As a rule, I don’t like to play pop culture grim reaper, but the loss of Dawn Wells, Mary Ann from ‘Gilligan’s Island’ hit me unexpectedly hard this week.  Maybe it’s the fact that I was raised by a 24 inch Magnavox, or maybe it’s the fact that she’s one of the Generation X universal crushes, but seeing Dawn narrating reruns on MeTV was somewhat comforting.  Though the Professor is the heart of the ensemble and Mr. Howell is the secret MVP, Mary Ann serves as the kind, forgiving one, and Dawn’s turn as a “simple flowah gahl” in the ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Gilligan’ fantasy is worth the price of admission, leading to today’s Kansan query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) realizes that not everyone is old enough to remember every episode, but believes that most everyone knows at least a little about the island, asking: What’s your favorite Mary Ann moment?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Daniel Langsdale on

    I’m old enough, but I can’t remember one moment that stands above all the others. They all just blend together to make her the best castaway ever, who was totally robbed of the Miss Castaway title by Gilligan’s fascination for that stupid ape.

    • Her turn as The Giant’s caretaker in the Jack and the Beanstalk fantasy. But then, that’s among my favorite episodes, with the Professor and Ginger doing schtick, Mrs. Howell chewing scenery and tiny Gilligan.

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