Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Meet Cliff Hogg III - Winning the Shower Game Since 2007. Even Without a Loofah. #BB21

It's time to meet Cliff Hogg III, who gives us the thumbs up sign as Jeff kicks off their chat, which streamed live on CBS.com.  Cliff tells us that he hails from Houston Texas, and he is a Petroleum Engineer.  Cliff's voice has a country-type twinge to it, and it's immediately obvious that Cliff has a good sense of humor about all of this.

It's absurd for a 53-year-old man to put himself through this crap, and Cliff knows this.

Jeff:  Howdy Cliff!

Cliff:  Well howdy to you, too!  Welcome back!

Cliff says he's a huge fan "forever" and that he's used to seeing the Diary Room from the other side of the screen.

Cliff:  I've been a fan since season eight, so I've watched a lot of Diary Room sessions....crying and laughing and yelling and now I'm inside.

Cliff says he's a "Walter Mitty" type of guy and he always thought he was a normal type of guy, but since they cast him on this show, he's wondering "what's wrong with me?"

Cliff says he's a laid-back, friendly guy and he's been all over the world through his job in the oil industry.

Cliff:  I've had guns pulled on me, I've slept under bullet-proof blankets, I've been through floods, plane crashes...I've got all kinds of stories.

Cliff thinks he can be a story teller in the house and "get friendly" in there with some of the other house guests.

Cliff:  Hopefully that will keep me safe until I can work my magic and do my dirty deeds.  I'm a strategic kind of guy and every season I go in the shower at night and think I coulda done that better.  So I've played every season in my head and I've won every season so far!

Jeff:  Congratulations!

Cliff knows that people are going to make some assumptions about him, like with the cowboy hat and the fact that he's from Texas.

Cliff:  I'm kinda loud in case you haven't noticed, but at the end of the day I'm going to rely on those assumptions and then dive underneath and surprise some people.

He is well aware that he's going to be older than most of the other house guests and he knows that the older guy is usually the first to go.

Cliff:  I'm hoping this is a Special Geriatric season of Big Brother, with everybody on walkers and scooters and I think I'm gonna dominate.  But of course, you know more than I at this point, so....

Jeff:  No, not really.  You never know what to expect in this game.

Cliff:  Well, I assume I'm going to be one of the oldest, and I don't want to be like Glenn and Steve and some of the other older fellas.

Cliff thinks if he can make it past those first two weeks, things will get easier, because he can build up some relationships in there.

Cliff:  What I really don't want is for it to be one of those seasons where everyone says, 'as long is it isn't me, I don't care who goes home'.  I hope there's gonna be an opportunity in the beginning to build a little teamwork or maybe some alliances so I can try to identify some targets who aren't me.

Jeff, laughing: That's the whole game, isn't it?

Cliff:  If I can survive those first two weeks, I'll feel a whole lot better going forward, but I have some work to do first.  I can't float as easy the first two weeks like some people can do.

(As a fan of the show, I'm sure what Cliff means by the "first two weeks" is the first eviction cycle.  The first HoH reign is always about two weeks long because it includes the week before the feeds go live.  As live feeders, we always miss this week but we usually hear some tantalizing tidbits of news about what we missed.  Often there is significant drama that occurs, or maybe doesn't occur.  For example, during BB19 Raven claimed that she turned down Cody's advances which led him to choose Jessica as a romantic alternate.)

Jeff wondered how Cliff will be able to manage the chaos in the house, with such a complicated living situation.  Cliff says he's worked on oil rigs where space is tight and billion dollar decisions are  being made based on Cliff's equipment consulting.  He took off his hat to show Jeff his gray hair, indicating that he doesn't think living in the Big Brother house is something he can't handle.

Cliff:  So this gray hair....it's not as much my age as....

Jeff points out his own gray hair and then asks to try on Cliff's hat.

Cliff:  Just give a howdy and you're good to go.

Jeff, tipping up the hat with one finger:  Howdy ma'am.

Cliff:  You're perfect.  Good to go!  C'mon down to Houston!  We'll have a beer and have a blast!

Jeff wanted to know what Cliff would do with the prize money if he wins BB21.

Cliff:  Wouldn't that be sweet?  I'd have to be sure I've got retirement covered for me and my wife, and I'd set aside a little bit of it for my kids and their marriages and whatever else they've got coming up.  I'd set aside some for vacations, maybe a romantic vacation for just my wife and I...

Jeff:  Whoooo.

Cliff: ...and if I've got any left, I just might buy a little vineyard outside Houston...maybe grow some grapes and make some jelly..

Jeff:  A vineyard?  How much do you think you win on this show Cliff?

Cliff:  It can be a little bitty vineyard!  I have a few vines growing in the backyard and I make jelly every year now!  Right now I'm growing loofahs!

Jeff is confused by this so Cliff explains that a loofah is a sponge you scrub yourself with.

Cliff:  I'm gonna have the cleanest family in town!

This is a loofah sponge, in case you're wondering.  That name gets thrown around a lot now to indicate any sort of shower scrubbie device, but this is where it all comes from.  I used to have one years ago that was part of a bridesmaid gift basket.  It feels just like it looks----rough and abrasive, which is actually the point of using it.  I remember getting skeeved out by the seeds that eventually fall out of the middle of it.  I guess I didn't envision my shower sponge growing in the dirt behind Cliff Hogg's house.

Jeff is confused because he thought a loofah is plastic, as modeled below by the lovely Angela Rummans.  I'm sure Angela will be thrilled that Cliff is chatting about loofah sponges, giving us all an excuse to revisit this somewhat-regrettable Halloween costume modeling gig.

Cliff says most people think loofahs came "from the sea" but they're actually growing right in his backyard.

I think I thought they came from the sea, too, which is why I was so skeeved out by the seeds.  If it's true you learn something every day, I think I can just clock out now and call it a day.

Cliff:  Come September when I win this show, maybe my wife can show up at the Finale with a big basket of loofahs.  Maybe I'll buy a loofah farm!

Jeff did another lap about not knowing you can grow loofahs, but then said they're "going down a weird path" and they needed to get their discussion back on track.  I'm willing to bet that when the feeds go live next week, we hear plenty of chatter about loofahs.  I wonder if you can use a loofah to scrub the shower itself, because that might come in handy in that overcrowded, filthy house.  Maybe a loofah is just what they need to clean up after one of those messy, goopy OTEV competitions.

REAL TALK:  Just like I think the kids of today couldn't handle the 1970's, I think using a real loofah sponge might be too intense for them as well.  It is very abrasive, let's just put it that way.  Here's what the 1970's were like....imagine yourself with a slight buzz, maybe two beers in, barreling down the interstate at a very high rate of speed.  Turn the music on the stereo up as loud as it can go, and then unbuckle your seat belt and ride it out like that.  That's what the 1970's felt like...unsupervised, frightening, anything goes.  That's one of the topics I want to cover if I ever get my shit together to write something real.

Cliff has two children aged 23 and 26 and says he has plenty of experience being the embarrassing dad.  He's not too worried about upsetting them, saying he'll surely crack a few Dad Jokes and wear the costumes when required to.  He knows they'll be cringing but they won't expect anything less from him because he's going to be himself in there.

Jeff wondered if Cliff has a Dad Joke to tell us now and Cliff didn't even hesitate.

Cliff:  Okay...french fries.  Do you know why they call them that or where they come from?

Jeff:  France?

Cliff:  IN GREECE!  Get it?  Oh they're already cringing back home now, after that joke.  Maybe one person out there laughed..

Jeff invited Cliff to talk to the fans to tell us what he wants them to know.

Cliff: I've been watching this show a long time, since Season 8.  I'm not on this show to shill T-shirts or other products online (not even LOOFAHS?) and I'm not here to be an Instagram celebrity...I'm here to win this game.  I want $500,000 to take care of my family and I want the bragging rights.  It's nothing but a game to me and I'm going to give you 100% from start to finish and I'm going to fight to the end.

Jeff liked Cliff's answer and then asks the Big Question:  Would Cliff rather win this game and be hated by America, or lose and be loved?

Cliff, slyly:  One giant mosquito.

(OMG.  Cliff is alluding to the Stoopid Kwestion Jeff asked Josh Martinez during his pre-season interview in the Diary Room.  By saying this, I think Cliff is also letting us all know he's an RHAP fan, because they use that sound byte constantly to mock poor old Big Jeff.)

Jeff:  You know my mosquito joke?

Cliff:  Look, no one wants to be hated.  Everybody wants to be loved, but $500,000 buys a whole lot of DON'T GIVE A DAMNS.  So while people are hating me I'll be sitting on a beach somewhere with my wife drinking a Mai Tai and enjoying my life.  So please don't hate me, but if you have to, please be sure I've got that $500,000 check in my back pocket before you do.

Cliff gives us a double thumbs up, and then a single as Jeff says he can't wait to see Cliff in the house all summer long.

This is a Mai Tai, for any of you kids who might feel lost right now.  I was not aware that there are three types of liquor in this thing, which might provide plenty of DON'T GIVE A DAMNS if you find yourself needing that sort of thing this summer.


Well, you don't need me to tell you that having Cliff Hogg III as a BB21 house guests is an unexpected delight.  Cliff's spirited chatter with Big Jeff is making him an early fan favorite online in a very authentic manner.   Even the casual Big Brother TV-only fans know that the older house guests tend to get the boot in the early rounds.  They're easy targets because they're different from everybody else so it can be an easy decision to make that won't hurt anybody's feelings.

We're all hoping this time it will be different.  But it will all depend on who wins that first HoH, and if Cliff has a chance to form some bonds that will save him.  At age 53, he's decades older than the next-oldest house guest, who is 31.  (Although Jessica Milagros has described herself as "30-ish", likely due to her modeling career.)  But unlike the last few seasons of older guys who've played this game, Cliff seems to actually know this game, and might even be a live feeder.  And I don't think he'll come off as creepy to the girls, which is often the kiss of death in the early rounds.

I think Cliff needs one of the guys to win the first HoH, to give him hope of surviving the first eviction cycle.  I think he can find some easy commonalities with Jackson Miche and Sam Smith, for example, based on their upbringing or types of jobs the've held.

I have a few clients who are in the oil business as consultants, but on the east coast.  And let me tell you, they are earning some BIG BUCKS.  And by BIG BUCKS, I mean about as much money as the Big Brother winner takes home after taxes.  The guys I work with aren't engineers, either, so if they had that professional designation I'll bet their paychecks would be even higher.  The oil business comes with a lot of risk, so if someone knows how to consult on safe operation of the equipment and can maximize the oil yields (or whatever) it's worth big money.

One of my clients had to install some expensive equipment on his truck last year, and when I asked him about it he said it was required by the oil company he works with to prevent his truck from exploding on impact, or something like that.  I kind of tuned that out when he was talking because it scared me.  Fire scares me.

You know, because oil burns and all.  Even on the water.

Or on the ground.

So maybe the stress of Big Brother will be a cakewalk for Cliff compared to the responsibilities of his real job.  Maybe that's why Cliff is trying to branch out into the tranquil area of Loofah Farming.

Cliff himself told us that he's not in the house to "shill T-shirts", which I'm interpreting as a dig at Braggy C.  And he's not trying to get a bunch of Instagram followers, either, which would describe at least half of the women on the BB21 cast.  Apparently that is considered a career right now in some circles.

The BB fans are trying to come up with nicknames for Cliff Hogg already.  One fan wants to call him "Cliffbread", alluding to the infamous "Cornbread" who appeared on BBOTT.  And yes, Cornbread was evicted first, going down in history by saying "FUCK ALL YA'LL' as he slammed his way out of the front door.

But I don't think that's a fair comparison.  At least, I hope not.  And I hope Cliff Hogg hasn't been on the Honey Boo Boo show, or whatever it's called.

I think "Boss Hogg" might be a better nickname, but I have to admit I never watched The Dukes of Hazzard, but I did own a few pair of Daisy Dukes.

Upon further review of Boss Hogg's TV character, this might not be a fair comparison, either.  I wonder if it was a good thing or a bad thing to have the last name "Hogg" when the Dukes of Hazzard was on prime-time TV.  Cliff's family may have had it UP TO HERE with the whole thing.

And THIS is what I mean by THAT, so all of you kids can keep up out there.

Anyway, to summarize, we all like Cliff Hogg.  Even Corinne Kaplan, who hates just about everybody.  So that's something.

Let's review Cliff's CBS bio.  I've heard Corinne say that on Survivor, the contestants fill out their CBS bios and then have an opportunity to review them later before they go live on the CBS website, but I don't know if this is the case with the BB CBS bios.

Since BB16, many players have referenced Derrick as their favorite house guest, saying they want to play the game like he did.  (***cough cough Haleigh cough cough***)  But unlike most, I think Cliff actually UNDERSTOOD Derrick's game and how he started quietly at the bottom while keeping his eyes peeled on everybody, looking for weaknesses.

I hope Cliff steers clear of the political talk, because no one can agree on all of that and making a comment that offends even a few fans is a surefire way to get featured on TMZ.  But I'm sure Cliff knows that.  At least, I hope so.

Cliff should have plenty of other exciting stories to tell before he starts slinging political rhetoric.  Like swimming with those alligators, or his big rowing award.  Or even where he drove the family truckster when he was seven years old.

Good luck in there Cliff.  At least you seem to know what you're getting yourself into.


  1. I like this one. He seems to know what he is talking about.

  2. Oh my God!!!!! So good to have your blog up and running. Damn good writing and we're still a few days out. So happy we got an all new cast and I am already ready to root for this guy!
    Other nicknames we can throw out that "the kids" won't know and we won't call him: Phinneas Fogg, Fogghorn Legghorn, and The Velvet Fogg. How about we keep it simple and go with BiggFogg or #BiggFogg on Twitter.

    1. Hi Andre! I say, I say...that's my Foghorn Leghorn impression.

      I live in the South so Cliff's accent doesn't seem that bad to me, but maybe I sound just like him.

      I can't believe we're here again. The years just fly by.

  3. Oops Phileas Fogg stupid autocorrect

  4. Another season begins and I'm so glad you're back!

    First of all, I live in Houston and NEVER see anyone wearing a cowboy hat. I wonder if producers pressured him to wear it or if the gimmick was his idea, like the way some past houseguests have worn bowties, etc.

    Also, I wonder if he's somehow related to the historical Texas philanthropist Ima Hogg (yes, that's what her parents named her). I know you don't like links, but anybody can google her or her house that is now an art museum, Bayou Bend. If Cliff Hogg III is related to her, between that and petroleum engineer income, he's definitely not playing BB for the money!

    Nobody would let him win anyway, but I do hope he lasts more than two weeks.

  5. ...oh yeah, and for a nickname, how about The Hoggfather?


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