He invented two of the most memorable television shows AND theme songs of all-time. Now the man that gave us a lifetime of entertainment from corny comedies is no longer with us.
I can still remember when a friend of mine was remarking about how she was talking to a group of twentysomethings and realized they had never heard of "Gilligan's Island". Didn't know the iconic theme song or anything. It's such a travesty that those "kids" were deprived of that joy. Here's a show that we grew up on and an entire generation has no concept of it at all.
I've said in post out here before that shows like "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch" were staples of my childhood. I would look forward to coming home from school to watch both on cable in the afternoon. That meant we were getting them in syndication yet they were brand new to me. I LOVED the campiness. To me, Sherwood Schwartz was a pure, unadulterated genius. I never knew until later how true that actually was.
See...both of those shows were created and originally aired during a time period when the culture of our country was much different. It was the time of the Vietnam War. Not to mention the Civil Rights movement and social activitism taking place nationwide. Things were not all kicks and giggles as they were portrayed on those shows. But Schwartz's shows provided the perfect outlet for folks to get their mind off those heavy issues. Some simple mindless entertainment which was very much needed.
I also didn't realize that Schwartz got his early start on one of my favorite black-and-white shows: "I Married Joan". It was a show which got originally aired one season after the "I Love Lucy" show following the similar format of a zany married woman constantly getting in some kind of kooky trouble (yes...I used the word "kooky"). So apparently Schwartz was on the right track even from the beginning.
Honestly, I thought Schwartz had left us a while ago simply because we hadn't heard from him in a minute. I hope that with his passing it now means that one of these retro networks will start bringing back those shows that he made classics. Although the memories that "Gilligan's Island" and "Brady Bunch" left us with will never go away it wouldn't hurt to re-introduce them to this generation that's missed out on them.
Rest in peace, Mr. Schwartz