, he more or less does exactly what
Sigourney Weaver does in the movie Galaxy Quest. His job is
to repeat things.
"Raro just missed their first target!"
Jonathan tries to figure out how they missed
"Jonathan, trying to figure out how they missed."
Raro lines up again to take their second shot
"Raro, lining up their second shot!"
Wait for it....
"Raro, waiting for it."
And.... bombs away!
The second shot is a hit!
"Raro just hit their first target! Raro takes the lead!"
Jonathan does a fist pump
Penner, raising one arm slightly above his head in a symbol of triumph!"
Becky hears this and freaks out
Jonathan leads the Raros to their second target now. He
appears to have all the confidence in the world.
"Jonathan Penner, looking confident!"
Lining it up...
"Raro, lining it up!"
And... bombs away!
Target number two has been hit!
hits their second target! Jonathan Penner, kicking ass and
taking names! He is like a Roman
Becky hears this and grits her teeth in defiance
Penner raises his arm in triumph to the rest of his tribe back on the
beach. Woooo hoooooo!
"Jonathan Penner, raising his arm!"
"Yay! Goooo Jonathan!"
"Raro, cheering on Jonathan! Nate Gonzalez, chopping up
But alas. As well as things are going for Jonathan Penner at
the moment... it's not going to stay that way for very long.
Because things are about to start falling apart.
In about five minutes... this challenge is going to get a little bit
frustrating for him.
"Jonathan Penner, sitting and glaring at the camera!"
is down 2-0, but they finally hit their first target. Yul
his first shot with a cannonball, and now the lead is narrowed down to
with their first hit! Aitu, like the mighty Phoenix!
Rising from the ashes!"
Penner hears this and gets annoyed
now Yul figures out the secret to hitting the targets.
looking through the glass bottom of the boat like the Raros are doing,
he just looks down the
cannonball tube instead. It is a more accurate sight line.
"Yul Kwon, outsmarting the challenge!"
Thanks to Yul, Aitu hits their second target.
with their second hit! It's all tied up now! One
left to go!"
Jonathan hears Probst orgasming over the Aitus in the background, and
he starts to get a little bit frustrated
He tries again
"Jonathan misses again!"
Growling in frustration, he shoots again
"Jonathan Penner keeps missing!"
Penner glares at the water. WTF?!?!
Penner, getting completely owned by this challenge!"
Penner slams another cannonball down the tube in anger
"Jonathan Penner, hopping mad! Jonathan Penner, who also
lacks the arm speed velocity to break a tile!"
Would you shut the fuck up?
"Jonathan Penner, turning his head slightly to look at something."
Fed up with this shit, Penner now leans over the side of his boat in
"Jonathan Penner, peering into the ocean! As if to find the
sad shattered remnants of his soul!"
Lanza, using that angry Jonathan picture one too
many times. Mario Lanza, beating the joke into the
until it isn't funny anymore!"
finally... as frustration and the sound of Jeff Probst's yammering
voice combine to finally get the best of him... Jonathan
Penner snaps and sets off the following exchange.
This is arguably the greatest "breaking of the fourth wall" moment in
It is also probably the first.
Jonathan accidentally drops a cannonball down without even aiming it
"Raro just wasted a cannonball. They weren't even paying
attention. Dropped it right into the sea."
"Oh please, Jeff."
I said "Oh please."
And that's when Jeff breaks the fourth wall for the first time
ever as Survivor host.
More awkward pause
"Jonathan, getting frustrated by me
have always loved this scene. It is one of the few moments in
Cook Islands that will always make me laugh. Yet the problem
that I have a hard time explaining exactly -why- I love it.
is it about Jeff Probst breaking the fourth wall that has always been
so damn funny to me?
Well luckily for me I have a friend named
Zack Rovinsky who can explain the humor in this scene much better than
I can. So I will use his words from an email instead of my
Why? Well, because Zack's words are better.
reason this moment is so funny is because Probst says it with
exact same tone and inflection as he
has used with all his other comments throughout the challenge.
This is the exact moment where Probst broke through the fourth
wall and discovered he could say whatever he wanted
during the challenges. It's like Steven Tyler breaking
through the wall and seeing Run D.M.C."
Ah yes, so there
you go. Probst and Penner. The narrator and the
bitcher. The host and the hat. The moment that
I might not like where Survivor went after this
moment (with Probst being a damn part of everything) but I sure did
enjoy this scene. The two of them truly had some of
historic, and awkwardly hilarious, character interactions in Survivor
Great Survivor host... MY ASS!!!!!!
P.S. Fine, just one last time because this is my last
Jonathan Penner entry: