Island Fever

Sit right back and you'll hear a tale

NT: Okay, play "Six Degrees of Gilligan" with me: Maureen McCormick and the Beatles.

Schwartz: Oh, that's easy. Maureen played Marcia in The Brady Bunch, and Hope, my sister, used to play Marcia's friend on that show. And my sister married Laurence Juber, who played guitar in Wings, Paul McCartney's band after the Beatles.

NT: Woo-hoo! You're good at this.

Lloyd Schwartz (center) gets lei'd by the Gilligan cast.
Lloyd Schwartz (center) gets lei'd by the Gilligan cast.

Schwartz: It doesn't hurt that my family is related to half of the people in show biz. My cousin created Baywatch.

NT: Fortyish TV nerds want to know: What's next for Gilligan? Gilligan: The Ballet? A Very Gilligan Game Show?

Schwartz: We have been trying to do a Gilligan feature film for 22 years. But the movie biz moves with glacier speed. Now that movie musicals are back in vogue, we're hoping that the Gilligan stage musical will get filmed. After that, we'd like to do a new, multiracial network series of Gilligan's Island. When Dad did the original show, TV was 100 percent white. Segregation is illegal, but television says it's mandatory. I'd like to show society the way it is. Right now I'm working on a black and white Brady Bunch.

NT: It seems like every old sitcom has a cast member who doesn't share our love for their show. What's up with Tina Louise?

Schwartz: Okay. I'm more generous on this issue than you are, but neither one of us knows what it's like to walk down the street and get asked the same questions 35 times a day. Eve Plumb is very tired of being asked to say "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" by strangers. And with Tina, she likes to say, "Playing Ginger Grant was one part of my career." If I were to put on my snide hat, I'd say, "Actually, it was your career."

NT: Now who's being generous? I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sick of hearing about guys who masturbated to Tina Louise while watching Gilligan's Island.

Schwartz: People can say what they want -- it's called freedom of speech. But I've never heard that before. Where have you heard that?

NT: Oh, I get around.

Schwartz: Well, I don't know what to say to that. I would probably be upset about that if I read it or saw someone talking about that on TV or in a movie. But you know, she was a beautiful young woman at the time.

NT: So, you're probably not looking for pitches, but how about a rock opera called Cindy Brady, Shady Lady? You could cast Susan Olsen as a drugged-out sniper who kidnaps the girl who tried to play her in A Very Brady Christmas and demands Barry Williams in exchange for the girl's release?

Schwartz: I'll put that on my list. Thanks.

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