Jeff Probst wears custom-made shirts but six-year-old pants

Although Survivor Tocantins has been on essentially a three-week-long break, Jeff Probst is all over the place, even when he’s not blogging. With a new Survivor tonight, he’ll be on prime-time TV Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week.

Tomorrow night, he guests as himself on the Starz series Head Case as a patient in therapy, and the episode’s preview shows him sitting on her couch with his shirt open asking Ali Wentworth’s therapist character about orgasms; the description says “Jeff Probst suffers from a case of mistaken identity.”

Ironically, that was the premise of his appearance on TV last night, when he was on CBS’ I Get That A Lot, a one-off (thankfully!) special that featured the “world’s biggest stars” (i.e. the biggest exaggeration ever) actually not being recognized as they worked ordinary jobs. No one recognized Heidi Klum except after she brought up Seal one guy said “you do that show with the homosexuals and the clothes,” which was the funniest part about the whole stupid show.

Probst worked in a grocery store and told one customer–a guy who said he watched Survivor but had no idea who Probst was–“I just think it’s a smart show.” He seemed to be having fun, and screwed around with one woman by charging her multiple times for the same item; later, she said, “Thank god he was good looking otherwise I would have lost it.” Probst said that because no one got mad, “My faith in humanity has been restored.” Alas, mine has not, since people apparently still find hidden camera shows to be funny rather than pointlessly and/or humiliating.

With all this Probst action, I thought I’d answer a random question that I get asked with surprising frequency: What kind of shirts does Jeff wear on Survivor? I asked him that in Brazil last fall, and he revealed that he gets the question a lot, too: “People ask about the shirts a lot. Wives ask me for their husbands,” he said.

The short answer: He used to wear dyed Columbia shirts but as of Survivor Gabon, he wears custom-made shirts. His Tribal Council cargo pants, however, are the same pair he’s worn for 12 seasons.

Probst told me his shirts “used to be Columbia and we would just color them, we would dye them, because they don’t exist [in shades of blue] because they usually just come in stone or something. Last year we started making our own short-sleeve shirts [for Gabon], which seems so silly, but if you go try to find short-sleeved shirts that kind of look Survivorish, they all have their logo all over them. And we can’t wear them, we can’t come out in a Quicksilver shirt, even though I love Quicksilver shirts, you can’t do it. So, we took shirts that we liked and we modified them and we made them. and I will say they’re quite expensive hand-made shirts, which is funny because you look at them and you think, ‘It’s a short-sleeved shirt, dude.'”

As to his pants, Probst said, “we save money on the shorts because I’ve been wearing the same shorts for nine years. These pants are six years old, that’s 12 seasons. They’re so thin now and so faded, and I wear them to Tribal Council, and I wear ‘em at home, and I wear them to the beach, and then I throw them in my suitcase and bring them back to Survivor. And the wardrobe person every year goes, ‘We’ve got to get you some new ones,’ and I say, ‘No, we’ll never find any, these are great.'”

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.