"President Gilligan"
Season 1, Episode 6
The castaways decide that they need someone to be the leader on the island, and so they hold elections.
Basic Info
Air Date: October 31, 1964
Written By: Roland Wolpert
Directed By: Richard Donner
Guest Cast: None
Episode guide
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President Gilligan is the Sixth episode of the First season of "Gilligan's Island." It first aired October 31, 1964.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

The Skipper and The Professor are digging a well when they wonder why Gilligan isn't helping them so the Skipper goes looking for him. At that moment, Gilligan is visiting with the Howells and getting a tour of their future Howell Hills estate. The Skipper is calling for Gilligan repeatedly, but Mr. Howell discourages him from going. As a result, the Skipper argues with him over who's in charge of the Island. The Skipper believes he is since he was Captain of the S.S. Minnow, but Mr. Howell believes he is since he has the most money. Meanwhile, Ginger suggests a vote while the Professor tries to keep everything ethical. While Mr. Howell and the Skipper are preparing their speeches and trying to convince the others to vote for them. Mr. Howell offers Mary Ann a job and promises Ginger a big career in Hollywood. He even tries to promise Gilligan a job as Secretary of the Navy.
When it's time for the castaways to vote, the ladies vote first, followed by everyone else, but when Gilligan enters the shower acting as a voting booth, he pulls the wrong cord dumping a bucket of water on him. Reading the drenched votes, the Professor reads the votes, revealing Mrs. Howell voted for Gilligan along with Mary Ann and of course Gilligan who voted for himself, making himself the new President of the island.
Taking the position way too seriously, the Skipper stops Gilligan from sweeping the hut claiming it's not a job for the president to do then warning him Gilligan about anyone seeking a high position in his administration. He declares himself Vice President, but Mr. Howell wants to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, revealing he discovered a plot to overthrow Gilligan he started himself after the election. At his inaugural dinner, Gilligan wants to discuss digging the well, but no one listens to him. Eventually, everyone leaves even though he's not even done talking. Later, in his office, with Mrs. Howell as his secretary, he finds himself bored and quickly realizes that everyone is using his new title to dump all the hard work on him. When he tries talking to the Skipper, he is kept distracted by moving boxes and Mr. Howell confuses him with nonsensical legal mumbo jumbo for why no work is getting done. Next he sees Ginger who's washing her hair. Forced to dig the well himself while everyone else is fighting, Gilligan angrily quits as president, throwing the shovel into the ground as water starts gushing, solving the water problem.
That night, Gilligan is holding a cabinet meeting with everyone in attendance and suggests building a lookout tower to expedite their rescue, but he runs into the same problem as no one wants to actually work to build it.

Message[edit | edit source]

  • As President Truman said, "The buck stops here."

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • Gilligan becomes "President"

Credits[edit | edit source]

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • None

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The air date makes it apparent that this was intended as an Election Day episode. Lyndon Johnson won the election on November 3, 1964.
  • In the scene where the Howells are staking out their hut, the bills used on the posts look like fake bills in the long shots and real ones in the close shots.
  • The Castaways election is a waste of time. According to United States Law and the Maritime Code, the Skipper is the de facto leader of the Castaways as it is his responsibility to keep them safe until they get rescued.
  • In the election, the Skipper got his and the Professor's votes, Mr. Howell got his and Ginger's votes and Mary Ann and Mrs. Howell for their own reasons voted for Gilligan. Although Gilligan was supporting the Skipper, he must have slipped his own name in for consideration without realizing two votes would push him into winning over the Skipper and Mr. Howell.
  • Mr. Howell claims when he's president, Gilligan will be Secretary of the Navy, but in Forward March, he gives the job to the Skipper. (In reality, the position doesn't mean anything since as the Skipper pointed out, "they don't even have a boat")
  • After Gilligan becomes President, no one seems very interested to expedite their rescue as much as they are more interested in dumping all the hard work on Gilligan.
  • The boxes the Skipper gives Gilligan to carry are marked "Cut Rhubarb," "Lima Beans," "Peas and Carrots" and "Leaf Spinach" which are probably reserves from the Minnow or boxes used for storage on the boat.
  • When Gilligan is giving a speech during dinner, he is asked to pass a plate of food. If the plate is so hot, why did the Skipper and the Professor have no problem holding it for a considerable amount of time?
  • The completed lookout tower later appears in Forget Me Not and Physical Fatness.
  • The new well in this episode runs dry in Water Water Everywhere and gets replaced by an underground cavern full of fresh water.
  • The fact that Gilligan was voted the President of the island is never mentioned again; nor is it explained how the Skipper reverted back to being in charge. The election serves no purpose. According to United States law, the Skipper is the de facto leader of the castaways responsible for their welfare after the shipwreck.
  • Gilligan tells Skipper that he's never been a President before but, in The Little Dictator, it is revealed that he was the President of the 8th grade camera club.
  • When Gilligan dreams of becoming a South American President in The Little Dictator, the Skipper becomes Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Howell is Secretary of the Treasury and the Professor assumes the role as Prime Minister.
  • Syndicated versions of this episode don't include the tag scene with Gilligan mentioning the lookout tower.
  • It is unclear if Mr. Howell follows through on his promise to help Ginger's career, as according to Rescue from Gilligan's Island.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Skipper - "Why should people vote for me?"
    Gilligan - "I don't know."
    Skipper - "Well, think!"
    Gilligan - "I got it. Because you're the skipper, and you'll threaten them."
    Skipper - "No, that won't work."
    Gilligan - "Works with me."
    Skipper - "But you're different."
    Gilligan - "I am?"
    Skipper - "Certainly. You're my crew. I can threaten you."

  • Mr. Howell - "Gilligan, how would you like to be Secretary of the Navy."
    Gilligan - "Secretary of the Navy? You've gotta be kidding. I don't even know how to tie a knot."
    Mr. Howell - "You're just being modest."
    Gilligan - "No I'm not. Look."

  • The Professor - "Who wants to vote first?"
    Gilligan - "I do."
    Skipper - "Women and children first, that's what I stand for."
    Mr. Howell - "See what I mean? Who wants a president who would let children vote?"
    Mary Ann - "I'll vote first, Professor."

  • Mr. Howell - "No. You see, Mr. President, I think with my background the ideal job for me would be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court."
    Skipper - "But that's a very important position. Have you had any legal experience?"
    Mr. Howell - "The government has convicted me six times on antitrust suits and I've been investigated every year for income tax evasion."
    Gilligan - "That's good enough for me. How about you, Skipper?"
    Skipper - "Any man who can stay out of jail with a record like that must know something about the law."

  • Mr. Howell - "Do you think I began a dozen international corporations by stooping to thievery?"
    The Professor - "Well, of course not."
    Mr. Howell - "Shows how naive you are. How else do you get to the top of the corporate ladder!"

  • Gilligan - "Mr. Howell, do you want your cufflinks back?"
    Mr. Howell - "Do you think that I am the kind of man who would take back a bribe, sir?"

  • Mr. Howell - "The government has convicted me six times on anti-trust suits, and I've been investigated every year for income-tax evasion."
    Skipper - "Any man who can stay out of jail with a record like that has to know something about the law!"

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