Backus, Jim Thurston Howell III
Denver, Bob Gilligan (some say Willy Gilligan)
Hale Jr., Alan Skipper Jonas Grumby
Johnson, Russell Professor Roy Hinkley
Louise, Tina Ginger Grant
Schafer, Natalie Lovey Wentworth Howell
Wells, Dawn Mary Ann Summers
Maxwell, Charles radio announcer
A ship's captain, his first mate, an actress, a professor, a farm girl, a millionaire and his wife, all stranded on an uncharted desert island in the South Pacific. Seven random people thrown together by fate, united in search of an exit. A Twilight Zone episode, you say? An existential play by Jean Paul Sartre, perhaps? No, nothing quite so cerebral. It's the central plot line of Gilligan's Island, one of the most popular and most referenced sitcoms in television history.
In September of 1964 the S.S. Minnow set sail on a three-hour tour that would last three years in prime time. Although Gilligan's Island, the brainchild of Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz, was one of the worst reviewed shows ever broadcast, it was always a favorite with the viewing public. Millions of people tuned in to see the comic antics of the inept Gilligan and watch each week as the castaways inevitably failed to get off the island.
Gilligan was the boat's sole crew member, aside from the skipper. He was well-meaning but inept in his attempts to find a means of returning to civilization. As a result, and perhaps even more because this simple-minded farce became a top hit, the little band was stranded on that island for three full seasons. One question that never got answered, however, concerned the luggage. In the first episode, and in the theme song, it was pointed out that the cruise was only supposed to be for three hours.