What If Jeff Probst Quit Survivor?
With Probst performing his own tribal council ritual at home, blowing out a Coconut Bay-scented Yankee Candle while weeping, 'Jeff Probst has spoken'? Yes. Of course. But what else?
The name "Jeff Probst" is practically synonymous with Survivor. But WHAT IF he ever decided to quit? Let's contemplate what would happen...and what almost already did happen once.
Jeff Probst has been snuffing out torches since 2000, back when Richard Hatch was still a person people cared about. And most people believe he has stuck with the show ever since. The truth is, he did quit secretly back in 2009, after the show's 17th season. Much like Steve Burns of Blue's Clues fame, he didn't want to be pigeonholed to this show forever, and was feeling a little burned out by the process. But unlike Steve Burns, who ended up leaving his cartoon dog in the hands of some guy named Donovan Patton, Probst changed his mind after a bit of a mental vacation and came back strong. He also started carrying a producer title as well, in hopes to revamp the show a little. The audience, of course, didn't notice that he had temporarily hung up his signature khakis.
While Probst is still at home at tribal council, hoping the home audience will tweet about every single #blindside the show features, he has still made himself available to other outlets. In a way, it's kind of like testing the waters to see if he'll still be a media darling if he left the show for good.
Now is a good time to take a moment of silence for The Jeff Probst Show, which only lasted a season. Even dragging in former one-time Survivor contestant Lisa Whelchel, otherwise known as Blair Warner, to help co-host didn't save it.
So, talk show failure aside, what if Jeff Probst decided to quit the show for good? What if he decided that he just couldn't see any more dehydrated people get medically evacuated anymore? Even worse, what if he can't take the fact that Boston Rob no longer wants to return his phone calls, since it's the equivalent to a weird camp counselor trying to get you to hang out years after camp ended?
In my head, Probst would probably cling to the nostalgia factor forever, and maybe do a few tours. It's simply too late for him to shed the Survivor image, so he'd deal with the cards he was given. As with American Idol winners of yesteryear,* the tours would initially bring in a bunch of rabid fans, dressed in Rupert Boneham-style tie dye. And also similar to American Idol winners of yesteryear,* he'll wrap up after a few years by making appearances at tiny venues to smaller crowds.
Fans on the street will call to Probst: "Yo, say that line I know!" Probst will sigh, and sadly submit. "The tribe has spoken," he'll mumble. The heckler will laugh, asking him to say it again and again, and then shout, "Hey, you were better than that other guy who took over!" after Probst, walking at a fast pace away from the hooligan, turns a corner. ("That other guy" is probably Rupert Boneham.)
Probst will have to rid of all of his button-up blue shirts and cargo shorts, perhaps selling them on his eBay page. His username, "WannaKnoWhatUrPlayinFor" will have decent feedback. A few past customers will have been angry that he accidentally used the wrong postage to send them their replica immunity idols, but that's to be expected. For years, Probst was far too busy in other countries to settle down and get a Stamps.com account. But he's getting better, hoping one day to get a customer so satisfied that he or she will leave the champion of feedback: A+++++++++++. He'll still give some of the proceeds to charity, since he's just a nice guy.
And yes, Probst will still be on television from time to time. But just like Jaleel White figured out, it'll be hard to land yet another hit. He'll still be involved with Survivor, but become discouraged over the fact that his voice on the show will begin to fade, like a snuffed torch. He'll finally realize how past cast members must have felt when they didn’t get a chance to talk on reunion shows. Just like Cydney Gillon from Kaoh Rong, he'll just be forced to sit there quietly, remembering the good times. But maybe Rupert Boneham will interview his family members, so hey, that's something.
Also, uh. Rock And Roll Jeopardy could always make a comeback. If VH1 can bring back America's Next Top Model, who knows how they'll feel about resurrecting one of their own programs? Future Jeff Probst will start the petition online.
Survivor and Probst kind of need each other. It's a relationship that seems to work, and Probst seems to know this show like clockwork. Any kind of post-Probst show wouldn't end up lasting too long, and watching someone else talk about how fire represents life would just be too weird. I have a feeling Probst knows this, which is why, back in 2009, he decided to keep fighting the good fight.