Survivor is a game like no other. With physical challenges, tropical storms, legendary players, and brutal blindsides there is something for everyone to enjoy. One of the best parts of the show is the host, Jeff Probst.
Here’s the scoop on the top 10 reasons to love Jeff Probst!
There are spoilers ahead!
10. He’s Always Having Fun
Part of what makes Survivor so great, is the fact that Jeff genuinely loves his job! His reactions watching brutal challenges or blindside vote-offs make for an entertaining show.
Whether Jeff is tempting castaways with delicious food during an immunity challenge, or riding in a truck with Boston Rob Mariano, he is having fun. His familiar smile and dimples are proof that he’s having a blast!
9. He Changes With The Game
As the world has changed over the past 20 years, so has the game of Survivor. Naturally, our beloved host has evolved too.
Early seasons of the show serve as a time-capsule of what language and behavior was normal in society. As attitudes surrounding those behaviors have shifted, newer seasons reflect those changes.
As the host, Jeff tries to let Survivor be a platform for the tough conversations surrounding topics like gender and acceptance, reflecting how the game and the world have changed over time.
8. His Final Tribal Exits
One thing many Survivor fans miss from earlier seasons is the way that Jeff carried away the final tribal council votes! After the last votes were cast, Probst would pick up the voting urn and seemingly carry it from the jungle back to the live finale in Los Angeles.
Some of his more exciting journeys included leaving the final tribal council on a jet ski or in a helicopter!
However, the most memorable journey Jeff and the votes took together was at the finale of season 9 Survivor: Vanuatu-Islands of Fire. For this finale, Jeff leaves final tribal council with the votes, hacks his way through the jungle with a machete, boards an airplane, skydives out of said plane into Hollywood, then finally hops on a motorcycle and rides into the finale!
7. He Keeps The Show Interesting
Survivor has many producers and staff that orchestrate all of the crazy twists on the show, but Jeff is not afraid to incorporate outside ideas too!
In a 2020 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jeff explains where an idea used in season 39 Survivor: Island of the Idols came from. Probst excitedly shares that the idea of having a secret spy booth at tribal council came from his dear friend Jimmy Fallon.
On the show, Probst reads an email from Fallon pitching the idea, “‘The invisibility box'” and elaborates, “‘during tribal somebody can sit in like they’re in an outhouse and hear everything that’s being said but nobody can tell they’re there.'”
Jeff further explains that for season 39, “we designed the entire tribal around your idea!”
Thanks to Jeff being openminded and excited for new ideas, fans were blessed with hilarious tribal council commentary from Survivor legends Boston Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine!
6. His Legendary Catchphrases
Jeff Probst is nothing if not quotable. From “Come on in, guys” to “The tribe has spoken” this man continually delivers iconic catchphrases to fans who love them.
Some of his famous slogans have even been answers in Survivor puzzles! In season 27 Survivor: Blood vs. Water, one of the puzzle answers read, “YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DIG DEEP.”
5. He’s Always Encouraging
Jeff never fails to offer encouragement to Survivor castaways. He is always excited in challenges when tribes or individual players push themselves.
Viewers will remember in season 34 Survivor: Game Changers when Cirie Fields struggled to cross a balance beam, costing her tribe the challenge. When Cirie became emotional, Jeff assured her, “This challenge is over, but we will stay here with you if you want to try to conquer this.”
Also, in season 38 Survivor: Edge of Extinction Lauren O’Connell fainted during a challenge. After waking up she said, “That’s embarrassing.”
Jeff’s response? “I’d say that’s the sign of a warrior.”
4. He Respects The Game
Perhaps one of Jeff’s most admirable qualities is his respect for Survivor. As the host, it is his job to facilitate gameplay and interact with all of the contestants. He does so with enthusiasm and respect, but never fails to make his feelings known when a player fails to demonstrate that same respect for the game.
In season 27 Survivor: Blood vs. Water, contestant Colton Cumbie decided to quit the game, even after being medically evacuated in his first season.
Responding to Colton, Probst says, “You came back for a second time because you said, ‘I’ve changed. I’ve grown and I want to show everybody.’ You’re now doing the exact opposite.”
Also, in an Entertainment Tonight interview Probst shared, “What frustrates me the most is when people start to lie down and die and you see them curl up in a ball. And I will often say, ‘I just want to make sure I have this right ’cause it’s clear to me you’re going home.'”
Probst further explains, “You’re letting it happen. You left your family, you left your job, you came out here, you have bug bites everywhere and you’re giving up? Man, really? Did we put the wrong person on this show? ‘Cause we don’t want people who want to give up.”
3. His Banter With Contestants
There are several contestants that have developed playful relationships with Jeff Probst on the show. During challenges in particular, players like Johnathan Penner and Wendell Holland always have witty remarks to Jeff’s commentary. Their back and forth exchanges are some of the funniest moments on the show.
Fan-favorites like John Cochran and Jonny Fairplay are also remembered for their hilarious interactions with Jeff throughout their game.
2. His Iconic Wardrobe
Blue shirt? Check. Khakis? Check. Hat? Check.
While Jeff Probst’s wardrobe has evolved over 40 seasons of the show, fans can’t help but recall the iconic blue shirt, shorts, and hat combo. Sometimes he will throw on a black, green, or orange shirt to mix things up, but his blue look is the most recognizable.
Some of Jeff’s more adventurous fashion moments include rocking a cowboy hat or even some fun sunglasses!
1. Jeff Probst is Survivor’s Biggest Fan
Like any game show, the host can make or break the quality. Thankfully, Jeff Probst proves time and time again just how much he loves being a part of the world’s greatest social experiment!
In a 2020 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Jeff shares just how much he loves Survivor.
While recalling his thoughts heading into season 1 of the show Probst says, “I just had this unbridled enthusiasm, and I thought it would be the greatest summer of my life and then I would do something else, but I was going to enjoy those 39 days.”
However, fans of the show will agree that part of Survivor’s appeal is from the fact that years later, the host is still so excited about new seasons.
Probst goes on to tell Entertainment Tonight, “Here’s the kicker to that: I’ve enjoyed every single season. I still have that same enthusiasm today that I had 20 years ago.”
It’s safe to say that Survivor would not be the same without our favorite host! I think it’s time to rewatch some of your favorite Jeff moments! Cuddle up on the couch with a Survivor blanket, your favorite drink or a glass of wine, your favorite Survivor top and some cozy socks, and start watching.