The Funny 115 - The Third One

#106. Missy Messes With the Wrong Kid
San Juan Del Sur - episodes 13 and 14

One of the great things about Survivor over the years is how many amazing charities the show tends to be associated with.

From Give Kids the World

To Gillian Larson's Reality Rally

From Ethan's Grass Root Soccer

To Heidi's quest to adopt every single little African stick baby

Survivor, and Survivor players, have made every effort to give back to the community in all sorts of great charity crossover events over the years.

Rodney Lavoie's RodneyBowl

But it wasn't until the 29th season of the show, San Juan Del Sur, where this giving back to the community tradition finally backfired on them.

Yes, it's time for the single darkest entry on the Funny 115.

We're talking about the time they brought a Make-A-Wish kid onto the show, and he took down Missy.

* note:  for legal reasons, I will not use the kid's actual face at any point in this entry.  Let him keep his anonymity.
I will replace his face with a different random head in every picture to keep things interesting.

Okay, before I get too far with this writeup, let me state for the record that I am NOT making fun of the Make-A-Wish Kid.  I think that The Make-A-Wish Foundation is an amazing charity, and it has done many wonderful and amazing things over the years, for thousands of families.  I know that the charming little redheaded boy that they put on the show didn't intend to injure a Survivor.  He only wanted to design a challenge.  So keep in mind that I am in no way making fun of the kid or whatever his life threatening condition is.  I hope he has a wonderful and prosperous life ahead of him, I hope he lives a long, long time, and I hope that one day his seed too will find purchase.  

I am simply making fun of how awkward it was that Probst introduced this kid on live TV, and how it was the challenge that the kid himself designed that wound up injuring Missy.

Okay, let's go back to one of the most awkward things that has ever happened on Survivor, and let's enjoy how Jeff Probst valiantly tried to make it work anyway because he was on live TV.  And because he still thinks he is running a talk show.

Dial up the cringe factor to eleven, it's about to get ugly.

Missy Payne, the enemy of kids everywhere

It is episode thirteen of San Juan Del Sur, and the final six players arrive at today's Reward Challenge

"Welcome to today's challenge.  We call this one the Ankle Cracker."

Jeff goes on to explain the challenge.

"The first part is you put your ankle into a wobbly unstable hole, and you put all your weight on it to climb up a pile of hay."

"Then you must use your legs to weave in and out between two narrow ankle snapping beams."

"Then you must run up an unstable treacherous balance net"

"Which will send you crashing down onto the weaker of your two ankles"

"Then, if by some chance you are still able to walk, the final part is that Annie Wilkes gets to take two swings at your foot."

Obviously, I'm exaggerating a little bit.  The challenge isn't THAT bad.  But it is an especially treacherous looking challenge, especially with that wobbly-looking teeter totter.

And especially because of the massive hate boner that this kid has for Missy

Okay, you guys ready? 


Missy manages to avoid the first of the kid's cunning traps.

Then she manages to avoid the second of the kid's Saw-like traps.

But it is his third booby trap, the smashy net, where the cunning little assassin finally captures his prey.

Going up

Crashing down

And just like that...

Another wish has been granted

Missy spends the rest of the season hobbled, and completely unable to walk.  

Why, Tonya Harding?  Why?????

And it would have been just another random Survivor injury that no one remembers.

Except that Probst decided to turn the finale into a very special edition of "The Jeff Probst Talk Show."

Okay, so let's skip ahead to the finale.  

Let's watch as Probst tries to milk this into something that isn't completely awkward and uncomfortable.

We're live at the SJDS finale!  Which at this point usually means a lot of Probst mugging for the camera, and then maybe every so often we will cut back to the episode

He gives monologues

He talks about food

He interviews random kids in the audience

He conducts impromptu focus groups

He gives us important trivia about rice

He spends ten minutes explaining the next season when we haven't even finished this season yet

He seems very excited about all the camera time he gets

It's about midway through the San Juan Del Sur finale when he finally sits down and we meet the infamous Make-A-Wish kid.

Okay guys, I have a treat for you

"This is one of my best new friends. We met him through our friends at Make-A-Wish."

"His dream wasn't just to visit the location of his favorite show, but to create a challenge that would make it on the show."

Jeff goes on to explain that this nice young man spent a lot of time interacting with the crew, he got to go out and live his dream, we invited his whole family out here for the finale, etc.   It's actually a pretty nice moment.

He got to help film an actual episode

He got to run the boom mike

He got to sit down with the set designer and plan out a challenge

Jeff explains that this was the opportunity of a lifetime for a lucky little Survivor fan

And thennnnnnn we get to the awkward part.

Hey let's take a look at your challenge.  Remember this death trap that you designed?

Remember the Ankle Cracker?

Remember when you did this?

Missy was in a cast for months.  Is this what you learned from that god of yours?

I love the faces that Probst makes when he is talking about how amazing this challenge was

Wow, your son nearly ripped the skin right off of her bones!

And then we get to the wonderful (unintentional) punchline at the end of the encounter.

You know, you took one of the most disliked players in the cast, and you completely fucked up her foot.  How do you feel about that?

"I just wanted to help the show."

"You're welcome."


Probst loves it

And thus ends one of the most awkward, unintentionally dark and awesome storylines in the history of Survivor.  

Which, again, was only awkward because Probst decided to make a Very Special Moment (tm) out of it.

If he hadn't highlighted that Missy was injured by the challenge that the kid had designed, nobody would have even cared about it.  

It just would have been some random old Survivor injury.

So kids, if you have a dream, and if you have ever wanted to fuck up a Survivor player.

Just contact the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  They'll set you up with the paperwork.

Neleh Missy is the true Survivor

P.S.  Okay I'll admit, this is a dark entry.   But there are some fun postscripts to it.   Here is a quote from a reader named Ali Adamjee, who was once a Make-A-Wish Kid himself.

"As a former Make-A-Wish Kid, I regret not using my powers to injure a Survivor contestant. Probably Jean-Robert."

P.P.S.  From a reader named John Simons:

"If you zoom in on that white board, this is the most damning evidence if you ask me!"

P.P.P.S.  A lot of people don't realize this, but this isn't the first dangerous challenge that a Make-A-Wish Kid has designed over the years.  I mean, who can forget these notorious examples:

"Alligator Lunch", designed by 7 year old Danny Rona

"Reach Into the Running Woodchippper", designed by 5 year old Stephanie Katz

"The Torture Rack", designed by 9 year old Langston Leake

"The Shish Kebab", designed by 7 year old Matty Mottet

"Keep Baby Bear Away From His Mother", designed by 7 year old Katie Banks

"Catch the Bomb", designed by 6 year old T.J. Kaczynski

"Ram the Block into Ethan's Fucking Head", designed by 34 year old Jenna Lewis

"Dynamite Dominos", designed by 5 year old Diana Haymze

"Mushroom Cloud Race", designed by 8 year old Tommy Dube

"Handle the Heat", designed by 5 year old Mikey Allbright

"Blindfolded Knife Fight", designed by 6 year old Georgie Hanns

"The VX Poison Gas Ball Maze", designed by 8 year old Frankie Hummel

"Just Chug A Giant Bowl of Acid", designed by 8 year old Tori Daly

P.P.P.P.S.  And finally, we can't end the entry without this picture.

The only time Probst has been happier than this.

Was when Boston Rob did this

** Special thanks to kidnifty for the Brad Culpepper picture and for a bunch of the dangerous challenge pictures **

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