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Jeff Probst

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Jeff Probst
JeffProbstProfile
Profile
Birth Date November 4, 1961 (1961-11-04) (age 53)
Hometown Wichita, Kansas
Occupation Host/Executive Producer
Years Active 2000-present

Jeffrey Lee "Jeff" Probst is the host of Survivor. He also acts as an Executive Producer, working alongside the show's creator, Mark Burnett.

Biography

Probst was born in Wichita, Kansas, but grew up primarily in Bellevue, Washington. After graduating from Newport High School in 1979, he attended Seattle Pacific University and worked at Boeing Motion Picture/Television studio as a producer and narrator of marketing videos.

Probst was ordained as a minister by the Universal Life Church in 1999. He remarried his parents for their 35th wedding anniversary. He also officiated at the marriage of Jenna Fisher, star of "The Office."

Probst hosts the "Howard Stern Celebrity Fan Roundtable" for Howard Stern on Sirius/XM radio. Probst previously served as host of VH1's "Rock and Roll Jeopardy"; hosted several programs for FX and traveled around the world as a correspondent for "Access Hollywood." In 2001, he was voted one of People Magazine's "Most Beautiful." In 2002, Probst wrote and directed the feature film "Finder's Fee," starring Ryan Reynolds, James Earl Jones, Robert Forster and Matthew Lillard. The film won many awards and, thanks to the critical success, Probst was selected as one of 2001's "Ten Directors to Watch" in a series presented by the American Cinematheque showcasing innovative and exciting new directors from around the world.

In 2007, Probst founded The Serpentine Project, a non-profit organization designed to help young adults transition out of the foster care system. In 2011, they joined forces with the larger non-profit organization Alliance for Children's Rights, which has provided 100,000 kids in L.A. with free legal assistance and advocacy. Each season, SURVIVOR memorabilia is auctioned off and, to date, the auctions have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization.

Probst is a four-time Emmy Award winner for "Outstanding Reality Host," the only winner since the awards inception in 2008. He has traveled the world serving as both host and executive producer for this popular series. Probst also received an Emmy in 2001 when the show won the first-ever "Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class)." In 2009, Probst partnered with Mark Burnett as creator and executive producer for "Live for the Moment," for CBS, which featured a person with a daunting diagnosis who wants to live the best life possible and fulfill their dreams.

Probst is a regular fill-in for Regis Philbin on "Live with Regis and Kelly." He was also a regular guest host for Larry King on "Larry King Live."

Probst is also an ordained minister and has served as the officiant at the weddings of several friends. He was ordained by the Universal Life Church of Modesto, California.

A native of Wichita, Kan., Probst is married and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children, when not traveling the world. His birthday is November 4. He can be followed on twitter @jeffprobst.

Television career

In addition to Survivor, Probst previously hosted the FX network's original half-hour show dedicated to answering viewer letters, Backchat along with Sound FX, and a series of afternoon shows surrounding parenting, relationship and medicine. (1996). Probst's also hosted the VH1 series Rock & Roll Jeopardy! from 1998 to 2001, and was a correspondent for the syndicated program "Access Hollywood." He also wrote and directed the Lionsgate released film, Finder's Fee. People magazine named Probst one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in 2001. He often contributes to Jeopardy! by giving Survivor related clues from the show's venues, has twice appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy!, first in 2001 and again in 2003, and made several cameo appearances during the April 1, 2010 episode.

He was also a frequent guest star on the sketch show MADtv, guest starring once a season since the show's 9th season.

Probst also hosts "Celebrity Superfan Roundtable" for Howard Stern.

In 2007, Probst founded The Serpentine Project, a non-profit organization that empowers youth transitioning out of foster care to reach for their dreams by opening the door to possibilities. The organization recently merged with The Alliance For Children's Rights.

On October 20, 2008, TV Guide reported that Probst is developing a new reality TV series for CBS called Live For The Moment that will feature people with terminal illnesses being taken on "the last adventure of their life" before they die. As of now, no production nor filming took place.

On April 1, 2009, Probst appeared on the CBS reality television special I Get That a Lot, in which he worked a cash register. Probst had extended his contract to host another two seasons of Survivor, contracting him through season 24.

In 2011 it was announced Probst would be hosting a daytime talk show in conjunction with CBS Distribution for launch in 2012.

Probst made a guest appearance on an episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother on October 3, 2011.[1]

Hosting Survivor

Probst has hosted Survivor since its inception in 2000. According to Mark Burnett, Probst had turned down several hosting jobs prior to Survivor. Burnett claimed Probst got interested after reading about the concept of the show in a newspaper and made an audition video where he was making mock press interviews about the show, talking about its huge success. Ironically, Burnett recalled about how he himself did the same thing when he pitched the show on CBS, saying he made a mock Newsweek and Time Magazine covers. When he interviewed Probst, Burnett claimed Probst "demanded" to be on the show. Probst was one of two who got on Burnett's shortlist, the other being Phil Keoghan. Trusting both hosts can deliver, Burnett sought advice to Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation to help him choose the most viable host. Burnett ultimately was given the final say on who to pick, and despite picking Probst by instinct, the same conversation benefited Keoghan as well, who went on to host another CBS reality competition series, The Amazing Race. [2]

He later stated that he had worked hard to get a meeting with series creator Mark Burnett, because he believed the show was "something special." He is best known for delivering the series' signature catchphrase to losing contestants, "The tribe has spoken. It's time for you to go." Probst stated the he came up with the said catchphrase in a conversation with Burnett two days prior to filming Borneo.

As the show's host, he made several voiceovers during early seasons. Additionally, Probst is also present in almost all important events in the game such as challenges, Tribal Councils, twists and in challenges, Jeff serves as the official referee who also makes commentaries as challenge progresses for the benefit of the viewers. While officiating a challenge, Jeff reserves the right to disqualify a player at any point during a challenge whenever foul play is caught. The only time that Jeff did not officiate a challenge was during Do-It-Yourself Challenges, where the castaways conducted the challenge themselves. If injuries occur at any point during a challenge, Jeff would temporarily hold the challenge, while medics check the contestant in question. Depending on the severity of the injury, or if the injured player is forcibly eliminated from the game to seek further medical attention, Jeff holds the right to continue or postpone a challenge.

Over the years, Probst apparently developed a keen eye for body language and mannerisms. In Tribal Councils, whenever he sees an interesting gesture from any of the players, he usually notices and makes it a conversation piece, inducing controversy. Also, when players make a fatal, game-changing mistake, he would either criticize or make subtle, sarcastic jokes about it.

In Survivor: Pearl Islands, Jeff is revealed to have a distaste for people who quit the game, as seen in Osten Taylor's decision to voluntarily leave the competition. After Taylor left Tribal Council, Jeff was visibly disgusted. This feeling has been consistent over the years, during the double quits of NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn in Survivor: Nicaragua, as well as Colton Cumbie quitting in Survivor: Blood vs. Water. Despite this, there have been exceptions: first was Jenna Morasca quit Survivor: All-Stars because she was having bad omens about her dying mother. The second is Janu Tornell, who became fed up with her tribe, but decided to "throw a wrench" in her tribe's plan to oust Stephenie LaGrossa by quitting the game at Tribal Council, thus canceling the voting process for that round. The third time that Jeff was compassionate about a quitter was Kathy Sleckman, when she quit because the constant raining sent her into depression. The fourth time was when Dana Lambert quit in Survivor: Philippines, but it was due to the illness she felt while in the game, even though she was still permitted to continue and observing her for the next 12 hours if her condition is fit to continue the game. Jeff said that even though Dana's status in the game was technically a quit, Jeff said that he respected Dana's decision, and even said that he might do the same thing if he was in Dana's position; nevertheless, Jeff is largely spiteful on contestants who leave the show because they cannot handle the harsh environments anymore, which he felt as a weak reason to leave. 

Personal life

Probst was previously married to Shelly Wright, a psychotherapist. They divorced in 2001.

Jeff once dated a former Survivor contestant, Julie Berry of Survivor: Vanuatu. But he revealed in the Philippine Daily Inquirer that they have broken up, but still remained friends.[3]

Probst in now married to Lisa Ann Russell, ex-wife to actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar. They tied the knot in December 5, 2011.

Outside Survivor

Jeff Probst, alongside the co-author of Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Chris Tebbetts, has written a children's book series called Stranded which focuses on a group of four children ship wrecked on an island. The book was released on February 7, 2013.[4] A sequel entitled Trial by Fire was released on June 13, 2013.[5] A third book that wrapped up the first arc of the Stranded series entitled Survivor was released on November 19, 2013[6] The second arc of the series, called Stranded: Shadow Island with first book entitled Forbidden Passage was released on September 4, 2014.[7] A sequel to Forbidden Passage entitled The Sabotage is slated for release on February 3, 2015.[8]

Trivia

  • While most of the show's memorabilia were auctioned for charity, Jeff keeps the Snuffers as personal souvenirs.
  • Revealed in his Tout[9] page, Jeff does not read the votes cast at the Final Tribal Council beforehand.
  • In an interview with Dalton Ross, Jeff revealed that from all the Tribal Councils he conducted, his favorite was when Erik Reichenbach gave up his Immunity Necklace to Natalie Bolton back from Survivor: Micronesia. His favorite challenge was the Buh-buh-buoy challenge from Survivor: Palau.[10]
  • Before coming with his popular catchphrase, "the tribe has spoken," Jeff came up with "a long list" of unsatisfying catchphrases. In a conversation with Mark Burnett, Jeff, at the time was still unable to produce a fitting catchphrase for players voted out at Tribal Council, in a similar rein to Who Wants to Be A Millionaire's, "is that your final answer?". In an interview, Jeff stated that Mark initially came up with the lines of, "your tribe obviously don't want you around no more." Jeff felt it was too harsh, prompting Burnett to respond with, "it's the way it is, the tribe has spoken you've got to go."[11]
  • Jeff reveals he also test runs challenges with the Dream Team occasionally to experience the physical pain that entails it.[12]
  • According to Carter Williams, Jeff "is terrified of butter knives".[13]
  • Jeff usually stacks the votes in such an order where he thinks could extract the most suspense, especially when a player he knows possesses a Hidden Immunity Idol receive votes.[14]

References

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