Tag Archives: Gilligan’s Island

Coming soon: 2015 Summer of MeTV Classic TV Blogathon

MeTV Blogathon 2015 logo

It’s that time again! On May 25-28, the Classic TV Blog Association will host its third annual blogathon featuring reviews and articles about TV series appearing on MeTV’s new summer schedule.

I’ll be blogging about Gilligan’s Island. What is there to say about Gilligan’s Island that hasn’t already been said? Well, put on your sailor cap, get some coconut cream pie for your TV tray, and come find out on May 25. And don’t forget to check out all the other fun classic TV blogs that will be participating. See the schedule here.

Gilligan with mouth open

Born on this date: Alan Hale Jr.

Alan Hale Jr.Alan Hale Jr. as The Skipper, who played the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island, was born March 8, 1921. He died in 1990.

The Skipper’s seldom-mentioned name was Jonas Grumby. Below see Hale as the Skipper as Polonius performing “Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be” in a musical production of Hamlet staged by the castaways. (That’s Mary Ann in boy drag as Laertes.)

Clip from Gilligan’s Island, “The Producer” (Oct. 3, 1966)

Today on the tray: Pie in the face

pie in handDecember 1 is National Pie Day. So is January 23. And March 14 is Pi Day, commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi).

There is also National Apple Pie Day, National Blueberry Pie DayNational Coconut Cream Pie Day, National Banana Cream Pie Day, and National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day. So many pies, so little time.

Eating pie is fun, but throwing one in someone’s face is even more fun. Or so it would seem from many classic comedy routines.

As you would expect, Lucy gets pie in the face in several episodes of I Love Lucy. Here’s a great one in which a vaudeville comic pies Lucy while performing a piece called “Slowly I Turn.”

Clip from “The Ballet,” I Love Lucy (Feb. 18, 1952)

On The Brady Bunch, the whole family (including the wretched Cousin Oliver) goes to a movie studio where they are cast as extras. They all wind up with pies in their faces. See it at 2:50 below.

Clip from “Welcome Aboard,” The Brady Bunch (Jan. 25, 1974)

And someone has put together this lovely compilation of pies in faces on Gilligan’s Island:

Pies in faces on Gilligan's Island

Had enough? Well, then, have a happy National Pie Day—and make sure to duck.


Today in TV history: The wreck of the S.S. Minnow

Gilligan with mouth openGilligan’s Island debuted on this date 50 years ago (September 26, 1964).

The first episode broadcast was “Two on a Raft,” in which the castaways discover themselves shipwrecked on “an uncharted desert isle.” It was not the pilot, however. That wouldn’t be televised until 1992, nearly three decades later.

The pilot is like an alternate universe version of the show. No sitting right back to “hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.” In this version, there is a calypso theme song. Looking for Mary Ann? You won’t find her—there’s someone named Bunny instead. Ginger and the Professor are there, but they’re played by different actors, and Ginger isn’t a movie star—she’s a secretary. Oh, and the tour is six hours, not three.

There is something disturbing about seeing something you know as well as your own name — and it’s almost the same, but different. Ready to have your mind blown? Watch the pilot show opening theme below. You don’t know the words to this one!

Rare opening theme, Gilligan's Island pilot (1963)

Today on the tray: Ginger-bread or Mary Ann-bread?

Okay, this is a re-post, but is it my fault that there are two National Gingerbread Days? It’s observed  on June 5 and November 21. Why two different days? I dunno, maybe it depends on your religion. In fairness, one of them should be changed to National Mary Ann-bread Day.

In the video below, someone makes gingerbread cake alongside an autographed photo of Tina Louise, Ginger from Gilligan’s Island. I love it! It’s like something I would do, if I weren’t afraid to use my oven.

And by coincidence, the signature reads, “To Michael, All the best, Tina Louise.” How perfect is that for Michael’s TV Tray?

Making the Ginger Cake with “Ginger”

Born on this date: Tina Louise

Tina Louise as GingerBelieve it or not, Tina Louise, best known for her role as Ginger “the movie star” Grant on Gilligan’s Island, turns 80 today.

After Gilligan’s Island ended in 1967, Tina Louise declined to play Ginger in any of the three reunion movies. Reportedly, she felt the role had ruined her career by causing her to be typecast.

She apparently thought it was a better career move to play herself in a series of deodorant commercials and announce her damp, stinky ’pits to the world than to be typecast as a glamorous movie star. This commercial is from 1978—the same year that Rescue from Gilligan’s Island was broadcast with a different actress playing Ginger.

Arrid Extra Dry commercial with Tina Louise (1978)

This new, improved aluminum chlorohydrate formula not only helps stop embarrassing wetness, it sprays on drier too!

Roseanne turns 25; “Mary Ann” turns 75

Twenty-five years ago today, on Oct. 18, 1988, the sitcom Roseanne debuted on ABC. And 75 years ago, on Oct. 18, 1938, actress Dawn Wells was born.

Wells is best known for playing Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island. But did you know that Wells also once played Darlene on Roseanne? Yes — in the tag at the end of the episode “Sherwood Schwartz: A Loving Tribute,” Wells appears as Darlene; Tina Louise (Ginger) as Roseanne; Bob Denver (Gilligan) as Jackie; and Russell Johnson (The Professor) as Mark. Sherwood Schwartz also makes a cameo appearance. The episode itself has the inverse arrangement, with the Roseanne cast playing Gilligan’s Island characters in a fantasy sequence.

Closing tag, “Sherwood Schwartz: A Loving Tribute,” Roseanne (May 24, 1995)

Happy Hammock Day

Homer Simpson in hammockJuly 22 is Hammock Day.

According to Holiday Insights, “Hammock Day exists to enjoy summer as it should be enjoyed. People celebrate Hammock Day by spending as much time relaxing on it as possible. Getting out of your hammock to get a snack, or your favorite summer beverage is okay. But, it is not a day for work. Cutting the lawn is forbidden on this day.”

Fred Flintstone in hammockWhen you think of a TV hammock, who do you think of? The answer might be Fred Flintstone, who was often seen slumbering in a hammock. Or perhaps you think of Homer Simpson, who also enjoys hammock naps.

But I immediately flash on Gilligan and the Skipper, who slept in hammocks that were stacked one above the other, bunk-bed style.

Over the years, people have raised many questions about Gilligan’s Island. Why did they bring all those clothes for a three-hour tour? Why couldn’t the Professor build a boat? How come all the guest characters could come and go, but the castaways couldn’t? Why didn’t anyone have sex? But no one ever questions why Gilligan and the Skipper arranged their hammocks like bunk beds when there was plenty of space on the island. (The answer, of course, is that it was funnier that way.)

Gilligan and the Skipper in hammocks, from “Ghost-a-Go-Go,” Gilligan’s Island (March 24, 1966)

Today on the tray: Coconut cream pie

May 8 is National Coconut Cream Pie Day. And I can’t hear “coconut cream pie” without thinking of Gilligan’s Island. Remember how Mary Ann was always baking coconut cream pies?

Have fun watching various Gilligan’s Island characters get pies in the face:

Born on this date: Bob Denver

Bob Denver sings “Ho Daddy, Surf’s Up” in the 1964 film For Those Who Think Young

Bob Denver, the actor who played Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island and Maynard G. Krebs on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, would have turned 77 today (Jan. 9).

Watch his upside-down chin sing a surfing song while young people in bathing suits dance around him in this beach party movie. It’s pretty freaky!


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