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Jeff Probst’s balls commentary is, yes, on purpose

From “like those balls are glued to his disc” to “Joe’s balls start to move,” Jeff Probst’s Survivor challenge color commentary double entendre is often very entertaining. What comes out of his mouth is also completely intentional. Balls!

Probst told EW’s Dalton Ross:

“Not only am I aware, I am consciously trying to say things that sound normal but have enough innuendo to be funny or just corny. We are all in on the joke! The players, the crew, the editors and I think even the network. It’s all in fun and we make sure to only include the ones that are PG.”

This is not surprising, but it is somewhat disappointing. My assumption has been that the Survivor challenge props may sometimes be selected for their comic potential, but I also assumed Probst was just narrating the action and the double entendre was a bonus.

In fact, that’s what he used to do, apparently. Being so deliberate seems to be a shift. In 2014, he told Dalton Ross:

“If only I had a faster wit these challenges could really be funny. My vocabulary is definitely limited in situations like this (I’m not the wittiest guy) and despite the glowing opportunity for double entendres, I’m also focused on the challenge. Fortunately they are kind of fool proof — anytime you can say something involving ‘one of his balls just hanging there waiting to drop’ it’s probably funny.”

I agree with 2014 Probst. Those lines are funnier if he’s just describing things and they happen to have a second meaning.

I’m often guilty of going for the cheap joke, but it’s been my experience that, for those of us non-comedians, the jokes that land best are often unintentional. Once in an improv show, I tried to guess an activity from a series of clues, and said “motor boating.” The audience was thrilled; I had no idea that there was a second definition.

Knowing that Jeff Probst is trying to make references to testicles and other things that make juveniles like me laugh dampens the fun just a little. But I will still laugh. Balls.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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