Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Thank You Gilligan!

Certainly there are many important issues I could discuss today. But much discussion of New Orleans, the Rehnquist death, Iraq or other issues are posted all through the Web on various newsblogs and Websites. Today I want to honor a very funny man who I enjoyed since I was a little kid.

When I was a little guy, Bob Denver first appeared on TV as the funny beatnik, Maynard on Dobie Gillis. I immediately wanted to be a beatnik when I grew up, because I admired Maynard so much I couldn't wait to grow facial hair and be a beatnik too.

But when Bob Denver, became Gilligan, he really shined. No one wanted to be a Gilligan, but everybody loved and admired him. He was a decent, honest young guy, but just as funny as The Three Stooges all folled into one great actor, Bob Denver.

When Gilligan's Island aired from 1964 to 1967, I never missed an episode. And after school I always caught the syndicated reruns and loved and loved each and every one. The whole cast was excellent, but Bob Denver was a comic genius. The writing was hilarious, and Gilligan's screwups were a riot. The critics hated the show as did many at CBS management, but to the public Gilligan's Island was a cult hit.

My favorite episode was the one with the rapid aging meteorite that landed on the island, and the great dream sequence. But the scene with the lead makeup, seemed like a cool "new wave" look to me. Absolutely cool and funny.

In later years, Bob Denver appeared in the awful 1973 TV series, Dusty's Trail, which was simply a really bad lost wagon train version of Gilligan's Island, with Forrest Tucker playing a Skipper-like role, and Bob Denver playing a Gilligan-like role. Other actors played bad versions of the rest of the Gilligan's Island cast. It was perhaps the worst TV show ever aired, and one review even claimed that it made Gilligan's Island look like Citizen Kane by comparison. But it seemed that Bob Denver was type-cast, and Gilligan was always to be his greatest acting role. And that's just fine with the millions and the generations who just loved Bob Denver in this great role.

Thanks so much for the laughs, Bob Denver. You were a great actor who will always be loved.


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