RIP: Sherwood Schwartz (1916 – 2011)

Sherwood Schwartz and the cast of Gilligan's Island

Today the world lost a giant in television… Sherwood Schwartz, creator of Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch, has died today at the tender age of 94.  I have not read anything as to the cause of his death, but I’m guessing 94 has something to do with it.

Mr. Schwartz began his career in the early 50’s as a writer on The Red Skelton Hour and moved on to pen his own show, Gilligan’s Island, by 1964.  I have already written lovingly with regards to how much I have always adored Gilligan’s Island, and more pointedly, have now indoctrinated my children in the wacky adventures of our favorite castaways.  Although it only ran for three years, the show found its sea legs in syndication.  One of the rare shows that seems to always be playing somewhere, at some time.

The Brady Bunch found Sherwood creating a show that helped families on TV into the modern age.  Although the two parents were not products of divorce, they were each widowed then remarried, it was a showcase for a new type of American family… one that brings together multiple families together to form one group.  The Brady Bunch outlived Gilligan’s Island in terms of its initial run which lasted for five years… but found new life in the two movies that were written by Mr. Schwartz himself and became massive surprise hits.

Needless to say… my childhood would not have been the same if it weren’t for the influence his two main contributions had on me.  I am saddened to hear of his passing, yet his longevity is something to stand in awe of.  Thanks for the memories Mr. Schwartz… my daughters and I shall watch an episode or two of Gilligan’s Island in your honor.

Rest in peace Mr. Schwartz,

Cornelius J. Blahg

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