In the year 2000, a show called Survivor premiered on CBS.
Seventeen years later, countless imitators—and countless other shows that are wildly different-sounding in concept but eerily similar in spirit at their core—have tried and quite often failed at recreating the winning Survivor formula.
And the key component of that secret sauce? Jeff Probst, obviously.
Just how unusual it is to strike chemistry gold is evidenced, ironically, by the fact that Probst's stab at his own daytime talk show failed pretty quickly. His widespread appeal wasn't enough to dominate that particularly competitive market—but could you imagine Survivor without him?
At this point, with last night's episode of Survivor: Game Changers still managing to tread new territory for the series after 34 seasons, some of them action-packed and others largely forgettable, Probst has become so much more than a reality-TV show host.