MTR Event
By Ted Nichols

On March 12, 2004 the Museum of Television and Radio hosted “A Salute to Sherwood Schwartz: Gilligan’s Island & The Brady Bunch” at the Director’s Guild of America on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. It was a very enjoyable evening of nostalgia. There were about 600 people in the audience and most of the seats in the auditorium were filled. They started out by showing clips from “I Married Joan” and then they introduced a panel of actors, directors, and producers Sherwood has worked with during his career: Ann B. Davis, Christopher Knight, Les Martinson, Susan Olsen, John Rich, Lloyd Schwartz, Mel Shavelson, and Dawn Wells. Sherwood Schwartz then addressed the audience and spoke some about his career.

Suddenly the lights dimmed and we all had to sit through a full episode of Gilligan’s Island and then The Brady Bunch. I never dreamed I would be sitting in an auditorium with 600 people watching TV on the big screen as if it were a movie premiere. They showed some clips from the unaired Gilligan’s Island pilot, which was very interesting. So many changes were made before the series hit the airwaves. The theme song was a calypso! It seemed like most people there were BB fans, the episode they showed got HUGE reactions from all the outdated clothing. In one scene Mike Brady put down the newspaper and his shirt was just atrocious. Intense laughter erupted spontaneously. The same thing happened later on when Carol Brady came out in a gold pant suit. Even I started to laugh along with everyone – it was fun!

During the discussion that followed, Sherwood discussed his career working with Bop Hope, Red Skelton, and others. The creation of Gilligan’s Island was very interesting and they said that the reunion movie “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island” was watched by 54% of all people in the United States. It is still one of the top 10 TV movies of all time. Sherwood also talked about how he came up with his ideas for the Brady Bunch and the casting process of Susan, Chris, and Ann B who were there to recount their memories. Sherwood said that he liked everyone he worked with except for “one person who I won’t talk about” (a reference to Robert Reed). There was also discussion of the Gilligan’s Island musical and the Real Live Brady Bunch. Towards the end, Sherwood introduced his wife and his daughter Hope Juber. Sherwood has been with the same woman for over 60 years, and said “we have an old fashioned marriage – we’re both members of a different sex” which made everyone start laughing. The moderator then facilitated a discussion about being typecast and cast members who subsequently shun being associated with a particular TV show.

The evening closed with a tribute by Ann B. Davis in which she thanked Sherwood for giving her the wonderful gift of having relationships with people she’s never met. She recounted several examples of how people will walk up and say how much she is loved and how they always have felt close to her.

Afterwards, cast members of Gilligan’s Island and Brady Bunch signed autographs for fans and posed for pictures.