Gilligan's Island Wiki
"Gilligan Meets Jungle Boy"
Season 1, Episode 19
Epi GMJB.jpg
A jungle boy who can only mimic words shows the castaways where helium is stored. Can the castaways build a balloon and fly to safety... Or not?
Basic Info
Air Date: 2/6/65
Written By: Al Schwartz, Howard Merrill, and Howard Harris
Directed By: Lawrence Dobkin
Guest Cast: Kurt Russell as The Jungle Boy
Episode guide
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X Marks the Spot St. Gilligan and the Dragon

Gilligan Meets Jungle Boy is the nineteenth episode of the First Season. It first aired February 6, 1965.


Hearing strange noises, Gilligan heads into the jungle and discovers a Jungle Boy running loose on the island. He tries telling the Skipper and Professor, but they don't believe him. He then goes off to sulk in the jungle, when the boy reappears. Gilligan tries to talk to him, but all the boy can do is mimic him. They play in the jungle together until the boy shows Gilligan a natural gas mine on the island. Gilligan lures the boy back to camp to show everyone, but the boy stops just short of the trees. Gilligan warns the Skipper about rushing him since he's skittish, even as Mr. Howell fails to get the boy's attention. Mary Ann, however, manages to get the boys trust, but even with the effort of all the women, they can't get him to communicate. Meanwhile, Gilligan shows Skipper and Professor the gas vent. The Professor proposes making a balloon with the gases to carry one of the castaways to civilization to get them rescued. The girls begin sewing raincoats together while the Professor seals them with tree sap to make the balloon. However, no one can decide who should go up in the balloon until they draw straws. The Skipper wins, but he's too heavy for the balloon, crashing through the basket as it starts lifting off without him. The choice is made to send the boy up in it, but the girls fervently protect him when it might prove dangerous. Gilligan suggests sending the balloon up by itself with a message in it. Everyone likes the idea, but the boy has heard enough of their conversation to takes the balloon. Everyone finds him and the balloon missing, and a few days later, everyone hears from the radio that the boy landed on an aircraft carrier, but since he can only repeat what other people say, he can't explain who helped him build the balloon.


  • "Strike while the iron is hot, or you might not be able to strike at all."


  • Mary Ann "taming" the Jungle Boy
  • The ladies trying to teach the Jungle Boy
  • Jungle Boy's reaction to Ginger fixing his hair.
  • Gilligan floating as a result of the gas


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • It's possible that Jungle Boy was inspired by Mowgli from the Rudyard Kipling's 1894 classic The Jungle Book about a feral child brought up by a black panther named Bagheera in the deep jungles of India. The character is similar to the character in Edgar Rice Burroughs' book series Tarzan of the Apes who likely inspired Tongo the Ape Man in Our Vines Have Tender Apes.
  • As the Jungle Boy, Kurt Russell wears shorts under his loin cloth; although, where he gets a leopard skin loin cloth isn't exactly explained.
  • Gilligan says the jungle boy swings like a monkey, swims like a fish, and runs like a deer!
  • This is the second time Gilligan tries to swing from a vine.
  • Mary Ann must have altered some of Mr. Howell's clothes to fit the boy.
  • When Gilligan floats inside and outside of the balloon, the wires holding him can be seen.
  • The Castaways must have exhausted the store of natural gas to try building a new balloon; yet, they tap the island's natural gases again in Sorry, You've Been Disconnected to create an blowtorch.
  • Teachers and care-workers should be able to get the boy able to communicate within a few months.
  • The riddle of how the boy arrived on the island is never explained.


  • Skipper - "Sometimes, I think the Professor invents too many things."

  • Gilligan - "It looks like a trench coat for an octopus."

  • Mr. Howell - "She’s charmed the little nipper.”
    Gilligan - “How’d you do that?”
    Mary Ann - “When fishing for boys, the proper bait is girls.”

  • Professor - "Our first experiment was perfect. Except, of course, for one minor detail. "
    Mr. Howell - "It failed."

  • Skipper - "Howell, how would you like it if I put you in the driver's seat?"
    Mr. Howell - "Sir, are you suggesting that I stoop to manual labor?"
    Skipper - "Congratulations, you got it right the first time."
    Mr. Howell - "Would you ask a man with a chronic sacroiliac and a strangulated disc do a thing like that?"
    Skipper - "You've got all those things?"
    Mr. Howell - "Don't evade the issue.

  • Professor - "I put everything I could think of into this rescue note"
    Skipper - "So did I, as much as we know about longitude and latitude."
    Mrs. Howell - "And I offered a generous reward for our rescue."
    Mr. Howell - "I knew you would, Lovey. My note merely reads, 'Double previous offer'."

  • Gilligan - "Skipper, Professor, the boy is gone. He's disappeared."
    Skipper - "Well, maybe he went back to where he used to live, to get a few things."
    Mr. Howell - "What would he have, a formal loin cloth?"