Gilligan's Island

Season 1 Episode 21

Big Man on Little Stick

Aired Saturday 8:30 PM Feb 20, 1965 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
60 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Big Man on Little Stick
Handsome surfer Duke Williams rides a giant tsunami to the island.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Surfboardin' Beefcake!

    While fishing at the lagoon Skipper and Gilligan witness muscular surfer Duke Williams ride up and collapse on the beach. Professor shows up and deduces Duke rode a tsunami wave for 5 days all the way from Hawaii. Not wanting to be cooped up on a deserted island that he believes only contains the 3 men Duke vows to surf back home again. Before he can Ginger and Mary Ann show up and the handsome, powerful Duke flexes his way into their hearts. Later when Professor discovers a reverse tsunami that can get them rescued. the men must concoct a plan to seperate Duke from the girls and get him back on the board.

    This episode is possibly the only time (along with perhaps The Mosquitoes) that the girls are truly infatuated by a visitor. With his sun bleached hair, bronzed skin, good looks and bulging biceps Duke instantly sweeps the girls off their feet. So much so that they show little interest in the reverse tsunami rescue when it is first proposed by Professor.

    The loser in this scenario is Gilligan who previously had the girls undivided attention. When Gilligan comes across Duke posing on the beach he is totally ignored by the girls who "ooo" and "aahh" over Duke's physique. To win them back Gilligan creates weights out of bamboo, coconut shells and boulders, but gets trapped under a large homemade barbell and has to rescued by Duke much to his humiliation.

    One of the burning questions from this episode comes when the girls ultimately recoil at Duke's advances leading to the plan that gets him to leave on the reverse tsunami. What is strange is that this rejection comes less than 24 hours after the girls are literally swooning over the Surfing Samson to the point that they try to one-up each other with competing flirtatious cheesecake poses at the beach and head off for a moonlight walk on Duke's arms.

    The sudden change of heart, though, does give us a deeper insight into the girls' character. In several episodes Ginger attempts to seduce various men, but here in the role of the hunted, as opposed to the hunter, she flees. It would thus appear Ginger is only fine with a physical relationship when which she is in control.

Bob Denver

Bob Denver


Jim Backus

Jim Backus

Thurston Howell III

Tina Louise

Tina Louise

Ginger Grant

Alan Hale

Alan Hale

Jonas Grumby (The Skipper)

Natalie Schafer

Natalie Schafer

Eunice Wentworth 'Lovey' Howell

Dawn Wells

Dawn Wells

Mary Ann Summers

Watch Online

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • In the scene at the lagoon where the Skipper saves Gilligan who has tied himself to the surfboard, look carefully and you can see that the Skipper's pants are wet up to his waist before he wades that deep into the water.

    • When Duke Williams comes ashore on the surfboard, he collapses on the beach wearing only shorts. But throughout the episode, he wears long pants, a t-shirt and a hat which could not possibly fit the other castaways.

    • Interesting how Duke compliments MaryAnn and Ginger's muscles here, but in the previous episode, "Saint Gilligan And The Dragon," they were shown as being so weak they can't drive a stake in the ground together holding the hammer, with Ms. Howell holding it with them, to boot.

    • When we see Duke riding off on the wave from the island (obviously in stock footage) he's missing the fruit provision necklace the Professor made, that he put on as he was mounting the board.

    • Duke was in the tube before he saw he was on open seas, too bad cuz he wouldve gotten a full tour of Hawwaii! Tsunamis head inland the only way he could've ridden the tsunami away from hawwaii is if he surfed acorse the entire island, 1 if he attempted to do that the tsunami wouldve breaken on the island, and say it didn't he'd have to go over mountain tops, pretty hard. Im not clear on the geography of hawaii (im not clear on any geography) but tsunamiis are 50 feet high, don't think it would clear the mountains.

  • QUOTES (7)

  • NOTES (2)

    • Theme of episode: Jealousy gets results, but the results are often unpredictable.

    • Hunk-a-Hunk a burning love Denny (Scott) Miller's first of two apperances, the other being 'Tongo the Ape-man'!
      He's absolutley stunning in his tight jeans & t-shirt!
      He made guest star apperances on a 1969-1970 "I Dream of Jeannie" and a 1972-1973 "The Brady Bunch" as Carol's College boy-friend.......lucky girl!
      He's currently peddeling "Gorton's Fish-sticks" as the Fisherman/Captian in their TV commercials! (May2004)