I had known that Schwartz was the man behind these shows, but what I didn’t know until today was that he actually penned both theme songs. That’s amazing to me, especially considering how memorable they are.
TV Land ran a “Tv’s top 40 theme songs” in 2002, and “Gilligan’s Island”‘s theme was number one, and the “Brady Bunch” was number seven.
I logged countless hours watching each of these shows when I was young, so I feel a brief tip of the cap is due.
Gilligan’s Island was a goofy comedy about seven castaways who could not get off of the Island they shipwrecked on, no matter how hard they tried. When I was young, I always wondered why every guest star they had could get off the island as easy as getting off an escalator, but these seven putzes were damned to spend the rest of their lives there. Who cares if you get off an island when you have every modern convenience known to man outside of a dryer (They hung clothes out to dry like every episode, didn’t they?) and television?
The Brady Bunch is probably even more significant to my generation, as it wound up being our afternoon babysitter when it hit syndication. I must have seen a zillion episodes. I think part of the magic of the show was that no matter what age you were or whether you were a boy or a girl, there was at least one character your age and your gender you could relate to. Of course, the show also promoted a healthy family environment, and family tv never goes out of style.
Schwartz cut his teeth in radio writing for “The Bob Hope Radio Show” and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” When he moved to tv, his writing credits include work on “The Red Skelton Show,” and “My Favorite Martian.” Still, no matter how impressive the rest of resume may be, he will always be associated with these two classics, as they’ve embedded themselves deeply into the fabric of our pop culture.
Thanks for the good times, Mr. Schwartz. God speed.