Home Today's Reason to Drink September 26: Gilligan’s Island debuts

September 26: Gilligan’s Island debuts

On this day in 1964, the television show Gilligan’s Island debuted on CBS. I grew up watching reruns of that show and something always bothered me. Though there wasn’t an obvious moonshine still in operation on the island, Mr. Howell always had a lot of liquor on hand. Okay, maybe he always traveled with a trunk full of booze, even on three hour tours, but when he was relaxing in his hut, he always had a cocktail in his hand. He would have run out quite quickly. Maybe he had a side deal with the Professor, who was undoubtedly inventive enough to design, build and run a secret still. It’s just a theory. Fun fact: In Episode 75, “The Man with a Net,” the professor puts together a still-like contraption that “ferments berries” in an attempt to get a visiting Brit butterfly collector drunk, so as to steal a flare gun that will summon a rescue boat. Unfortunately, the Brit rather quickly drinks the lot of them under the table, including Mr. Howell. It was his time to shine and he blew it. So, alas, they wake with hangovers and as stranded as ever.

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