Was the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song tampered with?

A STAFF REPORT FROM THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD

Dear Straight Dope:

I've been bothered for years about the double ending to the theme song from Gilligan's Island. Usually the song ends "...the millionaire, the professor and Mary Ann, here on Gilligan's Isle..", but on some shows the ending is "the movei star and the rest, here on Gilligan's Isle." Since the professor and his coconut radios led me into a life of science, I'm offended at the snub (plus I liked Mary Ann more than Ginger). Any idea about the reason why this second ending was created?

Lileth replies:

Lucky for you, little buddy, I happen to own a copy of the Unofficial Gilligan’s Island Handbook, by Joey Green, (which I highly recommend for a Gilligan fan such as yourself). Mr. Green writes:

“…the most noticeable change (in the show) occurred in the opening song’s lyrics. The words, ‘the rest’ were replaced with ‘the Professor and Mary Ann.’ Originally cast as second-billed co-stars and credited at the end of the show, the Professor and Mary Ann’s increasing popularity demanded top billing. ‘I had expected a bigger part,’ says Russell Johnson (the Professor). ‘That came in the second year.’

“Dawn Wells (Mary Ann) recalls: ‘I think that originally Ginger was signed before the Professor and Mary Ann, and her contract stated she was in fifth place and no one after her. Then the second year, when the show was definitely seven characters equally, there was a contract renegotiation.’ Wells fondly recalls exchanging flowers and birthday gifts with Russell Johnson with cards signed ‘Love, the rest.’ ”

Oh, I always thought they made a good couple.

Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com.

STAFF REPORTS ARE WRITTEN BY THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, CECIL'S ONLINE AUXILIARY. THOUGH THE SDSAB DOES ITS BEST, THESE COLUMNS ARE EDITED BY ED ZOTTI, NOT CECIL, SO ACCURACYWISE YOU'D BETTER KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED.

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