The Ultimate Gilligan's Island Quiz



By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

Take a group of bumbling people and strand them on a deserted island. That's the premise of "Gilligan's Island," one of the most popular TV shows of the 60s. How much do you know about this silly tropical comedy?

"Gilligan's Island" shows seven people stuck on a deserted island in which part of the world?

The show features seven people stranded on a remote island somewhere near Hawaii. Unfortunately, they aren't close enough to the islands to expect a prompt rescue.


How do the unfortunate people wind up on a deserted island?

Five tourists set out on a pleasure tour and run into a massive Pacific storm. They are trapped on an island along with two crew members.


The theme song's lyrics indicate that the ship was only supposed to be cruising for how long before running into a storm?

The show's theme song is one of its most memorable qualities. "The mate was a mighty sailin' man / The Skipper brave and sure / Five passengers set sail that day / For a three-hour tour, a three-hour tour." It turned out to be a much longer trip than anyone expected.


The name of the wrecked ship is famous. What is it?

The wrecked ship is named the SS Minnow. It's a ridiculous name for a ship, and it's a clue to the slapstick comedy that is so common in each episode.


The show was a short-lived but popular cultural phenomenon. How many seasons were there?

There were just three seasons of "Gilligan's Island," for a total of 98 episodes. The first two seasons got great ratings, but in the third season, the show dropped substantially in popularity.


The Skipper is stranded with his first mate Gilligan. What does Skipper always call Gilligan?

The Skipper routinely calls Gilligan "little buddy." The pair generally gets along, but they also frequently drive each other crazy.


Which actor played the role of Gilligan?

Bob Denver played the iconic Gilligan. Denver worked on other productions in Hollywood and theater, but he was always mostly closely linked to "Gilligan's Island."


The show was intended to be a social commentary on which issue?

Sherwood Schwartz created the show as a commentary on politics, and more specifically, disharmony. He intended the show to be a demonstration that very different people can learn to get along for the greater good.


Jim Backus played the role of Thurston Howell. What makes Mr. Howell stand out?

Mr. Howell is the show's millionaire. He's married to Lovel Howell. The wealthy couple greatly misses their material luxuries during their seemingly endless days on the island.


During their long ordeal, the stranded people receive intermittent contact from the outside world. How?

The group isn't entirely cut off from the rest of the world -- they have an AM radio. Once in a while, they are able to hear broadcasts from the Hawaiian islands.


The Professor is an academic who teaches _______?

The Professor has a lofty sounding name. But in spite of his supposed credentials, he's made a career as a high school science teacher.


Dick Van Dyke was the first pick to play the part of Gilligan. Why didn't he accept the role?

Van Dyke was a hugely famous funnyman in the 60s. He read the pilot script and said that it was worthless and that he wanted nothing to do with the show.


The group has absolutely no means for attempting to leave the island.

The group still has access to the SS Minnow, which is damaged but not destroyed. But even after many episodes, they can't seem to find a way to fix the leaky ship.


Tina Louise played the part of Ginger Grant. What was Ginger's occupation?

Ginger was the ravishing "movie star." However, the other members of the group question just how big of a celebrity she really is.


During the opening credits, the United States flag is seen at half-mast. Why?

The show was created in the early 1960s, and the opening credits were filmed just after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It's a sad reminder that real life often intrudes on even during our most whimsical moments.


Which character clearly digs Ginger?

There are a couple of characters close to Ginger's age, but it's the Skipper -- who is old enough to be her father -- who shows the most interest in the "movie star."


The Professor spends much of his time making out with which character?

By all accounts, The Professor is a good-looking guy who could probably steal the hearts of the island's women. But he is consistently portrayed as totally uninterested in romantic relationships.


Why did the show's creators opt to make The Professor disinterested in sex?

In the early 60s, TV shows were still pretty conservative, and no one wanted the headaches of dealing with network censors. So the creators dodged the issue altogether by making The Professor (and everyone other than Ginger) pretty sexless.


What is Gilligan's first name?

It's never mentioned during an episode, but Gilligan's real first name is Willy. Sherwood Schwartz indicated in an interview that Willy was the first mate's name.


Gilligan is obviously one of the show's main characters. What's his personality like?

Gilligan is the kind and gentle guy who also happens to be consistently incompetent. He and the Skipper are silly buffoons.


There are just two young women on the island. What's the relationship between Ginger and Mary Ann like?

Mary Ann and Ginger don't always like each other. But for the most part, the group's only two young women generally get along as friends.


Natalie Schafer played the part of Mrs. Howell. Why did Schafer's contract indicate that there should never be any close-up shots of her during filming?

Schafer was literally a millionaire playing the role of a millionaire, and she had more leverage than most actors. She didn't want any close-ups of her face because she was significantly older than everyone else on the show.


Ginger is the aloof, self-centered movie star. What was she like on set?

Tina Louise was reportedly very distant on set and steered away from the other cast members, in part because she had anticipated being the star of the show. She later blamed the show for typecasting her and ruining her career.


Dawn Wells plays the part of Mary Ann. "Gilligan's Island" was essentially the end of her TV career.

Wells became a huge star after "Gilligan's Island" and went on to many other productions. But like some of her co-stars, she was always most famous for her role as Mary Ann.


The Professor is extremely intelligent. What are his construction skills like?

The Professor is like MacGyver -- he can fix just about any problem by using his inventive construction skills. But for whatever reason, he's clueless when it comes to fixing the SS Minnow so that the group can get home.


The show was set on a remote tropical island. Where was it filmed?

Some of the opening credits were shot in Hawaii. But the roughly 100 episodes were mostly filmed on a set in Hollywood.


How did Alan Hale Jr. feel about his role as the Skipper?

Hale loved being the Skipper and went to great lengths just to audition for the part. After the show ended, he often wore his Skipper outfit for public outings.


Some viewers of the TV show though it was a documentary.

There's no helping some people. There were some viewers who contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, indicating that there were people stranded in the Pacific … and that someone should go and rescue them.


In the final episode, the characters finally escape and return home.

The show's producers expected that the show would return for a fourth season, so the final episode merely ends with the group still stranded on the island. The fourth season never emerged, leaving our heroes forever stuck on their remote island.


In 1978, there was a follow-up TV movie called "Rescue from Gilligan's Island." What happens at the end of the movie?

After a long adventure, the group succeeds in escaping their prison of an island. Eventually, they all decide to go on yet another cruise to celebrate their friendship … and of course, they wind up trapped on the island all over again.


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