Jeff Probst Sets the Record Straight About the Origins of Survivor's Iconic Line

Jeff Probst and Survivor super-fan Jimmy Fallon discuss the new season and got the scoop on the iconic line

By Chris Harnick Feb 05, 2020 2:17 PMTags

Jeff Probst has been with Survivor since the beginning of time—well, since the beginning of the show in 2000—and now he's revealing the origins of the show's long-running line, "The tribe has spoken."

Probst stopped by The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and in addition to revealing how host Jimmy Fallon gave the CBS reality show one of its latest twists, he revealed where that iconic TV line came from.

"When Survivor started, Regis [Philbin] was on with Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and he had that line, ‘Final answer?'" Probst said. "And so I had this big white board and I was like, ‘You guys, we got to have our Regis line.' We had all these lame lines, couldn't come up with anything. We're getting close having tribal counsel and I'm talking with Mark Burnett, and I said, ‘Mark, I got to have a line when we snuff the torch.'"

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According to Probst, Burnett suggested something along the lines of, "All right, obviously your tribe don't want you around no more." Probst said that didn't really flow, so they were at an impasse. "And he goes, ‘Well, I don't know what to tell you, Jeff. The tribe has spoken.' And I went, ‘Aw, dude, you just said it: The tribe has spoken,'" Probst told Fallon.

Probst said he's almost taken credit for it but gave it up to Burnett when asked.

Survivor returns on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. for its 40th season with Survivor: Winners at War. The edition features 20 winners from Survivor history competing for a $2 million prize.

Survivor airs Wednesdays, 8 p.m. on CBS. Winners at War kicks off with a two-hour premiere. The Tonight Show airs weekdays at 11:35 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)