‘Survivor’ Host Jeff Probst Recently Had Amnesia

Survivor host Jeff Probst has been through plenty of bizarre experiences in his life — that’s to be expected when you’re hosting a show like Survivor. However, a recent amnesia attack left Jeff Probst without any understanding of who he was or what was happening. To say the least, it was very concerning for the reality television legend. Luckily, Probst is doing fine now, and is ready to present Season 40 of Survivor to fans. Here’s how Jeff Probst temporarily lost his memory.

‘Survivor’ host Jeff Probst briefly lost his memory

Survivor host Jeff Probst
Survivor host Jeff Probst | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

On a recent episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan, Jeff Probst explained that his amnesiac episode occurred when he was booking a flight for himself and his wife, Lisa Ann Rusell. 

He explained, “It gets to your wife’s birthdate. And I went, ‘What is my wife’s birthdate?’ And I couldn’t figure it out, so I texted my wife and I said, ‘Could you call me?’ So she called me. She said, ‘What’s going on?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t really know what’s happening? I don’t know anything. Like, where are the kids?’ She said, ‘They’re at school.’ I said, ‘Where are you?’ She said, ‘I’m at work.’ I said, ‘Something’s wrong.’”

The Survivor host explained that things got steadily worse, and he soon had “zero recollection of anything that was happening to me.”

“I even wrote a note on my laptop, I wrote a note that said, ‘For our records, I have no idea why I’m wearing these clothes, I have no idea where our kids are, I have no idea what day it is, I have no idea why I’m writing this.’ And then a little later I type, ‘I just read this. Have no memory of writing it,’” explained Probst.

Luckily, his memory returned just before he was set to enter an MRI. The doctor explained to Probst that he had just experienced transient global amnesia. 

“[The neurosurgeon] figures out that — what I had for three hours, I had absolutely no memory, don’t know what I did during those three hours — he said it’s called, global transient amnesia. Or TGA. And it’s just what happens, you lose your memory,” said Probst. Luckily, there are no long-term effects as a result of TGA, and as far as we currently know it is not indicative of any underlying major problems.

Jeff Probst has hurt himself on-set 

 Survivor host Jeff Probst
Survivor host Jeff Probst | CBS via Getty Images

It may come as no surprise to Survivor fans that Jeff Probst has also had a few wild experiences while filming the show. 

On an episode of The Rachael Ray Show, Probst revealed that he’d had a close run-in with a machete while filming. 

Jeff Probst explained, “I had a scorpion — you know. But the worst one was, we had this guy on the show. This really cool dude, this local island guy. And he was showing us all these tricks of the trade, and one thing he would do is he would hold a coconut, and he would take his machete and chop it, spin it. Chop it, spin it. Chop it, and take the top off.”

He continued, “And he made it look so easy! And I said, ‘Do you think I could do that?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah man, take my machete.’ I do the first hit, and it glances off and slices my wrist open. And it does that thing where the skin peels back and at first nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, bum bum, bum bum, I went green, I laid back on the rock. The doctors came over and took me out on the boat ride and said, ‘You just missed that thing that would have killed your hand.’”

“You know in my mind, I was gonna be with my woman, wherever she may be in my future. I’d be walking down the beach, say hey baby, want a little coconut? Chop chop chop, pop it open. But I’m not that guy!” joked the Survivor host.