Funny 115 - The Third One
Unmasking Jeff Kent
Philippines - episode 5
In the twenty-fifth season of Survivor, the producers of the show upped
their "stunt casting" game when they went out and they cast one of the
most notorious a-holes in all of professional baseball.
No, it wasn't Carter
Now, what's funny is that 99% of the people who are reading this entry
will see that sentence above and they will think that the "notorious
asshole" I am
talking about would be John Rocker. After all, John Rocker
once in the news for being an asshole, wasn't he?
And wasn't Rocker also a professional baseball player?
So wouldn't John Rocker be the biggest baseball villain that
been cast on Survivor?
Well, actually, no. In fact, as someone who has followed
baseball for most of my life, I would say that Rocker isn't even all
that close. I mean, yeah, true, he did make the news once
ran his mouth about something he probably shouldn't be joking about.
And yeah, he later became public enemy number one in New York
because he doubled down and he refused to apologize. But at
end of the
day, John Rocker was more or less just some loudmouth
doofus kid who was desperately in need of a good P.R.
mean, even after all of his controversy, he was still usually popular
with his teammates. People always said he was a good guy to
around, and they enjoyed playing with him.
Now Jeff Kent, on the other hand...
I know there isn't much crossover these days between "people
watch Survivor" and "people who follow professional baseball," so let
me say this next part as bluntly as can. Jeff Kent is
considered one of the biggest assholes who has ever played professional
sports. The minute
he was cast on the show, anyone who knows baseball at all saw his name
in the cast and they knew instantly (tm Heidi) that A) mah
werd this guy is going to
be an amazing Survivor villain, and B) holy shit Survivor just found a
finally top Jonny Fairplay.
Don't believe me? Well just check out some of the articles
that were written about Kent back when he was still an active player.
Such as this
one, titled "Jeff Kent: A Good Jerk is Hard to Find."
Or this one, where
an award for the biggest assholes is actually named after him.
Or this one, where
even his friends admit he was a huge jackass. Or
this one, where
he is named one of the top jerks in baseball history.
Or this one, where
he picks a fight with a beloved announcer. Or this
titled "Jeff Kent Is An Asshole." Or this
one. Or this
one. Or this
Here is a rare example of Jeff Kent not
playing nice with someone
Now, have I ever personally met Jeff Kent? Do I know he is
actually a jerk in real life? Of course not.
As far as I know, he could actually be the nicest guy in the
world. All I am saying is that he had a HELL of a
reputation before he ever set foot on Survivor. When he
played baseball, the fans
hated him. The media hated him. Hell, most of his
own teammates even hated him. Unlike John Rocker, you could
search the internet for hours and barely find a handful of
people who played with him and who are actually willing to say
something nice about the guy.
Here is a famous moment where he was choked out
by another notorious asshole, Barry Bonds.
actually sided with Bonds
in this. 'Nuff said.
So anyway, here comes a guy who is rich, and who is famous,
has a reputation for being a notorious asshole.
And who somehow gets cast on Survivor because the
producers were big on stunt casting at the time, and because they
apparently had a very dark sense of humor that week. Oh, and
because I guess the guy who shot Trayvon Martin was busy.
Come on, just look at that mustache
So Jeff Kent winds up on Survivor. And he starts doing Jeff
And he spends the next five episodes trying to outwit,
and outplay his natural rival.
And just who
exactly is Jeff Kent's natural rival when it comes to Survivor, you
Well that's easy.
No, I'm not talking about Barry Bonds.
In this case, Jeff Kent's mortal enemy wears pink.
And she likes to dance.
On Survivor, Kent's natural rival is some weird horny dingbat
Want to relive one of my favorite odd subplots of Survivor:
Philippines? Featuring two of the most unlikely adversaries
you are ever going to see on the show?
Well here you go. Enjoy.
It's day one of the game, and coming in on the boat is
famous baseball legend hardass, Jeff Kent
And seated right next to him is Dawson. Who is not
famous for anything.
Except maybe for having an extreme love of soft cheese*
more on this later
And this is where we get the storyline that will dominate a handful of
the early episodes.
"I'm Jeff Kent. I played seventeen years of Major
And this is where we get Jeff's one hope going into the game of
It's little, but for him it's the only way he might actually
have a chance to go far in this game.
"I'm hoping that people won't recognize me."
Ah yes. Well played. We're about to
see the old famous Gary Hogeboom strategy.
Which you might remember from one of my favorite
entries back on the original version of the Funny 115.
Gary Hawkins, right, with doppelganger
If you guys don't remember Guatemala, that was the season where famed
landscaper Gary Hawkins went on Survivor. And he knew that if
recognized him and if they knew about his landscaping empire,
he would never stand a chance. So he invented
a fake persona called "Gary Hogeboom" in an attempt to hide the fact
that a) he was famous, and b) he probably already had several million
dollars in his bank account.
And of course it was immediately foiled because Danni was a
enthusiast and she knew exactly who he was
And oh my god it would be an incredible tragedy if Jeff "Kent" Hawkins
unmasked the exact same way that Gary "Hogeboom" Hawkins had once been
I mean, that exact same storyline couldn't happen a SECOND time.
Okay, so here come the seventeen other players of Survivor:
And guess which one of these seasoned warriors
might know that is actually Jeff Kent, professional
ballplayer, sitting right over there on their boat.
Is it this one?
Is it this one?
What about this one?
Oh dear god. Please don't tell me it's this one.
I LOVE BASEBALL AND I WANT TO HUMP JEFF PROBST!
So here we go. The storyline where Jeff Kent is immediately
Not by Skupin. Not by Abi. Not by Malcolm.
Not even by the other big famous celebrity in the group,
Warner Lisa Whelchel.
But by Dawson
Day one. Minute one. Jeff Probst starts the season
off with a bang by asking this.
Zane, are you happy with your tribe layout?
"Yeah I'm happy with three tribes. Just as long as
they aint celebrities."
Oh shit, think the two celebrities who are both trying to
Then Probst, of course, has to twist the knife in even further by
Well that's too bad. Because here come three celebrities you
will all be playing against.
And here they come. The three returning Survivor legends.
Two regular guys and the Predator
And with that, let the game of newbies vs. celebrities begin!
Ha ha, I'm going to Jeff Kent this Penner guy so
Okay. So it's day one on Kalabaw.
Let's see how well Jeff Kent can hide his identity from people.
First off, let's watch Dawson do her little happy dance as
she arrives on the beach
Oh yeah, and speaking of the pink one, have I
talked about what a genuinely odd person Dawson is yet?
Well let me take a quick moment to do that.
Dawson, for lack of a better term, is an oddball.
Now, I don't mean that in a bad way. As a character, I think
Dawson is a lot of fun. She is easily one of my favorite
characters of Survivor: Philippines.
What I mean to say is that she is... um...
a person, Dawson is just a little bit different.
She's a little
bit out there. I don't know how to say it any better than
clarification, just check out this interview she did with Gordon Holmes
prior to appearing on the show. This should sum it up very
At this point in the interview, a framed certificate fell off of the
wall of the gazebo we were sitting in and smashed over Dawson’s head.
(laughs) Are you OK?
sound…was my lawyer.
Nobody ever sat on that part of the gazebo before.
(laughs) I get injured during our interview? This is the
“Survivor” injury of the season!
(Laughs) They’re not going to have me back if I keep
all of the contestants.
(Laughs) You’re not good for TV.
You know what that was? That was karma. You were just saying
how much you like to watch Sugar cry.
Are you OK? Seriously? Do we need to get ice or anything?
Oh no, I’m fine. My head
is super used to hitting things.
That one was fun. And hey, here's another fun one!
Here's where we go even further into the Dawson Zone.
Holmes: If you could
align with any former Survivor player, who would
it be and why?
Excellent question. I’ve been getting (expletive deleted)
I didn’t fly all this way to ask (expletive deleted) questions.
You didn’t. I’d love to
play with Chet. Do you remember
From Micronesia? I remember him.
Chet was awesome.
What are the benefits to having him in your alliance?
He can’t do anything! He doesn’t have a physical game, social game. He
can’t even get his own water. Talk about someone I don’t have to worry
about scheming behind my back.
So you’re willing to sacrifice someone who does stuff around
camp for someone you can lead around?
(Expletive deleted) yeah. I don’t need (expletive deleted) done
around camp. All those people go home.
the way, we're not done yet. We're not even close.
We're barely even scratching the surface on Dawson
potential minor Survivor legend.
Check out these other things that she was saying (or people were saying
about her) during her pre-game interviews.
So anyway, that's Dawson. This
is the person who is going to go up against MLB bad boy Jeff Kent.
I mean, come on, even if they were only going to
scene where they interact with one another, that's funny.
yeah, and I suppose I better mention Dawson's all time most memorable
Survivor quote. This one comes from a secret scene, so
you'll forgive me for breaking my rules a little. But you'll
understand why when you read the transcript.
(working on a clam): I'd feel much more comfortable with
this if we had
a little water to rinse this off with, just in case any of that poop
sac opened up. It's like a cheese. Processed cheese poop.
I love cheese. Any soft cheese I will fuck for.
You'll do what for?
She'll fuck for soft cheese.
Soft cheese only. I will not fuck for hard cheese.
This totally should have been the title of an episode
By the way, have you figured out yet that I
can't make up my mind if this is a Dawson entry or if it's a Jeff Kent
Well to hell with it. Let's make it about both of them.
Full speed ahead!
Jeff shows up on Kalabaw, and he immediately starts making that
evil squinty face and he starts saying villain things
We need to get rid of Jonathan Penner. There is no
way a celebrity should win this game.
Yeah! Power to the people! Let's make sure a
celebrity is not gonna win this and take over our storyline.
Dawson gives him the same look that she would give to hard
We're seriously like five minutes into the game.
And the least likely person to ever be able to identify a
professional baseball player has already identified him.
Just like that, Jeff Hogeboom's cover has already been blown.
Back at camp, Jeff is going on and on about how he is a rancher, and
about how he sells motorcycles for a living. He still doesn't
realize that anyone has identified him yet.
"Hey, I'm just a guy from Texas. I'm just a guy
who loves Survivor."
"I only applied to the show on a dare from my buddy."
exactly is Jeff trying so hard to hide his identity? Well
from the obvious aspect of "everyone and their mother knows that Jeff
Kent is an asshole", there's this other reason. Which Dawson
helpfully explains to us when she sits down for her first confessional.
"I used to spend time with a guy who was REALLY into
baseball. And I know who Jeff Kent is
"But there's been no mention of him being a former
"... who's made probably thirty million dollars in his
"I don't think the other tribe members know, and I think
Jeff likes it
"But I will tell him that I know."
"As soon as it becomes valuable to me."
And so there you go. Dawson's explanation why
Jeff Kent would never win Survivor if the other players actually knew
who he was. Although I should probably point out that she
wasn't close when it came to how much money he actually made
his playing career. Jeff Kent didn't make thirty million
Jeff Kent made closer to NINETY million dollars.
And so now, with all the info out on the table, the cat and mouse game
between Dawson and MLB's bad boy is ready to begin.
I'm gonna eat him!
the first few episodes of Philippines, Dawson and Jeff Kent
of stay away from one another. Partly because Dawson has no
to call out Jeff for who he is yet, but mostly because there is no need
for ANYONE on Kalabaw to turn against anyone else at this point.
Since the tribe wins immunity each of the first four
they never really have to turn on each other the way that the Matsings
do. They also don't have anyone as batshit crazy on their
as Abi over on Tandang, so they never have to deal with THAT bullshit,
and they hardly have any drama.
Most of the first four episodes on Kalabaw is Jeff sitting
around, doing the narrator thing
While they do stuff like play checkers
And Jonathan Penner spends most of the time ditching his
teammates to go look for the idol
While bending over directly in front of the camera
I swear, if you like Jonathan Penner's ass, this season is
your Gone With the Wind
Penner finds the idol, and this will have major ramifications on what
happens with Dawson and Jeff Kent later down the road
Okay, so things are going along quite swimmingly
They keep winning immunities
They keep winning rewards
And even though Jeff was at one time aligned with Dawson, because they
all wanted to get rid of the returning guy...
Eventually Jeff realizes that Penner has the idol. And once
that happens, that sort of changes the alliance situation.
Now Jeff changes his strategy and he aligns with Penner. And
he and Penner and Carter become the three Kalabaw power players.
Penner fesses up that yes, he does have the idol
"And I showed my ass to the camera like nine
different times. So have some pity on me, man."
So Penner and Major League Baseball's bad boy make
a pact to be friends for a while
Of course, Jeff Kent being Jeff Kent...
You might not want to believe him when he shakes your hand about
P.S. You think Michaela came up with that whole amazing "me
vs. we" quote in Survivor: Game Changers? Well she didn't.
"This is a me game. This isn't a we game."
"I gave Jonathan a four finger handshake, I didn't give him
a manly handshake."
Jeff demonstrates how you give someone a lying handshake
"In my book, unless it's a manly handshake, it's not gonna
And that, my friends, is how Jeff Kent adds yet another item to his
lifetime tally of asshole accomplishments.
2012: Inventor of the evil handshake
Okay, so the game is chugging along. Jeff has now aligned
Penner. And even though it was a four fingered lying
first, eventually he relents and gives Penner a real manly handshake a
couple of days later,
really because he likes Penner, or because he trusts him.
mostly because Jeff can't stand dealing with any of these young kids on
the tribe. They are annoying, and none of them appear to know
their ass from a hole in the ground.
"Penner isn't that bad. At least the guy's tryin'."
"Everyone else here is just a kid. They can't
And yes, you know what that means.
Here's Dawson attempting to make a fire
That's about as good as she gets
"Is this fire, officially?" she announces to no one in
particular. "Am I done making it?"
No answer. So she just yells louder.
"JEFF, IS THIS A FIRE?"
Jeff is pretty much done talking to anyone but
Penner at this point
with Kent aligned with Penner (because he's the only grownup), and with
their third member being Carter (because there is literally nobody
else), this is how the tribe officially splits into two now.
It's basically the three guys
Against the three girls
And don't think Miss Soft Cheese isn't aware of this.
Thoughts on Jeff Kent's betrayal, Dawson?
"At first, there was a five non-returnee alliance, and now
it's three versus three."
And right now, those guys are out there talking about US!"
So four episodes pass. Kalabaw is split into guys against
girls. But they never have to go to Tribal because they keep
But then, alas. Episode five. The detonator.
This is where it will all come to a head between Jeff Kent and Dawson.
Because episode five is where Jeff Probst says to drop your
It looks like Malcolm and Denise will be joining new tribes
This is going to throw a wrench into the whole three versus three thing.
winds up joining Kalabaw. And just like that, it looks like
women have the numbers. Now there are four of them.
And for the woman who often gets hit in the head, this news is
is so happy about the fact that she is about to beat Jeff Kent in the
game of Survivor, she doesn't even seem to mind when, during the next
Abi just blatantly grabs her boob
Prompting Dawson to just laugh and grab Abi by the hair in
This is great little moment if you never noticed it before
By the way, little insider tip here for people who might want
to go on Survivor in the future.
Don't ever grab Abi by the hair
'Cause that's how bitches get cut
R.I.P. Dawson 1983-2012
Okay. So Dawson is in with the girls, and the
girls now have the numbers on the tribe. Life is looking good
you like winning Survivor, and you want to beat Jeff Kent, and you like
fornicating for soft cheese.
On day twelve of the game, Dawson's wee little friend Dana was
medevaced from the game. She got sick, and her body started
shutting down on her, and all of a sudden it looked like the girls
might not have a 4-3 numbers advantage on Kalabaw after all.
Dana goes down with an illness
Probst makes an emergency visit to their camp
And, of course, a heartbroken Dawson is there to comment on how sad
this whole turn of events makes her.
I mean, yeah, sure, her friend Dana is sick. But on the plus
side of the ledger...
"Jeff Probst is in my camp! Yay!"
The grieving widow
"I wanted to jump on him!"
And now we are treated to one of the most potentially
awkward/unintentionally hilarious medevacs in Survivor history.
In fact, I would probably rank this one second in weirdness,
number two behind Bruce.
OMG I cannot believe you just said number two about Bruce!
Dawson getting moist over the fact that Jeff Probst is in
her camp to medevac someone
Jeff Probst about to get humped
And, of course, we cap off Dana's heartwrenching medevac moment with
Oh look kids, there's Jonathan Penner's ginormous ass.
Okay, from here on out, it is going to be downhill for anyone who hates
hard cheese. Which means, sorry Dawson, your time in the game
about to be up.
Because Dawson struggles in the immunity challenge with the
puzzle, and it costs Kalabaw immunity
And it looks like the girls might not have control of the
tribe after all as they are headed to their first Tribal Council
And this is where we get the hilarious scene that everyone remembers
when it comes to Dawson vs. Jeff Kent.
It's Day 13 at Kalabaw, and it's time for Dawson's last stand
The girls know that they are in danger tonight, because they
need Denise, but she doesn't actually have any loyalty to them
It looks like it is going to be either Dawson or Katie
And this is why you have to love an oddball like Dawson.
Because when she is on the outs, and her name is up on the
chopping block tonight, what does she do?
Does she go talk to all the guys on the tribe, and
try to save herself?
Of course not
Dawson is a lovable eccentric weirdo who is never going to do what you
predict she will do, she decides to go down via this route instead.
By trolling Jeff Kent
You guessed it. Here comes the scene that I loved so much the
first time I actually saw it in the episode.
Say hello to your worst nightmare, baseball's bad boy
Okay, so the Kalabaws are just sitting around in their shelter
in the hours leading up to the first vote. They're all just
hanging around, talking about nothing.
And that's where Dawson goes on her amazing
"You know, I was thinking that maybe I should date an
"Oh really? What do you consider an athlete?"
"And then I guess at the end maybe baseball."
Jeff has to just sit there and listen as she goes on to bash
"It's too much standing around."
"It's, like, a whole bunch of grown guys, just
like, doing nothing."
"It's not really a sport for men. I've found that men tend to
play other sports."
She actually even gets the bad boy of baseball to break out laughing at
The editors then put in one of my favorite confessionals of
the season. Where Dawson talks about how fun it is to fuck
one of the most notorious villains in all of professional sports.
"I know Jeff Kent played baseball."
"So I enjoy getting into his mind."
"And making him...."
"It's a lot to fun to make him squirm."
"And it's a lot of fun to..."
"I don't know, I feel like I've kind of got a little mouse
know that it's in a corner."
"And I'm, like, playing with it."
"I'm gonna snap on it!"
This picture is literally the happiest anyone has ever been
after talking to Jeff Kent
...and that's why baseball players have to wear the extra
I love that, deep down, you know that Jeff Kent, notorious
hot head, was trying his best not to snap and do this.
"... and that's reason thirty-seven why football is better
Okay, this entry is long enough. So
let's jump to the ending.
I mean, it's not like Dawson doesn't have at least one MORE iconic
moment that everyone remembers about her.
So we get to Tribal Council
And Dawson is voted out of the game
Partly because she's in the minority, and partly because she
just makes Jeff Kent nervous
At this point, he probably suspects that she might be on to
And so what does Dawson do when she is voted out of her beloved Kalabaw
No, she doesn't immediately ask for a piece of soft cheese
And no, she doesn't immediately out Jeff Kent and tell
everyone who he is
No, at this point Dawson's top priority in Survivor is...
Mounting Jeff Probst
So she walks up before him. And she presents her torch.
And she waits for those four magical words.
No, not those ones. I mean these ones.
"The tribe has spoken."
And then she does that one iconic thing that everyone remembers.
She kisses him
And with that, we have officially seen the end of a
I mean, my ass.
One thing I think most people don't remember about
the fact that, even after she was voted out of the game, she was still
going on about Jeff Kent in her final words.
Her list of all the things that Jeff owes her now since she
didn't unmask him tonight at Tribal Council. This is classic
"If Jeff wins, he owes me soooooooooo big."
"I want a motorcycle, a helmet, a sidecar..."
"...and a pink gun."
"That's what I want from Jeff Kent."
P.P.S. From a reader named Bailey W. Vogt:
looks like the contractor that is tearing down your twelve
year old's childhood treehouse."
P.P.P.S. In her postgame interviews, Dawson claimed that she
actually outed Jeff Kent during the game, and that they had a long
conversation once about his life as a professional baseball player.
Meanwhile, in his interviews, Jeff claimed that Dawson was
insane, and that a conversation like that never came up. And
he had no idea she even knew he was a professional athlete. I
guess it's up to you to decide which one of them is lying about this.
P.P.P.P.S. One of the things I noticed about
Jeff from my screenshots is the fact that, in the words of my brother,
"he has a very punchable face." This is one of our slang
for a guy who has beady little eyes and who always has a cocky little
smile, and who would have made a perfect 1980's movie villain.
And since my all time favorite movie is The Karate Kid, you
what that means. Here's Jeff Kent if he had been a member of
What do we study here?
THE WAY OF THE KENT, SIR!
And what is that way?
STRIKE FIRST. NO RETURNEES. ONLY TALK STRATEGY WITH GROWNUPS, SIR!
P.P.P.P.P.S. Here's something fun I noticed about Dawson.
are some scenes where it is clear she has a hard time standing still.
She basically just bounces around nervously while people are
talking to her. I don't know if she is a super
person, or if she just has a lot of random energy inside her, or what,
but it's fun to look for it when you rewatch the season. Here
a gif my friend Daniel Rona made for me with some of her highlights.
You better relax, bro.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. From reader Russ Bartlett:
master strategy going into the season was to wear colorful
shoes so people would underestimate her(???), and she said post-show
that she would tell people to ~rendezvous~ with her at specific points
the beach later in the day for discrete strategy talk, and then never
actually show up just to fuck with them. I wish we'd seen more of her."
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. This doesn't have anything to do with this
as I was grabbing screenshots from Philippines I came across maybe
my favorite Abi-Maria resting "fuck you" face of them all.
This is from
the beginning of episode four, when the Kalabaws and the Tandangs are
looking over to see who Matsing voted out last night. Guess
is the one
player who doesn't have a look of complete empathy on her face.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. And finally... remember how Max Dawson
Worlds Apart, and how he tried to do little tributes
and moments from the show that had inspired him? Well I hope
didn't miss my favorite one. :)
** Thanks to Cory Gage for the Brad Culpepper/Klingon picture