Sixties Sitcoms

  • Gilligan's Island
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Green Acres
  • The Andy Griffith Show

Gilligan's Island (or, Survivor: The Sitcom)

    Why was it called Gilligan's Island? Why not:
  • Skipper's Island
  • Ginger's Island
  • Mary Anne's Island
  • Professor's Island
  • Howell's Island

A three hour tour, eh? And just exactly where was this body of water and island supposed to be, anyway?

The Skipper was seemingly a very nice man, but just how much boating experience did he actually have, hmmm?

How come the Professor could make a radio from a coconut but couldn't fix the boat? Did the Professor have a name?

How did Ginger remain so attractive?

How did Mary Anne remain so perky?

How did the Howells remain such snobs?

Oddly, I cannot think of anything to say about Gilligan.

A classic and brilliant plot device: plopping diversely nutty characters into a closed environment. Whether it's an island or a haunted house, ya gots ta love it.

The Dick Van Dyke Show

From the brilliant and prolific mind of Carl Reiner came one of my all time favorite shows. The Dick Van Dyke Show had a wonderful inside look into television comedy writing and showbiz. It had wonderful insight into relationships and marriage. It was smart and psychologically driven. Realistic and screwball, it was ahead of its time. Interestingly, Reiner did not 'date' it with references. Except for the clothing and furniture styles, this show was timeless.

  • Sadly, Rob and Laura were forced to sleep in twin beds. Of course, for some reason, it's difficult or comical to imagine Rob and Laura actually having sex. The show was perfect as it was; this much realism would have probably seemed weird, had it been allowed.
  • Rob and Laura had doggoned nosy neighbors, in the form of Jerry and Millie Helper. They often dropped in without bothering to knock.
  • Buddy and Sally were the perfect co workers for Rob. And I always envied this creative group: sitting in a room, writing and laughing and bitching and moaning. And getting paid for it!
  • Was Laura a permutation of Lucy, always trying to get into Alan Brady's show, hmmm?
    Some favorite episodes:
  • Nosy Neighbor Snafu: The Kids' House To House Walkie Talkie Set.
  • The UFO Incident: Paranoia, Walnuts, and Danny Thomas.
  • The Toupee Incident: Laura goes on a game show and outs Alan Brady as a baldy, to the perky manipulative game show host and to America. It's a riot as Brady rants at his toupees on wigstands, on his desk. "Look gang! SHE'S the cause of all this!" He exclaims, indicating Laura.
  • Babies Switched At Hospital? Not.
  • "Morose": The Petries' son Richie uses adult terminology at school and becomes suspect as being precocious; this is somehow tied in to Rob's negative childhood experience at Camp Whatzit, which comes to light in a psychiatric session.(!)
  • I propose a timewarp reunion show: Bring back remaining cast members, film in black and white, put against a modern backdrop, a la The Brady Bunch Movie. Works for me!

Green Acres

Now here was a hysterical, absurdist comedy, much superior to the show from which it was spun off! I always thought that Petticoat Junction was overrated, if ya know what ah mean. Billie Jo, Betty Jo, and Bobbie Jo, three sisters (the 'Jo s' if you will) bathed in a huge water tank down by the railroad tracks; they hung their wash out to dry there as well. They probably did other stuff too, but I honestly don't remember what.

Then the Douglases (Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor) moved to Hooterville and things were never the same!

Oh, gimme that country life, who needs New York City? Lawyer Oliver longs to be a gentleman farmer; wife Lisa is maladapted to country life, and seems confused by basic domesticity. Um, s'plain how you boil water again please?

Who was their real estate agent? Or had theirs been a For Sale By Owner kinda deal? (EeeeeeeK! The horror, the horror!) Their home improvement projects were a riot: soon they might even have running water and walls! Despite the fact that they usually seemed to lack adequate plumbing, Oliver and Lisa always looked spotless. Oliver was the toast of Hooterville in his vested suits. Lisa seemed to wear the same neglige for the entire run of the show. Their tiny white dog always looked as clean as a whistle.

I loved the cheesy Green Acres sets: their house looked like a cardboard cutout. If you had blown on it, it might have fallen over. And the house itself had an artsy, understated sinister quality: I'll bet that Oliver was a serial killer as well. The show simply did not dwell on it.

Two of my favorite characters were Eb Dawson, and agricultural agent Hank Kimball. Deadpan, understated, and absurd (despite the canned laughter) their comic timing was brilliant.

Arnold Ziffel was an interesting character as well, though probably a bit spoiled and indulged for a pig. My fave Arnold episode was 'Arnold Goes Hollywood': He was really cute in those RayBans, but sadly, he let fame go to his head and squealed in anger as he sent food back in restaurants.

Another one of my favorite episodes was the one in which Eb Dawson alledgedly sees a flying saucer; the Hooterville News runs a story: Local Man Encounters UFO. They use his baby picture.

Sadly, Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor (and probably the whole cast) have passed on. But I say, bring back Green Acres as a musical!

The Andy Griffith Show

I admit it. I was envious of Opie Taylor. First of all, I wanted Gregory Peck as a father. Failing that, Andy Griffith would have been my second choice. Smart, gentle, and sensitive, Sheriff Andy Taylor was no hick, despite his drawl and laid back demeanor. He was so smooth, he never even had to use his gun. Well, this WAS a comedy. I can't really see him cuffing and mirandizing Floyd the barber or Ellie the schoolteacher.

Don Knotts is obviously a comic genius: his Barney Fife was the perfect overwrought, obsessional compliment to Griffith's mellow character. And it was a good thing that Andy was there to keep Barney in check, if ya know what ah mean. Barney was always going off on paranoid tangents: "Anj, Just nip it! Nip it in the bud!" He would exclaim to Andy.

Widower Andy, son Opie, and Aunt Bea made for a great extended family, they were perfect. But I was always worried that some shady character(s) might weasel their way in and marry Andy or Aunt Bea; fortunately their romantic interests had only the longevity of female guest stars on Bonanza. Whew!

Submitted By: AF Waddell

This joke is rated: PG