Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Here on "Gilligan's Island"

1993, first edition, from HarperPerennial
Russell Johnson with Steve Cox
Here on Gilligan's Island
Bought new for $12.00
Worn paperback

The Professor teams up with the writer who paid tribute to The Addams Family for a book that's not quite as good as Bob Denver's but still adds some new information and anecdotes.  Like Denver, he talks more about the show than about his life, although he begins with a story of being lost at sea during World War II.  And he has a chapter where his grown children talk about what it was like growing up with a famous dad.  (It's sad that his son David died of AIDS the year after this book was published, although cool that Johnson was supportive.)

Johnson was more ambivalent about the typecasting than Denver was, and thus more sympathetic to Tina Louise.  He quotes from Denver's book, so I guess this came out afterwards.  He and Denver both quote from Sherwood Schwartz's Inside Gilligan's Island.  The reason why we haven't gotten to that book yet is because I own the revised edition from '94, rather than the original from '88.  In between, on Oct. 16, 1992 the original pilot finally aired, with a different Professor and different "girls."  Both Denver and Johnson talk about the recasting, and Johnson isn't wrong when he says that he was a better Professor than John Gabriel.  (Denver doesn't play favorites in this case.)

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