The Funny 115 - The Third One

#40. Penner's Last Stand
Philippines - episode 11

There are some players in Survivor history who knew how to make an entrance.

"Sarah, would you just knock it off?"

And then there are those who knew how to make an exit.

"Sarah, please don't ever knock this off."

But the greatest exit in Survivor history might have come from the legendary Mister Jonathan Penner from Survivor: Philippines.  

Who you might remember as the man with a hat.  

Or the man with no plan.

Jonathan has played Survivor three times now over the years, and I'm sure he would be the first one to tell you that he has never been all that successful at it.  Oh sure, I mean, he's a huge fan favorite.  He has always been a big fan favorite.  Even back during his first season, Cook Islands, he was one of those players that everyone loved.

"Oh please, Jeff.  Shut up."

"Jonathan, getting frustrated by me!"

And then, of course, there was his famous second season, Micronesia.  Where he not only gave us this quote.

"I mean...."

"... My ASS!!!!!!!!"

But he also gave us this screenshot.  Which is one of my favorite Survivor pictures ever, and which, even to this day, I still use all the time.

Fuck you, shut up

Yes, it's safe to say that Jonathan Penner was a legend long before he came back and he played for a third time.

But then, in Philippines, somehow he managed to top even himself.  

Because it was in his third time playing that he left us laughing with maybe the greatest Survivor exit of them all.

And, uh, let's go back and talk about what happened.  

Shall we?

Jonathan Penner's Last Stand
aka "Always Leave 'Em Laughing"

It's the tenth episode of Survivor: Philippines.  And despite all his Survivor failures over the years, legacy hard luck case Jonathan Penner is about to be handed a gift from the gods.  

Likes gifts

You see, despite the fact that nothing has ever gone his way on Survivor... EVER... it turns out that the power couple in Philippines have taken pity on him and they want to include him.  Which is great for Penner, because like the fat kid at the start of a kickball game, he generally isn't included in any of the popular kids' plans.  

But here we are in the endgame of Survivor: Philippines, and for the first time ever in his Survivor career, the popular people want to include him.

This is good.

So here comes the power couple of the game, "Bob Johnson" and Blair from the Facts of Life, and they make him an offer he can't refuse.

"Join our alliance," says Blair, "And the three of us can run it all the way to the end of the game."

"No one can stop us", adds Mr. Johnson.  "Together the three of us will be unbeatable."

And so there you go.  Johnathan Penner has been handed his first major alliance in like a hundred days of playing Survivor.  And things are looking good.  Because of course he is going to take it.


I mean, there's no way you turn down a gift from the gods when they reach down and they hand it to you on day thirty of a game of Survivor.

There's no way you turn that down.  Right?



Oh shit.


Blair and "Bob" hand him a Fastpass so he can advance directly into the final three.  And he says no, I'm sorry but I don't think so.  And if you're wondering why Jonathan Penner will probably never win Survivor in his lifetime, well, um, there you go.

They tried to make me go to the finals.  I said, no, no, no.

And so now we have the hell that is Jonathan Penner's final three days of Survivor: Philippines.

He was handed a final three deal, similar to the sword that Perseus received from the almighty Zeus, and he said no.  I'm sorry, no, but that shiny new sword doesn't do it for me.

Then he has to sit there and watch as Malcolm and Denise swoop and in take the alliance spot that had originally been offered to him.  And now THEY are unstoppable, and he isn't.  And then he has to sit there and watch as these two losers from Matsing become all Smugly McSmuggerson.

Yay!  We're the final four!  God is so good!

As usual, Survivor isn't going very well for Jonathan Penner.  He's down in the dumps.

Things are going terribly for him.

This sucks

And then, at the end, comes the biggest ignominy of them all.

Not only is Survivor shitting directly onto his head, as it usually does, now life decides to go full BobDawg and unleash a massive deuce right directly onto his soul.

Because now he has to sit there for his last three days and listen to Abi tell him how much he sucks.

Not a Penner fan

And, you know, if you ever wanted to know what hell is probably like, this is probably a good approximation of it.

Three days of Abi-Maria pointing out all your flaws to you

"And this is why you will never win.  It's because you're a terrible person."

You need to be nice like me.  The jury will never respect a villain such as yourself.

Seriously?  FML.

Penner has to deal with Abi's bullshit for three entire days.  And by the end of it, he's practically out of his mind with frustration.  Not so much because Abi sucks, but because he turned down an easy final three deal AND because Abi sucks.  And I'm sorry, but that's a double whammy.  What the hell did he do to God to deserve this?


Penner knows he's basically fucked six ways until Sunday at this point.  And he really only has one recourse left at this point in the game.  

There's really only ONE thing he can do from here on out to save his bacon, and to make sure his sanity doesn't give out before his torch is smuffed.

He goes to the people in charge, and he makes this one plea.

"Can we please stay strong and vote Abi?  Don't vote me out."

"Vote for Abi.  PLEASE."

They agree to vote out Abi just to give the guy back a little of his dignity.

And Penner is happy...

... for about ten more minutes.  

At least, until this happens.

It's the Survivor auction, and everyone is having fun.  Yay!

Jonathan himself is even having fun.  Yay!

He's enjoying himself so much that it even frightens his old nemesis, Jeff Probst

And then... as it seemingly ALWAYS does in the case of Jonathan Penner... the joy quickly turns to sorrow as the other shoe drops.

Abi winds up winning an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge

Then she uses that advantage to pull a rare immunity win out of her butt.  

Surprising everyone.


And what does everyone else think of this development?


Jonathan tried his best.  He knew that he needed immunity.  But when push came to shove, he failed.   Against Survivor.   Like usual.

I mean, my ass

And from here on out, you know exactly what's going to happen.

"Abi cannot be voted out tonight."

"One of the other six of you will be going home tonight instead."

This has now become Jonathan Penner's last stand.

This is bollocks, and I know it

So we get back to camp.  And of course here comes exactly what Penner knew was going to down.

All those promises to spare him have mysteriously vanished.

"Everyone knows, it's Penner tonight.  We vote for Penner."

Lisa even pulls him aside and tells him this right to his face.

"Your name is being mentioned for tonight."

"Also, I might have been in other alliances other than the one with you.  Sorry, my bad."

Penner, while not surprised, is of course furious about this.

"This is unbelievable to me."


"I'm a good person.  I'm just not very good at this game."

The face you make when you remember that Blair was always the bitchy one

Jonathan knows his time is up.  And he leaves the conversation preparing for the hammer that he knows is coming.

I got an idea.  What if we all just team up and we stab Abi?

And... uh... any last minute words of wisdom before you meet your maker, Jonathan?

"I did not choose a side.  And now I'm screwed."

Okay, so now we're at Tribal Council.  It's time for Jonathan Penner to pull out one last Hail Mary pass and go for the end zone.

There's only one last thing he can do to try to avoid the guillotine.

I will survive this tonight

No you won't, Penner, you suck and you need to be nice to everyone

Penner makes one last stand by simply pleading his case.

"Lisa and "Bob", come with me tonight.  We can all vote for Denise."

"You can't win against Malcolm and Denise.  Come with me, at least then you'll have a shot."

"Again, PLEASE don't vote me out."

The ones who are calling the shots appear to consider this

"Denise is unbeatable," Penner continues, in a bit of science fiction that would never ever come true in a million years

"Malcolm is unbeatable too."

"If you vote me out tonight, you'll give a million dollars to one of these two people.  Point blank."

Denise and Malcolm let his warning hang out there in the air

So does Lisa

Randy lay there like a slug, it was his only defense

And with that, that means it's time to vote.

Denise is the first one to go up and cast a vote

Abi sees her walk by and she decides to do Abi things

Still room for growth

Then Penner comes up to vote.

And in one of the most iconic moments of the season, he gets a big laugh from everyone in the jury when he decides do to this.


He just screams her name back so that everyone can hear it.  And it's a nice little tension break in the middle of what has become a very tense scene.

Denise laughs

Artis loses it

Ha ha, funny

Even Probst tries to hold back a laugh.  And that's saying something, considering how much Jonathan Penner tends to annoy him.

Just smile.  Close your eyes.  And go to your happy place.

What I love about this moment is that Malcolm goes up to vote a few seconds later, and he's STILL laughing about it.

Damn I wish we were voting out Abi

So the votes have all been cast.  

It's time for the reveal.

"I'll go tally the votes."

"If any of you have an idol, and would like to play it, now's the time."


Got an idol, buddy?

Um, no

And with that, Jonathan Penner, you have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.

To be fair, the vote IS 3-3.  It's actually close.

But in the end...

The twelfth person voted out...

And the fifth member of our jury...


And now comes what I would say is probably the greatest exit in Survivor history.

When Penner reaches down and he activates his suicide vest

And he takes out everyone

Just kidding.  He doesn't do that.  

But we do get this.

"Penner, please bring me your torch."


Shame.  This is the worst thing these two people have ever done.

Penner stands up and he gives his good friend Carter a hug.

"Bye.  Good luck."

Then, of course, the Queen of Nice asks if she can have a hug too.  Because apparently now we're all friendsies.

Abi stands up

"Can I get a hug too?"

"Yeah, no, I'm not gonna hug anybody else."

Abi sits down in front of everyone, sheepishly.


And now, it's time for the smuffing to happen.

Well, hi Jeff.
Hi Jonathan.


"Time for you to go."

And, uh, never let it be said that Penner won't always get the last word in.

"That sucks, Jeff."

Just leave please

And Penner isn't quite done getting the last word in, of course.

As always, there's more!


"Keep your sunny side up."

He points at all of them


And with that, he's gone.

Denise laughs again at his little outburst

Even Lisa smiles

Becky loses it all the way from Cook Islands

Oh wait, did I say he was gone?

Well he's not gone.

Because now he whistles a happy little tune as he starts walking down the path behind Tribal Council.

Penner whistling

Jeff wants to finish his little speech, but he can't because Penner is whistling loudly in the background, upstaging everything.

Jeff turns and has to wait there until Penner is done

You just know he must love this

So Penner is walking slowly.  And whistling.  Back in the area behind the set where they don't even have any lights.

Seriously, I had to increase the brightness on these pictures like 70% just so you can even see what he's doing.

Dooo do do

La la la

Then he turns and whistles his grand finale for the cameras

And then, just like Keyser Soze, he's gone

Jeff wants to start talking again.  He wants to get back into his speech.  But he can't because...



Penner starts whistling again and pops back out again for the camera


Alright, screw it.  I'm gone.

And just like that, Jonathan Penner has managed to upstage and annoy Jeff Probst, the host of Survivor.  Just like he has managed to do so many times before.

Their entire little awkward interaction (which might be their last one ever) was just glorious.

"Jeffrey, getting frustrated by me!"

So that's that.  And Penner is gone.

And this is where I have to give credit to Probst, for having one of the greatest Jeff Probst reactions to a Survivor moment ever.



Fuck it

Here it is as a gif, in all its glory.

And with that, we have one of the greatest exits of any character in Survivor history.  In fact, some would say it's the greatest.

If they ever bring Penner back for a fourth time, I don't know how he could top it.

Ha ha, that was funny

P.S.  This was originally part of this entry, but I cut it out because it was too long and it ruined the flow.  But it makes me laugh, so here's Abi criticizing Obi-Wan Kenobi over his success as a Jedi.


"Obi-Wan, you needed to train Anakin better, because he didn't turn out well.  I really think that you failed."


"Well maybe you need to read the signs better because I think your Jedi reading was bullshit."


"Well I think he might come back and kill you one day.  I really think if you were nicer maybe you wouldn't be so bad at all this."

"Remember, you can catch more flies with honey.  Maybe your shitty personality is what makes you a loser in life, stupid Obi-Wan asshole."


"I'm just giving you advice.  Why do you take it so personally?"

"Why are all the Jedis so mean?"

** Thank you to kidnifty for the Helen Glover FUBC picture **

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