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GIFs: 5 Survival tricks we learned from Russell Johnson

As we mourn the loss of Russell Johnson who played Professor on Gilligan’s Island , we reflect on the things he taught us about how to survive on a deserted island.

Professor on Gilligan's Island


Be smart

Probably the most valuable survival trick Russell Johnson’s Professor taught us was to be smart. The Professor’s ability to problem solve and troubleshoot helped the motley crew on Gilligan’s Island survive. He also taught us if you can’t be super smart, then at least have the dumb luck to be marooned with someone who is super smart.

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Gilligan's Island


Have patience

Speaking of people who are un-smart, the Professor also taught us to have patience with those around you who can’t think their way off a deserted island because they will relieve you of boredom. Patience comes in very handy when you are stuck somewhere you don’t want to be.

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Russell Johnson


Look great

The folks on Survivor and Lost could really learn a thing or two about the importance of appearance from the Professor. Have you even seen a guy stripped of everyday amenities and appliances look this good? He wore the same bright, clean, white shirt and khakis and rocked it! He never looked sweaty or dirty or covered in bug bites.

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Russell Johnson


Stay focused

We’re not the only ones who noticed that the Professor looked amazing. That little island tart Ginger was in constant pursuit of the Professor, but he was too focused on getting the group off the island to be distracted by her. This GIF demonstrates this perfectly. He’s surrounded by beautiful women on a beach and he doesn’t seem to notice. Maybe the Professor was gay, but he didn’t seem distracted by any of the men on the island either.  (Again, is it just us, or did Ginger look surprisingly glamorous for a gal who didn’t have access to indoor plumbing or a washing machine?)

Russell Johnson


Be creative

Before there was MacGyver, there was the Professor. His creativity got the gang out of several jams. For example, in this GIF, the group needs to get something out of the ground and the Professor just so happens to have a stick of dynamite he whipped up in his long hours on the island. He was a handy guy to have around. Being creative is crucial when it comes to survival. Look at Bear Grylls. He’ll go to any lengths to survive, including drinking his own urine and eating disgusting bugs, and when he’s really out of options, he asks the camera crew for a protein bar.

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