A little piece of American Cultural History has passed on…
Sherwood Schwartz, creator of the TV Classics “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Brady Bunch” has passed away.
I can’t imagine what my childhood and youth would have been like without these shows!
And the folks in Washington today could learn some lessons from how the diverse cast characters of “Gilligan’s Island” managed to get along and work through their issues.
From the LA Times:
The Times wasn’t kind when it reviewed “Gilligan’s Island” in 1964, writing, “‘Gilligan’s Island’ is a television series that never should have reached the air this season, or any other season.” But the series defied critics and lasted for three seasons, eventually becoming a staple of syndication.
Its creator, Sherwood Schwartz, died of natural causes Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. He was 94.
Schwartz’s impact on pop culture will long survive. In addition to “Gilligan’s Island,” Schwartz created the family sitcom “The Brady Bunch.” Each series came affixed with its own memorably jolly theme song, with lyrics written by Schwartz.
In The Times’ obit, Dennis McLellan wrote:
Schwartz once said he created “Gilligan’s Island,” which aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967, as an escape from his seven years on “The Red Skelton Show,” for which he served as head writer and won an Emmy in 1961.
There was nothing quite as escapist as the wacky tale of seven people on a small charter boat, the SS Minnow, who set out on a “three-hour tour” and wound up shipwrecked on an uncharted South Pacific Island.
Starring Bob Denver in the title role of the boat’s bumbling crew member, “Gilligan’s Island” famously featured the exasperated skipper (Alan Hale Jr.), the millionaire and his wife (Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer), the professor (Russell Johnson), the naïve country girl (Dawn Wells) and the sexy movie star (Tina Louise).
Schwartz also wrote the lyrics for the show’s memorable theme song.
For all its crude sight gags, low-brow humor and pratfalls, Schwartz viewed “Gilligan’s Island” as something more: It is, he proclaimed, “my version of a social microcosm, where seven people from various backgrounds had to learn to live together.”