Your browser is out of date and may not properly display all features on this and other websites.
Update your browser for a better experience on GlobalTV.com.
The Cleveland Show
May 11 2012, 04:15 PM by Christine Montgomery
For the first time since I began interviewing Survivor castaways, I was given a few words of caution by the interview liason before my conversation with Survivor: One World's latest boot victim Dr. Greg 'Tarzan' Smith started. "He's quite wordy" I was warned. I was also cautioned that I would probably only get one or maybe two questions in for the entire interview, "He talks a lot." Fair enough, but I had done my research on this season's zan-iest (sorry) castaway and I felt ready for Tarzan. I knew Tarzan has claimed that his antics on Survivor were all an elaborate act - an acting performance he believes merits an Oscar (they don't tell surgeons that TV actors win Emmys?), and I was ready for all the deeply intense medical jargon I was about to be subjected to transcribing. Or at least, I was as prepared as anyone could be to get Tarzaned.
Unsure of whether or not I've been Tarzaned, if we all have, or if Survivor's producers were too (and Greg Smith claims his cunning permeated even their acumen), I listened to Greg Smith shed light on his curious behaviour throughout the season. It was an interview with the purpose of exploring only one question: is Tarzan a bonafide eccentric, or is he some kind of genius? The interview was a reminder that those characteristics are often not mutually exclusive.
I know you've been asked before, but I have to ask again. Was it all an act?
Alright first -- you must give me my Academy Award.
[at this point Tarzan repeats me my name. It struck me as curious because earlier in the season Tarzan claimed he had a condition that prevented him from remembering people he meets first name. Boom, Tarzaned.]
Well, after the Academy Award I'd like to say unbeknownst to the average person, If you look at this thing and analyse it from a psychological standpoint, (Survivor) isn't really survival of the fittest. Maybe in the beginning. If you'll notice it's the losers that generally end up towards the end of this game one way or another. So no matter how smart you are there's always a bit of luck in this thing.
So the smart play, I was told by the producers - and they're brilliant and they're absolutely correct and I saw that they knew what they were saying - they said if I told people I was a doctor in the very beginning, and I didn't, I said I was a medic and I said I was 52 years old. Not 64! That I'd be kicked off immediately because people have the notion - stereotyped - that if you're a doctor you're privileged and you have it made, and they wouldn't realise that I was impoverished as a kid, I had five fathers growing up, I had a huge expendedge from loans when I finished (med school?), and it was just by the grace of God that I could become what I wanted to be since I was 8 years old - a plastic surgeon. They wouldn't have realise that.
So, I was told "if you're smart" and I think I am! I say modestly. "That you won't tell them that you're a doctor." Which I didn't until the mid-game because at the mid-game I was trying to help people physically when harm might come to them, and they wouldn't take me seriously as a medic and I couldn't help them.
Luckily for me - and in a sense for them - I finally admitted that I'm not just a medic, I'm a real doctor. Board certified in general surgery, plastic surgery, and microsurgery, and I can help you if you have any problems. And although it was recorded it landed on the floor in editing - I did help two people significantly from ailments during this game.
We definitely didn't see that, which castaways did you help with their ailments?
Sabrina had an abdominal problem which occurred during the evening when there was no help. And you know, as I surgeon I've dealt with gun shots, and stabbings, and all kinds of things related to obstruction of the abdomen, of the intestines, and things of that sort.
[Tarzan explains Sabrina's medical condition in explicit detail, including abstracting on the subject of flatulence & women in our culture. I will not transcribe it in full, because his description is rampant with medical terminology, and Tarzan tells me it's "embarrassing when I'm misquoted."]
So Sabrina, I cared about her, and I saved her, even though in the end she cut my throat. And there was Kat- who stubbed her toe and somebody thought it was a fracture and you know, splinted it but they splinted it too tight. And she was screaming in dire agony at the end of the night.
[A very detailed medical diagnosis later...]
..Kat said I saved her foot, I saved her toe, and Sabrina actually said I saved her life! But they cut it, you didn't see that! So there was some editing in there that left me just a fool, and did not reveal any intelligence.
Have any patients recognised you from Survivor? If so, what has been their reaction?
(Laughs)Excuse me while I laugh a while (Continues Laughing)... I wouldn't operate on someone who didn't innately like me. My interviews are relatively extensive, and unbeknownst to the patient it's not the patient just choosing the doctor it's the doctor choosing the patient. And if I wanted my work to be as perfect as humanely possible and help the patient as well as I possibly could than we must be tuned into each other. And anyone in this town (Houston, Texas) can say my consults are relatively long and discursive because I want the patient to understand what they're doing. So I would say no person is perfect, I'd say 99% of my patients love me, and they ought to because I wouldn't have operated on them in the first place. So I'd say its been - they know my real personality, they know I was acting, they know that I can act. And they also know that my name has been Tarzan since I was 8 years old - most of them.
So I care for my patients. The answer to the question in short is they like me and there's no problem.
Michael gave you the middle finger at tribal council, and we've had comments on Twitter that accuse the men of being 'sore losers' (@contess33). I was wondering if you could comment on that.
Towards the end, I had been within the shadows - I was the true plotter. It wasn't Colton, it was me. I did a lot of plotting that went unnoticed - even by the producers. And I would say it's because of my acting ability. And I didn't want to reveal things because, you know, I'd get whacked.
...When (the men) betrayed me mid-game, when they thought they were Salani tribe and they thought they were with the girls - which I knew they weren't, they just didn't know that. I think they were pheromonally influenced because they're young - meaning by feminine pheromones (laughs), the feminine scent - which didn't affect me at all, I'm 64! So maybe that's why I was a bit smarter that way. So at that point I told the girls, they realised "wait a minute, this guy's no idiot. He might be a genius, we might get Tarzaned!' was one of the phrases. I thought the best way to diffuse that is to first to act crazy.
...But see, I said and I meant it, I didn't care about winning. I cared about the adventure. I also cared about losing as much weight as humanely possible because I needed to. The money meant nothing to me. What I wanted to do near the end, honestly, was helped two girls that I liked make it to the last three. That's what I wanted to do. That's what I tried to plot to do. But, you know, there's enough sin that it didn't happen.
Did you get those shocks for your jeep?
Oh man, my need for my wife made me blow my $500.00 and I thought "uh-oh, I'm not gonna get my shocks." But the reality is - guess what? My wife and I are a quantum entanglement. We're a spooky action at a distance. And what had happened was, during the game, she had fixed the jeep for only $300.00! And I'd been told it was gonna cost $800.00, so my wife had fixed my jeep while I was in the game. Unbeknownst to me.
Watch the Survivor: One World finale Sunday at 8.00 et/pt.
This series follows a new elite federalized task force on a mission to stop the
crime that washes up on Hawaii’s sun-drenched beaches.
Bomb Girls draws viewers deep into 1942, in the thick of the war with its music,
fashion, romance and the thrill of being alive in dangerous times.