Having seen my good friend Jeff's latest TV-based discussion, Jeff Watches Torchwood, I thought, "Since Jeff is posting about a current program that he's watching for the first time, I ought to post about an old program that I'd be watching for what would be at least the fiftieth, but which I haven't looked at in quite some time - and what better program to watch than one of the seminal comedies of its generation, one which had a profound impact on American television, and which went on to inspire such varied fare as Dusty's Trail, Far Out Space Nuts, and Lost.

Gilligan's Island is one of the first television programs I ever remember watching - Having been born in 1963, I was a touch too young to watch it in first-run, but I must've caught it in its earliest re-runs - I'm pretty sure that "Happy Birthday to You" and "The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle" are among the first songs that I knew all the words to.

I debated putting a spoiler warning on this thread - it's hard for me to conceive that there's anyone out there who hasn't seen Gilligan's Island - certainly not in the U.S. Anyway, if by some chance you haven't seen the show, but might want to watch it someday - be forewarned! There will be discussions of plot points, here.

As for the rest of you, "Just sit right back..."

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I use the expression "Wrong way, Feldman" about umpty times a week. Even my wife has picked it up via marital osmosis, even though I'm sure she has no idea where it came from originally.
I remember “Wrongway Feldman” very well. It strikes me that this episode would make a good double-feature with “Five O’Clock Charlie” from M*A*S*H. (Then again, maybe not.) M*A*S*H is another show I watched so often I got sick of it. Between new and syndicated episodes running simultaneously, except for “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen: I skipped the entire last two seasons. OT, I heard there’s an option on the DVDs to play the show without the laugh track. If that’s true, I might consider watching it again one day. I think enough time has passed. But I digress. Does the Gilligan DVD have the option to be played sans laugh track? I hate laugh tracks. I think shows are much funnier (or not) without them.

The problem with those Columbia House VHS tapes I’ve been talking about is that, although they were advertised as “Collectors’ Series,” the episodes of most of the shows were presented in random order (as if “collectors” wouldn’t be interested in watching the show in broadcast order). Most hour-long shows were presented two episodes per tape, and most half-hour shows were three episodes per tape. (Oh, yeah… that’s a deal!) I thought my one Gilligan tape had the unaired pilot, “Two on a Raft” and one other episode, but when I checked to see what the other episode was, I discovered I have two Gilligan’s Island tapes.

The first has the pilot by itself, and the second has “Two on a Raft,” “Allergy Time” (3/31/66) and “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow” (10/31/66), so if you give me a heads up when those episodes roll up in queue, shoot me a reminder and I’ll watch ‘em along wit’cha!
President Gilligan:

Another episode directed by Richard Donner. Mr. Howell disputes the Skipper's authority as leader of the island, and Ginger suggests they hold a vote. After vigorous campaigning, Gilligan wins the vote, due to write-in votes by Mary-Ann, Mrs. Howell and himself. Several of the other castaways vie for positions of authority, with the Skipper appointing himself Vice-President, Mr. Howell and Chief Justice, Ginger as Secretary of Health and Welfare, and the Professor as Secretary of Agriculture. Mrs. Howell serves as a sort of executive secretary. However, when Gilligan tries to use his authority in order to get useful projects done, the others don't take him seriously, and he ends up doing all the work himself.

This is probably my least favorite of the episodes I've watched so far, with the whole "Who's in charge of the island?" plotline kind of fizzling out at the end.

Back Story: Mr. Howell has been convicted six times on anti-trust suits, and is investigated by the government every year for income tax evasion.

Taking It Seriously: I have no idea whether there would be any laws that would apply in terms of the castaways' situation, or whether it would've been up to them to work out a system that suited them.

Gilligan Spoils A Rescue: Not in this one. In fact, Gilligan does his best to do the right thing here, and it's the others that behave irresponsibly.
No, no laugh track option.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
The problem with those Columbia House VHS tapes I’ve been talking about is that, although they were advertised as “Collectors’ Series,” the episodes of most of the shows were presented in random order (as if “collectors” wouldn’t be interested in watching the show in broadcast order).

Well, at the time, no one really had any idea people would want to see entire seasons, or read entire runs in the case of comics, in the order they came out. I suspect that Star Trek (maybe Next Generation?) was probably the first TV show ever to get that treatment, and its success made the TV studios look at home video differently.

The one thing I think everyone who has ever worked in comics has learned is that when you add the word "Collector's" to anything, it is anything but.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

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That is certainly true!

Star Trek (TOS) was released in "Stardate Order," but the stardates weren't all that consistant in the early days.

The Lost in Space series was done in order, but probably only because each episode led directly into the next.

Back on topic (sort of), a rap version of the Gilligan's Island theme song is available on this album:


(Not really "superstars," however; just people immitating superstars.)
I used to have a copy of that album, I dunno what happened to it. I think it may have been stolen.
The Baron said:
I used to have a copy of that album, I dunno what happened to it. I think it may have been stolen.

That's the funniest thing in this thread so far, by far!
Doctor Hmmm? said:
The Baron said:
I used to have a copy of that album, I dunno what happened to it. I think it may have been stolen.

That's the funniest thing in this thread so far, by far!

It wasn't funny at the time, although I confess I haven't missed it much.
I was thinking about the age of the castaways - to my recollection, their ages weren't given during the course of the series - I'll let you know if I'm wrong. I know we can't assume that the actors' ages and the characters' ages are the same, but for fun, I looked up their birth years on the IMDB:

Alan Hale, Jr. (1921)
Bob Denver (1935)
Jim Backus (1913)
Natalie Schafer (1900)
Tina Louise (1934)
Russell Johnson (1924)
Dawn Wells (1938)

As I believe has already been noted, Natalie Schafer was quite secretive about her age. I recall reading that she said something to the effect that (regarding the casting of actresses) "People ask 'How old is she?', when they should be asking 'Is she any good?'"
It wouldn't surprise me to find out that the number of times Gilligan actually spoiled a rescue is very, very minute. In fact, I'd bet the Professor is guiltier on that account.
Yeah, it reminds me a bit of when I re-watched Speed Racer, and discovered how often it was that Spritle and Chim-Chim saved the day.

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