Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thinking Gilligan

I was listening to the Gilligan theme song and something struck me.

The various characters are all mentioned in the song, getting a description that informs their personality and social status, except for one who is simply named. Doesn't Mary Ann have enough of a personality that they couldn't think of two words to describe her?


Walaka said...

Actually, Mari, the first season version of the song leaves out both the Professor and Mary Ann, referring to them as "and the rest." In later versions of the themes, they are both mentioned by name, but not by rank, as it were, just "The Professor and Mary Ann," although I guess the Professor's name is his rank. Come to think of it, Gilligan only gets mentioned by name, too. This cries out for analysis.

Marionette said...

According to that bastion of accuracy, Wikipedia the theme only mentions Gilligan and Mary Ann by name, and Gilligan's status is referred to elsewhere in the song "The mate was a mighty sailing man" clearly refers to Gilligan in the visuals.

As for the others, "the millionaire" "the movie star" "the skipper" - it's all status. "the professor" isn't an actual professor but the title suggests his status as the learned man.

Before the show starts you can make an educated guess about all the characters based upon the title sequence except Mary Ann.

And I still have no idea why it's called "Gilligan's Island", anyway. Gilligan is not the leader or important in any way as far as I can tell. So why is it his island rather than anyone else's?

Anonymous said...

i always took it as the opposite. besides gilligan, mary ann is the only one referred to by name, singling her out as more an individual than a simple descriptor.

Luke said...

The reason the lyrics changed in the second season is great.
This is from Wikipedia:

Wells says that it was Denver who went to the studio executives to get them added to the opening credits. The studio originally refused, stating that it would cost too much to reshoot and rescore the opening. Denver pointed out that it was in his contract that he could have his name anywhere he wanted in the credits, so they could move it to the end credits along with Johnson and Wells. The studio capitulated. Wells said that Denver never mentioned this to anyone in the cast, and she didn't find out until years after the show ended what he had done.

Go Bob Denver!