Ruddle Me This! with Taylor Ruddle

35. Survivor Part 1 w/ Henry Hickman

October 30, 2023 Taylor Ruddle Episode 34
Ruddle Me This! with Taylor Ruddle
35. Survivor Part 1 w/ Henry Hickman
Show Notes Transcript

This week I'm joined by local up-and-coming comedian / computer science genius Henry Hickman! Henry is a passionate and knowledgeable fan of the hit TV reality series Survivor. I've always been vaguely aware of survivor and know some friends who are really into it so I was happy to bring Henry on the show to tell us more about it. Henry and I didn't really know each other that well before this podcast, and this first part is a 30 minute version of that scene from Step Brothers where "Did we just become best friends?" happens.

Part of the Survivor Trilogy of podcasts, catch part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here.

If you want more Henry in your life, check him out on Facebook or catch him at comedy gigs around Christchurch!

If you're joining us from attending Henry's recent talk at Nerd Nite, welcome! I hope you enjoyed this episode and come back in a couple of weeks for the next one, or while you're here, why not check out some of my older episodes? If you're into the Nerd Nite concept of people explaining he hell out of a specific topic, then you'll love Ruddle Me This!

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Music Used:

Ruddle Me This: Funky Retro Funk by MokkaMusic
Ramblin' With Ruddle: Rock Your World by Audionautix

Ruddlemaniacs welcome back to another episode of Rattle Me This I am your host Taylor the last samurai on the left Ruddle and we're back with another fantastic episode of Rattle Me This. If you are joining us coming from the nerd night talk that my guest for this episode just recently did welcome to the show I hope you enjoy yourself please take your shoes off at the door. To everyone else welcome back lovely to have you with us today's topic of the podcast is we are the reality TV show known as Survivor and my guest for this episode is a local up-and-coming stand-up comedian Henry Hickman and this podcast was basically Henry and I's first real interaction outside of maybe bumping into each other at a couple of shows when he really didn't know each other that well and I think as you will see over the course of this interview it's a bit like that scene in Step Brothers where they say do we just become best friends as it became quickly apparent how much Henry and I had in common He even shares the name with my beloved childhood family cat. But I digress. We are talking about the reality TV show Survivor today, of which Henry is a massive fan and, dare I say it, expert on the television show. It's all pretty much new to me. I was vaguely aware of the TV show before this podcast. And as you will learn, we ended up going... very, very long and doing about three hours of recording in this podcast. So this is part one of three of Survivor with Henry Hickman. Hello Henry, welcome to the podcast. Hey, thanks for having me. Hey, very welcome. It was quite an interesting and unexpected topic that you suggested, but I have friends that are equally as into it, and it's a little bit lost on me, so I think it could be illuminating for some people out there. So today, what are we gonna be discussing, Henry? We're gonna be discussing the greatest reality TV show of all time, and possibly the greatest TV show of all time, Survivor. I'll give you a little bit of what I know about Survivor, just based on the few times I've watched it on TV and everything. The show starts, each episode is generally in a different country. Is that correct? Each season is in a different country. Yeah, and they start off in two tribes, and then there is some kind of a mix-up at some point where they... I don't know if they combine them or if they just like shuffle them about something happens with the tribes Yep, so sometimes there's a tribe swap where they mix the two tribes together and then about halfway through the game There's a merge with the two tribes to become one tribe Yeah, and the big famous thing from Survivor is where is Jeff probes Jeff probes still host Okay, yes, and I swear on the podcast. It's where all you fucking want now It's it's all good He's the one that puts the cup thing over their fire and tells them they've been eliminated, right? He snuffs their torts, as they say. There you go. To me, that's the cornerstone of what the show is about, is the dramatic, because they all write on the piece of paper who they want to vote out, and they give like a little bit of a confession to the camera when they do it, right? Yep. And... So that's, they do challenges. And then I think the challenges determine who gets to eliminate who or something like that, right? So before the merge, the two teams compete in team challenges. And once every team wins, it doesn't have to vote anyone out. Oh yeah. And the team that loses has to go and vote someone out. Once they merge, they compete in like individual challenges. And so one person can't be voted out and everyone else can be voted out. Do they refer to that as immunity? Yes. It's. It's like we're chipping away at these memories of like, I have watched it, but it's been so many years and I'm just hearing the little sound bites and seeing in my head people falling off logs and that kind of thing. Oh God. If you want to know how terribly addicted I am, the falling off of logs challenge is either get a grip, which is where the logs are vertical, so they're standing upright and they're at the top of the log and they slowly go down. Or it could be one that was in Survivor, Panama and Redemption Island where they sort of hang upside down on a horizontal log. And it's sort of like, they're basically the same challenge, you're just oriented slightly differently. But that's how fucking addicted I am to this show. You've got your credentials there, man. That's what we want is we want people that they know what they know. And so did I miss anything from, I don't really know what they win if they win Survivor. Do they win money? They win a million dollars. Oh. Well, in the US they win a million dollars, but then taxes makes it 600,000. In Australia, Survivor, which is sort of the only one we have in New Zealand now. We care a lot about Australia and not at all about what happens in the States. They win 500,000. New Zealand had our own, as it always is with New Zealand versions of a show, budget version of Survivor, where they would win like... $250,000, which I'm pretty sure would almost get you a quarter of a mortgage in Auckland. Yeah, that's not a lot of money nowadays, is it? And they still cancelled it because it was too expensive. Oh my goodness. Was that legit Survivor or was that Celebrity Treasure Island? Celebrity Treasure Island replaced Survivor and I'm still mad about it. Yeah, yeah, for sure. I never enjoyed it as much. Every time I see Celebrity Treasure Island on TV, my flatmates insist on keeping it on. because they know how much deeply and personally I hate that show. Oh my goodness. For what it took away from me. Yeah. So the question about Survivor, because they aren't celebrities in Survivor, are they? They're just like average people, right? Yeah. So that's sort of the point of Survivor. It was the initial point of Survivor. We'll probably get into the evolution of the show later. Yeah. But it started out as a... social experiment of what happens when you take people from entirely different walks of lives and just put them on an island and make them betray each other and form a society. I would really say one thing you missed and one of the most important things about Survivor, after the murders, the people who get voted off go to a jury and those people, when it gets down to the final two, vote for who they want to win. Oh, right. So after the moods, the people that you've backstabbed and voted off and made feel like shit are in charge of who's going to win the season. Uh huh. Right. So you, yeah. Okay. Has that always been the case? Yep. That's one of the major cornerstones of Survivor. Yeah. The, I'm glad that you know about the start of this because one thing I find quite fascinating is that like reality TV. is a relatively fresh phenomenon. Like it's been going for 20 years, but that's still kind of within our lifetime. And it's recent enough that you can see. And like, there's another TV show called The Real World, which is, you know, it's up there with the first few reality shows. I think maybe Big Brother might be another one. And there's probably a couple of others that I may have missed. Are you into reality in general? Or is it just Survivor? mainly Survivor. I used to watch the Amazing Race as a kid, but that's more a game show than a reality show. Yeah, that's true. Subtle differences, because the difference between Survivor and the Amazing Race, aside from everything, is that it's not the people you vote off who decide who wins, it's whoever can ride a taxi the fastest. Yeah, less exciting than who can hang on to the log. But yeah, I always found that so fascinating, the concept of reality TV. A lot of these ones we're sort of like with the approach of like, let's just see what happens. And then 20 years later, certain ones like Survivor and, uh, there's amazing way still going. It is, but it's still basically the same show. Yeah. Um, so then let's talk a little bit about maybe how this, how the show has evolved, uh, during its time on the air. Well, I'll start with this book that I, cool. My green screen means you can't see it. It's a book about Survivor. Whatever, just take my word for it. And it's a book by... Wait, that's Hustler magazine. Oh no, I've been caught up. It's a book by the executive producer and sort of the creator of Survivor, Mark Burnett. Yeah. And what's so interesting to read is how seriously they took it back then. Really? Like there's this one contestant on the first season, Greg, who was basically just a massive sort of camera pony, you know, he'd like, Right. Ham it up and be all dramatic and stuff. And Mark was like, you know, Greg pretended to not care about survival, but deep down I think it really hurt him when he was voted off. And Greg to this day is like, no, I just didn't give a shit. Right, right. Mark Burnett is like, trying so hard to sell that this is a super serious and important... experiment he's doing and it's changing the world and teaching us so much about humanity. Oh, I see. But his social experiment got ruined pretty much five days into the show. Right, season one. Because I assume you know, yeah, five days into season one. I assume you know about alliances on Survivor? Yes. How people, they vote together and they vote together. I'm aware that people do it. But is it one of those things where you just have to take their word for it? Like it's not an official, like you don't have a contract or anything, right? You just have to trust that they're going to do what they say. Yep. Yeah. And it's normally for strategy reasons or no, it's almost always for strategy reasons, I thought I could bullshit another reason, but it's always because you think you form a group and you think I have the best chance of moving forward in this game with this group of people. Yeah. But Mark, back in season one, people thought alliances were cheating. They were like, this isn't the point. The point of Survivor is that the best survivalist should win. That was the original idea. Yeah. The former society and the person who was just the best person would be the winner instead of the person who strategically backstabbed the correct people to put them on the jury. So there was no meta gaming and as such in the first season. Yeah. Interesting. In the first season, it was all completely. completely new and no one knew that alliances are a thing that should be formed. And now on Survivor, if you go on and don't have an alliance within a couple of days, you're like, what are you doing? Yeah. So back in the first season, people, people used to just vote off like kind of, you know, oh, that person did really poorly in the survival challenge. So I'll vote for them kind of thing. Yeah. Or one of my favorite examples, someone told a sexist joke, and they voted off the person who laughed at it. Wow. They didn't vote off the person who told the sexist joke. They voted off the one who laughed at the joke. This was in season one. This was in season one. Wow. That's bizarre. Yeah. I was going to say as well, how many players are on each team? Does it vary or is it always kind of the same number? It varies. So from seasons one to seven, it was always eight people per tribe. And then in season eight, they were like, okay, we'll try. No, sorry. Eight people. Yeah. Eight people per tribe, 16 on a season. Yeah. And then in season eight, All-Stars, they brought back 18 people and put them on three tribes of six and now it's anywhere from 16 to 20, never more than 20 though. When they are- Unless you're a What's in Australia survivor, then it's 24, which is wild. Yeah. That's so many people. Yeah. When they're just on the island. Um, are they collecting food and stuff for themselves or is that kind of like, uh, I don't want to say provided for them, but is it the kind of thing where they actually have to, uh, you know, not coconuts out of trees and catch fish? Yeah. So that depends on the season in all free season 40 of Survivor. Season 40, did you say? Is this? Yeah. There are 44 seasons right now. Wait, so how long has this show been going for? Uh, 2000. So about two seasons a year. Oh my God. That's so surely that's, that's wild. Cause the WWE always go on about how raw is like the longest running weekly episodic television show ever. And like it's only been going for 25 years or something like that. Yeah. And the survivor takes breaks every now and again. Yeah. It's, it's season. It's about 14 episodes. And so there are 28 weeks a year where survivor is on and. you know, 24 really sad weeks. Yeah. That's the, that's all the weeks when you got to go back to your box sets, right? Yeah. Wow. I had no idea there was so many seasons of it because it must be, it must be comparatively fairly cheap to make compared to other TV shows, right? Well, yeah, exactly. They give a million dollars to the winner. And then something a lot of people don't know, there's a progressive pay scale on Survivor. So if you come second, you actually get a hundred thousand dollars. Oh, okay. It's less than a million. And if you come dead last, you get two and a half grand. Oh, so you actually do get money for appearing on that. Okay. Yeah. Again, in the US version, he's the one that I specialize in. Um, but that's because people have to commit to being away from their lives for a minimum, uh, 50 days. Yeah. Yeah, totally. Even if you get voted out first, you're not allowed to go home because then that would spoil who got voted out first. Oh yeah, of course. So if you get voted out free jury, you have to hang around until the jury starts. And then they send you off to like Thailand or something. Yeah. On a holiday. Yeah. So it's actually still be a pretty good deal to be honest. I'd take that. I mean, it's not a, it's definitely not a, um, not a bad way to spend 50 days. Right. So they must happen really quickly then. Right. Like if a seat, I'm just messing up my speaking. If a season is around 12 episodes, how many days does that happen over? So from season one to season 40, 39 days. And from season 41 onwards, we're in the post pandemic era of Survivor now. It's 26 days. Wow. It's really fast. So that's really fast to show. Yeah. Wow. And then you put a week either side for pre-show, pre-show press and post-show press. And so take some like, let's call it 50 days to put together a season of Survivor. Yeah. I'm not surprised that all the shows lasted for so long then, because that quite often is just the deciding factor with TV shows is how much does it cost to make, how much does it make us? And then that's how sustainable a TV show is. I had no idea. In my head, they're on these islands for six months. So Yeah, you could, you could easily do 30 days kind of catching your, like I could survive the 30 days probably without eating once. Yeah. The whole time. So, yeah. Yeah. So back when they did 39 days, generally they gave them some sort of like carbohydrate to sustain themselves, but it would equate to about one cup of rice a day, which is not a lot for a day, especially when you're doing physical stuff like building a shelter, competing in challenges, you're pulling yourself at ropes and stuff like that. Yeah. And then. But now with season 26, they give them literally no food because they, it's 26 days. You, if you can find some coconuts and papaya around and whatnot, and you might win some food on a reward, but you don't need to worry too much about someone dying of starvation within 26 days, they'll probably be fine. What, what I quite like about seeing the evolution of reality shows, like, have you ever heard of this Japanese show called Terrace House? I've not. So it's a little bit of a controversial one to. to bring up, I suppose, because just recently, she was a pro wrestler, but she was on a terrorist house. She sort of got like cyber bullied and she unfortunately ended up taking her own life. So I think the show probably, I imagine they're probably not gonna keep doing it, but it's really interesting to watch them figuring out the kinks along the way. Like in season one, the narration in between all the reality bits was done. It was a... I'm not quite sure what she was. I think she was an actress or she might've been like just a general talent agent. She was kind of the host of the show and she was just in the back of like a limo and she was kind of talking about what's happening as they're driving around. And I assumed Tokyo at nighttime or something. And then at some point during that season, they got a studio and they brought in other talents and you can see little changes like that. Have there been any changes or things that they tried in the earlier seasons that they just never did again? I'll go back to season one because that really is a fun time. If you're all of season one and a lot of the early survivor, you just see Jeff Frobes chilling with the castaway so just come over and say hi, he'll come with them on rewards, he'll... In season eight, this guy hooked up with this girl and they won a reward together and Jeff Frobes is like, I had Amber, you get in the back, I'm gonna sit shotgun with Rob. It's so funny. Oh, it's like Pepperon? Yeah. Oh, so they wanted like a nice little romantic getaway. Yeah, and then Jifrobs shows up. But another one in season one is that they have the tribal councils where everyone talks about what's going on. But they had a problem that everyone was talking over each other. Yeah. And so they made it, they said, here's a cons shell. You can only talk if you have the cons shell. Like Lord of the Flies. Yeah. Which was actually a big inspiration for Survivor. Gotcha. And that lasted exactly two episodes and then it was gone again. How did they manage the cross-talking problem after that? If there was any solution to it? I think they realized that it was naturally pretty good TV, having people argue with each other. Yeah. People love drama. It was again, the problem in the start, they were taking it way too seriously. They were like, ah, in, in season, I want to say season four, there was a, someone asked, can I whisper to this person? what my plan is and Jeff said no. Anything at Tribal Council must be said publicly. Uh huh. And now it is a massive surprise if one Tribal Council goes by without someone whispering to someone else. Ah, interesting. So they do allow changes as they go on. I guess because it helps better TV doesn't it? Can I go through the quick, the sort of eras of Survivor? Yeah, please go for it. Give you an idea. Yeah, yeah. So season one through eight is the... the early seasons of Survivor basically, it's pretty standard, but they do get quite experimental. In season 3 was the first tribe swap where they swapped the tribes up and they kept that around for a bit. Season 6 they tried men versus women as a theme. That season is hard to watch nowadays because it's like a bunch of men being super sexist and talking about how much they want to date the woman. It's so weird watching in 2023. I suppose that sort of thing would have been like fresh and oh crazy, whoa, shocking TV. Perfectly normal to be sexist in 2003. Yeah, yeah, a lot of it's probably not aged well at all, is it? Yeah, season eight is the first time they brought back returning players. Yeah. Season seven was probably the first big villain, first big controversy where someone lied about their grandma being dead. Was it Johnny Fairplay? It was Johnny Fairplay. So I'm vaguely familiar with him, yeah. Yep. He lied about his grandma dying to get further in the game. And what's really funny is that everyone at the time hated him. And nowadays he's one of the most popular ones because it's so iconic. He's become sort of like a mainstay in reality TV, hasn't he? Yeah. He's he's very, very funny. Yeah. Some people hate him. Some people love to hate him. I think he did pro wrestling for a bit. I think that's probably why I kind of know of him. I know he did Fear Factor where there was a wrestler on it and they got into like a scuffle. was heckling someone as they were doing the challenge and she I think she pushed him or punched him or something and then her and her husband were yelling at each other and the Miz tried to sort of break it up and I think Johnny Fairplay got like hurt or something and Joe Rogan and he does like MMA and stuff is like you know breaking it up and it was a whole year I think that might have been my first sort of like first time I'd seen him yeah. Was that around 2008 ish? That sounds about right yeah I couldn't say for sure but that sounds correct yeah. Talking about fun tenses, you might have brought up a fun behind the scenes fact about Survivor. Sonny Fairplay came back in season 16 and he said, he got voted out first, he asked to be voted out because he said, oh, my girlfriend's back home pregnant and I shouldn't have come out here while she was pregnant. What actually happened behind the scenes, he had a broken jaw from that event. Oh, right. They said to him, you can have your pain medication. And then... they got to the island and they were like, actually no, you can't have your pain medication. Oh man, what a sort of... And he was like, that sucks. Yeah. And then someone else who was on the season was allowed to have nicotine patches because he was recovering. Right. So I think Johnny Fairplay was like, what the fuck, I'm out of here. Yeah. Do people ever try to smuggle things onto the island? Yes. In season eight, someone smuggled matches up their butt. Oh man. Recently a... quite iconic survivor player turned OnlyFans model, admitted that he sewed a magnifying glass into his shorts to start a fire with. Wow, that's industrious. There were some rumors in season 37, completely unsubstantiated and I'm pretty sure false, that Mike White of Emoji Movie and The White Lotus fame, he was on Survivor, had THC smuggled to him by his boyfriend. Right. I'm pretty sure that's not actually true, but that's one of the rumors. I wonder how that's going to help you in the island survival situation. Being able to sleep easier is a massive thing. Yeah. But Mike White being on Survivor, that being how I know him, always trips people up. People are like, Oh, have you seen the White Lotus? I'm like, yeah, I love Mike White. He was on Survivor. So was that, uh, like. that would have been the point when they were allowing celebrities on or was he, was that kind of his claim to fame was survivor? No, they, so celebrities are always, they're allowed to apply. There's nothing stopping them from being on. If they're fans of the show, they can apply. And Mike White is just a massive fan. Yeah. He wanted to be on, so he applied. Gotcha. Oh, that's great. I remember John Morrison from WWE was on one season, wasn't he? He was on the same season as Mike White. Was he really? Yeah. What did he call? Johnny, John Hennigan's real name. He was Johnny Nitro on the show. Mayor of Slam town. Yeah. That was a great era for him. Like he, he really found his character. I was watching him on another show, uh, called Lucha Underground, which was, we don't need to get into that, but like, yeah, that's when he came up with the whole mayor of Slam town gimmick. And I remember a lot of people came around to liking him on the show. Cause he was apparently came across quite well in the season of survivor. He was in. Yeah. Oh, he was, he was a phenomenal, um, just like. He wasn't great at the strategy. He was a bit under edited and I don't know if we'll have time to get into the whole editing of survivor interesting new stuff, but he was a real standup dude. And he had this really good confessional about how, you know, people know me as a celebrity, they know me as a mayor of slam town, Abraham Lincoln, um, a bunch of other stuff and he was like, but out here, I'm just trying to be John, you know, which was really cool. Yeah, that's great. He would have been really good at all the physical challenges because I know he does parkour and he's in like insane shape. And yeah, he would have been in that. Yeah. He was really good at all of those challenges. That's why they voted him off at the birds or pretty close to it. Yeah. He's going to be a problem soon. Yeah. All right. I'll try and get back to the errors. We got up to season eight before we went on a season. It is the first time they brought back returning players and then we get into. the experimental era, as I call it, which I say goes from season nine to season sort of 12, 13. Because in season nine they did men versus women again, but then really tried to hand it up to make the men and women hate each other. Oh no. Season 10 was the first time they had a tribe get knocked all the way down to one person. Love it. That tribe just lost every single challenge. Oh my goodness. Really funny to watch. Season 11 was the first time they brought back returning players mixed with newbie players. Mm-hmm, yeah. And season 12, they brought in the hidden immunity idol for the first. Second time it was technically in season 11, but worked differently. Season 12 was the first canceling votes iteration of the immunity idol. Yeah, yeah. I shouldn't list every experiment, but they were so experimental in this era. Season 13, this will blow your mind, they did a race-based season. They did white people versus black people versus Asians versus Latinos. Did they seriously do that? They seriously did that. Oh my goodness. What year did they happen in? That would have been either 2006 or 2007. Oh, it doesn't surprise me as much. I thought if it was like 2010s, I'd be like, oh, come on, guys. They lost almost all of their sponsors off of that. Did they really? Yeah, Coca-Cola stopped sponsoring them. Yeah, I can imagine. There's a theory that Jeff wanted to quit Survivor at that point. If he was trying to kill his own creation. Yeah. I suppose you got to do what you got to do to get fired. Right. Cause they're not going to, they're not going to let him go from survivor. Right. Like he's, he's probably kind of in it for life at this point. Isn't he? Yeah. He's almost 70. I'm pretty sure. Is he really? Yeah. Double check that he is 61. So, Wow. I wonder how much longer he's going to keep doing it for. Probably until he dies, I reckon. Yeah. All right, we went on another tangent. Continue with your... So it's the experimental era. And so season 14, they tried a haves versus have-nots thing. They literally said, one tribe, we will give literally a coffee press, a bed, a sofa, like you can build a house, you'll have toilet paper. And another tribe, we will give nothing. Let's see if they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and win. they couldn't. I'm starting to understand the whole social, the social experiment aspect of Survivor now with these kinds of experiments they were doing. Yeah. Season 15, they finally went back to normal. From season 15 to season 18 is a sort of more normal Survivor. You did have fans versus favorites in that, which was the first time they did half fraternities, half newbies. That was good. Gabon, which is season 17, is like, what happens if you want to watch people really bad at Survivor play Survivor? Aside from that, it's a pretty normal season. I was going to ask at some point, like, is there a season you would recommend somebody to watch who, who likes the idea of getting into Survivor, but isn't quite sure where to start? Like, is there any one kind of like, this is the one to watch? I'll say there's a lot of contention about this. Some people say start with season seven because it's the best older season. But I think that doesn't give you enough context for new Survivor. So I'm going to say Season 18. Season 18? Which is Token Scenes. It's what now, sorry? That Survivor Token Scenes. Oh, yep, yep. Impossible to spell. But that's a pretty classic season of... I'll check a link to it in the description, yeah. Now, yeah, that's a pretty classic season of Survivor. If they want something slightly more modern, Season 28, Brain vs. Brawn vs. Beauty, which we'll get into the theme later. I remember the promo for those. I remember really clearly the Heroes vs Villains series. I remember all the ads for it. I don't know what it used to play on TV here, but you used to always see them, yeah. Yeah, so we're about to enter the Russell Hance era. Do you know that guy? I don't know, what does that mean? Russell Hance was the biggest phenomenon on Survivor. Some would say that he saved the show. Right, okay. He came in and he was like, I am just going to be a massive dickhead to everyone. the heel. Like he, basically yeah, he like, he stole people's socks and threw them in the fire, he poured out people's water, he like, hid the machete, and his theory was that if he controls how they think, he can control how they act. And so he thought if I can make everyone super depressed and miserable, then they'll be easier to control. Oh my goodness. And this was so... It's so dark. It was really dark, but this ended up with like, he got this massive edit, he had like a hundred plus confessionals and the winner of that season only had 19. Right. It was such a massive phenomena. One thing that he came back for here as Mr. Villains. Yeah, I can imagine. I imagine he was on that side. So I just see the zoom meeting. We've got about 10 minutes left. Uh, maybe we should break this into a two-part if you've got time and you have time. I've got time. Yeah. Okay. So. If you're interested to keep listening to me talk about some of this. That's fascinating to me. Okay. So folks we're going to have, uh, what can you sort of cover in 10 minutes? Uh, you reckon the rest of this list you're going through? Yeah, I reckon I can get through the rest of it. And then let's check back in the weeks to come and, uh, check out the part two of this interview. So take it away, Henry. Cool. Uh, after the Russell Hintz revives the show, it then immediately tries to kill itself again. Right. They go through what is called the. The Dark Ages where every single season is basically them trying to engineer one specific person winning. Right, okay. They bring back a bunch of celebrities to try and boost the show. They bring back a bunch of returning popular players and that goes on for a bit. That's where I got into Survivor. In The Dark Ages? I'll talk about the Survivor in the second part. Yeah. Interesting. Imagine what's in the worst season of a TV show and going, fuck, this is so cool. There's nowhere to go but up from there. So it's just a short interjection. The way you're talking about this show reminds me a lot of the way wrestling companies are, they often will have these pivotal figures who will like quite often bring the company out of a massive slump and then the, the person gets injured or they leave to go do acting or something happens and they leave. Like WWE has only just recently, I feel like gotten good again. And. Weirdly enough, it's because John Cena actually left and it seems like they've had no choice but to push their other styles and it seems like it's working out for them because like that company was like so firmly on his back for the last 20 years and now that he's gone, I think they've gone, oh crap, we actually need to like promote other people. So it's really fascinating to hear about the urban flow of Survivor with this kind of thing. So I won't keep going with that and I'll shut up. to the section of the two parts, but we can just pick it up. Yeah. Russell Hance over the course of four, no, five seasons, no, four seasons. Over the course of four seasons, he played in three of them. There was Russell Mania going on at Survivor. No kidding. He was a hit and they went, we are going to milk him dry. The season after Russell Hance's... Yeah. Well, after his third season. On the next season, they were like, ah, he doesn't want to play anymore. Uh, uh, fuck it. Get his nephew on. And so then his nephew was on for a season and his nephew, they edit this arc of the nephew trying to redeem the family name. Right. And then two seasons later, they bring the nephew back. And funnily enough, when they finally stopped bringing back hands, people is when survivor gets good again. They it's possibly similar to the John Cena thing. They focused on the wrong. aspect. They ran it into the ground. Oh yeah. Ray Mysterio. Are you familiar with him? Oh, that's one of the only wrestler names I know. So Ray Mysterio's son, Dominic Mysterio, they brought him into like Ray's, it's weird because Ray's actually in a good part of his career. He's had so much stem cell treatment on his knee, which was giving him trouble for years that he, he's actually back and they brought in his son, which is Dominic. And initially they were, doing this story where Dominic was like, teaming with his dad and helping his dad in the feuds and like he was wearing a costume that was really similar to his dad's and people were just like, ah, it's so boring, like we don't care about this. And then he joined, Dominic joined this faction called the Judgment Day who are like, you're familiar with Rhea Ripley? She's very popular with TikTokers and like Gen Z and stuff right now. I think she's what people would consider a muscle mommy. She's like very goth. She's like jacked. She's got piercing. She's got black hair. Like she's, I think honestly, apart from John Cena, Rhea Ripley is the most popular wrestler at the moment. And so Dominic joined the Faction and like, they were just this sort of group of hooligans that were like, they were heels, but they were all clearly like looking out for each other. crew come together and it became like an act that people wanted to see. And then they leaned into him sort of like potentially being Eddie Guerrero's illegitimate son. He's just been doing like his own thing. As soon as he got away from trying to like, you know, everything of his character was to do with his father, people loved him now. And so like, yeah, I imagine it's that same thing. They're trying to engineer, they're trying to engineer the story that they want with this guy's nephew, Russell's nephew, was it? And then- The nephew just stopped coming back, is that what happened? We'll talk about the intricacies of returning players. They only bring them back every now and again, but with his nephew in particular, he got into a massive fight with the producers and he threatened to beat people up and they ended up informally kicking him off the show and they've sort of blacklisted the entire Hans family after that because then Russell went on Twitter and started saying a bunch of shit. It even leaked into other reality TV show. some sort of hance I think Russell's brother or cousin was on big brother and he got ejected for headbutting someone. Oh my goodness this family are just a bunch of maniacs. They had their own TV show for a bit called the Hance Show because of how famous they were from Survivor and it sort of drove the show to the ground. Real quick before I know we're going to end this part soon but is the name Ashley Massaro Ringabel? I've heard the name yeah. Survivor China and she was a wrestler from 2005 to 2008. Yes, that's the story. I believe I wasn't watching at that time, but I definitely have heard the name. Yeah. And she was on Survivor too. Yeah. Gotcha. Well, let's wrap this half up here. The Zoom is about to run out. So thanks for joining us for part one, Henry. We'll be back very soon for part two, but yeah, thanks for joining me and we'll see you soon. Hey, see you soon. Thanks for having me. You're very welcome. And we are back again. I hope you enjoyed that. I certainly enjoyed the conversation. I found it really informative. I find the whole idea of reality TV a fascinating human experiment. And it's really cool to learn about how the format of the TV show changed. And I think Survivor is one of those interesting cases of you can train people to a certain extent, but you can't fight against human nature. So like I said before, that was part one of three. I'm not gonna release them all in one go just to oversaturate the market with survivor content. We will have next week, I think, is going to be a breakdown of my recent comedy tour with David Carrillo. As of the time of this recording, I am sitting at home and we have got four shows, four or five shows left on the tour of our 22 show run. Tonight's show, we are going into Little Andromeda. on the terrace to go and do that. I'm really, really looking forward to doing a show there again. Fantastic little theater. But by the time this episode drops, I believe the tour will have come to an end. So definitely check in next week if you want to hear all my thoughts about the whole process of booking a South Island wide comedy tour. What was good? What could have been done better? And just general our insights. I think, I think David's going to join me on it. I'm not talking. quite sure we might tee that up if we can. So if you've come from a show and you're actually listening because of one of those little flyers I handed you after one of the shows, I really appreciate you taking a punt and jumping on board. Hope you're enjoying the podcast and I hope you'll keep listening for many years to come. If you need more Henry in your life, you can find him on just Facebook at the moment, Henry HickmanComedian. As always, I am at TaylorRuddleComedy on all the platforms except for Twitter. And I think that's basically all the plugs that I have to do at the moment. As always, Laugh Seller every Thursday except for the last Thursday of the month at Austin Club. On the last Thursday of the month join us at Sprigganferne Miraval, two absolutely fantastic little comedy shows for you to join us at. We've got Quiz Night every Tuesday night at Brides Bar and Grill, and every Wednesday night at Moi Moi. We unfortunately had to cancel the Black Pearl Quiz Night as it just wasn't picking up enough steam, so that one for now is, uh... not happening anymore but I don't want to say too much but I think I might have something quiz adjacent and very exciting to announce very soon on Tuesday so keep an eye on the Can Do Comedy Facebook page for that announcement. The only other thing I've got to plug is I am going to be in Auckland over the next end of this week heading up on Wednesday to well I'm heading up to see Phil Wang at Sky City You can catch me in the audience at Sky City Theatre on Thursday night. And then I am going to be doing a short spot at the Wednesday show at the Classic Comedy Club. At, I believe the show is 7.30. You might have to check that. Check the Classics website. But I am going to be rambling away on that comedy show. Really looking forward to that. I really enjoy gigging there. And I'm looking forward to doing some of the new stuff I've worked out on this tour for the people of Auckland. Don't know if you heard that, but that was a siren going past in the background. So, so because of that, I must bid you adieu. I'm going to get going. Thank you so much for listening. As always, I really appreciate every single one of you that tunes in to listen to my nonsense week after week. The podcast has been growing, albeit steadily. So all I can do is just keep creating them and tell your friends, leave a review. All that good stuff really helps me out. So with that. catch you next time. Thank you so much for listening. Ruddler out.

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