Funny 115 - The Third One
Tony! Toni! Toné!
Cagayan - all season long
Well, you knew it was bound to happen sooner or later.
The Funny 115 has finally entered the Tony zone.
Without question, Tony is one of my favorite characters
during this stretch in Survivor history. I love how big and
bold he was. I love how unabashedly sleazy, yet entertaining
he was. I love the fact that he talked a mile a minute, he
never shut up, and he had a hard time sleeping at night because
(surprise!) apparently he has a hard time focusing his attention and
shutting down at night and turning off his brain.
More importantly, Tony is one of those rare
creatures that I like to rave about who checks off the boxes of both
"Great player" and "Great character." He is one of the few
players I can think of, during any stretch of Survivor history, who was
both by far the best player of his season, and also by far the best
character of his season. I mean, how many other players can
you think of who completely dominated their season in every way
imaginable the way that Tony did? And no, put your hand down,
Coach, I'm not talking about you.
So yes, I love Tony as a character. And yes, I
love Tony as a player. And this, of course, might then lead
you to ask the question, well then why the hell is he buried down here
so far on the countdown? You'd think that if I loved him as a
Survivor that much, that I would want his character entry way up there
in the 20s or 30s. So why is it buried down here so far in
the low 90's?
And here is the great dilemma when it comes to writing about
Yes, he was a great character. I'm not sure I have
ever met a Survivor fan who didn't in some way appreciate Tony.
Yeah, you might not think he was the greatest player of all
time or anything, since he was always hiding behind idols.
But at the very least, even Tony detractors will admit that
he was in just about every god damn scene in Survivor: Cagayan, and
that most of the scenes involving characters interacting with him were
a lot of fun.
But the problem is just that. Yes, his scenes were
always a lot of fun. But there just weren't all that many
Sure, there are scenes where Trish laughs at something he
does. There are scenes where Kass gets annoyed at Tony
because of something he says. There are scenes where Sarah is
baffled trying to figure out what Tony is trying to explain to her.
But almost none of these scenes were amazing enough that I
thought they would make strong standalone Funny 115 entries.
Go back and watch Cagayan again and you will notice this too.
Tony is everywhere. He is in every scene.
He dominates the airtime the way that Dan Foley dominates a
cheeseburger. I mean, you should see the notes I took as I
re-watching the season. Nearly every entry I wrote down is
some variant of "Watch Tony's face when this happens." "Watch
the way Tony phrases this sentence." "Watch the way Tony gets
bored one day and he just decides to start randomly lying to people."
I thought I would have a billion Tony entries when I sat
down to make the Funny 115. But then I started counting out
the moments when I was finalizing my list, and I realized I was only
going to have two. One of the entries was going to be "Tony
talks llama." I mean, that one is easily a no-brainer.
And the other one was going to be... well... for now I am
going to leave that one as a surprise. And then I thought
-maybe- I could squeeze in an entry about how Tony proves his loyalty
by admitting to everyone that he lies.
And that was it. Those were my three Tony entries.
I saw that list and I was like no f'ing way. There is no way
I can do a countdown like this and only have THREE Tony entries.
Especially when he is clearly one of the biggest and most
entertaining characters between seasons 21-30 of Survivor.
There is absolutely no way I can shortchange Tony and all the
Tony fans out there by giving him only three measly entries.
And of course, you know what happens when I reach a decision like that.
That's right. That means that Tony gets a
And so here you go. You know you wanted it. I
mean, lord knows people sent me enough nominations of things they
wanted to see written about Tony. In fact, I think I got more
nominations about Tony than about the rest of the cast of Survivor:
Cagayan combined. And yes, that even includes Jefra!
Here are fifteen fun things about Tony Vlachos as a Survivor
character, with help from my readers at Survivor Reddit. You
see, I am including a lot of actual comments that were sent in by my
actual readers, because a lot of time they wound up explaining the
scene better than I could.
Here are all the fun minor things that make Tony such a great Survivor
** FIFTEEN FUN THINGS TO
REMEMBER ABOUT TONY **
1. "Tony literally runs
everywhere. Why is he running? Where does he need to be in the next 3 seconds? It's like
whenever an idea popped into his head, he got up and ran as fast as he
could. It was really funny."
-Reddit user pntjr
reminded me of my son when he was around 5. He might be the most
entertaining winner ever."
-Reddit user SnazzyBean
something I never really noticed until it was pointed out to me, but it
is absolutely correct if you go back and you watch the season.
Tony likes to run.
He's a lot like Forrest Gump. Sometimes he just wants to run.
Example the first
Example the second
Example the third
Example the fourth. It's dinner time.
orgasm over finding the immunity idol in the first episode cracks me up
every time. Like close your eyes and just listen to the audio."
-Reddit user treple13
Well you knew this one was
going to be a
It's episode one, and Tony stumbles onto an immunity idol
hidden under the water
Tony grabs the idol and does his best impression of an
There is no way to do this scene justice without listening to the
audio, so click
here for the famous sound clip of
Tony finding the idol and then jizzing his pants.
Damn, now I have to go clean up
By the way, want to hear something funny? Listen to how close
Tony's orgasm is to the
scene in Dumb and Dumber where Jeff Daniels takes a dump. They are closer than you think.
The male must rest for 10-15 minutes before
attempting another idol find
3. Tony's famous
This one is quick but it is always good for a funny little screencap.
It's episode two, and Tony catches Woo and Sarah talking
strategy without including him
So he walks over and he breaks up their little conversation
And then, in a confessional, he tells us what just transpired.
As only Tony can.
"So I saw them talking, and I walked over, and I caught them
"And they looked like this..."
"Like a deer in headlights, as soon as I walked up to them."
4. "Pay attention to
Morgan's final Tribal Council question for Tony."
-Reddit user thekyledavid
She basically asks him
"How did you manipulate all of these men without boobs!!"
Morgan gets up to ask Tony her final TC question, and she
has something special prepared for him
"I have massive jugs, so I know how to keep a man in my back
"You kept men in your back pocket, and you did it without
even having breasts."
"How did you do it? I just want to know."
The jury laughs at Morgan's inane question
"I love how Tony just
no-sells it too, like he was prepared for that question's exact
And here is stone-faced Tony, completely unfazed by her
"I would have to say... ah... that the hyena, you know, was
just cleaning his hind end. I mean, the mush was the only thing we had
to eat. And I would think that maybe, you know, he needed it to
survive. And when you get hungry enough you eat what you have to eat.
And taste is one of the first luxuries that goes out the window."
Oops, wait. That was Kim Johnson no-selling Tom's
jury question back in Africa. But you get the picture.
Tony basically just ignores the joke question and he gives a
serious answer instead. And you should see how many people
wrote to me and requested that I include this moment somewhere in a
By the way, speaking of Morgan...
5. That time Tony
compared Morgan to a pillow
This is one of my favorite Tony moments, and I might have been able to
squeeze it into an entry all by itself.
Naturally, it stars Morgan, the girl who spends approximately 150-200%
of her time in Cagayan laying down in the shelter, doing absolutely
I have no idea why the editors included the dialogue of this scene over
shot of Spencer adjusting his socks, but here you go. If you
think Spencer is sexy, and you have a fetish for socks, I
have good news for you.
Kass suggests that maybe Morgan can do some manual labor
Yeah, watch me go. Vroom.
Tony wonders if Morgan is even around
Kass replies very Kassly
Morgan's usual spot
First Kass bags on Morgan. Then Tony gets to one-up
her, which is fun because it is very rare that anyone is ever able to
Morgan is in a constant state of "Center of the Universe"
"She's like a fourteen year old dog. You only keep
it around because you love it."
"All it really does is sit there. That's Morgan."
Okay that quote was good enough on its own. But we'll save
the Kass quotes for my Kass entries. For now let's
focus on where Tony gives a quote that is even better.
forget who it was, but the guy [Tony] who commented on the fact that,
Morgan actually got out of bed to look for the idol, you know it's
-Reddit user thekyledavid
Yes, it is now episode seven of Cagayan, and it's time for the great
Everyone knows that there is an idol hidden near camp, and
that it is somewhere near the water
Everyone is walking around and looking for it. Even Morgan!
Holy shit. It lives!
And here comes Tony with a quote that is just as good, if not better,
"You know it's bad when Morgan... the girl that you can't
tell if she's a pillow or a person..."
"Because she doesn't do anything"
"You know it's serious when she's up on her ass and she's
looking for this idol."
6. "In the episode, "Bag
of Tricks", I love when they're all getting
back from tribal, and Tony sets his torch against the tree with the
rest of them, and they all fall over. Then he just walks away not
giving a fuck while LJ watches in the background."
This is just a quick little moment, but it's a fun little visual
joke that a couple of people pointed out to me. Here it is.
Tony comes back from Tribal Council at the start of the
He gingerly places his torch against the tree along with the
rest of them
And then, uh oh
They all fall over
7. That time
he gave a fake idol clue to
Jeremiah for no reason except to fuck with him.
people talk about Tony being a spaz and Tony doing things just for the
sake of doing things, this is a prime example. This is one of
favorite little Tony moments.
episode five, and Tony is interested in doing something today to cause
some random drama in the game.
Woo and Tony have just received a clue to an idol
that is hidden on their own beach
And this is where Tony gets a brilliant little Tony idea.
So basically Tony says, there's an idol hidden on OUR beach. So let's give this to a player on the OTHER tribe.
clues will be worthless to them, but everyone will think they have an
idol clue now and then they will all be suspicious of him.
It's quite a devious little plan.
Even Woo agrees. Damn Tony, you're diabolical.
So why randomly fuck over Jeremiah? Easy.
"Because Jeremiah is the strongest one here."
So Tony goes over to the other tribe during a reward raid,
and he says that he has been instructed to give a clue to someone
"I've decided to give it to Jeremiah."
Tony sets the trap, and attempts to get Jeremiah's tribe to
be suspicious of him
are the faces that Jeremiah sees when he comes back to camp with a
useless immunity clue. You know it's bad when even Morgan is
Oh yeah, and then after the scene, of course...
Tony has an idea. So... more running.
And here's my favorite part of the scene. Tony goes back to
his tribe and brags about what he just did to poor Jeremiah.
He tells his tribe what just happened, and how Jeremiah is
Tony can barely get through the story without
And Jefra, of course, provides the punchline at the end of the scene.
"Wow, I'm just glad Tony's on my side."
been awhile since I've seen it so the timing or the details could be
wrong but I recall the Tony and Sarah convo about whether or not he's a
cop being funny. Tony says he works in construction and his tattoos are
proof that he couldn't be a cop (??) When Sarah says she is a cop he
tries to backpedal and admits that he is one too, and then says he's
It goes on for a bit."
Clearly this was going to show up in any sort of a Tony character
entry. Here he goes, in his first big scene
in Survivor: Cagayan. Tony being an amazing character was
evident right from the start.
"I've been a cop for quite a while and there is
a look that
cops have. And Tony's got it."
"If I'm wrong, he should go be a cop because he looks just
Police officer Sarah pulls police officer Tony off to the side, and she
tries to confirm her hunch.
"Will you be honest with me? Are you a cop?"
Tony: "No way."
Sarah: "You swear?"
"You look like a cop."
"I wouldn't hide that!"
"What do you do?"
"You look like a cop!"
And here is where Tony argues that he couldn't be a cop, because he has
Sarah: "How do you know?"
"I got plenty of cop friends."
"I have maybe like fifty friends that are cops."
Worried that he is about to be found out, Tony quickly turns the tables
around and asks about Sarah.
"What do you do, Sarah?"
She's a cop? Oh sweet. That means that I get to
mess with her now.
"You're a pretty cool girl, Sarah. You know, I
confession to make. Want me to tell you the truth?"
"I'm not a cop."
What the fuck, Tony?
Sarah knows he's a cop because cops are easy to spot. At this
point, she has no idea what to make of this fast talking odd little
Tony messes with Sarah for most of the first day (and most of the rest
of the season, to be honest), but he finally gives in and fesses up
that he is a cop in the second episode. If for no other
reason than he knows that something like this will get Sarah to trust
Naturally, Tony makes sure that the cameras are watching
before he drops the big bomb on her
And then, the info.
I knew it!
"Some people have a gaydar, I have a copdar."
Tony, of course, uses this to seal her into an ironclad alliance offer.
"We're gonna be partners in crime."
And thus begins one of the single most successful alliances in the
history of Survivor.
Oh, and since we're on the subject of Sarah...
9. The scene
where Tony uses voices and imitations to elaborately convince Sarah
that the Brawn Tribe is after her
"And then Woo was like, duuuuuude, let's see if I can fit my head
inside this coconut."
You know how James Brown is the hardest working man in show business?
Well Tony has got to be the hardest working man in the lying
business. Check out how much effort he puts into this story
could just be my sense of humour, but I love Tony's impressions of
Lindsey and Cliff when he's talking to Sarah. He's telling her about a
fake conversation they had to get Sarah out, and it's something like:
Tony (as Lindsey in the whiniest voice he can do): "Awww... But I
liiiiiike Saraaaahh. I liiiiike Saraahhhh."
Tony (as Cliff in the deepest voice he can do): "Hey, shawty. It's a
dunno, maybe Cliff actually did call Lindsey "Shawty" and we just never
saw it? I think Tony was just getting carried away in his characters
-Reddit user Todd_Solondz
It's the second episode of Cagayan, and Tony has made up a
story that Cliff and Lindsey are trying to get Sarah voted out.
Why has Tony invented this story?
Um, because he's Tony. Remember?
This is what Tony does. Tony just makes up shit.
"Tony gave me some tidbits about Cliff and Lindsey."
Okay, here is Tony's elaborate lie that he has all but roleplayed out
in his head.
"Alright, all I heard was this..."
"We can get rid of Trish any time. Sarah's the
though. That's what they said."
"And Lindsey said..."
(doing his best Lindsey imitation), "Oh I liiiike Sarah!"
"I liiiiike herrrrrr."
"And then Cliff was like..."
(doing his best deep-voiced Cliff impression):
"Hey Shorty, it's a game."
(As Cliff) "You gotta be focused."
"That's what he told her."
"I'm telling you. That's how it went down."
Coincidentally, this is the exact thing Cliff writes when he
signs autographs for little sick kids in the hospital
This is one of those little scenes that made me laugh out loud the
first time I saw it, because Tony was so into doing his "characters"
and because he had clearly put a lot of time into thinking it out.
Oh, and also because he went on to use a variety of charts,
graphs, voices, and puppets to reiterate his point.
And then Trish was like "I'm comin' for ya, I'm gonna kick
your scrawny ass you police officah cheapo deapo."
Sarah, of course, believes every word that Tony says. Why?
Well because he's a cop of course! And plus the
story was so god damn elaborate. Why on earth would a fellow
cop make up a story like this?
And, of course, you know how this storyline wound up working
out for Police Officer Sarah.
"Blue blood, baby. I'm telling you, we gotta stick
It runs deep."
And in the end?
10. "In one of
the merge challenges where they're balancing above water,
Tony asks Woo "How you feelin' Woo?" Woo Responds: "Woo!"
-Reddit user ksolove
This one isn't really a Tony
moment, but it makes me laugh and I don't have anywhere else to put it,
so here you go. Woo's famous "Woo!" response.
It's episode six, and Tony and Woo are fighting it out for
They are the last two standing
"How you feelin', Woo?"
Woo (excitedly): "Woo!"
11. The fact that Tony is
such a big motormouth...
... that he doesn't even shut up...
...in the middle of a foot massage
12. Tony's infamous Spy
Well you knew we couldn't leave this one out.
Tony wasn't the first player in Survivor to ever come up
with the idea of a spy shack.
But his was sure the most notorious.
Although I'll be damned if I post the screenshot where they
put a little hashtag on screen. As always,
It's episode one, and Tony decides he wants to spy on what
people are saying back at camp
So he builds himself a little spy shack
"It's not just small talk, it's gonna be big talk."
Tony explains in a confessional that he's gonna use his Spy
Shack to take out the head lion (Cliff) and then take over the pride
Now, a lot of people don't remember this, but Tony actually builds TWO
Spy Shacks during Survivor: Cagayan. He builds a second one
later, in episode nine. Only this time it is over by the
Tony sneaking off to go build Spy Shack 2.0
Boo would ejaculate if he saw this one. It is
And, of course, this one works just as well as the first one
He catches Trish and Jefra talking strategy
And there you have one of Tony's greatest contributions to Survivor:
Well, okay, except maybe for this:
"Trish said on RHAP that she had peed in Tony's spy shack because she
thought it was a pee spot. That made me chuckle."
Why does it smell like Trish in here?
P.S. Hey, look! More Spy Shack fun:
know that Trish used Tony's spyshack as a bathroom(!), but I do
remember Tony saying in interviews that Trish ruined the idea in
another way. He used to tell Trish when he was hiding there
other people to come into the shelter and talk about strategy and talk
about Tony. Except Trish used to forget and just
discuss food for
hours on end, with Tony stuck having to listen and unable to move
without giving himself away."
-Reddit user JustJaking
13. "I love it when Tony and
Trish have the pizza reward and, instead of
eating it like a human, Tony just shoves it down his throat so fast
sauce practically shoots out of his nose."
Since we just mentioned Trish, I suppose we better talk about a pair
of Tony scenes where she makes a cameo. Here's the first one.
Tony and Trish enjoying their pizza reward in episode twelve
Tony/pizza reward saga was randomly hilarious. Not just the way Tony
just fucking devoured that shit but also the fact that the pizza
literally looked like Lucifer's turd."
Tony and Trish sit down to eat their pizza
And just like the quote said, Tony fucking DEVOURS it.
Trish cracks up when she sees Tony eat an entire piece of
pizza in one bite
Trish then goes on to comment on how disgusting it is to watch Tony eat
"I've never seen anyone snort a pizza down like Tony."
"I saw it comin' out of his nose and his ears."
"And there was sauce and there was pineapples flyin'
"I was like whoa, dude, slow down!"
By the way, I have a quick little postscript for this moment.
There is actually a subtle little joke that the editors put
in way back in episode four to set this pizza scene up. Check
out this fun little editor's joke.
the new Solana tribes returns from winning pastries at a challenge, the
editors are careful to leave in a vocal grab of Tony warning his tribe
mates not to eat their reward too fast, lest they be sick.
to Tony winning the pizza reward at the final five, where he is
responsible for the most nauseating, stomach-churning pizza scarfing
session ever put to film. The contrast of those two moments - even
given the seven-odd episodes in between - is exactly the sort of thing
I love to see from the Survivor editors."
-Reddit user veallygood
Yep, and here it is. I never even caught this before.
The Solana tribe is eating pastries they won in a reward in
"Hey Shorty, it's a pastry. You gotta be focused."
And here is the little soundbyte joke that the editors left in.
Tony (helpfully): "Just be careful, don't eat it
Eight episodes later - The Pizza Slayer
14. "To prove he's
trustworthy, Tony told us he lied."
This is a great little scene, and it's one of my all time favorite Tony
is enjoying the new Solana tribe after the twist. In fact, he
likes them SO much that he decides he is going to share his
most intimate dark secret with them.
"I'm gonna tell you guys, I am a police
"I was only kiddin' about the construction."
See, you guys can trust me. I told you the truth.
L.J. then sits down to explain to us how ridiculous Tony's whole
admission just was.
"So to solidify that he is trustworthy..."
"Tony exposed that he lied."
"Tony's a snake, yeah, and he lies. But he also tells the truth, too."
Oh yeah, and I promised you a good Trish cameo. So here you
"When I first got here I was gonna say I have a son too!"
"And I was gonna swear on my son all day long!"
"And I know you guys are gonna say, hey, this guy's a liar.
When can we believe him?"
"This is when you can believe me. To the end."
"Okay I gotta admit something too. That I haven't admitted."
"I'm really a man."
Oh shut up, Tyler.
And finally, we come to the pièce de résistance of the Tony
storyline. The one that everyone wanted me to include in an
His argument that he's
a construction worker hinges on the fact that he knows when somebody
steals his tools.
the guy who invented Jheri Curl Marcus Aurelius
once said, "Better to stare upon the sun at
least once in one's lifetime. For then, and only then, can a
It's episode eight, and Probst is about to put Tony on the
spot at Tribal Council.
Completely out of nowhere, he asks...
"Tony, line of work. What do you do?"
Keep in mind that just about every single player in the game knows he
is a cop at this point.
"Loyalty play a part in the construction business?"
"Yes, you'll see it over and over, Jeff."
"You turn your eye, and one of your tools are missing."
"It's just, trust is a very very difficult thing, Jeff."
Oh, so many things to say about this moment...
the end, how about I just post the best things that people
about Tony's "tools" lie on Reddit, or otherwise sent me in the form of
tools line is so good. Like, putting aside the fact that his being a
construction worker thing was lie he'd confessed to basically everyone,
what the hell kind of an answer is that? Trust is important as a
construction worker because everyone is just walking around stealing
each others tools?"
"I like how during the construction worker analogy everyone knew he was
a cop but he just kept up with it."
-Reddit user Reesangmin
"The best is at a late game tribal.
Jeff: "Tony, what line of work are you in?"
Meanwhile everybody present knows Tony's a cop."
"Tony's lies when close to being caught as a
"I'm not a cop,
I've got fifty friends who are cops but I'm not a cop." And "being a
construction worker is hard, you know when people start stealing your
tools." This guy won Survivor."
Hey look, we found Tony's natural enemy!
And so there you have it. My tribute to Tony.
The guy who Kass once referred to as "the cult leader"
- The guy who
runs everywhere, for no reason
The spazziest winner I have ever seen on Survivor.
And yes, that includes Fabio.
A guy who moves so fast, and talks so fast, and
gesticulates so fast, that
at least 40% of the screenshots I grabbed of him wound up being too
blurry to use.
Yet somehow, he still won
I don't know how well Tony is going to do the second
time he plays, because so much of his first game depended on people not
knowing who he was. And idols. And the fact that
around the world were always stealing his tools. But at the
of the day it really doesn't matter. Because we will always
the first time he played Survivor. And the first time he
Survivor was a masterpiece. No one, with the possible
of another construction worker, will ever be able to take that away
"I'm here to lie, cheat and steal. I'm here to
drag peoples' dreams through the mud so I can fulfill mine."
"Whatever I have to do, I'm gonna do. It's as
simple as that.
P.S. Boy are people going to yell at me that this
only ranked down at #90. I'm sorry, when I sat down to make
countdown, I really didn't expect that this would turn into such a
strong entry. I promise I will move it up when I get to the
and I shuffle around all the entries. Please don't
me over its placement until then! :)
P.P.S. If you still think that Tony is anything like Russell (he's
not), here's a great quote from a reader of mine named Simona Del
"When I read the recap of Cagayan (researching which
seasons were good to watch) the poster said "and there is a villain
like Russell Hantz, but smarter." And I swear I watched all of Cagayan
without even understanding who they were talking about, until someone
mentioned it in game. I thought it was Kass for a wee while. Go figure."
P.P.P.S. Naturally, a few years after I wrote this entry, Tony came back
for Winners at War, and he won Survivor again. Thus negating everything
I said above about his shtick probably not working anymore. Um,
thanks a lot, Tony.
worse better, Cops-R-Us later became the most
successful alliance in the history of the show. Built on Sarah and Tony
having undying loyalty towards each other, and an unbreakable
trust of one another. And making sure that the two of them will ALWAYS
get to the end. Once again,
making me look foolish that, at one time, I made fun of it.
But you know what they say about Survivor legacies...
** Special thanks to all
people at Reddit who helped me with this entry. And to Cory
for sending me a few of the construction memes. **