Sherwood Schwartz

Show Creator/Producer/Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his six-hour Archive interview, Show creator/writer/producer Sherwood Schwartz (1916-2011) whose creations include Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, speaks in depth about these shows and the many others he worked on in his long career. Mr. Schwartz also candidly describes writing for comedic legends Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Red Skelton. He recounts working on shows including I Married Joan, It's About Time and My Favorite Martian. Dan Pasternack conducted the interview on September 17, 1997 in Beverly Hills, CA.

"'Mom said don't play ball in the house.' These things are just said once, but they reverberated through generations."

Highlights
Sherwood Schwartz on how much Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch influenced pop culture
01:54
Sherwood Schwartz on the genesis of The Brady Bunch
15:09
Sherwood Schwartz on seeing evidence of the power of television when a Red Skelton Show comic sketch was taken seriously by certain viewers
03:55
Sherwood Schwartz on the importance of sticking with a premise
Sherwood Schwartz on seeing evidence of the power of television when viewers sent telegrams calling for the rescue of the Gilligan's Island castaways
02:16
Sherwood Schwartz on the use of the laugh track
01:05
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years growing up in New Jersey; his dream to be a doctor; and his decision to move to California 
16:11
On meeting Bob Hope through his brother, and starting to write jokes for Hope

Chapter 2

On writing for Bob Hope's radio show
04:32
On serving in the U.S. Army and writing for Armed Forces Radio during World War II
09:29
On working as a writer on radio's Ozzie and Harriet and Beulah
06:19
On writing comedy for radio and first seeing television
04:50
On his first television writing job on I Married Joan
03:46

Chapter 3

On laugh tracks; leaving I Married Joan for other projects
03:00
On working on The Red Skelton Show
25:57

Chapter 4

On leaving The Red Skelton Show; and the Emmy he won for his work on the show
03:57
On his dealings with CBS and his work on My Favorite Martian
09:28
On his approach to storytelling
04:17
On the genesis of Gilligan's Island and how he sold the show to CBS (part 1)
11:45

Chapter 5

On selling the concept of Gilligan's Island to CBS (part 2) and the financing behind the show
16:17
On the casting of the pilot of Gilligan's Island
12:04

Chapter 6

On casting Tina Louise as Ginger on Gilligan's Island
02:34
On bringing Gilligan's Island to air
18:10
Sherwood Schwartz on the production details of Gilligan's Island (he also displays the last piece of the lagoon)
07:26

Chapter 7

On producing Gilligan's Island and its eventual cancellation
15:51
On producing It's About Time
08:12
On network programming strategies at CBS
04:19

Chapter 8

On the genesis of The Brady Bunch
16:08
On the casting of The Brady Bunch and his difficulties with Robert Reed
12:01

Chapter 9

On casting Ann B. Davis and Florence Henderson, and his continuing difficulties with Robert Reed on The Brady Bunch
10:25

Chapter 10

Sherwood Schwartz on the last episode of The Brady Bunch and the reunion specials and movies that followed it
14:38
Sherwood Schwartz on loading... and Gilligan's Island reunions and feature films
14:29

Chapter 11

On difficulties getting a Gilligan's Island feature made
03:34
On learning that Red Skelton had passed away the day of the interview
02:02
On the disappearance of "Tiger" on The Brady Bunch  and the legacy of his shows
02:57
On his current view of television
09:31
On how he'd like to be remembered and his thoughts on some of his colleagues
09:02

Chapter 12

On the impact of his shows and recollections of some of the individuals he has worked with
13:17
Shows

Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet, The

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Sherwood Schwartz on working for Ozzie Nelson as a writer for the Ozzie and Harriet radio show
02:58

Beulah

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Sherwood Schwartz on working as a writer on the radio show, Beulah
03:21

Brady Bunch Hour, The

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Sherwood Schwartz on the Brady Brunch feature film
05:24

Brady Bunch, The

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Sherwood Schwartz on the genesis of The Brady Bunch
15:09
Sherwood Schwartz on Ann B. Davis, Florence Henderson and Robert Reed
07:40
Sherwood Schwartz on the last episode of The Brady Bunch and the reunion specials and movies that followed it
14:38
Sherwood Schwartz on the fate of "Tiger" on The Brady Bunch
02:57

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Sherwood Schwartz on winning an Emmy for writing on The Red Skelton Show
01:08

Gilligan's Island

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Sherwood Schwartz on seeing evidence of the power of television when viewers sent telegrams calling for the rescue of the Gilligan's Island castaways
02:16
Sherwood Schwartz on the concept of Gilligan's Island
03:58
Sherwood Schwartz on trying to sell the Gilligan's Island concept to CBS
07:47
Sherwood Schwartz on the difficulty of selling the concept of Gilligan's Island to CBS executives
11:23
Sherwood Schwartz on the entities that have owned stakes in his series Gilligan's Island
04:54
Sherwood Schwartz on casting Gilligan's Island  
12:04
Sherwood Schwartz on casting Tina Louise as Ginger on Gilligan's Island
02:34
Sherwood Schwartz on the Gilligan's Island theme song
03:40
Sherwood Schwartz on the shooting of the pilot and the series premiere Gilligan's Island 
14:30
Sherwood Schwartz on the production details of Gilligan's Island (he also displays the last piece of the lagoon)
07:26
Sherwood Schwartz on the sets of Gilligan's Island
02:40
Sherwood Schwartz on the directors of Gilligan's Island
02:10
Sherwood Schwartz on the cancellation of Gilligan's Island
11:01
Sherwood Schwartz on the Gilligan's Island reunion specials
05:43
Sherwood Schwartz on the yet-unproduced Gilligan's Island feature film
01:58
Sherwood Schwartz on Tina Louise's refusal to participate in subsequent Gilligan's Island shows and the impact of the series on the public
03:37

I Married Joan

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Sherwood Schwartz on his first TV writing job on I Married Joan
03:46
Sherwood Schwartz on the cancellation of I Married Joan
00:44

It's About Time

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Sherwood Schwartz on producing It's About Time
08:12

My Favorite Martian

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Sherwood Schwartz on trying to fix script issues on the first season of My Favorite Martian
07:17

Red Skelton Show, The

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Sherwood Schwartz on agreeing to work on The Red Skelton Show
05:49
Sherwood Schwartz on seeing evidence of the power of television when a Red Skelton Show comic sketch was taken seriously by certain viewers
04:30
Sherwood Schwartz on Red Skelton's pantomiming abilities
04:47
Sherwood Schwartz on his difficulties working with Red Skelton
08:35
Sherwood Schwartz on leaving The Red Skelton Show
01:49
Sherwood Schwartz on winning an Emmy for writing on The Red Skelton Show
01:08

Very Brady Christmas, A

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Sherwood Schwartz on Robert Reed returning to the Brady cast on A Very Brady Christmas
01:24
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Sherwood Schwartz on how he chose the name "Gilligan" for Gilligan's Island
00:54

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Sherwood Schwartz on hearing of JFK's assassination while filming the Gilligan's Island pilot
01:09

LGBTQ

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Sherwood Schwartz on knowing early on that Brady Bunch actor Robert Reed was gay
02:45

Studio and Network Management

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Sherwood Schwartz on the classic network script note, "no martian would ever say a thing like this"
01:08
Sherwood Schwartz on FCC Chair Newton Minow's "vast wasteland" speech and his naming of the Gilligan's Island boat the S.S. Minnow
04:37
Sherwood Schwartz on network programming strategies at CBS
04:19

TV Theme Songs

View Topic
Sherwood Schwartz on the Gilligan's Island theme song
03:40
Sherwood Schwartz on The Brady Bunch theme song
01:57

World War II

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Sherwood Schwartz on  serving in the U.S. Army and writing for Armed Forces Radio during World War II
09:29
Professions

Writers

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Sherwood Schwartz on the writer's, director's and producer's role in a production
01:39
Sherwood Schwartz on his approach to storytelling
04:17
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Sherwood Schwartz on using comedy in his series Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch
01:07
Sherwood Schwartz on seeing evidence of the power of television when a Red Skelton Show comic sketch was taken seriously by certain viewers
03:55
Sherwood Schwartz on seeing evidence of the power of television when viewers sent telegrams calling for the rescue of the Gilligan's Island castaways
02:16
Sherwood Schwartz on the success of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch
01:18

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

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Sherwood Schwartz on the classic network script note, "no martian would ever say a thing like this"
01:14
People

Rod Amateau

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Sherwood Schwartz on the directors of Gilligan's Island
02:10

James T. Aubrey

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Sherwood Schwartz on trying to sell the Gilligan's Island concept to CBS
Sherwood Schwartz on the difficulty of selling the concept of Gilligan's Island to CBS executives
11:23
On network programming strategies at CBS
04:19
Sherwood Schwartz on Jim Aubrey
01:00

Jim Backus

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Sherwood Schwartz on casting Jim Backus on Gilligan's Island
01:03
Sherwood Schwartz on convincing Jim Backus to be on Gilligan's Island
02:36

Red Barber

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Sherwood Schwartz on his difficulties working with Red Skelton
08:35

Imogene Coca

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Sherwood Schwartz on Imogene Coca
00:47

Scatman Crothers

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Sherwood Schwartz on working as a writer on the radio show, Beulah
03:21

Dorothy Dandridge

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Sherwood Schwartz on working as a writer on the radio show, Beulah
03:21

Ann B. Davis

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Sherwood Schwartz on casting Florence Henderson and Ann B. Davis on The Brady Bunch
02:55

Joan Davis

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Sherwood Schwartz on his first TV writing job on I Married Joan
03:46
Sherwood Schwartz on the cancellation of I Married Joan
00:44

Bob Denver

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Sherwood Schwartz on casting the role of the Skipper on Gilligan's Island
05:24

Barry Diller

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Sherwood Schwartz on the genesis of The Brady Bunch
15:09

Richard Donner

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Sherwood Schwartz on the directors of Gilligan's Island
02:10

Jerry Van Dyke

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Sherwood Schwartz on offering Jerry Van Dyke the title role in Gilligan's Island
00:56

Michael Eisner

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Sherwood Schwartz on the genesis of The Brady Bunch
15:09

Alan Hale, Jr.

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Sherwood Schwartz on casting the role of the Skipper on Gilligan's Island
05:24

Florence Henderson

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Sherwood Schwartz on casting Florence Henderson on The Brady Bunch
01:56
Sherwood Schwartz on casting Florence Henderson and Ann B. Davis on The Brady Bunch
02:55

Bob Hope

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Sherwood Schwartz on being offered a contract with Bob Hope
08:00
Sherwood Schwartz on Bob Hope
00:27
Sherwood Schwartz on writing for Bob Hope's radio show
04:32

Hal Kanter

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Sherwood Schwartz on Hal Kanter
00:44

Paul L. Klein

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On network programming strategies at CBS
04:19

Perry Leff

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Sherwood Schwartz on trying to sell the Gilligan's Island concept to CBS
07:47
Sherwood Schwartz on the difficulty of selling the concept of Gilligan's Island to CBS executives
11:23

Tina Louise

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Sherwood Schwartz on casting Tina Louise as Ginger on Gilligan's Island
06:14
Sherwood Schwartz on Tina Louise's refusal to participate in subsequent Gilligan's Island shows and the impact of the series on the public
03:37

Hattie McDaniel

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Sherwood Schwartz on working as a writer on the radio show, Beulah
03:21

Newton N. Minow

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Sherwood Schwartz on FCC Chair Newton Minow's "vast wasteland" speech and his naming of the Gilligan's Island boat the S.S. Minnow
04:37

Ozzie Nelson

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Sherwood Schwartz on working for Ozzie Nelson as a writer for the Ozzie and Harriet radio show
02:58

William S. Paley

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Sherwood Schwartz on the difficulty of selling the concept of Gilligan's Island to CBS executives
11:23
Sherwood Schwartz on the cancellation of Gilligan's Island
11:01

Robert Reed

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Sherwood Schwartz on casting and working with Robert Reed on The Brady Bunch
07:25
Sherwood Schwartz on working with Robert Reed on The Brady Bunch
07:30
Sherwood Schwartz on Robert Reed returning to the Brady cast on A Very Brady Christmas
01:24

John Rich

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Sherwood Schwartz on the directors of Gilligan's Island
02:10

Lloyd J. Schwartz

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Sherwood Schwartz on the Brady Brunch feature film
05:24

Al Schwartz

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Sherwood Schwartz on being offered a contract with Bob Hope
08:00
Sherwood Schwartz on his brother's firing from The Red Skelton Show
01:49

Mel Shavelson

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Sherwood Schwartz on the Gilligan's Island theme song
03:40

Phil Silvers

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Sherwood Schwartz on the entities that have owned stakes in his series Gilligan's Island
04:54

Red Skelton

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Sherwood Schwartz on agreeing to work on The Red Skelton Show
05:49
Sherwood Schwartz on Red Skelton's pantomiming abilities
04:47
Sherwood Schwartz on leaving The Red Skelton Show
03:57

Frank Stanton

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Sherwood Schwartz on the difficulty of selling the concept of Gilligan's Island to CBS executives
11:23

Ted Turner

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Sherwood Schwartz on the entities that have owned stakes in his series Gilligan's Island
04:54

George Wyle

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Sherwood Schwartz on the Gilligan's Island theme song
03:40

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