The Funny 115 - version 2.0

#52.  The Return of Jonny Fairplay
Fans vs Favorites - episode 1

You know, when most people talk about Jonny Fairplay in Fans vs. Favorites, the most common thing I hear among Survivor fans is usually something along the lines of "God he sucked.  He was such a pussy little quitter.  What an incredible disappointment."   In fact I am guessing that just about 100% of the people who are reading this are probably shocked that Jonny Pain-in-the-ass (tm Rupert) is even going to show up on the Funny 115 at all.

But you know what?  I don't care.

I don't care that Jon quit Fans vs. Favorites.  I don't care that he was only around for one episode.   It doesn't really bother me at all.   Call me lame or nostalgic.  Call me stupidly blindly loyal.  Call me gay or an idiot, or a stuck-in-2003 old school dinosaur, whatever.  I don't care.  

All I know is that Jonny Fairplay is one of the top five characters in Survivor history.  He will always be one of the top five most amazing characters in Survivor history.  And I will argue to my deathbed that he is the only truly pure villain in Survivor history (sorry Russell, but you are an anti-hero.)

Jonny Fairplay might have been a huge disappointment in Fans vs. Favorites, sure, but I don't care.   Because I have too much respect for what he did eight years ago, and I will always love the guy.

As far as I am concerned, he gets Survivor carte blanche for life because of this

So anyway, yeah.  Fans vs. Favorites was the much publicized return of Jonny Fairplay to the game of Survivor.  It was the return of the king to his throne.  It was his first appearance on CBS TV since the day that Lill suddenly morphed into a badass and turned him into her bitch (one of the greatest villain downfalls ever.)

Lill eats steaks bigger than you

Was Jon's return in Micronesia a bit of a disappointment?  Of course.  But it sure wasn't as bad as most people would have you believe.  In fact I think he had a pretty good storyline for only being around for one episode.  I would dare say he had the best one episode presence of any first boot in Survivor history.

Sorry Debb.  But it's true.

"I hate you, Mario!  Stop bringing me pain!"

So anyway here you go.   Here is Jonny Fairplay's one episode of story arc in Fans vs Favorites.   It honestly wasn't as lame as most people make it out to be.   For what precious little screen time he had, he was actually quite good.

I'm back, bitches!

Jon Dalton is back to play Survivor again.  And to start the season off, he has a little message for us.

"I played a perfect game last time.  I consider myself the greatest player in the history of the game."

Sandra disagrees

Jon's best moment in Fans vs Favorites comes in the very first scene, when he is first introduced to the tribe of Fans.  

Seriously, I don't care how much you hate Jon, or how much you hate the fact that he quit.  He was always going to make the Funny 115 just for this scene alone.  This whole exchange between him and Jeff Probst is just priceless.

Jeff introduces the Fans to the Favorites at the start of the game

Yay!  Eight Favorites plus Amanda!

"Oh yeah, there's one other douchebag who's playing for the Favorites as well."

"Wanna meet him?   Seriously, fuck this guy."

The Fans' faces before they see Jonny Fairplay walk out.

Jeff Probst:  "Here he is.  The most infamous of all Survivors."

Some of them are not happy to see him.

Jeff Probst:   "Jonny Fairplay, who already looks intoxicated."

Jon's new Survivor hat

Jon comes out and joins the Favorites. And right away Probst notices something.  

He notices that Jon is dressed exactly like he is.  Jonny Fairplay is doing a very accurate Probst impression.

"So, Fairplay, are you dressing like me?"

"You wanna know what you're playin' for?"

The Favorites all lose it.   Parvati literally points and laughs.


Coach is happy that someone finally gave it back to Probst

Very proud of himself

But Probst isn't going to go down that easily.  He isn't a pushover.  

He is the guy who calls the shots and runs the game for a reason.

"I'm actually impressed."  

"I like to know that you have aspirations to get out of your current place in life."


"Good to see you Jeff.  Always a pleasure."

F bomb

After his big (losing) showdown with Probst, we proceed to scene two.  Where Jon has yet another (losing) showdown with another person.

Only this one is a lot funnier because of who he has the showdown with.

Loves science

Yes, it's time for the most random, hilarious, ridiculous feud in Survivor history.

It is time for the big showdown between Fairplay and Yau-Man.

We're about ten minutes into the season, and the Favorites are hunting on the beach for a hidden immunity idol.

Yau-Man and Fairplay see it on the end of the boat and both go lunging for it

Yau-Man gets there first and slams Jon's head into the boat

Boom goes the dynamite


Jonny Fairplay just got owned by a little old Asian man


Okay so if it wasn't bad enough that Fairplay just got owned by a little old Asian man, what makes it even better is that now he has to go into a confessional and start bitching about it.  

Seriously, you're going to start a random bitch fest against Yau-Man?   Really?  Against Yau-Man??  This guy is now your mortal enemy for the rest of the game?

"I can explain how your subcortex works!"

Well yes.  Apparently now they are enemies.  Because this is where Jonny Fairplay sets off on his personal vendetta against the villainous Yau-Man.

"Trust me, Yau Man is not America's hero like you think he is."

"Even Jonny Fairplay wouldn't tackle someone's head into the side of a boat for an immunity idol."

"Yau-Man's not nice.  He sucks."  

Not nice.  Sucks.

"So soon as that idol's gone, see you later, bucko."

So anyway, yeah.  Up to this point, Jonny Fairplay actually has a pretty solid Survivor storyline.  He is the guy who the Fans hate, who Jeff Probst mocks, who is in a ridiculous laughable feud with Yau-Man, and who is now vowing revenge.  In just about any other Survivor season, you have the makings of a pretty good storyline here.

Ah, but that's when things start to go awry for the single great villain in Survivor history.

It's around this point that something happens that sort of changes the direction of Jonny Fairplay's Micronesia storyline.


Why does Jonny Fairplay start crying and suddenly want to quit about midway through episode one?  Who knows.

There are lots of theories floating around out there.  Some people believe he was scared that his legacy would be damaged if he were the first one gone, so he decided to "quit" to spare the embarrassment of being voted out first.   Some people believe he was in a lot of pain because of an incident where Danny Bonaduce assaulted him a couple of weeks before he left for the show, and it was too much for him to handle right then without his prescription painkillers.  Some people believe he was just a washed up old has-been that really didn't know how to play Survivor anymore, and was over his head.   My friend Rowan claims that Jon knew he could never do well in Survivor without Burton.   

What was Jon's official explanation on the show?  Well his official explanation for quitting was that he missed his pregnant girlfriend back home, and that he was worried about the upcoming birth of their daughter.  But again, who knows if that is the truth.  Again, we are talking about Jonny Fairplay here.  I doubt we will ever know exactly what happened with him.

There are some who believe it was all just a miscalculated homage to the Iron Sheik

Once Jon decided that he wanted to quit, his storyline in Micronesia was fairly short and predictable.  In fact, it can be summed up pretty accurately in the following exchange:

Parvati:  "So who should we vote for tonight?"

Jon:   "Vote for me."

Parvati:  "kthxbye"

And, well, that's just about it for the Return of Jonny Fairplay.

He asks the Favorites to vote him out, they do exactly as he says, and that's about it.

The greatest villain in Survivor history is gone in one episode.

Hi Jon.  Confucius say "Eat me."

But of course he wouldn't be Jonny Fairplay if he didn't go out with bang.

Seriously, if you only remember one thing about Jon Dalton and his storyline in Fans vs Favorites, please don't remember the quitting.  Please don't focus on the fact that he cried.  As Rob Cesternino once said, you shouldn't be focusing on the bad things, you should be focusing on the happy stuff.

If there is only one thing you should remember about Jonny Fairplay in Fans vs. Favorites, it is the way he went out.

Here we go.  Great ending.  

This is classic Fairplay.

"Six votes, Jon.  That's enough."

"Jonny Pain-in-the-ass, the tribe has spoken."



And that's when Jonny Fairplay does something that very few other players have ever tried before in Survivor history.

"Can I get a hug?"


"Come onnnnn....."

Well... okay.

Hug it out, boys.

Yes.  He's still one of the five greatest characters in Survivor history.

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