HomeEntertainment‘Gilligan’s Island’: Bob Denver’s Son Was Actually Featured in One Memorable Scene

‘Gilligan’s Island’: Bob Denver’s Son Was Actually Featured in One Memorable Scene

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Remember when those castaways on “Gilligan’s Island” would sometimes have dream sequences? Bob Denver’s real son actually appears in one of them.

Yes, it’s true. Patrick Denver, who is one of Denver’s children, appears in one of Gilligan’s dreams. Patrick Denver plays a younger Gilligan in the scene from the CBS comedy. The episode, called “V for Vitamins,” was in the show’s first season, too.

It happened to be a retelling of the classic tale, “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Gilligan plays Jack and The Skipper, portrayed by Alan Hale Jr., plays the giant.

Well, in order to make Skipper look bigger than Gilligan, they needed someone to fill that role. The technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today, so show producers came up with the idea of using Denver’s son.

Patrick Denver, as a grown-up, would be involved in the special effects world for “Mortal Kombat,” “The X Files,” and “Star Trek: Insurrection.”

Needless to say, it was quite something for father to have son on the same show. Patrick Denver, though, has never made another on-camera appearance since “Gilligan’s Island” as a young boy.

Bob Denver Talks About Critics’ Hate For ‘Gilligan’s Island’

“Gilligan’s Island” did have a lot of stretch-your-imagination moments during its three seasons on CBS. Some critics who would watch the show just could not stomach its different plots.

For Bob Denver, who entered the show after establishing some name credibility on “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” it hurt getting beat up by them.

“Yeah, it’s interesting. The critics just killed our show,” Denver said in an interview done in 1994. “I think out of 100 reviews there were 99 bad and one good one.”

Denver, though, said that didn’t bother him or his “Gilligan’s Island” cast members. He said they all knew that they were “doing something really silly and something very, very broad.”

Denver Wondered If CBS Would Allow Show to Air

When he heard “Gilligan’s Island” executive producer Sherwood Schwartz talk about the show, Bob Denver said he started laughing.

“And when he and I got done talking,” Denver said according to an interview with Peter Anthony Holder, “I was on the floor laughing when he told me the premises of some and the guest stars and things.”

Denver even wondered if CBS, the network targeted for “Gilligan’s Island” to air, would even let it on. Schwartz told him he had permission to shoot the pilot. They did it on Kauai, an island in Hawaii. Denver thought he’d simply end up with a two-week shoot and two more weeks of vacation in Hawaii. He thought it’d be a stretch for CBS to pick up the show.

Well, Bob Denver was wrong. CBS did pick it up and he ended up in a lifetime role as Gilligan, Skipper’s “Little Buddy,” for good or ill.