Ten fun facts about "Gilligan’s Island"


By Christine Schaefer | Daily Reporter

1. The show’s original pilot episode featured a Calypso theme song by as-yet-undiscovered film composer John Williams.

2. The original theme show lyrics did not include mention of the Professor and Mary Ann. Bob Denver, who played Gilligan on the show, insisted they be included.

3. The United States Coast Guard occasionally received telegrams from concerned citizens, who apparently did not realize it was a scripted show, pleading for them to rescue the people on the deserted island.

4. The Skipper’s name was Jonas Grumby, and the Professor’s name was Roy Hinkley.

5. Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schafer) was an actual millionaire. She had no children, so she left her vast fortune to her dog. Following the dog’s death, the money went to the Motion Picture and Television Hospital.

6. The S.S. Minnow was jokingly named after Newton Minow, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, who had infamously described television as “a vast wasteland.”

7. Three made-for-TV film sequels were created using the plot and characters from “Gilligan’s Island,” including the 1981 film “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.”

8. Carroll O’Connor (later famous as Archie Bunker on “All in the Family”) originally auditioned for the part of the Skipper. Producer Sheldon Schwartz rejected him.

9. Tina Louise (Ginger) was apparently as big a diva as her character on the show. She didn’t like her castmates and declined reunion shows and photo shoots in the years after the series.

10. It is possible to sing the lyrics to “Amazing Grace” to the tune of the Gilligan’s Island theme song.