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View Poll Results: Did you first learn about Hamlet by watching Gilligan's Island?
Yes 9 34.62%
No 17 65.38%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 15 2008, 07:06 AM   #1
Vanyel
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Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

Through Gilligan's Island?

I freely and openly admit that I, Vanyel, first learned about Hamlet, and Carmen, through Gilligan's Island. The episode is The Producer, and in it is a musical version of Hamlet.
  • Gilligan as Hamlet
  • Mr. Howell as Claudius
  • Mrs. Howell as Gertrude
  • Ginger as Ophelia
  • Skipper as Polonius
  • Mary Ann as Laertes
The episode is a classic and guest stars Phil Silvers, so how could it miss. In my most humble opinion it is a comedy classic. Just watch this clip of The Producer and see how good it is.

I also never realized the jokes that are in it, like when Hamlet tells Ophelia not to go near water. And I was surprised at the Skippers voice.

Also did anyone else find themselves or their class humming Toreodor while reading this play in school? I did and so did others in my class.

So please, answer the poll and leave a comment.
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Old June 15 2008, 10:16 AM   #2
WillsBabe
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

Of course not. I have the benefit of a Classical education and so my first introduction to Hamlet was on stage... in the round, starring Robert Lindsay, leaping from post to post! Ironically, I've never seen Gilligan's Island!
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Old June 15 2008, 11:03 AM   #3
Rabittooth
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

Y'know. I've never thought about it, but YES!
I remember Polonius singing "Neither a borrower nor a lender be! Do Not Forget, stay out of debt!"
That's all i remember, but it was definitely my first exposure to Hamlet. At least the first one I remember.

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Old June 15 2008, 01:33 PM   #4
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

Jeez... that's a wild mash-up. Alas, I'm too young for Gilligan's Island.
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Old June 15 2008, 02:47 PM   #5
Christopher
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

I'm not sure, really. It may well have been, but I was raised in a family that was big on classical education. Certainly I didn't actually see a full performance of Hamlet or read the play until long after I saw it on Gilligan, so maybe that's a yes.

But it's true that that episode has introduced countless people to Hamlet and Carmen who would never have been aware of it otherwise. GI could be surprisingly educational at times. Someone once did a test where they showed one group of students a clip from GI where the Professor explained how to make a battery with lemon juice and strips of metal, and showed another group of students a clip of an ordinary science teacher giving the same explanation. The group that learned it from the Professor understood it better.
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Old June 15 2008, 10:35 PM   #6
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

My first introduction to Hamlet was the MST3K episode, when I was 12. Later that year I read the play in class.
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Old June 15 2008, 11:05 PM   #7
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

Never seen Gilligan's Island - my first introduction to Hamlet was in a high school classroom
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Old June 15 2008, 11:06 PM   #8
28VulcansLater
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

I was introduced to Hamlet when I was about twelve with a credit card advert on a billboard. Hamlet is holding the skull and says "Alas poor Yorik, I need some cash". It has sadly stuck in my mind ever since.
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Old June 16 2008, 03:36 AM   #9
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

I have to say no.
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Old June 16 2008, 03:39 AM   #10
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

Oh, probably. But as a kid, I had no idea what they were talking about.

"Hamlet, Hamlet, please be a lamblet" has never fully left my poor brain. Doesn't that count as a crime against humanity?
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Old June 16 2008, 07:59 AM   #11
M'Sharak
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

Hamlet I must have seen referenced in bits, pieces, quotes and schticks dozens or hundreds of times before I ever read it or saw it performed whole; Gilligan's Island was certainly one of them, but I wouldn't bet on it having been the first.

Carmen I grew up listening to on my parent's stereo from a very early age.

I guess that would be "a distant maybe" on the first and "no" on the second.
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Old June 16 2008, 08:02 AM   #12
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

My first viewing of the whole thing at once - or the closest I ever got, anyway - was the 2000 film version set in New York City.

Which I thought was totally cool. Not just because I love New York, but I also love the idea of taking Shakespeare's works and setting them in modern times (but keeping the dialogue intact). Things like this film, the '96 Romeo + Juliet, and the upcoming Ian McKellen/Patrick Stewart version of The Merchant Of Venice (actually Vegas, their version).
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Old June 16 2008, 10:05 AM   #13
Vanyel
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

I really thought this poll would overwhelmingly favor Gilligan. I guess I could have phrased the question differently, something like: Was Gilligan's Island the first introduction to Hamlet that you can actually remember.

Then again this board could be filled with a lot Gilligan haters or with people whose mothers and fathers who read Shakespeare instead of books like The Giving Tree as bed time stories.
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It keeps Carol Anne very close to it and away from the spectral light. It lies to her. It says things only a child can understand. It has been using her to restrain the others.
To her it simply is another child. To us it is the beast.
Now let's go get your daughter.
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Old June 16 2008, 11:16 AM   #14
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

it may not have been the first but it is the one that stuck. I still get those lyrics in my head and will be humming them all day (singing in my mind) thanks to this thread.

(what I'd like to tell the OP about reminding me would best be done in The Neutral Zone!)
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Old June 16 2008, 04:41 PM   #15
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Re: Whose first introduction to Hamlet was...

That play was sheer genius, judging from the fact that, like others...I can't get the lyrics and music out of my head!

Yes, I hummer during Shakespeare while studying Hamlet. Only a few got it, since I was so much older than most. The prof (actually near my age, so she should've recognized it) was quite taken with the idea of Hamlet and Gilligan's island. But she also was surprised by a few other things (Gilgamesh and ST:TNG--she also taught Ancient Lit; and my calling Aeneas' fleeing Troy a "ragtag fugitive fleet"--she caught the chuckles but needed an explanation).

She had also never heard of the saying "sneeze to the truth"--which I believe was the reference in The Odyssey (Penelope's thinking of something and hearing her son sneeze "in response" to the truth of her thought). Evidently, when something is said or thought, and then someone sneezes, they are "sneezing to the truth of the statement," so it cannot be denied as false.
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