The Funny 115 - The Third One

#93. Dan Makes A First Impression
Worlds Apart - episode 1

Well, it was inevitable.  You knew there would be a Dan Foley entry sooner or later.

First off, let's get this out of the way.  Dan is going to be the biggest character on this version of the Funny 115.  There, I said it, and I don't feel bad about it.   Dan is going to be the Coach of this countdown.  And it's not even going to be close.

The last thing a hot dog sees

And why do I say Dan is going to be the star of this countdown?

Well... uh...



Something something auDACity!  Something something unMITiGATEd GAll!

I'm sorry.  Have you ever seen Dan?

The Mantie Slayer

Okay, so let's get to Dan's introduction in the first episode of Worlds Apart.  Which was absolutely fitting, and was a perfect representation of what we were going to get from him for the next thirteen magical episodes.

Let's just say that if you enjoyed Judd back in Guatemala, you will enjoy Dan.  Or, as I like to call him, Judd version 2.0.  If Survivor were the Terminator franchise, Dan Foley would be the Judd T-1000.  He is the exact same loudmouth buffoon who says dumb stuff and who always puts his foot in his mouth, only this is the modernized liquid metal version.  Dan Foley is basically the ÜberJudd.


It's episode one of Worlds Apart, and this is where we get our first glimpse of the legendary

Oh, this one is going to be a bright ray of sunshine.

Dan gives his first confessional right off the bat.  Where, in typical Foley fashion, he makes a bold prediction about Survivor that is going to come true later down the road.  Only, it is not going to come true in the way that Dan intends it to come true.

Basically, if you know the famous horror story "The Monkey's Paw", pay attention to all of Dan's predictions this season, and how horribly wrong they go each and every time he opens his mouth.  And watch how the editors completely bury him and make fun of him with his own word choices and predictions.  I'm not going to get too much into it in this entry, since I am saving all that for a much higher entry, but the way that Dan's Survivor experience is turned into "The Monkey's Paw" is one of the most epic things the editors have ever done in the history of Survivor.  It is one of those storylines that even James Miller, the Oracle of Ulong, probably saw and said, "Dang, the editors must have really hated that guy."

"Also, I am totally going to be invited back for Survivor: Game Changers.  Hell yeah."

Okay, so here is Dan's first confessional of the season.  Where he drops the quote that he is going to hate that he said later down the road.


”One way or the other, you will not forget me.”

Dan gets his first confessional, and then he gets to meet his new Blue Collar tribesmates.  

And it actually goes pretty well, considering that one of the people involved in this scene is Dan

Dan works hard.  He plays hard.  Although he doesn't work as hahd or play as hahd as Rodney.  But all things considered, Dan's first day with the Blue Collars actually goes pretty smoothly.

"We did what needed to be done, because we find a way.  We're Blue Collars.  That's what we do."

Dan even sits down to tell us what his strategy is going to be in this game.  Naturally, these words are going to be quite hilarious when you know his storyline later and you look back at them in retrospect.

"Survivor is camaraderie.  You have to focus on trying to build that camaraderie."

Oh, and how does Dan build the camaraderie on day one with his new friends, the Blue Collars?  Well the same way you would, of course.  He does it through juggling.   He builds camaraderie through random, shirtless fat guy juggling.

I love the look on Mike's face here.  Um, who the hell is this pirate and why is he juggling?

At the end of the day?   Dan's happy.  He juggled.  He made friends.  He didn't domestically abuse anyone.  On day one of Survivor, Dan and the Blue Collars kicked ass.

"In one sentence?"

"Blue collar?  Kicked ass."

Ah yes.  But then, of course, there was that SECOND day...

Well, it was nice knowing you Dan

Okay, so it's early on the second day at the Blue Collar camp, and the tribe is trying to put their shelter together.

The Blue Collars building a shelter

And Dan, of course, has issues with the way they are doing this.

It's like they don't even know basic non-orthogonal math

The editors keep cutting to shots of Dan looking on with the stupidest, most open-mouthed look on his face.  And it would be mean if you didn't laugh at how often they keep doing it.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

The rare trifecta

And then we get the conversation that pretty much everyone remembers.

Dan:  "That's stupid.  That is the dumbest thing that you can do."

Sierra: "Why are you upset?"

"I'm not upset."

"I mean, why are you concerned?"

And now Dan drops one of the greatest soundbytes of the season.

Note:  I only hope I can capture Dan's weird speaking cadence in print.

"Bamboo.  Is HOLllllow."

"It.  Won't.  STAY."

"It will SPLit the bamboo.  And DRRRrrop us."

"I.  Am a FAtttttt guy."

"It's.  Not.  GOing.  To hoLD."

I love this shot of Lindsey trying not to laugh as Dan is giving his big dramatic Dan speech

Lindsey is able to keep it together, but you can't say the same for Sierra.  Sierra listens to Dan get about three sentences out, and she proves how much of a game changer she is by laughing right there in his face.

This is a big move

Lindsey hears Sierra laughing at Dan, and now she loses it too.  Dan sort of has that effect on people.

Dan, of course, is not happy that the girls don't take him seriously, and that his tribesmates are now laughing openly in his face.  So now he becomes a big Pouty McPouterson.

I can't believe they won't bring back McRib.

The rest of the morning is spent with Dan whining about the shelter, and nobody listening to him.  And with the women of the Blue Collar tribe all talking shit about him in confessionals behind his back.

"Dan gets under my skin because he just says things that are over the top.  And dramatic."

"He's the one person that doesn't belong."

Kelly even offers her keen powers of psychoanalysis.  Which is I bet the first time that you remembered there was actually a player named "Kelly" on Survivor: Worlds Apart.

"Dan doesn't have those social skills to just work it out."

There's even a weird little scene where the editors have fun by making a bit of commentary about Dan.


Dan:  "No.  No I'm not."

So Dan fights over the shelter, he gets under everyone's skin, and no one listens to his perfectly reasonable argument that he is a fat guy and that sometimes fat guys just randomly plummet to the ground.

I mean, come on.  Have you guys ever watched a Chris Farley movie?

By the way, quick little trivia note:  I don't normally call people "fat guys" in my writeups, because that's a mean phrase and I try not to be super mean when I am writing the Funny 115.  But in this case, Dan literally referred to himself as "a fat guy" in a Survivor scene.  So at that point then, all bets are off.  My apologies to any fat guys out there who are offended by this.

"Hey Rodney, want to see me do Fat Guy in a Little Coat?"

So where were we?

Oh yeah, Dan is making enemies left and right on his tribe. and people are now just openly laughing at him every time he opens his mouth.

This is not a good way to build your Survivor camaraderie.

"You better tuck that lip in, boy, before you get it caught on a trip wire."
-Forrest Gump

Oh yeah, and here are shots of the Blue Collars just laughing at him every time he throws a little Dan tantrum.

Note that we are still only on day TWO here.  This is where Dan's social game has gotten him in less than thirty-six hours.

Lindsey laughs at him

Rodney laughs at him

Game changer Sierra laughs at him

Becky hears him from Cook Islands and she loses her shit

Rodney starts openly telling everyone that they need to get Harry Pottah's grandfathah outta here.

Dan then offers his keen powers of observation when he rightfully points out:

"I am not faring well in this game."

Okay, and this is where most people think this scene ends.  A lot of people remember Dan's first day in Worlds Apart, and they remember the fat guy comment, and they remember the bamboo, and they remember everyone laughing at him, but they DON'T remember that there is actually a second part to this scene.  And to me, this is actually the funnier part.

Let's just say that Dan's ability to make a first impression has not reached its horrifying conclusion yet.

Because two seconds later, now he is walking around in his manties

Oh for the love of god.

Dan is speaking with Mike down on the beach, and he is lamenting the fact that people don't seem to like him, and that nobody on the tribe takes him seriously.

Again, let's point out that he is complaining that nobody takes him seriously as he is wearing a banana hammock

Dan whines that nobody takes him seriously when he offers his opinions

Yeah.  That's, uh, a real shame, Dan.

I am a player, Mike.  These people need to respect that.

Don't look up.  Don't look up.  Don't look up.

What do I need to do to make them respect me?

Well... you could maybe lose the manties.

And just like that...  

Hell comes to Nicaragua.

"Hey guys, guess what?  I lost my manties."

Dan somehow loses his shorts in the ocean.  And now he is forced to walk around camp with some sort of a "makeshift shirt-pants"* tied around his waist.  

* tm 2014 Mike Holloway.

Dan comes back to camp minus his pants

Take that, Modern Family

Mike can't help but laugh at what Dan looks like waddling around camp without any pants

Lindsey and Sierra absolutely lose it when Dan walks by them while pulling a Rupert

Even Burton loses it.  And he wasn't even there.

And with that, Dan has made one of the all time worst best first impressions you can make on your tribe on Survivor.

What the fuck, Dan?

"I can't rawdog in jeans, man."

Lindsey and game changer Sierra are speechless

And Lindsey finishes the scene with the perfect capper for Day 2 of the Dan Foley experience.

"This can't be real life.  Is it?"

They both laugh at all this

Dan Foley is already a legend after only one episode.

And here's the good news.  Or the bad news, depending on your point of view.  

From a Funny 115 point of view, we are just getting started.

I am a fat guy.  Sometimes I need to make myself a little belt dick.

"We don't take him seriously as a player.  So I think Dan now just wants to be known as 'The funny guy'"

P.S.  By now, pretty much everyone knows that Dan went on a big tirade after Worlds Apart ended, where he claimed that he got a very unfair edit on TV, and that the producers went out of their way to make him look bad and to turn him into the butt of the joke.  Now, obviously, people get bad edits on Survivor all the time.  That has been one of the staples of the show since the very first season.  In fact, Stacey Stillman was the first person to complain about her edit in Peter Lance's excellent book about the first season, titled "The Stingray."  

Because this has always been a Survivor tradition, it's kind of a weird to me that a superfan like Dan would be so outraged that the show would do this to someone when the show has LITERALLY BEEN DOING THIS TO PEOPLE EVERY SINGLE SEASON IT HAS EVER BEEN ON THE AIR.  I'm not sure why he thought he would be immune from that if he knew so much about the history of the show and he knew how unfair most of the edits usually are.

However... that being said... Dan DOES have a point when you watch this first episode again and you pay attention to what the editors are doing with it.  Watch that "I am a fat guy.  I can't sleep on bamboo" scene again, and pay attention to what Dan says at the start of it.  You know how he says "That's stupid.  That is the dumbest thing you can do"?  Well Dan never actually says that to Sierra and Lindsey.  If you watch the scene again, and you pay attention, you will notice that is an overdub that they probably stole from one of his confessionals.  You can tell because it is said in a complete different tone of voice than the rest of the scene, and more importantly, you never actually see it coming out of Dan's mouth.  The editors just sort of stuck it in there as a lead-in to the scene, and they fooled you into thinking Dan actually said it to Sierra and Lindsey.

This isn't to give Dan a pass on his argument that "the editors fabricated my story, they turned me into a buffoon", because that's just silly.  Besides, the editors do that to players all the time, I'm not sure why he thought he would be any different.  But he IS telling the truth about certain scenes being edited differently than they happened.  The fat guy/bamboo/that is the stupidest thing you can do scene is just one piece of evidence in that argument.  As my Dan Foley entries go along, I am sure we'll find more.

P.P.S.  So I don't end this entry on too serious a note, here is a great quote from a reader of mine named campofapproval over at Reddit:

In general, I feel like the term "mansplaining" is overused.  But I feel like it was invented to describe Dan Foley.  He's always just ... DANSPLAINING.

P.P.P.S.  And, of course, the follow up.

The Judd-1000, in between Dantrums

*** Thanks to Ethan Kyle for the Brad Culpepper/Cambodia voters idea **

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