In Gilligan, Maynard & Me, Bob Denver takes us backstage and behind the scenes of Dobie Gillis and Gilligan’s Island, two of the most popular shows in television history. Writing in a remarkably friendly and affable style, Denver tells what it was like to be plucked from complete obscurity to portray America’s most celebrated beatnik, Maynard G. Krebs, and then to become Gilligan, the world’s favorite stranded castaway.
Containing hundreds of stories about the cast and crews of Denver’s various shows, Gilligan, Maynard & Me also provides a genial insider’s view of how Hollywood and television works: the way pilots and series are created; his relationship with Max Schulman of Dobie Gillis and Sherwood Schwartz of Gilligan’s Island; the task of casting the skipper, the millionaire (and his wife), the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann; the decisions and antics of studio and network executives which turned out to be far wackier than anything ever staged for a sitcon.
With an almost childlike sense of wonder, Denver explains the painstaking work behind all the pratfalls, explosions, special effects, and gadgets that made Gilligan’s Island such a surreal joy to watch time and again. In addition, Denver reveals:
A must for all baby boomers and show-biz buffs, Gilligan, Maynard & Me is sure to put a smile on the face of anyone who’s ever relished the outrageous antics and self-deprecating slapstick of that television original, Bob Denver.
I’ve been Gilligan for almost thirty years.
People are always asking me, “Does it bother you?’’ Absolutely not. The only thing that is annoying is that none of the cast (of castaways) makes any money from the reruns. We were paid off in two years!
But in 1963, no one could foresee the syndication market. By the early eighties, I estimated that the show had grossed over a billion dollars, and it keeps rolling on. But the past is the past, and you let it go. (But boy could I use a billion dollars!)
Seriously, the fans more than make up for the loss of the money. In all the years it’s been on, no one has come up to me with anything less than a big grin and a thank-you. It makes me feel good. The fans have always been the same – the only slight change being after twenty years, the ones in their seventies and eighties wanted the autograph for themselves, instead of for their kids or grandchildren.
They remember when they were in their fifties and were really poppin’. The majority, though, watched as children and grew up with it. More than anything else I guess I hear, “I ran home from school every day and turned it on!” I’ve found that being a good childhood memory is very rewarding.
In the last six years, the Dobie Gillis series has been running on Nickelodeon. Maynard G. Krebs fans are coming on strong. They’re very loyal. When I ask them what they think of Gilligan, they say, “He’s okay, but Maynard is my man.” When they were turning thirty, they would come up and whisper in my ear that they watched the show. Now their children’s children are watching the reruns. I can see them trying to explain what a beatnik is. Good luck.
This book is for all of you who have fond memories of these shows. Keep watching and enjoying. I had great fun doing them. 🌳