Gilligan's Island Wiki
"Will the Real Mr. Howell Please Stand Up?"
Season 2, Episode 26
An impostor on the mainland claims to be the real, Mr. Howell. Even worse, he washes up on the island!
Basic Info
Air Date: March 17, 1966
Written By: Budd Grossman
Directed By: Jack Arnold
Guest Cast: George A. Neise as the Radio Interviewer
Episode guide
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Will the Real Mr. Howell Please Stand Up? is the 26th episode of the second season of the CBS-TV series Gilligan's Island, and the 62nd overall series episode. It first aired March 17, 1966.


Listening to the Radio, Mr. Howell hears that he is about to be interviewed, but he soon begins to realize that it is an impostor impersonating him. The impostor claims that he alone of the seven castaways had survived the sinking of the S.S. Minnow. The impostor's intentions are obvious as he begins to spend Mr. Howell's fortune and sell off his company stock-by-stock to fund his lifestyle. The real Mr. Howell wants to stop him. Every time he hears of the phony Howell spending or selling his property, he goes berserk and runs to the lagoon as if he was going to swim back to the mainland. The Skipper and Gilligan stop him each time. However, his worries are dispelled as the radio reports the phony Howell has fallen overboard from a boat while sailing and is reported lost. A search is on the way for the man still believed to be Thurston Howell III, and by the following day, the impostor somehow manages swim ashore onto the Island. Wandering the island, he is shocked to discover the real Thurston Howell sitting in his chair. Knocking him upside the head with a coconut, he renders the real Mr. Howell unconscious and drags him into the jungle, changing clothes with him in an attempt to fool the other castaways. Eventually, the real Mr. Howell regains consciousness in the impostor's wet clothes and heads back to his chair, discovering the impostor and calling out to the other Castaways. Only Gilligan, the Skipper, and Mrs. Howell come on the scene, and he tries to convince the others that he is the real Thurston Howell. The impostor, however, rebuffs all his responses with "Howell-like" responses and a similar mole to the real Mr. Howell on his elbow. Fortunately, the Professor shows up with the radio with the latest update on the impostor, who has been proven to be a fake when earlier signatures of the real Mr. Howell are compared. His ruse discovered, the phony Mr. Howell slips away to the lagoon with the Castaways running after him. As he swims away from the island, the Castaways stop chasing him at the edge of the water. The Skipper tells Mr. Howell that he won't be able to spend anymore of his money, but Howell disagrees as the impostor is wearing his clothes with his money and credit cards in the back pocket, so he dives into the lagoon once more to get them back. A few days later, news comes over the radio that the impostor has been picked up by a fishing boat and apprehended. Meanwhile, Gilligan wonders if the fake mole on the impostor could have been painted on and tries checking Mr. Howell who shoos him off. However, that just spurs suspicion in Mrs. Howell who tries checking his arm herself.


  • "Sometimes it's hard to tell the phony from the real thing."


  • The running gag of Mr. Howell going into the lagoon (and failing) to go kill his impostor.
  • Gilligan's failed attempt to fly with wings.
  • Ginger handing the Professor a box... which he then drops


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • The episode title comes from the line, "Will the real.... please stand up?" used on the 50s game show, "To Tell the Truth."
  • The episode actually opens with Gilligan listening to The Mosquitoes, who appeared on the island in Don't Bug the Mosquitoes.
  • This episode establishes the fact that the Castaways have been missing for two years at this point.
  • The establishing shot of the Howell's Hut is actually the exterior of the Boy's Hut.
  • While Mr. Howell is upset over the impostor spending his money, the Professor comments it's a shame they don't have a psychiatrist on the island. Mrs. Howell acted like a psychiatrist in How to Be a Hero and Gilligan's Personal Magnetism.
  • When the Skipper reminds him of his track record, Gilligan seems to remember the incidents from Goodbye Island, Water, Water, Everywhere and How to Be a Hero.
  • When Mr. Howell challenges the Castaways with ideas to get him off the island, Gilligan wants to build him wings to fly away, the Skipper proposes hot rocks to create hot air for a balloon, Ginger proposes a skimpy show to attract a pilot's attention, Mary Ann proposes messages on fish with waterproof paint and the Professor suggests building a pontoon boat, later standing in stunned silence when it doesn't work.
  • Gilligan collects feathers to make wings for Mr. Howell to fly to Hawaii. Ironically, in Smile, You're on Mars Camera, Mr. Howell later has him collect feathers for a gift for Mrs. Howell.
  • While everyone is loading Mr. Howell's pontoon boat, Ginger hands the Professor a barrel that is obviously too heavy for him.
  • The Professor gives Mr. Howell their last flare despite the fact Gilligan blew them all up in Voodoo. Although, chances are it survived because it was in the flare gun the whole time.
  • The odds that the impostor would actually end up on the island with the real Mr. Howell is quite a stretch.
  • There is absolutely no reason for the impostor to switch clothes with Mr. Howell except to set up for the obligatory "Which one is Mr. Howell?" scene.
  • Supposedly, the impostor leaves the island with Mr. Howell's wallet, but he actually still has it in later episodes unless it floated back to him or was dropped and recovered from the clearing where the two exchanged clothes.
  • The impostor arrives on the island carrying a lady's shoe and a champagne bottle which he leaves on the island, but the radio report claims he still has the champagne bottle when he's picked back up from the ocean.
  • A stand-in Mr. Howell with a rubber Mr. Howell mask can be seen in some scenes.
  • Since Thurston Howell IV appears in The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island, one would think that he would have been able to expose the impostor.
  • This is the first of three "evil twin" episodes; the other two involving Ginger and Gilligan.


  • Mrs. Howell - "Thurston, you must never do that again. Swimming to the mainland simply isn't practical. Especially at this time of year when the water's so cold."
    Mr. Howell - "That impostor will ruin me. Reduce me to a pauper..."
    Mrs. Howell - "Well after all, you have some money here on the island."
    Mr. Howell - "Money. A few hundred thousand dollars. That's petty cash. Back home, that's interest on my interest."

  • Professor - "Mrs. Howell, how is he?"
    Mrs. Howell - "All the talks about is losing his money. I think he's is dire need of a psychiatrist."
    Professor - "Well I don't profess to be a psychiatrist, Mrs. Howell. However, I do hold a master's degree in psychology."
    Mrs. Howell - "Oh, I wish you'd speak to him, Professor. After all, money isn't everything especially when one has diamonds and real estate."

  • Ginger - "We'll have a big, noisy musical comedy show, and I'll wear one of those skimpy little costumes, and that's sure to attract any airline pilot that's passing overhead."
    Mary Ann - "You're kidding. They fly at twenty-thousand feet."
    Ginger - "Well, so what? When it comes to girls in skimpy costumes airline pilots have radar."

  • Skipper - "Gilligan, don't just stand there daydreaming, get to work."
    Gilligan - "Skipper, I still think those wings would have worked. For a couple of seconds there, I felt lighter than air."
    Skipper - "With that head of yours, you are lighter than air."

  • Mr. Howell - "Skipper, do you really think this contraption is safe?"
    Gilligan - "Sure, if she gets you on the shipping lanes before it sinks."
    Mr. Howell - "Oh good... Before it sinks?"
    Professor - "Relax, Mr. Howell. I guarantee you this pontoon boat is 100% watertight."
    Mr. Howell - "I hope so, because I am not."

  • Mrs. Howell - "Oh dear, I think Thurston is trying to tell us something."

  • Mr. Howell - "I'm going to ask some pointed questions which will prove conclusively which is the real Mr. Howell."
    Mr. Howell Impostor - "All right. Fire when ready."
    Mr. Howell - "All right. Now what is your favorite reading material?"
    Mr. Howell Impostor - "The social registry. You might even say it's our family Bible."
    Gilligan - "Yep. That's Mr. Howell, all right."
    Mr. Howell - "All right, now, try this one. Tell me, what is your favorite exclusive club?"
    Mr. Howell Impostor - "New York Stock Exchange."
    Gilligan - "Yep. That's Mr. Howell, all right."
    Mr. Howell - "Very, very cunning. If you had to give up everything in the world except your money or your wife which one would you keep?"
    Mr. Howell Impostor - "My money, of course!"
    Gilligan - "That's Mr. Howell, all right!"

  • Mrs. Howell - "Thurston, do you think that's the impostor?"
    Mr. Howell - "Well of course, it's the impostor. How many people are floating around the Pacific Ocean with an empty champagne bottle?"