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"Very often the Professor is the one who prevents the rest of the group from taking rash actions [like killing Gilligan.] The others look to him and his great store of scientific knowledge, especially as it might affect their possibility of rescue. And it is to this end that the Professor dedicates himself." 

-- From Sherwood Schwartz's bible of characters

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Russell Johnson's book, Here on Gilligan's Isle, is an entertaining and insightful read about a show that was highly entertaining but hardly insightful. Very frank when talking about his experiences with the show, and yet Johnson doesn't appear to be bitter with being typecast for all eternity (-- and not seeing a dime in royalties.) He covers the show from it's inception, to the made for TV movies, to eternal syndication, to merchandising, to the Gilligan's Island phenomenon, and then the man who could make a radio out of sand, coconuts, and few palm fronds answers a question that has plagued mankind for all eternity: Ginger or Mary Ann?


The book begins by covering Johnson's career before he became the Professor. Serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a machine gunner on a B-25, he flew over forty missions, was shot down, and earned the Purple Heart. After the war he took up acting, which led to his genre work on Attack of the Crab Monsters and This Island Earth, and TV work in The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Thriller. He also starred in a couple of westerns -- one with Ronald Reagan, where we find out what Johnson really thinks of the commie-baiting former President. And then came Gilligan...

Get the inside dope on all the cast members; a handy episode guide; behind the scenes photos; diagrams of the Professor's inventions; but still no answer as to why -- with all that available timber, the castaways couldn't fix the dang boat.

Trivia junkies can find out where the name S.S. Minnow came from. And what the heck a "Gillisecond" means. And get the scoop on the feud between Tina Louise and Bob Denver that started with a cropped TV Guide cover. Read about Ginger's cleavage, Mary Anne's belly-button, cortisone shots, wild animals running loose, and where Mrs. Howell hid her secret stash of booze and why she had it hid all over the set. 

All of that and more can be yours if you can track the book down. And then just sit right back and let Mr. Johnson tell you a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...

Originally Posted: 11/11/00 :: Rehashed: 05/20/09

Knuckled-out by Chad Plambeck: misspeller of words, butcher of all things grammatical, and king of the run on sentence. Copy and paste at your own legal risk. Questions? Comments? Shoot us an e-mail.
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