That Time the Harlem Globetrotters Got Stuck On Gilligan’s Island

The iconic Gilligan’s Island made a return in 1978 with a made-for-television movie called “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island.” The movie served as a sequel to the original series and brought back the original cast members, including Bob Denver as Gilligan, Alan Hale Jr. as the Skipper, Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III, Natalie Schafer as Lovey Howell, Russell Johnson as the Professor, Dawn Wells as Mary Ann, and Tina Louise as Ginger.

The storyline of “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island” revolves around the castaways finally being rescued after many years. However, upon their return to civilization, they face a variety of challenges and comedic situations. The movie was well-received by fans of the original series and provided closure to the story of Gilligan’s Island. Or did it?

The success of “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island” led to three subsequent made-for-television movies featuring the castaways which expanded on the original series and continued the adventures of the beloved characters. One of these forgotten gems may be of some interest to sports fans around the Globe.

In a two-part episode titled “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island,” which aired in 1981, the Harlem Globetrotters made a guest appearance on the television show. This crossover episode was a fun collaboration between the popular comedy series and the legendary basketball team. While the Globetrotters still exist today, the squad that took the court on the island in 1981 was a who’s who of iconic street ballers including Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal. It was perhaps the team’s most distinguished lineup from over the years.

The Globetrotters’ presence on the island is a result of this unexpected turn of events. In the storyline of “The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island,” it is explained that the Harlem Globetrotters were on a cruise ship named the S.S. Minnow II, which was named after the ill-fated original S.S. Minnow from the Gilligan’s Island series. The ship gets caught in a storm and ends up stranded on the same deserted island where the main characters of Gilligan’s Island have been marooned. The Globetrotters and the castaways of Gilligan’s Island end up having to work together to solve a series of challenges and conflicts on the island. Naturally, many shenanigans ensue.

Mainly, both parties discover that a band of Russian spies, led by a character named Vasily Kandinsky, is also on the island engaging in nefarious activities. Throughout the episodes, the Harlem Globetrotters display their basketball skills while getting involved in comedic adventures with the castaways. They face challenges such as building a raft, searching for treasure, and of course outsmarting the spies. Their unique talents and comedic interactions contribute to the lighthearted and entertaining atmosphere of the show.

Ultimately, with the combined efforts of the Globetrotters and the castaways, they manage to thwart the spies’ plans and create a plan to escape the island. The episodes conclude with a fun and lively basketball game between the Globetrotters and the castaways, adding a final touch of humor and entertainment to the story. You’ll have to watch the episode to see which team won!


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