Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sherwood Schwartz, R.I.P.

The producer behind Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch sure loved his cliches and his stereotypes didn't ?
In fact that pretty forms the crux of his humor through out the arc of his career, pound home the orthodoxies like ten penny nails.
Still I admire his work ethic, Bob Denver claimed in his memoirs that he went up to Schwartz's office to discuss some trivial matter on the last day of production during the first season of Gilligan's Island. There he found thirty odd scripts to the second season of Gilligan's Island already written bound and ready to shoot.
And then there is the famous story of the two casts to the Brady Bunch, distaff brunettes and male blondes versus female blondes and brunette men. The latter cast won out, but my ghod it's a prussian file clerk's approach to comedy casting isn't it?
No thought of "Geez I like the brunette Marcia better, lets move her over.."
No, Schwartz survives because of the ubiquity of his re-runs on afternoon television here he is in a very exclusive club along with Gene Roddenberry, Irwin Allen, Barbara Eden, Lucille Ball and Elizabeth Montgomery. Sheer exposure made his programs a paradise for ironyists and retrosexuals, certainly the comedy content was no guarantor of longevity.
So it's unintentionally hilarious to think that local commentator Jon Keller devoted congressionally regulated airtime last night to the argument that Sherwood Schwartz, that Stakhanovite of cliches, was someone a champion of women's rights.
Ironyism indeed.
Still and all that, who knew that puny whiny Bobby Brady had "family annihilator ideations", my money was always on Cindy gotta watch those girls in curls.

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