The Funny 115 - The Third One

#77.  The Dodgeball Target
South Pacific - episode 8

Have I mentioned before that I love Sophie?

If you're wondering why I haven't had many Sophie entries so far on the Funny 115, it's not because I don't think she was an amazing character.  And it's not because I don't think it was hilarious what she pulled off in South Pacific, and how she completely ruined Jeff Probst's dream of having an absolute sausage fest season with a sausage fest winner.

No, the reason I haven't had many Sophie entries so far is because... well... because most of her really good entries are going to come later.  Much later.  There's a reason I made her the face of The Funny 115, you know.

In any case, despite the lack of Sophie up to this point, one of my main goals on the Funny 115 is to highlight some of the more awesome confessionals and to focus on some of the more badass quotes in Survivor history.  And this entry is a perfect example of that.  

And so, without further ado, I give you one of Sophie Clarke's underrated masterpieces.  Here is one of her most vicious cutdowns of another player in Survivor: South Pacific.  

Said with a perfect deadpan look of matter-of-factness on her face, as always.

Because Sophie doesn't mug for the camera after she pulls off a great line in a confessional.  That's what makes her so awesome.

She just says what she has to say, like a doctor, and she moves on

Okay, so let me present Sophie's famous "dodgeball" confessional to you in all of its glory.  And then we'll talk about it.

It's the eighth episode of South Pacific, and so far the entire story of this season has been the tale of John Cochran

And how he doesn't really fit in with the hardbody Savaiis

In fact, this is Ozzy's face every time he realizes that if he is going to win Survivor, he will have to team up with a guy in a sweater vest

Now, I've written a lot about Cochran before, so I'm not going to spend paragraph after paragraph getting into how out of place he was on a game like Survivor.  In fact, by this point I don't think I even have to describe who Cochran was to you at all.  At this point, all I really need to do is keep posting this Baywatch gif.  

There.  That's Cochran.

So you have Cochran, who by all rights should be home playing Magic in his mom's basement with his band camp friends.  And you have the Savaiis.  And they have very little in common.  Like I said, through the first seven episodes of South Pacific, this really is the only major storyline.

Major Storyline

Cochran doesn't fit in with the Savaiis.  The Savaiis don't fit in with Cochran.  There's tension.

And it all comes to a head in the days leading up to the merge.

Culminating in Ozzy volunteering to be voted out of his tribe

And putting on a show where he publicly blames Cochran for turning on the tribe and turning into a massive douchebag

Which you might remember from Entry #87

Cochran is berated by Ozzy publicly (after days of being berated by Savaii privately), and this will lead into the single most pivotal scene of the season.

Guys, Ozzy is yelling at me.  I need a hug.

And, of course, the Upolus aren't buying this crap for a second.

And then, of course, there's the queen of staring a laser beam right through all your bullshit.

We have our friend Sophie

"Эти люди - идиоты."

So Ozzy puts on his bad acting.  Cochran plays the victim and takes all the heat.  And then we get the merge where the Upolus and the Savaiis finally meet up.

Hi, I'm Coach.  Did you hear me say Dragonslayer a couple of seasons ago?

Which includes this quick shot where Coach almost snaps Cochran's noodly little arm in half.

I mean... OUCH.

And this is where we get the fun stuff.

After weeks of not really ever fitting in with the cool kids

And just sort of being a goober in general

Cochran realizes that he actually kind of likes the Upolus

He is especially drawn to this mystery man who seems to be a master of everything he does

So Cochran starts to bond with the Upolus.

Pound it, bro

And suddenly his bond with his old tribe, Savaii, starts to look a lot more tenuous.

Dawn cries when she realizes that Cochran is about to defect to the other tribe

And also, because today is Tuesday and because that's what she does

And as both sides compete for his vote at the upcoming Tribal Council, the competition over the White Urkel's loyalty starts to become heated.

We really need you, man.  The Upolus and Jesus love you.

You're not gonna flip on us, right buddy?

You know, Cochran, Martin Luther King says that in times of crisis, we should avoid drawing rocks.

Cochran, if you break up my marriage I will stab you in the head

And then, finally, in the hours leading up to Tribal Council, Cochran finally decides which side he is going to go with.

It blows his mind that he is going to do it, but he is going to turn on Savaii and he is going to go with the Upolus

The nerd is going to turn on all the hardbodies that he never fit in with

Cochran knows this is the right thing to do.  But he also knows he is about to start World War Three.

Especially when Jim, Keith, and Ozzy find out about it

So he starts going around to the Upolus, asking for protection after the vote tonight.

And this is where we involve the girl who is always going to tell it like it is, Sophie.

Behold, as Sophie goes right to the place that no one else is ever going to go in a confessional about someone.

Whether you like Cochran as a character or you don't, this is glorious.

Sophie's demeanor as she listens to Cochran whine that he is going to get his ass kicked tonight

Cochran explains the plan

Cochran explains his decision to flip while throwing in a whimsical observation about soup

What do you, the audience, think?  Should I let the Savaiis kick his ass?  Or should I?

And here comes the important part.

"I hope your tribe protects me after tonight."

"Just don't let me get eaten alive."

"Cause I know it's gonna be..."

And cue Sophie absolutely destroying somebody else in a confessional.  

Take it away, killer.

"You can never count on someone flipping over.  You can never know for sure."

"That said..."

"I think I feel as confident about Cochran flipping over, because Cochran thinks that if he switches and comes back to camp he's gonna get beat up."

"Which is a legitimate thing for a dodgeball target to be afraid of."

And oh my god.

I mean, holy fuck.


Pound it, bro!


Let me point this out right now.  NOBODY says things that blunt about another player behind their back in a Survivor confessional.  Well, okay, mostly nobody.  I mean, Courtney Yates did.

Courtney making fun of a Herzog family miscarriage

And Boston Rob did, way back the first time a confessional like this ever showed up on Survivor, in Marquesas.

"And Zoe. *laughs* C'mon. Without a doubt, Zoe is the toughest guy on this tribe."

Yes, we have seen confessionals and character slams like this before on Survivor.  But with Sophie (who will do this again, to other people) the way she does it is kind of a brand new thing.  And I was trying to think of how I was going to explain how she does it (and why the way she does it is so awesome), but then I realized that I don't even have to.  Because a reader of mine named Russ Bartlett has already worded it in a way that is better than anything I could ever come up with.

And so here you go.  This is why Sophie's "Dodgeball Target" slam and why Sophie's slams on other players in general are so awesome.  This is the magic of Sophie.

Take it away, Russ.

One thing I especially love is her delivery of that line. It's so matter-of-fact.  Like, if you were just listening to her inflection and not her words you wouldn't even realize she's viciously insulting him which ends up making it even harsher.  There's like /just/ a little bit of smugness to it where she says it, like it's the most obvious statement in the world.

With Courtney Yates she often sounds aggressive or mean while she's making her jokes, but Sophie just states it as if it's a fact and I've always loved that.

And so there you have it.  Why Sophie's insults are so much funnier than they should be on paper.  It's because she doesn't say them like she is making a joke.  She says them like she is stating a fact.

"I found Ozzy's charade to be over the top.  And somewhat pathetic."


She never mugs for the camera afterwards like somebody like Jonny Fairplay, Rob Cesternino, Courtney, Boston Rob, or Cochran would do.  She just reads off her insults like she is a medical student and she is reeling off some medical facts.  Which, hey, is exactly what she was when she was playing Survivor!  There's a reason that she talks like this.

There are soooo many moments during South Pacific where Sophie absolutely wrecks someone like this in her comments, and I can't say enough about her.  She is one of my absolute favorite sneaky-funny favorite characters of the modern era.  And it is my sincere hope that I get to rave about her some more in a bunch of future entries.  Seriously, if there is one reason why I think everyone should give South Pacific another chance and you should learn to appreciate it, it is the new Queen of the Ninja Insult, Sophie.  She was never going to be a big fan favorite, because she isn't warm and cuddly and approachable like a Survivor fan favorite (especially a female) is expected to be.  But god damnit if she isn't a lot of fun if you just stop and you watch and you pay attention to her.  

And again, I absolutely love the fact that she won South Pacific, and she completely ruined Jeff Probst's dreams of a second Redemption Island sausage fest

And as for Cochran?  Well you all know what happened to him after the famous "dodgeball" confessional.

He went up to cast his vote

And he turned on the Savaiis

And when they found out, they all wanted to kick his ass

Some of them were even disgusted by him.

But Cochran's story had a much happier ending later, in a different season.  I'll have more on that later.

For now, since this entry is about Sophie, we will end it with her.

(imagine something meaner and funnier than I could come up with)

(preferably in Russian)

P.S.  I posted this exchange in the Ozzy entry, but it fits perfectly here.

P.P.S.  I asked a bunch of my friends to think of the best Cochran/dodgeball photoshops they could come up with.  Here are my favorites.

And my favorite.  From my friend Ryan Weiss:

This is my new favorite gif, by the way

P.P.P.S.  I can't end this without a few more quotes from readers of mine who love Sophie and who wanted to help with this entry.

"Sophie is basically the personification of the good parts of Survivor Sucks. She just shows up to say mean shit about the alpha males and producer pets, disrespects Probst, beats his favorites, then disappears. It's surreal that she actually existed."
-DabuSurvivor on Reddit

"The scene where Sophie is ranting about Cochran- my favorite part is when she says "I think he's really proud of the move he's made and I think he still thinks that somebody will take him to the end." BEAT. "I don't like it."
-tcsurvivor12 on Reddit

"Part of me feels that Sophie was perfectly aware that South Pacific was going to turn out poorly, and she showed it."
-KingOfTheUzbeks on Reddit

"Sophie is a Survivor winner and Cochran is like the biggest producer pet ever and she's shown calling him a dodgeball target, it's a glorious moment that really sort of speaks for itself <3"
-Russ Bartlett

"I almost want to see the parallel universe where Sophie loses because she was apparently much more Courtney-like than they showed. They hid her bitchier moments because they want to have an inoffensive winner."
-TheDemonicEmperor on Reddit

"Sophie has zero tolerance for bullshit on a season ruled entirely by bullshit, and it's amazing."
-jacare37 on Reddit

And, of course, this quote, which is funny if you know that Google Ads recently refused to advertise on the Funny 115 because they said it has "sensitive content" and because "it advocates violence towards people."

"A dodgeball entry.  Well this isn't going to help you get Google ad revenue."
-John Debono

P.P.P.P.S.  Oh yes.  And the Coach stays Coach.

** Thank you to Kacie Anderson for helping me with the Brad-y Bunch picture, and also to Benjamin Lange, Aaron Conn, and Leann Lindsley for help with the photoshops **

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