Bob Denver has gone on “a fateful trip”

Bye, Gilligan. You always kind of annoyed me, because I found your stupidity distressing and very stressful to watch. I was 8 years old and I would be screaming at the television, because the solution to your problem at the time was so obvious – yet you acted so stupid! I was more of a Professor fan. (The love of geeks in glasses far pre-dated Cary Grant, I guess.)

But the real reason I am even writing this right now is that:


In what universe is the death of Bob Denver “breaking news”? I’m serious. Especially after a week like the one we just had. I’ve made fun of CNN’s breaking emails before. I got one when Rick James died. I got one when Julia Roberts delivered twins. But I have to say: over this past week and a half, CNN’s breaking emails have been pertinent, relevant, and greatly appreciated by me. I was grateful for them.

And now this.

I’m sorry he’s dead, but … this is not “breaking news” that warrants an emergency email to millions of people.

For God’s sake.

However … let’s not dwell. Instead, let’s just sing, in remembrance of the big white-hatted goofball who gave me anxiety attacks on a daily basis as a child:

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin’ man,
the skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day,
for a three hour tour, a three hour tour………
The weather started getting rough,
the tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
the Minnow would be lost; the Minnow would be lost.
The ship took ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle,
with Gilligan, the Skipper too,
the Millionaire, and his Wife,
the Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann,
here on Gilligan’s Isle.

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42 Responses to Bob Denver has gone on “a fateful trip”

  1. Emily says:


  2. red says:

    Sung in breathy voices:

    “the moooo-vie star …”

  3. Emily says:

    Have you ever had a good Ginger versus Marianne debate here?

  4. red says:

    I don’t think Gilligan has ever come up here, actually.

  5. amelie says:

    i’m definitely all about the professor, too. : )

  6. red says:

    Ginger always kind of disturbed me.

    I’m telling you – i found the show vaguely disturbing when I was little.

    In the same way that I found Three’s Company almost unwatchably disturbing. The fact that they could not get off the island … and all the near-misses … it drove me bonkers!

    I always did root for Marianne and the Professor, though.

  7. I totally had the hots for the Professor. At the same time, I wanted him to get with Ginger.

    I love the scene in Heathers where the caller to a radio talk show goes OFF on Gilligan and how stupid he was. I believe he got cut off but still, I totally sympathized with his exasperation… and yours too!

    Mr. Furley also made my blood pressure rise as did Screech, Potsie, Urkel and Tori Spelling.

  8. Lisa says:

    Damn. You beat me to it.

    I was always slightly disturbed, as a child, by Gilligan’s apparent asexuality. I mean, he was obviously an ADULT, so why was there all this teenage-boy-angst when he was around Mary Ann and Ginger?

    I thought maybe he was slightly retarded.

    (And can we talk about Maynard G. Krebbs — or am I totally old?)

  9. red says:

    Lisa, I swear to God that that might be the funniest comment ever left on my blog. Ever. I can’t stop laughing.

    curly: I thought that I had effectively blocked out Urkel. I thought that I would never have to think of him again. Sadly, your comment made the horror come rushing back.

  10. red says:

    Lisa – I think I beat you to it because CNN saw fit to send it to me in a scary-looking “breaking email’ format.

  11. Lisa says:

    Gilligan still confuses me. And how did his white pants always stay so clean? That bothered me too.

    I loved Potsie — it was Ralph Malph who worked MY last nerve. And whatever happened to Chuck?

    What was the first clue I was a latchkey kid?

  12. red says:

    Chuck. The Cunningham who inexplicably disappeared.

    I still remember his room over the garage. Bye, Chuck. You were no longer needed for plot purposes.

    Potsie kind of drove me nuts, I have to say. His face was too eager and dim-witted.

  13. Lisa says:

    Remember when Joanie fell in love with Potsie? (pre-Chachi, of course.) He told her everyone called him a nerd and she said he was a “dren” — the opposite of nerd.


  14. mitch says:

    I always indentified with Gilligan.

    And I grew up in a town full of Maryanns. I dug Ginger. That may be where my thing for redheads began.

    Other than that, though, the show always depressed me; all my friends would sit inside and watch on the most gorgeous days. “We’ve seen this krep ten times already!”, I yelled to no avail.

    I watched so little TV, I have no concept of Urkel, Gary Coleman or the rest – but my daughter has taken to watching “Saved By The Bell”, exposing me to the horror of Screech for the first time. Ugh.

  15. red says:

    mitch –

    You should get down on your knees right now and thank the Lord that you have never met Urkel.

  16. red says:

    I think I still have nightmares about the Gilligan episode where they had to fight the massive “s” in the cave. Member that one? It was as big as a Buick.

    And they ended up putting a mirror up – and the “s” backed into the cave, terrified of its own reflection.

    That was never good enough for me, as a child. Unless it was dead 10 times over … I would not be satisfied.

  17. A pox upon me for the Urkel reminder. I’m having some sort of issue this week with dredging up painful pop culture memories. I recently mentioned Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam on my blog much to the horror of one of my readers. I don’t mean to be so cruel and evil. I swear I don’t.

    Ralph Malph annoyed me too but in a completely different way from Potsie. Ralph Malph’s joke delivery was very Tony Danza-esque — arms out, eyes wide and mouth hanging open in expectation. It was so needy and shameless.

    ARGH! Why do ficticious characters rile me so?

  18. red says:


    And now Ralph Malph is conjured up before my very eyes!!!

    I always enjoyed the “mamapapasister” fraternity joke. One of my favorites.

  19. Lisa says:


    If your daughter is watching Screech, then Full House can’t be far behind. Word to the wise: BEWARE THE OLSON TWINS!

  20. Yes, and don’t forget about Uncle Joey. He was the resident moron on that show and just as aggravating. “Cut.It.OUUUT!”

  21. Lisa says:

    I can’t watch Uncle Joey without thinking of Alanis going down on him in a theatre.

    But that’s just me.

  22. No doubt she grabbed hold of that mullet for some leverage.

    Oops! Sorry, Sheila. Didn’t mean to make this thread so dirty.

  23. red says:

    curly – mullets are, apparently, a theme today.

  24. HA HA HA HA HA! Perhaps I should share the link to explain my hysterics? If interested, please click here.

  25. Oops. I added an extra . in the code. Here’s the link:

  26. Lisa says:

    Wow, curly. That’s pretty SPECIFIC, huh?

  27. red says:

    I know. I thought my needs were specific:

    “Irish descent. Blurpy. Nice laugh. Likes sports and kids.”

    But now I don’t feel so picky.

  28. I wonder if she’d turn away a midget doing, say, The Worm? I wonder how staunch an advocate she is of The Robot?

  29. red says:

    Who could turn away a midget doing the Worm? I mean, honestly. You’d have to have a heart of stone.

  30. Ron says:

    Okay, I just can’t help myself here but make a comment about the theme song. IIRC, originally the theme song didn’t have “The Professor and Mary Ann”, but in fact that part went.
    “The movie star and the rest…”. Don’t ask me why I felt compelled to note that, except stuff like that gets stuck in my brain.

  31. red says:

    Ron – you are absolutely correct. That’s how I knew it as a child: “and the rest” … as though those 2 characters were somehow peripheral.

    But at some point along the line (maybe when the show became a hit?) – the theme song changed. And the names were added in.

    Stuff like that sticks in my brain too. Sadly.

  32. What chaps my ass is that Lovie never got an upgrade in the theme song. Every season, she was billed as “his wife.” That’s bullshit!

  33. Mark says:

    The Professor and Mary Ann renegotiated their contracts after the first season, hence the change in the theme song.

    In Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, they watch This Island Earth which co-stars Russell Johnson as, well, a professor. When he makes his entrance, Tom Servo speaks for him (and all us, really) by asking “What’s this ‘and the rest’ crap?!”

  34. JFH says:

    Okay, this thread may be done but I’ve gotta get a couple of comments in:

    Curly – “Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam” were a fictional creation? oh well, que sara sara.

    Sheila – Have you ever seen Denver in his role of Maynard G. Krebs on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis?

    All- Could you have a SUCCESSFUL show today that could have at least 3 single men and 2 single women together on a deserted island with no sexual relationships? The producers of Lost want to know…

  35. Ron says:

    Eddie Haskell…is he still out there? Or did he enter the White House at some point in the last 40 years?

    “Gee, Mrs. Cleaver that’s a lovely dress you’re wearing today!” said with such…sincerity and feeling!

  36. Laura(southernxyl) says:

    I guess you don’t like Mr. Bean, then.

  37. Alex says:

    I would like to say someting about Ginger.

    The Movie Star was the coolest, smoothest, flippety little Diva I ever did see. She forced me into my mother’s closet searching frantically for white vinyl go-go boots and tight little skirts. She also gave me my first taste of long dresses and sequins.

    I loved her Monroe rip-off. Plain as day and with no apologies. I always thought of it as more of a nod than a steal.

    I also wanted her to kick Maryanne’s ass. That woman always aggrivated the snot out of me. With her hand wringing, and her stuttering, and her constant “OH!”s. Please. Save it for the farm, sister. Ginger could SO beat you at arm wrestling.

    I loved her height and I loved the fantastic hairdo’s she was able to create on that desert island.

    My favorite Ginger moment was when her twin suddenly got stranded on the island with her, and she had to keep switching back and forth from mousy to glamorous. Anyone remember Eva?????

    Ah Ginger. You are the wind beneath my support hose.

  38. red says:

    alex – “save it for the farm, sister”. hahahahahaha

  39. Barry says:

    I never got the whole “Ginger=glam” thing – I guess I was too young to appreciate the Marilyn Monroe riff, which was on its way out by the 70’s anyway.. All these years of watching that show Ginger seemed to be just a bit out of time, like she was an actress who was channeling actresses from 20 years prior.

    Plus the whole “soft voice” thing was a little eerie. I mean, how many times did she try to fake-seduce Gilligan into doing something she wanted, then either just run away, or, when Gilligan would suddenly jerk his head away and knock himself cold against a bamboo pole she’d just shrug at her own power and walk away.


  40. red says:

    This is pretty much turning out to be my favorite comment thread ever.

    I kind of never want it to end.

    Carry on.

  41. Barry says:

    They all also have a junior-high mentality when it comes to the opposite sex. At least junior-high when I was there. For me and my classmates, it was just about kissing here and there, and maybe hand-holding. No more. Sex wasn’t really even understood much less pursued. That’s the reality that existed on the island..

  42. Ron says:

    Perhaps this is an odd admission, but when I was a kid, if they showed Adventures of Robin Hood on TV and then showed Gilligan’s Island later, it would mess up my mind because of the near-identical Alan Hales! I half-expected Errol Flynn to swing out of the trees on the castaways island! Did Tina Louise go off with Claude Reins? Was Basil Rathbone the Professor? My mother got tired of explaining…

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