The Funny 115 - The Third One

#83. Fun Times with Oral Herpes
South Pacific - episode 5

One of my favorite things about Survivor over the years is the fact that it takes people from wildly different backgrounds, and it throws them together.  And then you wind up with people who never would have met in real life, trying to have a strategy talk or working together and trying to figure out how to open a coconut.  To me, this is the lifeblood of Survivor.  In my opinion, it is the stuff like this (and not the twists, or the strategy) that has kept Survivor so watchable and has made every season so different and interesting over the years.

Scenes like this.  When else would a punk rock dad and a young soccer player be bartering goats in a village in Africa?

When else would famed relief pitcher John Rocker ever be interrogated by Wes?

And where else would a Fabio ever meet a NaOnka?

Yes, it is the odd (and sometimes cringey) interactions between players who have no business hanging out together that makes Survivor fun.  And sometimes gives us our most memorable moments.

I mean, when would a normal person ever have to deal with Coach?

And speaking of fun and awkward and cringey, hey, that means it's time for our next John Cochran entry!

This is one of those scenes that proves that, yes, sometimes people who come from wildly different backgrounds are forced to live together, and sometimes they have no idea how to interact with one another on the other person's level.   It also proves that Cochran doesn't really know how to make small talk.  And he probably never really got outside all that much when he was a kid.  

Also, read between the lines, and we also learn an important fact about personal hygiene.  So at least that's something.

It's the fifth episode of Survivor: South Pacific, and ubernerd slash Survivor dork John Cochran is doing his best to fit in with his tribe

Which is hard to do when most of them are big athletic former jock hardbodies.

And you went to Harvard and your high school yearbook picture looked like this.

So anyway, yeah.  Right from the start Cochran has a hard time relating to people who didn't grow up in a veal pen.

One of these things is not like the others

"Hi Whitney.  Want to see my buff collection?"

The pink shirt, corrective shoes, and dark socks aren't really helping him either

He doesn't fit in.  But he's trying his best.  

Oh hi John.  Yes I'd love to hear some trivia about loam.

Day in and day out, Cochran is trying to relate to these people who are not nerds.  And they are all trying to relate to him.

It is not going well.

Who the fuck is this ginger with the popped collar?

Coach gets Albert and I get Cochran?  Seriously, life?


And meanwhile Cochran is pulling every little social skill trick he can to try to ingratiate himself.

And that's when I shove in my fist.  The Aristocrats!

But it isn't until episode five that we get my favorite John Cochran cringey interaction.

This is episode with the famous meat eating challenge

You know this one.  It's the challenge where everyone swarms around like piranhas, and they try to rip the meat off a hunk a pork just by using their teeth.

As once made famous by Deena, back in Amazon

It's nasty

My wife refuses to watch this challenge whenever they air it on TV.  Because it's so gross.

In fact I wonder how many of these pictures I can post before I gross you out.

The previous record was three.

Okay, so this is the challenge where everyone is swarming around a piece of pork, and exchanging saliva.  And at times they physically have to pull a piece of chewed pork out of somebody else's mouth.  Yeah, you try doing that.

Even Jeff gets skeeved out by this one.  

It's so gooey

Here, Coach directs a piece of pork into the basket just by using his eyes

So anyway, Savaii and Upolu compete in The Deena Bennett Memorial Pork Challenge, and on this day (just like every day), it turns out that God is an Upolu fan. 
With the help of the Creator Himself, Upolu tears off more pork scraps.

Thanks, God

It's the least I could do, child

And just like that, the poor Savaiis lose immunity, and they will be headed to Tribal Council tonight.

Well, poop

Well, shit

It's really not fair that we're competing against God

Oh yeah, and I forgot.  

Before we leave...

There.  Seven.

So Savaii loses immunity, and they go back to camp.

They're dejected.

This sucks.  This is like the opposite of skateboarding

And this is where we see why it's bad idea for Cochran to try to make small talk.

The Savaiis are standing around, and talking about how much it sucked to lose such a nasty ass challenge

Dawn says she snapped a tooth on a piece of pork.  She has no back molar now.

Somewhere Brenda hears this and she orgasms

Now Jim says...

"It just came down to team mouth volume size."

Elyse is worried about the fact that...

"We're all gonna have pig gut breakouts tomorrow on our skin."

And then, of course, there's Cochran.

Who helpfully adds to the discussion with...

"We're probably also all gonna have oral herpes."

John Cochran:  A veritable geyser of STD trivia

I love this look that Dawn gives him.  What the fuck, Cochran?

 I mean, I'm Mormon.  And I'm still going to say what the fuck.

The girls are not especially pleased to hear that Cochran just predicted a sexually transmitted disease for all of them.

Whitney:  "WHAT??"

Somebody else in the background busts up laughing at this.  I'm not sure who it is, but my guess it is Jim or Ozzy.  

"Oral herpes?" Keith asks, curiously.

Whitney:  "Ummmmm WHY?"

Now Cochran has to backpedal.  He quickly realizes that everyone here might not be as well-versed in the history of the Herpesviridae family as he is.

"I'm sure somebody has it..."

"I mean, doesn't EVERYBODY have herpes?"

"Doesn't, like, 99% of human beings have herpes?"

Whitney:  "Um, I don't know... I don't THINK so."

Dawn says, "Um, okay, Harvard."

Whitney:  "I don't think so.  I don't know."

Now Cochran realizes that perhaps these beach people aren't quite as well book-read as he is.   Oops.   I bet they don't realize I am describing something innocent.

So he clarifies.

"No, I mean like getting a cold sore."

"That's herpes."


Dawn:  "Well THAT'S reassuring.  Thanks, Cochran."

And here comes my favorite part.

"I've never had a cold sore," points out Whitney.  So she has never had herpes before.  Despite that little "99% of humanity" statistic.

"Well you're not living then."

Says the guy who I'm sure used to make out with his dog

"You haven't lived until you've had a cold sore."

Whitney hears this and cracks up

Elyse, of course, is not reassured that cold sores aren't actually that much better.

"So you're telling us you just gave us cold sores."

And this is how Cochran can get away with this stuff.  

Even if he crosses the line of etiquette and good taste, he can still pull a George Costanza and salvage it at the end.  


Because no matter how cringey the conversation, he is still a funny guy.  And he can still leave them laughing.

"No.  I just mean one of you probably gave them to ME."

Well... okay... not ALL of them.

Albert.  Sophie.  Hell, I'd even settle for EDNA at this point.

By the way, the part of this scene that really drives it home for me is the fact that the whole "oral herpes" thing comes up again at Tribal Council.  

This last part is hilarious.

After scene after scene of the editors showing some references to herpes...

This conversation comes up between Dawn and Probst.

"Dawn, how often is Cochran charming, and how often is he annoying?"

Hmmmm.   How to answer that?

"I think Cochran's endearing.   And I am also learning to be tolerant."

"Like, today when we came back from the challenge..."

"He said there's a chance we could all have some communicable disease."

"Because we all had our mouths against the spit."

"And I just thought, I don't KNOW where you get that."

And now for the perfect sentence to sum up the legend of John Cochran.

"That was just hilarious."

"But NOT."

Thank you, Cochran.  Thank you for teaching us so much about how STDs work.

And thank you for introducing The Herp into the show.

The Herp

Any last thoughts on this entry, anyone?

"That wasn't funny, it was nasty."

Thanks Keith.

By the way, you can also get herpes on your foot

Oh shut up, Max.

Who here loves herpes?

P.S.  One of my funniest readers, George Hanns, suggested this one.  From Survivor: Palau:

"We're NOT going back to immunity!"

George also wanted to point out that:


There.  Eight.  I'm done.

** Thank you to Aaron Conn for the FUBC/Twitter picture **

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