Sherwood Schwartz

July 12, 2011 by staff 

Sherwood SchwartzSherwood Schwartz, Sherwood Schwartz, the comedy writer and producer who created it have remained two of the most popular series in syndication lasting throughout the world, died on Tuesday morning. He was 94. Schwartz, who began his career spanning six decades writing jokes for radio show Bob Hope in 1939, died of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said her son Lloyd.

Schwartz said once created Gilligan’s Island, which aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967, as an escape from his seven years at the Red Skelton Show, for which he served as head writer and won an Emmy in 1961.

There was nothing as escapist as the crazy tale of seven people in a small charter boat, the SS Minnow, who proposed a “three hour tour” and ended up shipwrecked on a South Pacific island unknown.

Starring Bob Denver in the role of a member of the crew boat clumsy famous Gilligan’s Island appears exasperated captain (Alan Hale Jr.), millionaire and his wife (Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer), Professor (Russell Johnson), the naive country girl (Dawn Wells) and sxy movie star (Tina Louise).

Schwartz also wrote the lyrics to the song of the series memorable theme:

“Sit right back and hear a tale,

A tale of a fateful trip.

It started from this tropic port aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailing man,

Captain courageous and secure

Five passengers departed on the same day

For a three-hour tour. ”

Critics have decried a picnic Schwartz saga wreck when it debuted.

“It is impossible that a more inept, stupid or showing a sense of humor has appeared on the tube home,” wrote Rick DuBrow UPI.

“It’s hard for me to believe that Gilligan’s Island was written, directed and filmed by adults,” Terrence O’Flaherty wrote the San Francisco Chronicle.

It is “quite possibly the most absurd situation comedy of the season,” wrote Jack Gould of The New York Times.

But very ridiculousness of the series touched millions of viewers.

Despite its crude sight gags, under the brow humor and pratfalls, Schwartz seen “Gilligan’s Island” as something more: it is proclaimed, “my version of a social microcosm, where seven people from different backgrounds had to learn to live together. ”

In a television interview guide, 1965, Schwartz said he was “not discouraged by the comments (negative) – Only a little angry with the lack of understanding of what was intended. These are the same men who are always saying:” For God’s sake, not someone gives us something more than the wife and husband and two children ”

Four years later, Schwartz was his own version of that staple of television: the family comedy.

The history of marriage between a “beautiful lady”, with three daughters and “a man named Brady”, with three children, the Brady Bunch became the first television sitcom to offer a blended family. And its theme appears again lyrics written by Schwartz.

The series, starring Robert Reed and Florence Henderson as Mike and Carol Brady, aired on ABC from 1969 to 1974. Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Eve Plumb, Susan Olsen, Christopher Knight and Mike Lookinland played Brady children. Ann B. Davis played Alice, the housekeeper.

Like Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch was rejected by critics and never did, and Schwartz band of castaways in the ratings. But the story idyllic suburb of Marcia, Jan, Cindy, Greg, Peter, Bobby, Mike, Carol and Alice took their own life in endless syndicated reruns around the world, seen by future generations.

The Brady Bunch also spawned a series 1972-74 Saturday morning cartoon (The Kids Brady), a comedy of 1977-great series (The Brady Bunch Hour), a TV-movie 1981 (The Brady girls get married), a sitcom 1981 (The Brady Brides), a TV-movie 1988 (A Very Brady Christmas) and a series of hour-long dramatic 1990 (of Brady).

There was even a theatrical production in the 90′s, The Brady Bunch Real Live, which recreates episodes word for word, like “The Brady Bunch” (1995), a spoof starring Shelley Long and Gary Cole success, which was followed by “A Very Brady Sequel,” with long and Cole (1996) and “The Brady Bunch in the White House,” a TV movie in 2002.

“Gilligan’s Island” also continued to air in reruns around the world and spawned two animated series, three television movies and a musical in 1992, Gilligan: The Musical, at which Schwartz and his son collaborator Lloyd wrote the book.

Schwartz, who practically made a career out of both shows, give much credence to what the critics had to say about their creations.

“I honestly think I can sit down and write a show tonight that critics would like, and I know that would be paid in four weeks,” Schwartz said in a 1990 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I know what the critics love. We write and produce for people, not critics.”

Born November 14, 1916 in Passaic, New Jersey, Schwartz received a BA from the University of New York and was working on his master’s degree in biological sciences at the University of Southern California in 1939, when he unexpectedly abandoned his plan to become a doctor.

At that time, lived with his older brother, Al, a comedy writer for Bob Hope’s show, then in his first year on the radio. In need of money, Schwartz said his brother: “If I write some jokes, they are shown to Bob?”

As Young said Jordan Schwartz, author of 1999 book artisans laughter: Comedy Writing in Radio and the Golden Age of TV: So I wrote some jokes, and showed it to Bob, they liked – and last month in The Show Bob Hope that first year, using some of my materials. And then (hopefully) said, ‘Why do not you come into the program? ”

After four years writing for Hope’s radio show, Schwartz joined the Army and ended up writing for the Radio Service of the Armed Forces in Hollywood, including the operation command displays, Mail Call and the Jubilee.

After the war, he returned to radio, putting on performances in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, the evidence of Alan Young and demonstration of Beulah.

He made his move to television in 1952, where he spent two years writing for Joan Davis sitcom “I Married Joan. In addition to The Red Skelton Show, Schwartz also wrote for the series My Favorite Martian in the 60.

Schwartz conceived the idea for the series of Brady in 1965 after reading a news brief that said almost one third of U.S. households included at least one child from a previous marriage.

“I realized there was a sociological change going on in this country, and that prompted me to sit down to write a screenplay about it,” he recalled in a 2000 interview with the Los Angeles Times.

It took over three years to sell The Brady Bunch, a joyful spectacle, whose description of the life of the family was said in another interview, “100 percent honest.”

“Many people say that television is the mirror of life, and that is why you see all the raids and killings and the seedier side of life”, told the Times interview in 1990. “I personally consider as a responsible producer, is not enough to portray only negative patterns. I think it’s better to give an alternative. Not enough to say ‘no’ to drugs. What do you say” yes “to?”

In addition to his son his wife, Mildred, two sons, Dr. Donald Ross Schwartz and Schwartz, her daughter, Hope Juber, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, survives Lloyd Schwartz.

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