Hey, remember that time when the folks of Gilligan’s Island almost got rescued but then hi-jinx ensued and their plan was foiled? That was fun.
OK, I jest. More specifically, I’m thinking about one of my favorite episodes, the one with all the singing. The one where the rock group The Mosquitoes wind up on the island to get away from the maddening crowds and get some relaxation. Bingo, Bango, Bongo, and Irving are dropped off in the lagoon by a helicopter, and think they’re all alone, but then Gilligan, the Skipper, and Mr. Howell (who would rather be rescued by the New York Philharmonic than by some rock and rollers) make their presence known. Since the episode originally aired in 1965, the Mosquitoes are clearly supposed to spoof the craze that surrounded another fabulous group of four musicians who had just hit it big stateside in 1964.
The Mosquitoes are immediately dismayed and a bit annoyed that they aren’t completely isolated from society, and for the rest of the episode they try to appease the castaways (by performing a concert) and then try to avoid them (by moving to a more secluded part of the island). They sing a groovy tune, “He’s a Loser” which even seems to please Mr. Howell (until we later learn he was wearing earplugs the whole time).
After the show, the Mosquitoes comment about their month-long stay. Soon after, they decide that they’ll be staying on for TWO months. And so the castaways try to devise a plan that will get the rock group off the island sooner…with the island gang in tow.
An island sing-off ensues between the men and the women of the island. The men sing a terrible, nonsensical song, with a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘yeas’ and ‘rock and rollll’. Total junk. But the women call themselves the Honeybees, don some chic looking cigarette pants and tight sweaters, and sing a groovy tune “You Need Us.” I’d be lying if I said that I couldn’t sing this song at the drop of the hat (it really IS catchy). I defy you to not enjoy it!
As for the fate of the castaways, I think we all know how well their plan turned out in the end. This episode was, after all, from just the second season of the show.
Fun fact: The guys who played the members of the The Mosquitoes were actually the real-life members of the folk band The Wellingtons, i.e. the group that sings the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island”!
-DJ Darko, Your Pop Culture Mixologist
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