Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

If Jeff Probst Were President

Jeff Probst, seen here in the summer of 2012, is a TV host, and is not actually the president.
Frederick M. Brown
Getty Images
Jeff Probst, seen here in the summer of 2012, is a TV host, and is not actually the president.

Note: It is 100 percent true and 51 percent relevant that this entire story was written inside my brain while I was in the dentist's chair under the influence of anesthesia. I began to think, "Jeff Probst [the host ofSurvivor] will not be happy until he is more important than tribal council. Until he is king of CBS. Until he is President of the United States. President Jeff Probst." So the entire thing is numbness-induced in so many ways. Make of that what you will.

President Jeff Probst's State Of The Union Address, delivered Feb. 2 [xxx]

My fellow Americans.

Our way of life: back up for grabs.

Here's how it's going to work. Republicans, you've got a three-seat advantage, so you'll be sitting three people out. Remember, you cannot sit out the same representatives two votes in a row. The rest of you: My new set of policy proposals will be read aloud. You'll race through the mud pit, get over the climbing wall, and swing across this pond of real Potomac water. When you get to the other side, you'll assemble these three giant Styrofoam blocks representing the three branches of government into a single cube. Then you'll dig for an ax and drive the ax directly through this rope representing the dangers of faction, and then you'll release a lever with which you will vote on my policy proposals.

Want to know what you're playing for?

[No one answers. Everyone looks around.]

Freedom. Safety. This tarp. Prosperity. Toothpaste. Equality. Two blankets. Education. A hammock. A strong economy. An unlimited supply of Pringles.

So what do you think? Worth playing for?

[Congresspersons shift nervously in their seats.]

Because I've gotta tell ya: I'm lookin' at you guys, and I'm thinkin': What is goin' on?Can you explain it, Elena?

[JUSTICE KAGAN is seen looking around nervously. She does not speak.]

Do you worry at all that these people are looking at you and thinking, "She's not writing a lot of big opinions, she's kinda quiet, maybe we should get rid of her?"

[JUSTICE KAGAN wrinkles her brow.]

Boehner, do you worry about whether people see you as a power player, and whether that might make you a threat?

[REP. BOEHNER does not respond.]

All right, let's get to the vote.

[PRESIDENT PROBST takes out an urn.]

The issue with the most votes will immediately be declared resolved, and we will not think about it anymore, and we will move on to more enjoyable things, such as the Colby Donaldson Bronze Bust Building Act, or COLDONBROBUBUA. That issue must leave the Capitol immediately. I'll read the votes.

[PRESIDENT PROBST reveals slips of paper, all of which are in his handwriting, one at a time.]

Medicare. The Post Office. Medicare. The Post Office. Medicare. The Post Office. Medicare. The Post Office. Four votes Medicare. Four votes The Post Office. One vote left.

First issue voted out of my administration ...

[PRESIDENT PROBST pulls out and turns toward the Congress a slip of paper that reads "MEDACAIRE," after which there is a frowny face and a flower.]

Medicare. Medicare, the tribe has spoken.

Well, I think the looks on everyone's faces clearly demonstrate that nobody expected this would be the way our consideration of a major policy would end forever. Go back to camp.

[PRESIDENT PROBST walks off stage and jumps into a helicopter parked in the rotunda.]

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

👋 Looks like you could use more news. Sign up for our newsletters.

* indicates required
New Orleans Public Radio News
New Orleans Public Radio Info