Connect with us


TV

Leave It To Beaver (CBS-ABC 1958-1963, Jerry Mathers, Barbara Billingsley)

Published

on


“Gee Wally….” A staple phrase from Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, who had a smile like apple pie and a knack for biting into sour apples. Like Dennis the Menace, Beaver always tried to do the right thing; he just had an unfortunate way of going about it.

In sweet situation comedy Leave It To Beaver, the world was seen through the eyes of a young, rambunctious boy who had an immense talent for trouble. The Beaver’s champion was his all-American jock brother Wally, who despite his well intentioned rescue attempts, often found himself in the thick of it.

No matter how deep the boys got themselves into trouble, Ward Cleaver would without fail deliver the boys from their guilt with his patriarchal parables. A sample Wardism: “As you go through life, try to improve yourself, not prove yourself,” delivered after the Beaver fell into a giant soup bowl billboard on a dare, resulting in a humiliating rescue by firemen.

The mother of the year award would go to June Cleaver, the ideal wife and mother, who not only kept her family thoroughly happy, but consistently looked like a million bucks. Every day was an adventure in parenting in the mythical town of Mayfield, USA, a pleasant middle-class suburb.

Advertisement

Of course every paradise has its snake, and Wally’s pal Eddie Haskell was as slimy as they got. Flashing his pearly whites as he feigned flattery on Mrs. Cleaver, one could rest assured his devilish escapades were not far behind. Lumpy Rutherford was Wally’s chubby, less dubious sidekick.

The Beaver had his own personal Eddie Haskell as well, Gilbert Bates, who in some ways was even more of a weasel then Eddie. Whitey Whitney, another Beav chum, was a bit on the goosey side, but good-natured nonetheless. And who could forget Larry Mondello, who was constantly eating or complaining while getting the Beaver into some kind of quandary. In a very memorable episode, Larry took money from his mother’s sewing basket and pitched it out his window, then convinced Beaver it fell from a pilot’s pockets while flying upside down.

These were the sorts of troubles the Beaver got himself into, but it was never anything serious. Leave It To Beaver was about as innocent as it gets, and that kind of good-natured charm made it an audience favorite through the end of the 1950’s and into the 60’s.

The show came to an end in 1963 as Beaver entered his teen years and Wally departed for college, but this was just the beginning of Leave It To Beaver’s legendary status. In syndication, the show would be enjoyed for years to come, becoming the very definition of that make-believe 50’s era when nothing really bad ever happened, mom and dad knew everything, and kids were just plain adorable.

Advertisement

In March of 1983, CBS televised a TV movie sequel, Still the Beaver, which reunited nearly all of the original cast. The show was now more popular than ever, and in 1985, more than twenty years after Leave It To Beaver ended its original run, The New Leave It To Beaver was created for cable, delivering 105 episodes.

And still The Beaver lives on, even making a little-seen trip to the silver screen with the 1997 feature film release of Leave It To Beaver. June may have had her doubts about the boy’s decision-making skills (“Ward, I’m a little worried about the Beaver…”), but if the past is any indication, the Beaver will be just fine.

production details
USA / CBS – ABC – Universal / 234×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 4 October 1957 – 17 September 1958 (CBS) and 2 October 1958 – 12 September 1963

Creators: Bob Mosher, Joe Connelly / Theme Music: Dave Kahn Gomalco

Advertisement

cast
Hugh Beaumont as Ward Cleaver
Barbara Billingsley as June Cleaver
Tony Dow as Wally Cleaver
Jerry Mathers as Beaver Cleaver
Ken Osmond as Eddie Haskell
Frank Bank as Lumpy Rutherford
Richard Deacon as Fred Rutherford
Rusty Stevens as Larry Mondello
Stanley Fafara as Whitey
Jeri Weil as Judy Hessler
Karen Sue Trent as Penny Woods
Helen Parrish as Gwen Rutherford
Majel Barrett as Gwen Rutherford as 2)
Margaret Stewart as Gwen Rutherford as 3)
Wendy Winkelman as Violet Rutherford
Veronica Cartwright as Violet Rutherford as 2)
Stephen Talbot as Gilbert Bates
Cheryl Holdridge as Julie Foster
Sue Randall as Alice Landers
Doris Packer as Cornelia Rayburn
Burt Mustin as Gus
Madge Blake as Larry’s mother
Stanley Fafara as Harrison “Tuey” Brown; Beaver’s friend
Katherine Warren as Tuey’s mother


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

GMA3: What You Need to Know GMA3: What You Need to Know
News9 hours ago

GMA3: What You Need to Know: Rex Chapman, Nigel Barker (ABC Friday, March 1, 2024)

On Friday, March 1, ABC will air a brand new episode of “GMA3: What You Need to Know,” a one-hour...

Good Morning America Good Morning America
News9 hours ago

Good Morning America: Marcus Samuelsson, Derrick Hayes (ABC Friday March 1, 2024)

On Friday, March 1, ABC will air the latest episode of “Good Morning America.” This two-hour live program, anchored by...

LIVE with Kelly and Mark LIVE with Kelly and Mark
News9 hours ago

LIVE with Kelly and Mark: Lionel Richie, Pauly D (ABC Friday March 1, 2024)

In the latest episode of “LIVE with Kelly and Mark,” airing on ABC at 9:00 am on Friday, March 1,...

The Sherri Shepherd Show The Sherri Shepherd Show
News9 hours ago

Sherri: Kelly Rowland, Affion Crockett (FOX Friday, March 1, 2024)

On Friday, 1 March 2024, the latest episode of “Sherri” is set to air on FOX at 10.00am. This brand...

The Talk The Talk
News9 hours ago

The Talk: Dr Phil, Michael Twitty (CBS Thursday February 29, 2024)

On Thursday, February 29, 2024, CBS will be airing a new episode of “The Talk” featuring TV personality Dr. Phil...

Trafficked: Underworlds with Mariana van Zeller Trafficked: Underworlds with Mariana van Zeller
News9 hours ago

Trafficked: Underworlds with Mariana van Zeller – Hash Smugglers (Nat Geo February 28, 2024)

Coming soon to Nat Geo, a brand new episode of “Trafficked: Underworlds with Mariana van Zeller” promises to delve into...

Texas Metal Texas Metal
News9 hours ago

Texas Metal: Custom Sasquatch Bronco (MotorTrend Wednesday February 28, 2024)

In the latest episode of MotorTrend’s “Texas Metal,” airing on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 9:00 PM, the talented crew...

Guy's Grocery Games Guy's Grocery Games
News9 hours ago

Guy’s Grocery Games: Relay: All-Star Moms vs. Dads – (Food Network Wednesday February 28, 2024)

Get ready for an exciting new episode of “Guy’s Grocery Games” titled “Relay: All-Star Moms vs. Dads,” airing on Food...

Channel 4 Channel 4
News21 hours ago

The Jury: Murder Trial Episode 2 (Channel 4 Tuesday 27 February)

In the brand new episode of “The Jury: Murder Trial,” airing on Channel 4 at 9:00pm on Tuesday 27 February...

Channel 4 Channel 4
News21 hours ago

New Model Agency Series Premiere (Channel 4 Tuesday 27 February)

On Tuesday 27 February 2024 at 10:00pm, Channel 4 will air the premiere of a brand new series titled “New...

Generic Dog West Highland Terrier running in a field. Generic Dog West Highland Terrier running in a field.
News22 hours ago

Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly Season 6 Episode 5 (Channel 5 Tuesday 27 February)

In the latest episode of “Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly,” viewers are introduced to three troublesome canines and their owners in...

Channel 5 Channel 5
News22 hours ago

Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild visits Chile on Channel 5 Tuesday 27 February

In the latest episode of “Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild,” airing on Tuesday 27 February at 9:00 PM...

Channel 5 Channel 5
News22 hours ago

The Pet Psychic: What’s Your Dog Thinking? Episode 2 (Channel 5 Tuesday 27 February)

In the second episode of the brand new series, “The Pet Psychic: What’s Your Dog Thinking?” viewers will join up...

Boarders BBC Three Boarders BBC Three
News22 hours ago

Boarders Episode 2 (BBC Three Tuesday 27 February 2024)

Time for the next installment of BBC THREE’s new series “Boarders.” In this second episode, which airs on Tuesday 27...

999: On The Front Line 999: On The Front Line
News22 hours ago

999: ON THE FRONT LINE Season 10 Episode 5 (Channel 4 Tuesday 27 February 2024)

In the latest episode of “999: ON THE FRONT LINE,” viewers are taken on a gripping journey through the challenging...

Come Dine With Me Generic Come Dine With Me Generic
News23 hours ago

Come Dine With Me Birmingham Day 2 (Channel 4 Tuesday 27 February 2024)

The latest episode of Channel 4’s “Come Dine With Me” takes us to Birmingham for the second day of a...

Popular