Gone: Sherwood Schwartz, 1916-2011

Sherwood Schwartz, creator of “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Brady Bunch,” died today.

And while one could argue that there should be a special place in Hell reserved for the man who gave us “The Brady Bunch,” Schwartz more than made up for it by giving us “Gilligan’s Island.”

Was there a greater show in television history than “Gilligan’s Island?” No, none greater. There may be other shows of equal greatness — “The Andy Griffith Show” or “Cowboy Bebop” — but none greater.

And was there ever a greater TV theme song than “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island?” No, none greater. In just a few brief, sing-songy lines, you learn all you need to know to set you up for the next 30 minutes of hilarity. Schwartz co-wrote the theme song, so that’s more diamonds in his crown.

What was so great about “Gilligan’s Island?” Was it Mary Ann? Yes. Was it Ginger? Yes. And the rest were good too. It was a truly inspired ensemble.

Not only was “Gilligan’s Island” high comedy, it was also high culture. I leave you with a few lines from “Hamlet: The Musical” — my favorite interpretation of a Shakespeare play of all time.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be,      

Do not forget: Stay out of debt.

Think twice, and take this good advice from me:

Guard that old solvency.

There’s just one other thing you ought to do.

To thine own self be true

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2 responses to “Gone: Sherwood Schwartz, 1916-2011

  1. R.I.P. Mr. Schwartz. I loved Gilligan’s Island, too. (I also really liked the Brady Bunch, so thank you for that show even though Ronnie never truly appreciated its greatness.)

  2. Did you know that you can sing a huge number of hymnal songs to the Gilligan’s Island theme song tune? For example, sing the words to Amazing Grace using the Gilligan’s Island tune. Sorry if I get something stuck in your head for the whole day…

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