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)

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