The Funny 115 - The Third One

#21. The Idol Flash
Philippines - Episode 4

This is just a quick little moment in Survivor: Philippines, but I wanted to highlight it because, in my opinion, it's one of the greatest editor's jokes of all time. In fact, it might actually be THE greatest editor's joke of all time, just because it's interactive with one of the players and it's so meta.

Sadly, it involves the Charlie Brown of Survivor characters, Russell Swan

Okay, so we're in the fourth episode of Philippines. And so far, the Matsing tribe might be the single worst tribe of all time.

They suck

The Matsings started with six people. And through three episodes, they've already lost three immunity challenges.


Which means that we're in the fourth episode of the season, and they're already down to three people.

And even worse, they didn't get cookies

So here we are in the fourth episode of the season. Featuring a tribe that can't win crap, that will never succeed in anything. They embarrass themselves every time they try. They're basically the Russell Hantz of Survivor tribes.

However, for one of the three members of Matsing, there IS some actual good news.

God smiles down on one chosen one

See, Russell Swan found an idol clue back in the first episode.

And because he has a clue, that means he'll be safe from the vote.

Provided... of course... that he can actually decipher the clue. 

Oh crap, there's always a catch

So anyway, Russell looks for the idol in episode one. And somehow, he manages to find it.

Never mind.

But in episode two, he heroically deciphers the clue. And he triumphantly finds the idol.


Okay, so in episode three, he finally puts two and two together, and he manages to find the hidden immunity idol.

Well okay. So Russell never actually finds the hidden immunity idol.

But that's okay. Because he knows he's safe anyway. Even though there are only three people left on the tribe, he knows his friends Malcolm and Denise are never going to turn on him.

Hey you know what, we should turn on Russell

Well shit. Guess that's it then. It was nice knowing you, Russell.

So here we are in episode four. The Matsings are down to three people. And Russell knows that if they lose Hantz again (which they almost certainly will), he's probably going home.

Which means that episode four now turns into THE GREAT RUSSELL SWAN DESPERATE IDOL SEARCH.

Denise: Is Russell out looking for the idol again?

Malcolm:  Eh, yeah, whatever, fuck it.

So here's where the great editor's joke comes in.

We get a big long section where Russell is walking all over their campsite, desperately searching for the hidden immunity idol.

But he can't figure out where the idol is.

Mainly because the clue he got was just so damn vague.

"The clue reads something like, and I love this word..."

""Somewhere" near your beach, it's right beneath your nose."

By the way, lest you think Russell is exaggerating about that, here's the proof from the actual idol clue.

So Russell is looking all around camp, trying to figure out what the fuck "somewhere" means.

And this is where the editors decide to start playing a little game with him.

They start showing the idol in the foreground, with him in the background

It's this big blue thing on top of their basket

And the editors sure have a lot of fun with it

So here's Russell, desperately searching for the idol he needs.

And here are the editors, taking every chance they can to pan from Russell over to the idol right next to him.

I especially love this pan

Just look left

And this is where the scene actually breaks the fourth wall and it really gets meta.

Russell sits down for a confessional, and he tells us how annoying this whole idol search is.

"The real frustrating part is..."

"I have a feeling that I've been past this thing like a hundred million times."

"It's, like, right there."

And then, this is the part I love. Russell specifically spells out exactly what he knows the editors are going to do to him.

"And then everybody's gonna see..."

"There's gonna be, like, this flash on the screen."

"And they're gonna be like, this dummy, he's walkin' past it."

"It just sucks."

And, sure enough, in one of the greatest meta moments in Survivor history...

That's exactly what the editors then do.

Where's that idol?

Here it is


And everyone was like, this dummy, he was walkin' right past it!

It just sucks

Thank you to Nicholas Allan Tate for the Big Lebowski/FUBC picture

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