The Funny 115 - version 2.0

#93.   The Frenchman Strikes
China - episode 7

This entry is going to be a quickie, but I felt I had to include it because it involves one of my favorite Survivors of all time, Jean-Robert.

Or, as I like to call him... The Frenchman.

The Frenchman

Actually, no.  Maybe "favorite" isn't really the right word.  I mean, I'm not like a huge fan of Jean-Robert or anything.  I wouldn't go and root for him if he ever showed up on Survivor again.  I doubt I'll go out and buy a Jean-Robert T-Shirt or a Jean-Robert backpack like the kids were all doing back in the fall of 2007.

No, my appreciation of Jean-Robert has more to do with the way that he talks.  I love him more on a character level.

Specifically, I love his sleaziness.  I love his sliminess.  I love his cockiness.  I love the way he will say the most inappropriate thing at any point during an episode, and you don't know right away if it's ridiculously funny or ridiculously offensive until you stop and think about it for a second.  I love that your reaction to Jean-Robert sort of depends on everyone else's reaction to Jean-Robert.

Oh, and I also love how none of the females will go within five feet of him, because there is a very real danger they will probably be groped.  I mean, come on.  He's Mister Grabby Hands McGee.  Now -that- is a fantastic Survivor villain.

"Come seet weeth me in zee hot tub, Courtney.  Seet with me and feel my manly baguette."

So anyway, yeah.  Jean-Robert is one of my favorite Survivors ever, and I hope he makes many many appearances on the Funny 115.  If only because I love the picture (above) that Iceice created for me over at Survivor Sucks.  Iceice, thank you for taking my dream of turning Jean-Robert into a villainous French heel wrestler, and making it a reality.  You will never know the gift that you have given me.

"Oh ho ho, Denise, come and sit on zee Frenchman's lap.  Let me tell you how much you do not suck at life.  And then maybe zee Frenchman can nibble on your ear."

Sorry, now I'm just getting carried away.

The Jean-Robert moment that makes #93 on the Funny 115 comes in the seventh episode of China.  It's right after the merge, when Zhan Hu and Fei Long have joined together into one tribe, and they are trying to come up with a new name to go with their new black buffs.

And... well... I guess we will leave it up to The Frenchman to say something inappropriate.


The two tribes are sitting around trying to come up with a new merged tribe name

"How bout Hungry Monkeys?  No, how about Angry Monkeys?"

James:  "Nooooo."

Somebody off camera (Amanda?) suggests, "Something to represent black buffs, you know?"

And then?  

Cue the Frenchman.

"We can't do black 'cause then, uh, as soon as James is gone we'll have to change the name."

And here's what I love about Jean-Robert.  

Just like 95% of the other times he speaks, you don't really know right away if you're supposed to laugh at what he said, or if you're supposed to be offended by it.  This is the part of each episode I like to call "The Jean-Robert Zone."  All you get after this comment is a slightly awkward pause as we pan over to James to see how he is going to react to that.

Will James like the joke?  Or will James be offended by it?

I love moments like this, because it is kind of like the reveal on Groundhog Day.

Survey says.........?


He liked it!  Yay!

James busts up

But he's not the only one.  The Frenchman busts up at his own joke too.


The Frenchman continues to guffaw as somebody off camera (Peih-Gee?) scolds, "That did not just come out of your mouth."  Somebody else moans, "Oh my God."

"That's all right," James says calmly, "I'm gonna stay here.  I'll be all right."

And then, the great punchline to cap off the scene.

"Whatever," says Frosti, "I was on the yellow team.  Peih-Gee and I were on the yellow team."

P.G. laughs

Even Denise laughs.  Yay!  Jean-Robert has brought us happiness!

So there you go.  It's a short quickie moment, but it makes me laugh every single time I watch it.  And it is also-- trivia note!-- one of the few times in Survivor: China that Jean-Robert says something that actually makes people happier.  99% of the other stuff he says usually results in a little bit of Courtney or Amanda dying inside.

Just got Jean-Robert'd

Ha, I bet you thought I'd end on an Amanda face.

P.S.  Oh yeah, they picked "Black Fighting Wind."

P.P.S.  Unfortunately I couldn't fit as many Jean-Robert moments onto the countdown as I would have liked, but here are two excellent emails I got from readers who appreciate him as much as I do:

From SwineForkbeard at Survivor Sucks:  "I appreciated Jean-Robert's sleezy lowlife from the Vegas underworld persona as the antidote to the usual fleet of soulless mactors.  We never got to see most of the headgames he played with his tribemates, like where he pretended to be a raging homophobe early on, so it would look like he became enlightened and changed his views just from getting to know Todd."

From Rosey at Survivor Sucks:  "I'm rewatching China at the moment and I'm up to episode 3. Within the first 5 minutes there is a moment that I really really hope makes it to the new list. Its when Fei Long are all trying to sleep, and Jean-Robert is snoring and trying to snuggle up to all the girls. Leslie is loudly saying "Eww" and you can see Courtney and Amanda doing everything they can to get away from him. Add the commentary from Courtney, and it's just hilarious."

"Come over to my side of zee shelter, and I will show you my great beeg American immunity idol.  Oh ho ho."

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