‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst & Creator Mark Burnett Used to Run Challenges ‘Just For Fun’

TV personality Jeff Probst and producer Mark Burnett arrive at the Anti-Defamation League entertainment industry dinner

Getty TV personality Jeff Probst and producer Mark Burnett arrive at the Anti-Defamation League entertainment industry dinner

In an Instagram Q&A, “Survivor” host Jeff Probst revealed if he has ever run a challenge just to see if he could do it. He also weighed in on what his favorite type of challenge is. Read on to find out what the Emmy-winning host said on the CBS Instagram account.

Probst Used to Run Challenges All the Time ‘Just For Fun’

When he was asked, “Have you ever run a challenge just to test yourself, see how far you can go?”, Probst did not disappoint — he used to run challenges all the time “in the old days.”

“Here’s the deal — in the old days, [creator and executive producer] Mark Burnett and I would often run challenges just for fun,” said Pobst. “Back then — this is a long time ago — it really was fun and we attacked them, which is exactly what you have to do if you’re on the show, you have to attack the challenges.”

Probst also revealed something that fans may not know about the show — back in the first season, the crew was so small that everyone had to take turns testing the challenges out before the contestants competed in them.

“In season one, our crew was so small, we only had like 80 people, that everybody had to take turns running challenges because we didn’t have anyone to test them. We didn’t have the Dream Team like we do today. So one day it might be me testing a challenge, the next day it might be a camera operator,” revealed Probst.

He also said that he ran a challenge as recently as two years ago — we hope he means during “Winners at War,” which filmed in 2019. It feels right that Probst would have wanted to run a challenge on the show’s 40th season. But anyway, he said that doing that reminded him of just how hard the challenges really are.

“The last one I ran was two years ago and I was reminded how difficult they are because when you sit at home, you think, ‘I could do that!’ and then you get out there and you realize, ‘Oh, that wall that I have to climb over is 20 feet high and that buoy I have to untie is eight feet under the water in the ocean.’ So the challenges on ‘Survivor,’ they’re real and the thing that’s great about them is the right challenge can humble anybody,” said Probst.

So, What Kind of Challenge Is His Favorite?

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When asked, “What is your favorite type of challenge and why? Trivia? Puzzles? Teamwork challenges? Endurance/coordination?,” Probst gave a great answer. First, he basically said that no one type of challenge is any better than the others because they test different things.

“That’s a great question because you need all of them, all types in every season of ‘Survivor’ because — at least so far — nobody has ever been great at everything. So you always want the unpredictability of ‘what will today’s challenge require from me or my tribemates?'” said Probst.

But he does have a personal favorite, saying, “For me personally, my favorite would be teamwork challenges because I like the strategy of a group of people having to perform in specific roles and the pressure that comes with having to deliver — because you either deliver in your role or you fail and I like that pressure.”

“Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!

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