How Many Pieces of Gilligan's Island Trivia Did You Know?
Almost everyone is familiar with "Gilligan's Island". However, it could have been named something completely different.
The creator and co-producer of "Gilligan's Island," Sherwood Schwartz, picked the name "Gilligan" at random from a phone book.
Bob Denver's Gilligan is now an iconic character, but the role could have gone to someone else. Jerry Van Dyke (Dick Van Dyke's brother) was the first choice to play the first mate.
Remember The Name
All the characters on the show had full names, but you wouldn't know it by watching the show. Schwartz wanted the characters to represent different parts of society, which is why the Professor and Skipper are addressed by titles, not names.
Here are the full names of each cast member: Skipper Jonas Grumby, Ginger Grant, Thurston Howell III, Lovey Wentworth Howell, Professor Roy Hinkley and Mary Ann Summers.
There are no episodes, which clearly state Gilligan's first name. He is typically just known as First Mate Gilligan, but some people think it could be "Willy."
Voyage of The Minnow
The S.S. Minnow is the ill-fated ship the group was on when it became shipwrecked. Surprisingly, the ship isn't actually named after the fish.
In fact, it's named after Federal Communications Commission president Newton Minow. Schwartz despised Minow, and, honestly, it's easy to see why.
Minow once described television as a "vast wasteland."
Schwartz had to fight the network, particularly CBS president Jim Aubrey, to air the show. Aubrey thought it was a mistake to keep the group stranded on the island and wanted for them to be rescued.
To get the show on the air, Schwartz made a deal with him. When the rating slipped, the group would be rescued.
Where's The Faith?
Aubrey wasn't the only one thought the show didn't have a chance. Natalie Schafer the actress who played Mrs. Howell thought it was too dumb to get picked up by a network.
She took the job on the pilot for the easy paycheck and a trip to Hawaii. Hollywood rumors say that she was less than pleased when CBS actually picked up the show.
...And The Rest
During the fist season, the Professor and Mary Ann didn't get much respect. Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells' respective characters were meant to be background players.
That's why they're billed as "...and the rest" during the opening of the show.
Bob Denver thought that their names should be included with the rest of the cast, but producers rejected that idea.
Denver told them to put his name in "and the rest" as well and at that prompted the theme to be changed.
Flag of Our Fathers
During the opening of the first season, you can see an American flag flying at half staff. The show's pilot finished filming on Nov. 22, 1963, which is the day President Kennedy was assassinated. That's why the flag is flying at half staff.
A producer on the show, Hunt Sromberg, Jr. (awesome name by the way), wanted Gilligan to find a dinosaur on the island in the first season.
But that wasn't crazy enough. Stromberg wanted Gilligan to keep it as a pet.
Oh, and he wanted it to talk. Schwartz was horrified. He simply asked if an animated dinosaur would put the production over budget.
He was right, thankfully, and Stromberg backed off the idea.
Not The Brightest Bulbs
Apparently, some viewers had trouble telling fiction from reality. The U.S. Coast Guard informed Schwartz that they received mail about "Gilligan's Island."
Some viewers thought it was real and asked the Coast Guard to provide the group assistance. This seems puzzling, especially since the show featured a laugh track.
Gilligan is a lovable character, but he seems incapable of doing anything right. Many people have wondered why the Skipper even kept him around.
Well, the answer is found in their official backstory. During World War II, Gilligan saved the Skipper's life on a destroyer.
Say It Ain't So
"Gilligan's Island" was canceled after only three seasons. The reason is was canceled was to make room for what would become a long-running western series, "Gunsmoke".
At The Movies
Even though the show only ran for three seasons it was very popular among viewers. The popularity was used to produce three TV movies after the run of the show.
The first was "Rescue From Gilligan's Island" in 1978.
The second was "Castaways on Gilligan's Island" in 1979. The last was "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" in 1981.
The last one is as ridiculous as it sounds. None of them won any awards, but they still garnered high ratings.