‘Gunsmoke’ References in ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and ‘Gilligan’s Island’: Did You Catch These Shoutouts?

by Joe Rutland

Wait a minute. Did “Gunsmoke” happen to find itself mentioned in two other CBS hit situation comedies? Yes, the classic TV western did.

“The Andy Griffith Show” and “Gilligan’s Island” both discovered ways to bring a little Dodge City magic into their own shows.

On “Gilligan’s Island,” “Gilligan,” played by Bob Denver, finds himself as deputy to “sheriff” “The Skipper,” played by Alan Hale Jr. But “Skipper” has to leave his post with “The Professor,” played by Russell Johnson. This leaves “Gilligan” in a power-hungry state, throwing every other castaway on the island in jail.

During “Gilligan Goes Gung-Ho,” he calls “The Skipper” at some point “Mr. Dillon.” Who is Skipper’s “Little Buddy” referring to at that point? Obviously, “The Skipper” himself. Yet he uses the last name of Marshal Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke” to make his reference.

‘Fun Girls’ Episode Brings Touch Of ‘Gunsmoke’

Over in Mayberry on “The Andy Griffith Show,” there are multiple references to “Gunsmoke” on the episode called “Fun Girls.” “Andy,” played by Andy Griffith, and “Barney,” played by Don Knotts, see a couple of fun-loving girls from big-city Mount Pilot roll into quiet Mayberry.

“Skippy,” played by Joyce Jameson, and “Daphne,” played by Jean Carson, dig their claws onto the law officers and hilarity ensues.

Except for Barney’s girlfriend “Thelma Lou,” played by Betty Lynn, and Andy’s steady girl “Helen,” played by Aneta Coursaut. They saw what was going down and didn’t like it all. Eventually, calm and reason return and “The Fun Girls” return to Mount Pilot.

If you want to see a little crossover action from “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Gunsmoke,” then take a look at this compilation.

James Arness’ Brother Changed Last Name for Work

Now if you are a classic TV fan, then you know that James Arness of “Gunsmoke” had a brother who also notched out fame on the small screen.

Well, you know who it is, don’t you? No? OK, here’s the story. James’ brother was Peter Arness. You know him better, though, as Peter Graves.

Graves played Jim Phelps on CBS’s “Mission: Impossible” series. For movie fans, though, they probably remember him more for his roles in the “Airplane!” films.

Who can forget classic lines like, “What’s your vector, Victor?” and “Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?”

So there you go. The Arness brothers managed to have success on the small screen in their careers. That’s a pretty good family story. “Gunsmoke” and “Mission: Impossible” remain fan favorites to this day.