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Set Sail With Gilligan

Bob Denver

Gilligan's Island

Bob Denver

Gilligan

Gilligan

When Bob Denver enrolled in Loyola Marymount College, he never dreamed of graduating as a thespian. Forced to audition by his speech teacher, Denver wound up winning the role of a nervous young sailor in the school production of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. While Denver's was not a memorable performance, it certainly foreshadowed things to come. After graduating in the late '50s, Denver was doing odd jobs when he chanced upon an audition for a new TV series. With no professional experience, Bob Denver beat out 99 other young men for the role of Maynard G. Krebs, resident beatnik on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

After four seasons, Dobie wrapped, and Denver made appearances in films such as For Those Who Think Young and TV shows including The Andy Griffith Show, Dr. Kildare and The Farmer's Daughter. Denver would achieve television immortality in his next role, as the Skipper's little buddy Gilligan on Gilligan's Island.

Being Gilligan became a double-sided coconut for Denver, who will forever be associated with the character. Once he left the island, Denver turned up in a number of comic roles, most of which had a resemblance to the slapstick antics of dimwitted Gilligan. His 1968 series The Good Guys attempted to put Denver in a Skipper/Gilligan relationship, as did the 1973 offering Dusty's Trail (a carbon copy of Gilligan's Island set in the Old West) and the 1975 Saturday morning show Far Out Space Nuts. Aside from guest appearances on I Dream of Jeannie, Love, American Style and Fantasy Island and a number of early '80s live theater roles, Denver's resume is largely comprised of Gilligan's Island and Dobie Gillis reunion shows. Like most of his surviving castaway castmates, Bob Denver has learned to live with his alter ego Gilligan, and embraces his fans by participating in revivals and appearing at public functions and autograph signings across the country.

Character Bio

While fiercely loyal, the wiry first mate to Skipper Jonas Grumby is the quintessential screwup. Gilligan means well, but is forever breaking radios, tripping over phone cables, making plates out of explosive material and passing out radioactive seeds without reading the package. If there is a way foil a plan, he will find it. More often than not, it involves falling into the lagoon.

Born in Pennsylvania, Gilligan worked at a gas station before joining the navy, where he saved the life of the captain and became his "little buddy." In gratitude, when the Skipper started his own charter business he hired Gilligan to be his first mate (despite his incompetence). Gilligan's childlike nature makes him the perfect errand boy to perform many of the menial tasks on the island, such as riding the Professor's generator bike, acting as manservant to Mr. Howell or collecting coconuts for the girls. It should be noted, some fans claim that Gilligan's first name is "Willy," though no one has been able to prove it.

Gilligan's Island TV Schedule

Friday
April 25
7:30pm
My Fair Gilligan
Gilligan is adopted and dubbed "G. Thurston Howell, IV."
TV-G
8:00pm
A Nose By Any Other Name
A fall from a coconut tree gives Gilligan an inflated nose and a deflated ego.
TV-G
8:30pm
Gilligan's Mother-In-Law
A native family from another island seeks a husband for their none-too-attractive daughter.
TV-G
Saturday
April 26
5:00pm
The Kidnapper
Mrs. Howell is kidnapped for a ransom of $10,000.
TV-G
5:36pm
And Then There Were None
While hanging a clothesline with Gilligan, Mary Ann suddenly disappears.
TV-G
6:12pm
All About Eva
The castaways discover a beached boat in excellent condition.
TV-G
6:49pm
Take A Dare
George Barkley takes the dare on the "Take A Dare" radio contest.
TV-G
7:21pm
Court Martial
The Maritime Board of Inquiry has declared the Skipper at fault in the loss of his charter boat.
TV-G
7:54pm
The Hunter
Hunter Jonathan Kincaid lands on the island.
TV-G
8:27pm
Our Vines Have Tender Apes
A savage appears at the castaways' camp.
TV-G
Sunday
April 27
5:00pm
Gilligan's Personal Magnetism
Lightning strikes Gilligan as he's about to try bowling with a stone ball.
TV-G
5:36pm
Splashdown
According to the Professor's calculations, a newly launched space capsule will pass directly over Gilligan's Island.
TV-G
6:12pm
The Second Ginger Grant
Mary Ann is enthralled by Ginger's ability to act, sing and dance.
TV-G
6:49pm
It's A Bird, It's A Plane
The U.S. military develops a "jet-pack" enabling airmen to fly like birds.
TV-G
7:21pm
The Pigeon
The Professor sees an opportunity for the castaways' rescue.
TV-G
7:54pm
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Secret agents lose a container of liquid plastic.
TV-G
8:27pm
Gilligan, The Goddess
An old legend says that a "white goddess" can be found on Gilligan's Island.
TV-G