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Leave It to Beaver
March 20, 2009 1:59 PM   Subscribe

It's Friday, what better time to relish in the carefree world that was Leave It to Beaver. Even though it was "just" a TV show, how many of us, back in our youth, could relate to anxiety of being given the dreaded note from a teacher? Of course, as with any syndicated sitcom, there are stories behind the various actors. And other stories as well...

...mean ol' Judy Hensler (played by Jeri Weil) was written out of the series once puberty struck and she refused to bind her breasts. Stanley Fafara, who played Whitey Whitney, succumbed to drugs. And Rusty Stevens, who played Beav's best friend Larry Mondello, disappeared into such obscurity that it took a private detective to find him for the Beaver reunion movie.
posted by Oriole Adams (19 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Eddie Haskell ... I can't help it, but I just don't like that boy!"
posted by ericb at 2:04 PM on March 20, 2009


This really cheers me up after a week of the fellas givin' me the business.
posted by mattholomew at 2:07 PM on March 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Carefree world? With Eddie Haskell in it?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:23 PM on March 20, 2009


"Leave It To Beaver" looks great on YouTube. Who would have thunk it?
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 2:25 PM on March 20, 2009


Beaver comes downstairs with his hair greased up like his older bro.
Mrs. Cleaver: Beaver?
Beaver: Yeah Mom, it's me alright.

Gotta love it.
posted by binturong at 2:59 PM on March 20, 2009


I'll bet Beaver and Wally's cousin Eldridge was thrilled when Whitey died.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:13 PM on March 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's my understanding that although Leave it to Beaver came to be thought of as the epitomy of fifties television, it was never that popular in its day. It just lasted long enough to be eligible for syndication, and so it got a lot of airtime in the decades to come when it was a cheap option for programming.

And I love Barbara Billingsley. That is one fun and funny woman. Her role on Airplane was perhaps the best of the smaller parts in the entire movie ("Excuse me, I speak jive,") and there was also a great cameo on Roseanne, when Roseanne revealed her income to the bunch of TV moms who had appeared in her kitchen late at night, and June Cleaver declared, "For that, I'd kiss chicks!" June Cleaver was criticized for being a sexist archetypal fifties housewife, and especially for mincing around the house in pearls and heels. Billingsley has said that the pearls were to hide a hollow in her neck, and she wore heels because the boys were getting taller than her.
posted by orange swan at 6:15 PM on March 20, 2009


A friend of mine attached a photo of The Beaver, Wally and Eddie to an email he sent the other day. It was a shot of the three actors at some fairly recent gathering, I guess.

Time has not been kind to these guys. 'Wholesome' is no longer part of the picture, I'm afraid. 'Pocked, beaten down and withered' would be the more appropriate terminology these days.

Sadly, this only made it easier for me to relate to them.
posted by metagnathous at 7:49 PM on March 20, 2009


When I'm home sick my favourite indulgence is still tuning into Leave it to Beaver. If I could find Mr. Rogers it'd be my home sick nirvana.
posted by substrate at 9:32 PM on March 20, 2009


A friend of mine attached a photo of The Beaver, Wally and Eddie to an email he sent the other day. It was a shot of the three actors at some fairly recent gathering, I guess.

This?
posted by dejah420 at 9:39 PM on March 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Inexorable March Of Time Brings TV's Jerry Mathers One Step Closer To Death.
posted by orange swan at 9:43 PM on March 20, 2009


This?

Yeah, that's the one. It was a shock. I hadn't given that show a thought in years.
posted by metagnathous at 5:34 AM on March 21, 2009


"You were awfully hard on the Beaver last night, Ward."
posted by Floydd at 7:58 AM on March 21, 2009


For being such a silly show, a lot of that stuff happened to me in RL! Bringing home and hiding goats, frogs, birds...messing up my Dad's car, tools, golf clubs...having a crush on Ms. Landers!!!!

Good memories!
posted by snsranch at 3:36 PM on March 21, 2009


Years ago I remember seeing Barbara Billingsley, Florence Henderson, and Phyllicia Rashad all together on a talk show, discussing their stints as the "unofficial Television Moms" of the 60's (Leave it to Beaver), 70's (Brady Bunch), and 80's (The Cosby Show) respectively. Kind of fun.

I remember one part distinctly when Rashad talked about an episode when Cliff and Claire Huxtable found a joint in Theo's room and agonized about how to handle it, only to find that it was a friends' joint and not Theo's after all. Florence Henderson spoke up and said, "We did the same kind of episode on The Brady Bunch, only it was a cigarette instead of a joint." And then Barbara Billingsley said, "we did too, only it was a pipe!" Now I just wonder what the parents of contemporary sitcoms are finding in their kids' rooms.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:33 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Easter Eggs were much bolder before the advent of the VCR freeze-frame.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:10 PM on March 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


"You were awfully hard on the Beaver last night, Ward."

That's a prime example of a double entendre, AMIRITE? ;-)
posted by ericb at 12:42 AM on March 22, 2009


Now I just wonder what the parents of contemporary sitcoms are finding in their kids' rooms.

Meth glass pipes?
posted by ericb at 12:44 AM on March 22, 2009


Easter Eggs were much bolder before the advent of the VCR freeze-frame.

That's a damn cool little piece of TV trivia, Rhaomi.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:46 PM on March 23, 2009


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