Today I am sad to note that Russell Johnson passed away.

He was well known for playing the Professor on Gilligan’s island, but I remember him first for being in This Island earth (the MST3K version)

russell johnson

The best joke in that whole movie was when he first appeared and they quipped “What’s with this ‘and the rest’ crap?!”

I actually met him once and he was a great guy.


He was at a small Star Trek con in 1997 and he joined in on a skit of a StarFleet crew that was stranded on a desert planet. Johnson was their chief engineer and he made a tachyon pulse out of some coconuts. He would have used it to make an interplexing beacon but Ensign Gilligan accidentally ruined it.

Russell carried a natural confidence that sold intelligence well, he promoted science in his own way and even received an honorary degree from MIT.

I’m sad to see him go. Rest well, Prof, you’ve earned it.