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Honest Questions with Jeff Probst
Aired February 08, 2008 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): He made it cool to vote people off an island and introduced us to forming an alliance. After 15 seasons, Jeff Probst is back with a new twist. "Survivor: Fans Versus Favorites."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m getting fat. I`ve gained weight.
BECK: From eating bugs in the outback, to living with wildlife in Africa, the man behind the monumental mega-hit has seen it all. America, the tribe has spoken. We`ve got Jeff Probst for a full hour.
BECK: Jeff Probst, host of "Survivor," joins me now. You have the premiere of season 16.
JEFF PROBST, HOST, "SURVIVOR": This week, yes.
BECK: Yes. Which is absolutely nuts. And you were unemployed.
BECK: Before it started.
PROBST: That`s true, yes.
BECK: For 18 months.
PROBST: $5,000 in the bank.
BECK: At the most.
PROBST: Yes it was less than five grand.
BECK: What did you want to do?
PROBST: I wanted to do -- this sounds ridiculous, I know. But I had no resume to speak of, but I wanted to do something smart. I wanted to do something where I would actually use my mind in some way to contribute, rather than just -- the jobs I was being offered were read prompter: "This next couple likes to skinny dip. Take a look." And I thought, and they pay you money -- they pay good money.
BECK: Right, right.
PROBST: Like crazy money.
PROBST: And I thought I`m going to lose my mind.
PROBST: And then I heard Mark Burnett, I was literally driving on the 405 in California, and I heard this crazy British, Australian, I couldn`t tell where he was from, saying, "I`m going to put 16 people on an island and force them to liver together, and every three days they have to vote somebody off."
I`m like, that`s a TV show? And I went after it. I went after it. I went after it. I wanted that show.
BECK: What did you do first time you met him?
PROBST: First time I met him, he talked for -- we met for two hours. I was the first person he met. I`d been up for two shows at CBS that I didn`t get. I lost one to Dick Clark and one to Maury Povich. But I was on that little list they talk about. Like, oh, he`s somebody we know.
PROBST: So I was the first person to meet with Mark, and he talked for an hour and 45 minutes about, you can`t handle this. There will be rats crawling over your face. It`s brutal out there. I had like five minutes to talk.
And I took my -- I had a picture resume, they tell me to bring. So I tore it up, and I said Mark I had this whole speech ready, you know. I`m going to lay it out. I`m going to do this anecdote here. And I said Mark, I ripped it up, and I said, "Look, I`m not a studio guy. I`m a student of the human condition. I`m a writer. I`ve been in therapy. I get this show. Give me a chance."
And he just looked at me and he went, "Thank you for your honesty. Very nice to meet you."
BECK: But the rat thing?
PROBST: The rat thing.
BECK: The rat thing.
PROBST: I didn`t care.
PROBST: I didn`t see them anyway.
PROBST: There were rats, yes. They were large rats.
PROBST: But I swear, Glenn, it was one of those times where I left the meeting and I called all of my friends that were hosts, or in that world, and I said I just met on a job that`s the perfect job for me. I just know it. And I didn`t hear from him for months.
BECK: Right. What is -- what was his reaction to your meeting?
PROBST: That was it. He literally said, thank you for the honesty.
BECK: No, but I mean, now...
PROBST: In retrospect...
BECK: In retrospect, what happened? Did he say, "You`re the guy?"
PROBST: I ended up months later, I said there`s only one other guy out there that I think would be good for his job, and his name is Phil Keoghan, who now hosts "The Amazing Race" on CBS.
And sure enough, four months later I get a call, and they say, "It`s you and one other guy." I get to CBS. The other guy is Phil Keoghan. And I thought, something about this just feels like my destiny.
PROBST: Which I know sounds, I`m aware sounds a little corny. But I don`t care. That`s what I felt. I just really enjoy human nature.
BECK: You live -- this is the most bizarre life. You live -- you go out, now it`s in Micronesia, which you give me a thousand bucks and I can`t find it.
PROBST: I`m glad to hear that, because I`m horrible.
BECK: I have no idea where...
PROBST: And you have your name on this show. Glenn Beck.
BECK: Yes. What does that mean?
PROBST: I don`t know. You`ve got your name anywhere. That`s a lot of pressure.
BECK: This is like, let me lie to you, America. Micronesia, I`m pretending to make him feel better. I know exactly where it is. Micronesia. You go out and you live there. And you`re living -- do they have hotels in Micronesia?
PROBST: In Micronesia they did. We had good living in Palau, yes.
BECK: In Palau? I love Palau, especially this time of year. But you usually live, like, in a tent. For how long?
PROBST: About two months.
BECK: For two months. So you`re disconnected from the real world. You`re living in a tent, in some God-forsaken place with rats all over your face.
BECK: And then, just when you think you`re going to get back to the real world, you move back to Hollywood.
BECK: Good God almighty, how do you stay sane?
PROBST: That is a culture shock.
Beck: It`s got to be.
PROBST: You know what? When you`re on an island with island people. And you`re in the Cook Islands.
PROBST: The men and the women, they look like island people. There`s no -- this is not a Mel Gibson movie where all the women are beautiful and they`re on a little -- no. They look like island people.
PROBST: Then you come back to Hollywood.
BECK: Yes. And they look like plastic people.
PROBST: That is a bizarre -- and it hits me the same way. I`ll literally land in LAX and start driving home, through -- you go through Beverly Hills and all these places and you see it`s craziness.
BECK: You know, I talk to Anderson Cooper, and one of my favorite phrases, only because it drives my teenage daughters crazy, I was in the makeup chair the other day, and Anderson Cooper was sitting next to me. And I had just seen the piece that he had done for "60 Minutes" on the rape of all -- the systematic rape of the women in the Congo.
BECK: You saw that? Was it the most heartbreaking thing you`ve ever seen in your life?
BECK: And my daughter and I are watching it and we`re just spellbound by it. And the whole time I`m thinking, how does Anderson Cooper stay sane? He lives, and then he comes back here to New York, Central Park West. He`s got all these plastic people. He`s got to sit down with celebrities and say, "So, how is your life?"
BECK: How does he do it?
BECK: You know, it`s the same thing with you. How do you...
PROBST: Well, except his is so much more...
BECK: No, no, no, I understand that. But, still you will see great, great poverty.
BECK: And people who -- and also people who are real, and are rooted in things that are real. And then you go to the land of plastic.
PROBST: Well, being in Africa, a while back, a long time ago in our third season we were in Africa in Kenya, and we`re doing a TV show, a game show.
PROBST: And it`s for a million dollars. And we`re surrounded by this beautiful wilderness of all kinds of animals and wildlife, and also incredible poverty, and a huge AIDS problem.
And on top of it, we`re driving with our driver one day and he said, "Now explain -- explain the show to me again."
So I`m explaining it to him. And he said, "What does the winner get?"
And I said, "The winner gets a million dollars." A million dollars. "I said what would a million dollars be like here?"
He said, "I would rule. If I had a million dollars I would rule this whole place."
And so that whole combination of poverty and dreams and beautiful wilderness, and we`re doing this silly game, "Survivor." Those are the things that get in my head and make me -- remind me that I`m a little speck. Like, Palau is a little dot -- I`m the little -- I`m just one person here trying to figure it out.
BECK: And then it helps when you go to the bank and you say, "Deposit this, please."
PROBST: Yes. The commas are nice.
BECK: The commas are nice. Well, you know, I understand.
PROBST: I`m not going to lie.
BECK: And did I ask you how much you`re pulling down a year?
PROBST: Yes, you did.
BECK: Oh, I did? OK. Let me ask you this, on the show. You guys do...
PROBST: How long can you go without a commercial?
BECK: Why, are you uncomfortable?
PROBST: No, I love this. Usually it`s like a minute and a half.
BECK: No, no, no. Nobody`s watching this show. We can`t sell the time. We can`t give it away. The -- the contestants that you have.
BECK: Got to be a lot of testing.
BECK: Just to make sure that you`re not, you know, in Micronesia...
BECK: ... you know, miles away from anything, with a nut job. And yet, there always seems to be a nut job. Is it almost like Burnett says, put a nut job in?
PROBST: I can`t answer this on the grounds it may incriminate me.
BECK: No, but there`s got to be. There`s a meeting where they`re like this guy is not nuts enough to kill somebody or eat them, but he`s just nuts enough to be on.
PROBST: That`s exactly what happens.
BECK: Is there a nut job quota?
PROBST: No, no. But to be honest with you, yes, we do a chart, and it`s a deep profile, psychologically. And they usually come out, and our psychologist will have, like, a red dot, a yellow dot, a blue dot or a green dot. The red is trouble. Red means danger, danger.
But the others will say to us, you know, will be great for story. Will make story happen. Very passive, going to be quiet. Those kind of things.
BECK: Do red dots get on?
PROBST: Well, that`s what I`m going to say. There`s that -- there is the occasional person that you say, "All right, look, we really want them. Can you put them on or not?"
And our doctors don`t mess around. In all seriousness they don`t. They`ll say, "No, we can`t. Because if something happens to this person or if they injure themselves when they come home, we`re not going to be responsible. They can`t be on your show." Sometimes they`ll say, "Yes. We might have to talk with them when they`re done but they`re going to be OK."
So ever since...
BECK: So bizarre.
PROBST: ... Glenn, ever since there`s been a couple of suicides on some of -- there have been some people who have killed themselves on reality -- as a result of reality shows.
BECK: Right, right.
PROBST: Nobody messes around now.
PROBST: You`ve got to pass through a lot of profiling. CBS is not going to let somebody on the show...
PROBST: ... that they think.
PROBST: Now if you fool us, man, it`s a whole other thing. Sometimes I wonder. We`re out there and I wonder how did you get through psych? You`re nuts.
BECK: I was just of wondering -- I`m just kind of wondering, here at CNN center what color my dot is. I`m just saying.
PROBST: Red. For sure.
BECK: Lots of it. Just covered with red. Back in just a second.
BECK: Back with "Survivor" host Jeff Probst. The 16th season is under way now, which I find makes me feel like I`m 800 years old.
PROBST: Makes you feel -- I`ll tell you, we have -- we have two guys on this season that just turned 22. And they say, you know, "Yes, I`ve been watching since I was 13." I can`t -- that can`t be. I can`t be old enough to have done this show that you started when you were 13.
BECK: Is -- is -- Burnett is just the smartest guy you`ve ever met?
PROBST: I thought you were going to say the richest guy I`ve ever met.
BECK: Yes, well.
PROBST: He`s pretty genius. He is. And you know, I only know Mark in one capacity. And that is working with him. And Mark is the kind of guy that just doesn`t have any limitations to his thinking. That`s what I`ve learned early on.
Mark`s the kind of guy that would say, "I want the camera to drop down, hover in front of Glenn`s face, and then spin out like some kind of an alien." And your instinct is, well, Mark, it`s a cement ceiling. We can`t get -- but you don`t do that with Burnett. Instead you go OK, all right. And sure enough you come up with a way to make it hover and split out.
BECK: You`re from the Pacific Northwest, right?
PROBST: Yes, originally from Kansas and then from Seattle.
BECK: You worked at Boeing?
BECK: Do you know my grandparents and aunts and uncle, because they all worked at Boeing, too.
PROBST: Yes, that is the...
BECK: No, my family was...
PROBST: A Boeing family?
BECK: A Boeing family. But you didn`t actually build planes?
PROBST: No, I worked in the motion picture department. My dad worked at Boeing.
BECK: I didn`t know they had a motion picture department.
PROBST: They did. A massive one, actually. I worked in Renton, Washington.
BECK: What were they -- what were they making?
PROBST: They would do corporate training videos for Boeing employees. Like, you know, how to do certain things on the job.
BECK: So it`s one of those like we used to watch in school, like, "And here`s how you put the bolts in the plane?"
PROBST: Exactly. I made my living doing that stuff.
BECK: That`s good stuff. That wasn`t -- that wasn`t enough for you?
PROBST: That wasn`t enough. You know what happened is? I got a job there, my dad got me a job because he worked there. And I worked for this guy Don Seminelli (ph), and he said just shut up and listen. Shut up and watch. Just shut up. Whatever you do, just shut up. So I would just sit there and watch. And sooner or later, why don`t you play with these machines? Why don`t you write your own script? Why don`t you try to produce one?
And finally I got to produce one, and I hired this guy to do the voice -- to host it. And we paid him $600. And I`m looking at the sheet going, he got paid $600 to walk and say, "And this is a rivet." And this is a -- you know. So I said on the next one, "Could I hire myself?"
And Don said, "Yes, give it a shot." And after that I thought, this is easy money. You`re going to pay me to do this?
BECK: Except television, what a lot of people don`t understand is, television is a nightmare to make. I think movies has got to be even worse.
PROBST: It`s worse, yes.
BECK: It ain`t digging ditches.
BECK: Or living in tents with spiders crawling all over you. But, I mean, it`s an easy job. But it`s just so tedious.
PROBST: It`s tedious. Yes.
BECK: Just a nightmare to make.
PROBST: Yes. Which is why shows like yours, or "Survivor," where you`re really -- what you see is what you get.
PROBST: We`re not doing that three times.
PROBST: We do it once.
PROBST: And if your hair doesn`t look good, sorry, dude, you`re ugly.
BECK: Yes. There ain`t nothing -- there ain`t nothing happening here. It`s just not going to -- it`s just not going to change.
You and Anderson Cooper are friends.
PROBST: Yes. Well, you know, we`re -- it`s funny. I met him on the street one day in L.A., outside a dry cleaners. And I thought he had done a good job on "The Mole," and I went up and said something to him and we talked a little bit.
BECK: Don`t say "The Mole" to him anymore.
PROBST: I know.
PROBST: But my point, I was on Regis last week and he was hosting.
PROBST: And I told the story and I said, you -- he was very candid in saying, "I took a left turn. I tried `The Mole,` and it`s not for me. I`m a news guy, and now I got to fight my way back in because they see me as some reality guy."
And I said, "Look what you did, man. You are news." I mean, when you think of Anderson Cooper...
BECK: You know what? You know what`s amazing about Anderson? Do you know him very well?
PROBST: I don`t.
BECK: A Vanderbilt, who grew up, you know, spent you know, some of his summers in the Breakers Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Fascinating guy. One of the most real, down-to-earth guys you`ll ever meet in your life. And he can do a little bit of everything.
BECK: He can do it all.
PROBST: Kind of irritating. A little annoying.
BECK: And he`s good-looking. And it pisses you off.
PROBST: I just saw him walking into your show, and he`s got his little long trench coat on. Oh, whatever, Anderson.
BECK: Next time you see him, hit him, will you? Don`t tell him I said that, but hit him for me.
PROBST: I`ll check him.
BECK: Because he`s just -- so, actually on the 12th season of "Survivor," you thought it was done. Was it the 12th?
BECK: That you said, well...
PROBST: My contract was up.
PROBST: And I had had -- here`s another truth about TV. You`re lucky enough to get your first job, and it is a break. I mean, CBS and Burnett gave me a shot. But you have that first contract forever. And ever, and ever. And you`re making the same money you were making, you know, when you started.
So, yes my contract was up, and I thought, "All right. There`s only one host on the show." You know. So I was -- I was just thinking, I think it`s time for a new contract. And I wanted to try and get paid.
How many times do you have leverage where you`re on -- I`m regretting saying this even as I`m saying it, but I`m trying to figure out how to get out of it and I really can`t, so I`m just going to continue moving forward.
PROBST: But how many times do you have any leverage? I just said I had leverage. I had no leverage. I`m so lucky -- let`s rewind, Glenn. I`m just so happy to be on "Survivor."
BECK: Yes. Yes.
PROBST: What was the question?
BECK: Yes. No, the question I think that we need to get to is, first of all, how much was -- how much did they pay you when you first started?
PROBST: This is a sign that somebody`s been on a show too long.
BECK: How much money were you making when they first -- when they gave you that contract and you were just like, "I just want to be in TV land?"
PROBST: I was making less than any job I`d ever made on TV.
PROBST: And -- and, you know, we -- my agent tried to get a little more money and CBS said, `Listen, this show is going to make this idiot a star. If you don`t want it, we`ll go to the next guy."
BECK: Right. And so you took it. And how long were you locked in for?
PROBST: For awhile. Like a six-year deal.
BECK: Six years you were making garbage money?
PROBST: Yes. They upped it a little bit in the third year.
BECK: They threw you a bone.
BECK: They`re like we`re feeding people.
PROBST: OK, here`s the thing. Now I got a -- now you have to really talk turkey, which is you make more money than you should for what you do. The only reason you make money is because the show makes more money.
PROBST: So when I sit here and say I was underpaid or I wanted to get...
BECK: Oh, no, no, no. It`s all relative.
PROBST: It`s because the show`s a hit.
PROBST: I dropped out of college. I`m happy to have a house.
BECK: Yes. Mark, I say you pay him less. See! He sees...
PROBST: This seemed like such a good idea.
BECK: It was a good idea to come on the show about 15 minutes ago.
PROBST: Glenn Beck wants to have you on. Yes.
BECK: All right. Boiled tarantulas and seafood smoothies. Yummy. How about a bucket of cow`s blood? We`ll get into some of the -- some of the menu items with Jeff Probst.
PROBST: Glenn, my phone is ringing.
PROBST: I think I`m going to -- got to go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not doing it. That`s the only thing going through my head, is I`m not doing this. I knew everybody on my team was going to eat this except for me. So I had to do it. You know.
And you didn`t want to let your team down. This is for immunity. So this is huge right now. And I just did it. You know, and I can`t believe I did it now. I can`t believe I just did that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: I mean -- I can`t survive without a McGriddle.
BECK: You know what I mean?
PROBST: I can`t go two hours without a snack.
BECK: No. I mean, I can`t -- if there`s not some place that I can get -- I couldn`t do that.
PROBST: That`s fun seeing that clip from season one.
PROBST: That was really fun.
BECK: That was -- no it wasn`t. That was really gross.
PROBST: And looking at this, and seeing -- what was fun was being out there creating something.
Oh, look at that. That`s good stuff.
BECK: Have you ever eaten it?
PROBST: I have. I did eat those grubs. And Gervaise (ph) is right, you`ve just got to pop that thing down. But then they still kind of move as they`re going down, because they haven`t quite died yet.
BECK: OK. I mean this sincerely, with all due respect. What the hell is wrong with you?
PROBST: You know what the best time was in Africa, Burnett...
BECK: You just told me in the last break they were paying you crap and now you`re eating bugs that wiggle down. I mean what the hell...
PROBST: You`re only there once. You`ve got to live.
BECK: That`s not living. That`s eating bugs.
PROBST: Beck, I only have so many quarters to put in my meter. I don`t know when that meter is going to say, "Fail." You know? I want to get the most out of this.
The best, though, was Burnett and I in Kenya drank cow`s blood that I got to shoot the dart in the cow, which is a ceremony. They don`t hurt the cow. They just...
BECK: Yes. Well, that`s the important part. You can just bite the heads off of these things, but not a cow.
PROBST: Not a cow. So we drain the blood into this little thing and then we did all the coagulated whatever. And then we pour two glasses, and it`s hot blood. And I just didn`t -- we didn`t think about it and we just...
BECK: Hmm, like to have a glass of hot blood right before bedtime.
PROBST: Crazy. It`s like tomato juice or something.
BECK: Can I tell you something? My wife just said to me, "You are such a freak." It was last night -- night before last, I had a drink a lot of water, I`ve been sick. So -- "Got to drink water, got to drink water, got to drink water." So I had to have a glass of water.
PROBST: Sexy voice.
BECK: Oh, yes, she`s hot. So bring -- you are, sweetheart. I apologize for that.
What did you do to me?
PROBST: Now we`re even.
BECK: So, she`s got it, so I had to have a glass of water. And I said, "Honey, I can`t do it. I can`t have a glass of water next to the bed all night. It will have dust on top of the water."
PROBST: Oh, you are a freak.
BECK: I`d never survive on "Survivor."
PROBST: Dust in your water? Glenn.
PROBST: Can I again go back to the fact you have your name on the show? You`re Glenn Beck.
BECK: And by being Glenn Beck allows me to not have to have dust, a little film of dust on the water. I`m a little freak. Like, you know Howie Mandel. Donald Trump doesn`t like to shake hands. I mean I`ll shake hands with you, but don`t you dare try to give me a glass of dusty water.
BECK: And I mean that.
BECK: All right. Back in just a second. How the heck did we get there? Back in just a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have no idea how much of an advantage we have. Not only do we have a shelter, but we have fire, we have food, we all have full bellies. We are so excited and so pumped for this challenge. Ready to kick some butt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re doing three courses for every meal. It`s ridiculous. I`m getting fat. I`ve gained weight since I`ve been here.
PROBST: Joel, you buying all this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
PROBST: You guys are tougher than you look.
(END VIDEO CLIP, "SURVIVOR")
HARRIS: The guy in the blue tank top...
PROBST: Jonny Fairplay.
BECK: Dead within a week, right?
BECK: I mean, he was like -- he`s emaciated, dead within a week. Isn`t he the guy who jumped on...
PROBST: Yes -- oh, no, he`s the guy that...
BECK: Jumped on...
PROBST: Oh, Bonaduce.
BECK: Danny Bonaduce.
PROBST: And on our show he lied about his dead grandma. He was infamous for crying and saying, "My grandma died," and everybody believed it.
BECK: Do you think the show -- do you think the show -- I mean, it really brings out the worst in people.
PROBST: It can. Yes. It`s hard.
BECK: What do you think about that?
PROBST: Well, I think it brings -- I think it brings out your true character a lot. Because we`ve had just as many people down on their luck, hungry, fire not starting, but their attitude is, you know what, guys? We`ll get it. We`ll get it.
PROBST: And then there`s the guys like, "We`ll never get it. It will never start."
PROBST: I think it brings out a lot of true...
BECK: Do you ever think about just giving another contestant a big, heavy stick to take care of those people?
PROBST: No, I love -- I love when -- I -- everybody that`s on the show wants to be on this show.
PROBST: That`s the thing I`ve learned. And they don`t want your hand to help them up.
BECK: No, I meant take a big heavy stick...
PROBST: To get rid of the guy?
PROBST: But, I mean, I like that. I just like wherever it goes. Because these people are trying to work through some stuff. And I`m going back to have a cheeseburger.
PROBST: So I`m not too worried about it.
BECK: So they`re eating -- they`re eating crap. What do you eat?
PROBST: Yes. We have -- well, we have a kitchen. We have a crew of 400. We`re like a movie.
BECK: Four hundred people?
PROBST: Yes. Yes. We have about 300 of ours and about 100 local. So it`s massive.
It`s a big show. The great thing about "Survivor" is you`re watching, and you think that there`s like four cameramen out there. But there`s not.
It`s a big show with a -- you have accounting department, you have a unit department, you have a location department. You have toilets and showers and...
BECK: Hold on. Hold on.
PROBST: You know.
BECK: I`ve got to live in a tent in Micronesia with accountants?
PROBST: Yes, I know.
BECK: You`ve got quite the life.
PROBST: Yes, it`s sexy.
BECK: Lucky you.
PROBST: Yes. But we have a little bar. You know.
BECK: Yes. I don`t mean -- we don`t have to get personal, but you`re not married. You`re dating.
BECK: I hear you`re a minister?
PROBST: Well, I am an ordained minister, which, I have to admit, is off the Internet. But again, going back to...
BECK: Church of Universal Life?
PROBST: Thank you.
BECK: Modesto, California? Me too. Good to see you.
PROBST: Hello. Right. How are you?
BECK: Good to see you, brother.
PROBST: Nice to see you.
BECK: Yes. Yes.
BECK: Peace be upon you.
PROBST: Yes. I remarried my parents in their...
BECK: Did you really?
PROBST: On their 35th wedding anniversary. And then my friends the other day, Craig and Erica (ph), invite me over to the house and they go, "Hey, we`d like you to marry us."
BECK: That`s so funny.
PROBST: And I said, "Well, I am an ordained minister." And they said, "You`re kidding?" And I go, "No, I thought you were kidding."
They go, "No, we`re serious." And I said, "So am I." It`s perfect.
BECK: Yes. Yes, it`s great.
BECK: I think it`s like -- what is it like ten bucks?
BECK: Twenty-five now.
PROBST: But it`s good for life.
PROBST: So, you know, I`m available.
BECK: Yes. To do...
BECK: How much -- how much do you charge?
PROBST: I don`t charge a lot.
BECK: You do it for God?
PROBST: I do it for love.
BECK: Yes. You do it for love.
PROBST: I`m from the church of love.
Do you ever see yourself getting married?
BECK: Is it hard to date?
PROBST: No. No, it`s easy. You just call people, or you say, you know, hey, would you like to -- no. Definitely.
BECK: You`re such a jerk.
PROBST: No, I...
BECK: Do you know how hard it would be for me to date?
BECK: Look at...
PROBST: All right. I got the same issues, brother.
BECK: Oh, I know the cross you bear. My gosh, look at you.
PROBST: It`s just as hard to date -- but, no. I would love to have a relationship like that and have kids. That`s definitely what I want.
BECK: Really? How many kids you want?
PROBST: Probably two.
BECK: Yes. Can I tell you something?
PROBST: Here it comes.
BECK: No, no. Stop at two.
BECK: Trust me. Stop at two. You never, ever want them to be able to triangulate you.
PROBST: OK. Good point.
BECK: And, after that, they surround you, and you`re a dead man.
PROBST: Is two easier than one?
BECK: One is one. Two is 20.
BECK: Three is full-fledged crazy town. I mean, I know a couple who have nine children. Not kidding you. Once in awhile they`ll just come over to our house and cry. And they`ll just come over and just be like...
PROBST: Oh, man.
BECK: And here`s the really big secret that I just figured out.
BECK: They never leave.
BECK: They`re always -- you`d think at 18 they`d go away. They don`t.
PROBST: Yes. All my friends are saying -- they`re like, "I only got 13 more years with her."
PROBST: I`m thinking, what kid has ever left the house at 18 anymore?
BECK: No. No. They call you.
I mean, I just realized -- I`m starting to see from my dad`s perspective. Your folks still alive?
BECK: Yes. Do you call your folks?
PROBST: Yes. All the time.
BECK: Yes. They`re not enjoying it. They`re not enjoying it. They`re like, would this kid just leave us alone, man?
PROBST: That`s funny. I just called my dad yesterday to help me with a light.
BECK: Yes. See?
BECK: And dad`s like, I thought he was going to be gone after 18.
PROBST: You`re crushing me. I thought my dad was going, I love my son still calls me.
BECK: Yes. No, he doesn`t.
BECK: He doesn`t.
PROBST: Good to know.
PROBST: Good to know.
BECK: Is it hard for you to date because of who you?
PROBST: No. No. Honestly, no.
I don`t live that kind of life. I mean, I have a job on TV and I get it. But I don`t hang in those circles. I don`t go to...
BECK: You live in Hollywood?
PROBST: I live in Los Angeles, yes.
BECK: Los Angeles, OK.
PROBST: But I really -- all my friends are just normal.
BECK: No, no, no. But I mean, when you -- come on, you`ve never had a problem with people who you`re -- you get a feeling -- you`re like, oh, jeez, they want to be near me or they want to date me because of what I do or who I am?
PROBST: I mean, occasionally. And I think you can, you know, weed those out.
BECK: Pretty quickly?
PROBST: But honestly, I think if you`re not in that environment, no. You`re not going to meet those people.
BECK: Yes. Outwit, outplay, outlast. You?
BECK: Anderson Cooper.
PROBST: I love how I just watched you look down at an array of cards...
PROBST: ... and take a moment with complete confidence because your name is on the screen, and go, I`m going to ask him -- I don`t know what the hell I`m going to ask him, I`m going to make it up as I start talking.
BECK: I`m just saying -- well, I have this one.
PROBST: Outwit, outplay Anderson Cooper? Anderson Cooper would squash me. Guys -- we just went through it. He`s smart, good looking, he`s a Vanderbilt. I`m from Kansas.
BECK: Yes. But he`s a Vanderbilt, but I think he could kill you with his bare hands.
BECK: I don`t think there were a lot of Vanderbilts -- maybe the commodore could have done that.
PROBST: I don`t even know what that means.
BECK: It is getting a little Central Park here, isn`t it?
What is it -- what is it about "Survivor" that attracts you to certain players? When you look at a certain player, do you know at the beginning, you say, this guy, I`m going to love?
BECK: And what is it?
PROBST: It`s a big opinion. Like you would be great on "Survivor," because I know I could go to you and you`d give me something.
BECK: I`d be voted off the island like that.
PROBST: Yes. Yes. Probably go too soon.
PROBST: But there are guys -- like there`s a guy on this season, Jonathan Penner (ph), and he`s just a smart guy. You know, he`s in his 40s. He`s a writer. He gets it.
He can put a phrase together that`s colorful and enlightening. And any time you`re in trouble, in terms of just entertainment, and you realize, God, I need some goals here, I just look to Penner (ph) and go -- basically I`m looking at him saying, I`m coming you to you in a minute, so I expect something, so start working on it. And, you know, those guys deliver.
Jonny Fairplay, this goofball on this season, same way. On a reality show...
BECK: You don`t like him, do you?
PROBST: You know...
BECK: Is there a contestant that you -- and can you even say? Is there a contestant that you just went, I hate this person?
PROBST: There was a point with Fairplay where it got weirdly personal. Like outside of the game, which is sort of this world wrestling thing we had going.
PROBST: He was just taking some potshots at me, and I thought, this is -- it kind of irritated me, and then I got over it and realized just trying to do what he can do.
BECK: What is this penalty for talking about who wins?
PROBST: Well, supposedly it`s $5 million. That`s what I think the contract says. You will be sued if you, you know, betray your confidence.
PROBST: Your confidentiality. But I don`t know how you`d ever get it out of anybody. It`s not like anybody has $5 million.
BECK: Ever had a problem with any of that?
PROBST: No. I think the good news is, enough people talk that there`s always information out there that`s right. I see it and I`ll go, hmm, that`s right. And then on the next Internet page, that`s wrong.
So there`s enough misinformation out there, that you can never really tell what you`re reading is true or not.
So do you think -- I mean for -- for instance, I think -- I know several people who are on the -- you know, the Donald Trump thing...
BECK: ... that`s going on right now. Is it worth money? Because I think I know.
PROBST: I don`t think it`s worth anything. I don`t think it is.
PROBST: You can bet. Some places let you bet, which I can`t imagine. The show is over. We do know who won. You`re crazy to take my money. I`m telling you, I was there.
BECK: You`re going to -- I bet I know more than you do.
All right, back -- back in just a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONNY FAIRPLAY, PREVIOUS "SURVIVOR" PARTICIPANT: Look -- Danny, Danny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Just two people out of control.
PROBST: Yes. That`s -- that is why I didn`t even watch Fairplay on our season, because I don`t equate "Survivor" with that.
PROBST: I really don`t. I see our show as this pedigree of good storytelling.
PROBST: And that`s just disturbing -- it`s disturbing to watch.
You know, my wife watches "The Biggest Loser." And she just loves it because it`s -- you know, it`s just good storytelling.
BECK: And it`s just, you know, good, decent people. I mean, you know, it`s like "Survivor."
PROBST: Yes -- no...
BECK: ... there`s bad people in it and good people in it.
PROBST: And they`ve got a great, positive goal. They`re trying to change their lives for the better.
BECK: You have, I would imagine, had life-changing experiences when you went over in Africa.
BECK: We were talking about it a little earlier. And, you know, you saw the things that you have seen.
What has been the -- what has been the big change in you, and what have you -- how has it -- in a positive way, how has "Survivor" opened you up?
PROBST: Well, it`s -- it`s really, it has really -- it has just opened me up. I mean, it`s exposed me to other cultures. It`s made me realize how much I don`t know about the world.
I`m constantly saying things in interviews that I later hear back and think, did I say that? Is that really what -- and it`s made me realize, I am not the center of the universe. I am one person. One. Just one.
There`s billions of us. I`m one. Because, you know, it`s so easy to get caught up in, I`ve got to do this, I`ve got a busy life, I`ve got a schedule -- I`ve got to, I`ve got to -- I`m just a guy. And it`s gotten -- it`s manifested itself into more balance for me.
PROBST: Because in Los Angeles, when you have downtime, everybody says, what are you working on now? What are you going to work on next? What`s your next project?
And I don`t know. I`m still trying to play a C chord on the guitar. That`s what I`ve been working on since Saturday.
BECK: You know, I have to tell you, I`m getting to the point now to where, first of all, I don`t believe in a balanced life. I don`t think that exists. It`s got to just kind of be integrated in everything.
And I spent this last weekend with just some incredible people who are just all in to charity, and wildly successful. You know, billionaire kind of people. And I kind of left there going, gosh, what am I doing with my life?
That`s really -- that should be the priority here. You`re involved in a couple of charities. What are you -- what is The Serpentine?
PROBST: Well, The Serpentine Project is actually my foundation for helping foster care kids, kids who come from the foster care world and spent their whole life...
BECK: The only time I`ve ever heard "Serpentine" is from the movie, the original movie "The In-Laws." Do you remember that?
PROBST: I remember the movie.
BECK: Do you remember where he was like, "Serpentine, serpentine"?
PROBST: Never heard of that.
BECK: OK. So what is the Serpentine? Where does that come from? And what is it?
PROBST: Well, it came -- where I got it from is the Native-American culture, and it means realizing -- it`s the dream stone, it`s realizing one`s potential. And I just -- I think about how -- like I mentioned to you Don Seminelli (ph), this guy from my past who gave me my first job at Boeing. He gave me a job.
Mark Burnett, Leslie Moonves at CBS -- those guys gave me an opportunity. I`ve had opportunities my entire life where somebody said, I`m going to take a chance on you, give it your best shot.
You know, and I had some connections in the foster care world, and just started realizing, these guys have -- they don`t have anybody.
PROBST: They don`t have any family. They don`t call their dad. He`s not around.
And so the foundation is -- the idea is to take on only so many kids that we know we can be there forever. And that`s my mandate to the small group we have, which is, if we take a kid on, you call us for advice, for a Rolodex, for financial support. Let`s figure out what you want to do, how we`re going to get you there. And we`ll get you there.
And I had this kid Rigo (ph) call me, our first kid, call me the other day, and it`s been about a year we`ve been working together. And he left me a message saying, "Hey, Jeff. It`s Rigo (ph). I wanted to ask you some advice on something."
And I heard the message and I thought, that`s what I`m talking about. That`s what I -- that`s what I want this thing to do, is somebody you can call, like your folks.
BECK: I was at -- this is, I don`t know, three, four years ago. I was at church and somebody said, "Would you take somebody home?" And it was a kid that was going to church, and he was probably 8.
And lived in -- didn`t know until I got into the car what section of town he lived in, in Philadelphia. I mean, bloodbath city.
And we`re driving down the highway, and I`m talking and he says, you know, I go to school and I live kind of close to school, and I usually, you know, go across this park, cut across this park to get home. And he said, but sometimes I have to run through the park.
And then as we`re getting to his neighborhood, he points to the park -- it`s not a park. It`s just a burned-out building and grass that has grown up. I mean, I wouldn`t -- I wouldn`t let my worst enemy play there.
BECK: Got up. His two uncles were smoking dope in front of the house in a van, and he says, grandma won`t let them in the house, they must be doing something wrong because grandma won`t let them in the house sometimes.
And I thought to myself, how does this kid get out?
BECK: How do they get out?
PROBST: Ever, yes.
BECK: And it`s kind of what you`re trying to do.
PROBST: Yes. And I`m aware that, you know, if there was a -- there was a saying somebody said to me, which is, "A waterfall begins with but one drop." I`m just trying to do my little part, because I`ve been really lucky. And I`ve been really fortunate.
My whole life, great parents, great brothers, great friends. Everything. So I feel like, you have to. If we don`t all kind of do a little something...
PROBST: ... you know, what are we -- what are we doing it all for ourselves?
BECK: How did you get involved in pediatric AIDS?
PROBST: Well, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is -- I`ve had a long association with them. And we started when -- I started before Africa, but when "Survivor" went to Africa, Mark saw the devastation of AIDS and said, we`ve got to do something.
BECK: It`s crazy.
PROBST: And he said, let me -- "I`m going start a foundation." And I said, "I already know a foundation."
And so Mark looked into it, he became a board member. And we`ve now raised over $2 million for them just through -- just through donating our props.
We put them up for auction, (INAUDIBLE), or this and that. And people bid on them to have a piece of "Survivor." And it`s raised a couple million dollars.
I also work with St. Jude, which is a -- that`s the children`s cancer hospital.
BECK: Yes. That`s the -- what`s her name, Marlo Thomas.
PROBST: Marlo Thomas, yes.
BECK: Marlo Thomas.
PROBST: Great organization.
BECK: Yes. OK.
PROBST: Great kids.
BECK: And when we come back, we have a little game of "Survivor" of our own.
PROBST: Oh, we do?
BECK: It might involve him drinking warm cow`s blood. I`m just saying.
Coming up in just a second.
BECK: Jeff Probst is with us from "Survivor," 16th season...
BECK: ... just got under way.
Going to play our own "Survivor."
PROBST: Got it. I`m ready.
BECK: Got it? You ready?
PROBST: I don`t know what it is.
BECK: Just inputting two people. You just have to vote one of them off.
BECK: OK? See what we end up with.
Bert and Ernie?
BECK: Why the hatred for Ernie?
PROBST: No, I voted Bert off. I like Ernie.
BECK: OK. Why the hatred for...
PROBST: I don`t know. Bs. I don`t like Bs.
BECK: Regis versus Kelly?
PROBST: Oh, come on!
BECK: Yes. Yes.
PROBST: You can`t do that to me.
BECK: Oh, no. You`re angling for the job, go ahead. Knock him off, baby.
PROBST: You know what? I`ve got to vote Ripa off, because he was there first. It`s his show.
BECK: What a suck up.
Regis he`s gunning for you.
PROBST: It`s true.
BECK: Britney versus K-Fed?
PROBST: Oh. Wow. I`m going to keep Britney.
PROBST: Yes. It`s more interesting.
BECK: It`s the red dot.
PROBST: The red dot, yes.
Letterman versus Leno.
PROBST: Easy. Bye-bye Leno.
PROBST: I`m sorry. It`s nothing against Jay Leno.
BECK: Yes, it is.
PROBST: But I like Letterman. You`re either a Letterman or a Leno guy.
BECK: No. I know. You know, Leno, you know, he`s fine and everything.
BECK: But he`s just so...
PROBST: He`s just different for me. I just like the Letterman show.
Glenn versus Osama?
BECK: I know, it`s a tough one. Think of all the things that he`s done.
PROBST: Well, I`ve got to vote off Osama.
Hillary versus Glenn? Yes.
PROBST: You know, I`m going to keep you.
BECK: You`re going to keep me?
BECK: Try this one on -- Glenn versus Satan?
There`s no picture. Where`s the picture?
BECK: We don`t have -- oh, there it is.
PROBST: Oh, I thought that...
BECK: That is a recent photo. Not of me, but of him.
PROBST: Right. Glenn versus Satan, I`m going to -- I`m going to keep you.
BECK: You`re going to keep me.
Elisabeth versus Rosie.
PROBST: Bye, Rosie.
BECK: Bye, Rosie?
PROBST: Yes, vote off Rosie.
BECK: Elisabeth started on...
PROBST: She did.
PROBST: She was this sweet, little, quiet, beautiful woman.
BECK: Now she`s...
PROBST: Who knew she had that fire in her belly?
Gecko versus the Energizer Bunny?
PROBST: I love the bunny.
BECK: Oprah versus...
PROBST: Versus who?
BECK: That`s a little strong on the bunny. I mean, it was a little passionate.
Oprah versus Tyra?
PROBST: Oh, boy, this is easy. I would unload on Tyra.
BECK: Glenn versus -- this is uncomfortable. I don`t think we could -- Glenn versus Richard Hatch?
PROBST: Bye-bye Richard Hatch.
Glenn, you win!
BECK: See, there you go.
BECK: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.
PROBST: Thank you for having me on.
BECK: New season of "Survivor" on now.
America, good night.