Another Part of the Gen-X Childhood Done and Over

Sherwood Schwartz, ‘Gilligan’s Island’ and ‘Brady Bunch’ creator, dead at 94

They were both kind of terrible shows, you know. You watch them today and you’re kind of agog; they’re related to Arrested Development and 30 Rock the way an aye-aye is related to Hope Solo. But when I was eight? They were awesome.

Godspeed, Sherwood.

22 Comments on “Another Part of the Gen-X Childhood Done and Over”

  1. They weren’t awesome then, either, IMO. OTOH, I was bit older then than you. ;)

  2. The Skipper and Gilligan were the Laurel and Hardy of their generation. And Ginger was basically a dumbed-down Mae West.

  3. when I was 8, they were the dreck I had to sit through to be allowed to watch the ST:ToS reruns that came on after.

  4. OK, I’m sure it must be me, but I don’t understand even a little bit the references of aye-aye and Hope Solo. Well, I clicked the Hope Solo wiki link to skim, but I still have no clue what an aye-aye is (other than sailor lingo and something Gilligan would say to the Skipper right before massively screwing up somehow) or how it relates (or doesn’t really) to Hope Solo. Could someone please ‘splain it to me? Thanks.

    As for me, I loved Gilligan’s Island growing up, but never got into the Brady Bunch. For some reason I always found Cindy to be annoying. Both had great classic theme songs, of course, but again I was much more partial to the Gilligan themes (opening and closing).

  5. When I was a kid we were a Nielson family for a little while. We had to log in everything we watched. Our mother looked at the logs and became furious because we watched Gilligan’s Island every single day.

    I liked the Brady Bunch well enough, but realized during one episode that I had outgrown it.

    Neither show did me any irreparable harm, well, nothing that discovering Monty Python at age 13 couldn’t cure.

  6. Er.. Gen X? Keep your hands off my Gilligan’s Island. That ran from ’64-’67… when *I* was 8 and I’m WAY older than Scalzi. You guys were just watching our reruns…


  7. Gilligan started when I was 16. I grew up in Florida and I thought it was pretty funny, stupid but funny. I was a bit older for BB. Thought it was really stupid and never watched it. Still wouldn’t watch it.


  8. I still don’t get the aye-aye and Hope Solo connection….

    Han solo and aye-aye…that I get.

    Hope Solo by herself…..oh boy, I’d like to marry her….!

  9. Michael, i think the suggestion is that Gilligans Island is a slow moving tree sloth compared to the athlete that is Hope Solo, or 30 Rock, as the case may be.

  10. I’ll admit that I still like an episode of Gilligan’s Island from time to time. I play it for my kids, too. It’s brain candy, but I consider it the cane suger to some of pop culture’s tweener corn syrup.

  11. The aye-aye and Hope Solo are both primates, but they have nothing else in common. Likewise, The Brady Bunch and Arrested Development are both sitcoms, with a distant common lineage, but there the similarity ends.

    This has been: Matt McIrvin Explains the Joke.

  12. rick @9: Even the Brady Bunch only ran (according to Wikipedia) through March of 1974 — when Scalzi was four. So stay off my lawn as well, John!! (Damn kids!)

  13. I sang this song ALL the time when I was 7 or 8. I loved it! (It was in reruns by that time, so I got to see this episode a few times to my pre-adolescent joy).

  14. For the first season or so, my mother made me change channels when Gilligan’s Island came on. Not because she was concerned about my mental development. Oh no. She actually listened to the theme song once and was offended by the idea of a group of people on a remote island being “As primitive as can be.” To her, that could only mean raw sex, and danger to my eternal future.

    Really. I couldn’t make that up.

  15. “Gilligan’s Island” – well, I re-watched the series a few years ago and I was struck by the amount and types of different humor. The Skipper and Gilligan had pratfalls and physical comedy. The Howells had amusing banter and sophisticated (OK, I was young – I thought they were sophisticated) jokes. I did like how Mr. Howell, the millionaire, couldn’t get to sleep without his teddy bear.

    The Professor was a geeky nerd who took everything seriously, which is funny on its own. Ginger was a caricature of the “movie star”, what with her glamorous dresses and hairstyles. And Mary Ann was a caricature of “the girl next door”. As I recall, she was always baking coconut cream pies.

    I read somewhere that Sherwood Schwartz thought of the cast of “Gilligan’s Island” as a microcosm of society. He tried pitching it that way to a TV exec and got incomprehension, so then he pitched it as a comedy. The rest is history.

    Questions which many have asked:

    Why did the Howells pack so much clothing for a three-hour tour?

    If the Professor could build all those machines, why couldn’t he figure out a way to get them back to civilization? (oh yeah, because Gilligan kept on messing it up.)

    What was the Skipper’s real name?

    Did Gilligan have a first name?

    And why did seven such dissimilar people decide to take a three-hour tour all at once?

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