Joe Connelly dead at 85
February 14, 2003 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Joe Connelly conked out, as the Beav might've put it. The "Leave it to Beaver" co-creator had many other credits to his name, but for my money, his most memorable achievement was creating TV's smarmiest character, Eddie Haskell.
posted by Oriole Adams (7 comments total)
TV Guide once called "Leave It to Beaver" "one of the most honest, most human and most satisfying situation comedies on TV."

Well now that TV Guide has spoken... We know it's the last word in cultural analysis. Note how all the other "critical acclaim" in the article comes from people who participated in the show's creation.

It's funny how Leave it to Beaver has become such a cultural icon. It was never really a hit show in its day, was never in the top ten in a time when there were relatively few shows. It just floated along and lasted long enough to get into syndication where it lived on and on, and then since it was something everyone had seen, came to be thought of as an archetypal fifties TV show. It's culturally familiar, not culturally significant.

Interesting how arbitrary the whole syndication selection process can be, and how second-rate shows can live on while much better ones are forgotten.
posted by orange swan at 9:59 AM on February 14, 2003

creating TV's smarmiest character, Eddie Haskell.

But look what Eddie's been up to lately....*

posted by jonmc at 10:09 AM on February 14, 2003

I don't think conked out is the correct phrase here.

I think the Beav would have said he croaked.
posted by jdroth at 10:09 AM on February 14, 2003

And the trivial department of trivia weighs in: I heard an old interview with Harry Shearer just this morning and he mentioned that he was the original Eddie Haskell.

He did the pilot, but his parents didn't want him to take a regular series job.

croaked, definitely croaked.
posted by ?! at 1:06 PM on February 14, 2003

I used "conked out" only because it was the phraseology used by Wally and Beaver when Beav's pigeons (Miss Landers and Miss Canfield) died. Beaver had the measles and was confined to his bedroom. Wally went to the garage to feed the pigeons and found a grisly surprise. He went to give Beaver the bad news, but Beav could read it on Wallys face:

"What happened, Wally? Did my pigeons conk out?"

"Well, the neighbor's cat got in and sorta conked 'em out."
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:00 PM on February 14, 2003

Oriole Adams: You have an amazing memory.
posted by ?! at 6:49 PM on February 14, 2003

Memory? The show was probably on TV last night somewhere. That baby boomer stuff just won't go away.

I was surprised to find Ricky Connelly, original inspiration for the Beaver, as a minor character in The Mousedriver Chronicles.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:23 AM on February 17, 2003

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