Tuesday, September 06, 2005

RIP Bob Denver

My favorite TV nebbish died today. As a kid, I lived on a (questionable) diet of syndicated episodes of Gilligan's Island and Dobie Gillis during weekdays and Far Out Space Nuts, The New Adventures of Gilligan, and Gilligan's Planet on weekends (I managed to miss Dusty's Trail until I found it on a dollar DVD this year. It's Gilligan's Island without the subtle wit and intricate social satire). There was scarcely a day that went by where Bob Denver wasn't playing some variation of his stock bumbling man-child on TV and I tried to keep up with all of it, spending the downtime playing with Playskool's extremely cool Gilligan's Island floating playset. I narrowly missed meeting Mr. Denver when he was signing copies of his autobiography, Gilligan, Maynard, and Me, at the local Bookstop in 1993. A friend who worked next door at the time called me. "Get your ass down here if you want to meet Gilligan!" I was about eight minutes too late (sob). Bob had skedaddled and I probably looked like a maniac to the Bookstop staff since, in my rush, I had neglected to brush my hair, button my shirt properly, or put on socks (I could have claimed I was doing an impression of Maynard G. Krebs, I suppose). I did buy a signed copy of his bio at a used bookstore the next year, though. The clerk snickered as she rang me out. "You know you're the fourth person to buy this? This copy has been sold back to us three times so far. Be sure to keep the tradition alive and sell it back to us in a few weeks!" I still have it.


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