GILLIGAN Biography - Fictional, Iconical & Mythological characters


Biography » fictional iconical mythological characters » gilligan


Name: Gilligan                                                                       
Gilligan is a fictional character played by Bob Denver on the 1960s TV show           
Gilligan's Island and its many sequels.                                               
Gilligan is always seen in his trademark red shirt and white sailor's cap. He         
was the first mate on the S.S. Minnow when during a storm he threw an anchor         
overboard without the line attached, accidentally becoming marooned on a desert       
island with all aboard.                                                               
In the U.S. Navy, Gilligan was The Skipper's 'little buddy'. The pair followed       
the stereotype combination of the fat man/skinny guy strategy first employeed by     
Laurel and Hardy. Gilligan's past and family wasn't mentioned during the series.     
Notable exceptions mentioned was that he had an older brother, from whom he           
swiped his ubiquitous red shirt. He would often give anecdotes about his             
childhoold friends, Skinny Mulligan and Fatso Flannigan.                             
The character of Gilligan is noted for frequent physical comedy, often using his     
friend the Skipper in the role of a straight man. Continuing gags of the show         
involve Gilligan's seduction by Ginger, eating Mary Ann's coconut cream pies,         
making jokes of the Skipper's obesity and inadvertently undermining any attempts     
and efforts of the castaways to get off the island.                                   
Despite his bumbling nature, Gilligan has an innate innocence of character that       
frequently unexpectedly saves the day for his companions. Other ensemble stories     
have had similar characters somewhat lacking in wit but with big hearts, such as     
Mater in the movie Cars.                                                             
Today Gilligan is widely recognized as an American popular culture icon, he           
ranked at 122nd place in the July 2003 list of 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons         
compiled by VH-1 and People Magazine.                                                 
Gilligan's full name has been a subject of debate among fans of the series for       
decades, which was finally resolved by the release of Gilligan's Island — The       
Complete First Season on DVD in 2004. In a documentary called Before the Three       
Hour Tour, excerpts from Sherwood Schwartz's original treatment for the series       
reveal that Gilligan's full name was "Willy Gilligan", a name that Bob Denver         
had sometimes given during talk show interviews. The documentary also reveals         
that Schwartz found the name "Gilligan" by opening the phone book to a random         
page. Bob Denver stated on a KDKA radio interview in May 1989, that "Gil Eggan"       
was his choice for the character's name. Denver reasoned that the nickname           
Gilligan developed as everyone screamed at Gil Eggan, and it ran together. No         
first name is used in any of the three seasons, films or animated series. In         
Rescue From Gilligan's Island, the returning castaways' names are announced. The     
writers, heightening the folklore surrounding Gilligan, omitted the the first         
mate's name despite providing the names of the others.