Funny 115 - version 2.0
Tocantins - episode 13
You know, when it comes to talking about Coach, I
really don't even know what to say. He's just such a
character, and is so wonderfully delusional and unique and insane, that
I almost feel like anything I write about him would sort of ruin the
effect. I mean, the guy is Coach. That's who he is.
What more can I say about the guy other than "he does lots of
Exhibit A? Well how about his final scene
in Tocantins? Where he recites a poem he made up for
I swear, the first time I watched this scene, I
knew it was going to wind up on the Funny 115. I just
knew it. There was no doubt about it. After all,
awkward/funny/painful to watch/memorably crazy scenes like this are the
reason the Funny 115 was invented in the first place.
And hey, lucky for us, Coach has about 5,000 of them.
the thirteenth episode of Survivor: Tocantins (which, side note, is one
the best episodes ever), and Coach has just returned
from his 24 hour sabbatical/martyrdom/screaming cry for
on Exile Island. He has returned with a back injury, a new
Dragon Cane (tm), and-- unbeknownst to him-- a blindside that is
waiting for him at Tribal Council later that night.
And you know what? Here is what I love about Coach.
whole episode is structured around the fact that Coach is about to be
blindsided at Tribal Council. The whole episode revolves
the fact that this is Coach's Last Stand, and this self-important
blowhard is about to be voted out of the game.
Yet when it comes to Tribal Council, what happens?
Yep, you got it. Coach decides he is going to play editor
is about to go home (presumably as a blindside), yet he still finds a
way to make the episode all about him and his own journey, rather than
about the other people who have put together a strategy to blindside
him. Yessiree, in two wonderful minutes at Tribal Council,
Wade is about to ensure that he will forever be remembered as
Remember, this isn't Survivor. When Coach is still
in the game, we are only going to be watching The Coach Show.
On your knees
So anyway, here we go.
The players arrive at Tribal Council, including Coach with his beloved
go through the typical Tribal Council nonsense, blah blah blah.
Coach drops an analogy about pebbles. Erinn bags on
being dramatic and self important. Taj and Sierra roll their
eyes. Coach defends himself by quoting Mark Twain.
is pretty much the same stuff we have been seeing every
Erinn bags on Coach for being a jackass, and smiles evilly
The Loneliest Samurai
Oh but then...
Then we come to the scene that officially turns Coach into a Survivor
I'm serious. There were a lot of moments in
might have been memorable before. There might have been
where you watched Coach do Coach Things (tm) and just scratched your
head, or maybe hung your head in shame.
is the moment where he officially goes over the top and into the realm
of just being plain ridiculous.
Ready for this one?
"Alright, it is time to get to the vote."
Coach (interrupting): "One more thing...?"
Jeff (slightly amused): "Yes?"
"I wrote a poem for everybody to hear."
Stephen turns to look at Coach in amusement.
Erinn smiles evilly in anticipation. Yay!
J.T looks at the jury and tries to suppress a laugh
Jeff says nothing. He just smiles and nods his head.
Okay Coach. Whatever.
now comes one of the greatest Coach moments in a library that already
contains dozens of other great ones. This is Coach at...
at his "Coachiest."
"With friend and foe we march to the battle plain..."
The jurors, who already are sick to death of Coach and his long, drawn
out self important b.s., decide they are going to sleep.
"Some to seek success. Others to seek fame..."
"We play with honor. For the
love of this game..."
More poem, as Debbie fixes her makeup: "And with armor or
without, we will toil in vain..."
"So that someday, someone, somewhere, will remember our name."
I've watched this scene about ten times. And I don't know
funnier. The fact that Coach has prepared a poem, and has
obviously practiced it so often that he can recite it from memory at
Tribal Council? Or the fact that the jurors immediately know
is coming, and immediately go to sleep. Or hell, how about
fact that the editors love Coach and his ridiculousness so much that
they throw in an artsy dissolve (which is something they rarely ever
do), where we cut back and forth between Coach talking and the jurors
sleeping through his poem.
Seriously. Check out the
animated gif of the scene that Juhani has prepared for us below.
Just check out the love by those editors!
no, screw that. I know what the funniest part of the scene
The funniest part is that Probst doesn't even react to
poem. He doesn't even flinch, or smile, or comment, or shake
head, or ask Coach a follow up question, or anything. He just
deadpans right through it, like this is something that happens at every
single Tribal Council.
Coach probably expected some great bit show of response from
Probst, and all he gets is this:
"I can't think of a better way to lead us into the vote.
J.T., you're up."
Ha ha ha.
Sorry, I just love Coach.
Oh yeah, and did the poem have any effect on Coach's standing
in the game whatsoever?
Did the poem make a difference?
Okay I better get this out of the way now because I know I am
going to get emails about it. No, I do not hate Coach.
happen to love Coach. As a character, in my opinion he is
about as good as any character in 21 seasons of Survivor.
single scene he is in is better and funnier (often unintentionally),
just because he is in it.
Now some people are going
to read that and think "Well then, okay, now you're just
fun of the guy." No, I am making fun of the character.
Remember, Survivor is not a documentary. It
fictional narrative that has been fabricated and made up out
real life footage. It has been like that since day one.
editors take real life footage, and they can (and will) do whatever
they want with it.
Above all else, remember this.
"Survivor the TV show" and "Survivor the game" have always
two entirely different entities. And to be honest, they
don't have all that much to do with one another. As viewers,
only one that we can really care about is the TV version.
why do I bring all this up? Well it's easy. I bring
so I can say things like "Coach is ridiculous" and "Coach is a
buffoon", and you will know I have nothing against the guy in real
I'm going to write a lot more about this as we get
further and further into the countdown, but I have actually met Coach
in real life. I did an interview with him back in December
we talked about the show, and the way he was edited, and I told
him how often he was going to be featured on the new Funny
And do you know his reaction to this?
wasn't pissed or upset or angry or embarrassed at all. Coach
knows full well that Survivor the game and Survivor the TV show are
completely different entities. He knows that he came off like
jackass on TV. In fact he told me that if he only
himself from his Toncatins edit, he probably would have hated himself
The one thing Coach said to me was that he
doesn't really mind his Tocantins edit anymore. He did at
sure, but he eventually made peace with it. The reason he
mind anymore is because... well, in his own words... it
but it also turned him into "a legend."
And not in a
conceited way, but in a way that he's just happy that people remember
him. Which, if you go back and read his poem, is exactly what he was talking
So anyway, there you go. I don't want to get any
angry emails about my Coach entries. I basically already got
blessing from Coach himself to write about him, so there. :)