Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
His comment at a gathering at MIT:
“ I was at a speaking engagement for MIT ... and I said ... the Professor has all sorts of degrees, including one from this very institution [MIT]! And that's why I can make a radio out of a coconut, and not fix a hole in a boat! ”
Wikipedia's entry says that the Prof did actually try to fix the boat in an early episode but it was such a disaster that nearly the entire ship was destroyed. Also, they couldn't build a raft and sail for help because the nearby area was supposedly infested with sharks.
That's true enough -- it was in episode 8 that the Minnow
fell apart after an attempt to repair it with a superglue that turned out to be impermanent. However, I'm pretty sure we saw the wreck of the Minnow
again in later episodes. Continuity? Who needs it?
Of course, there's also a popular fan theory: If you were a smart guy, and you were stranded on a desert island with a gorgeous movie star and an even more gorgeous farm girl, would you be in a hurry to admit you could fix the boat...?
Really, though, the Professor never made a radio out of a coconut. The transistor radio continued to function throughout the series (though he did rig a battery recharger for it), and the revival movie Rescue from Gilligan's Island
revealed that the radio had broken down years ago and the Professor had been unable to repair it. Although I believe the animated New Adventures of Gilligan
showed a larger radio made at least partly of organic materials.