In the last episode of CloserWeekly.com’s Classic TV podcast, we spoke to producer Lloyd Schwartz, whose father, Sherwood Schwartz, created both The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, which Lloyd was involved with as well. This time out, we’re turning the focus mainly to Gilligan and the rest of those seven stranded castaways.
But before we do that, we’re talking about Lloyd’s 1976 Saturday morning live-action TV show, Big John, Little John. The focus is on 40-year-old middle school science teacher John Martin (played by Herb Edelman), who takes a vacation in Florida and drinks from a water spring that tuned out to be the Fountain of Youth that had been sought out by Juan Ponce de Leon. The result is that he finds himself transformed into a 12-year-old version of himself (played by Robbie Rist, Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch). But then he changes back again, and the transformation back and forth continues to take place without any sort of warning and without him being able to control it. Think of it as a variation of The Incredible Hulk, but really different.
One additional detour on the way to Gilligan is another show his father produced, It’s About Time, about a pair of astronauts that end up going to prehistoric times and interact with a cave family — until ratings slipped, and then the astronauts came back to the present, bringing a couple of cave people along with them. As Lloyd points out, nobody remembers the show, but they certainly do know the theme song (you can easily look it up on YouTube).
And then, for the rest of the conversation, it’s about Gilligan. Specifically, how those three reunion movies came about, the fact that at one point former NBC head Fred Silverman was hellbent on a crossover that would bring The Brady Bunch to Gilligan’s Island, and the struggle since 1998 to mount a big budget Gilligan’s Island: The Motion Picture, which Lloyd describes as an “epic comedy adventure.”
We hope you’ll just sit right back and enjoy this tale right along with us.