If I had my choice between a three pound bass and a girl, I’d take the three pound bass. – Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver

While “Leave it to Beaver” was definitely a slice of white bread, middle class life in America, it was written and produced by real people, drawn from their own Awesome memories and real experiences.

One might accurately argue that this “hyper-idealism” is unattainable, but one can’t help but imagine what life would be like running at a less harried pace, living more simplified, traditional value-driven lives. What would we lose? What would we gain? Hmmm?

Theodore “The Beave” Cleaver lived on 485 Grant Avenue in Mayfield, Any State, USA. The Cleavers later moved to 211 Pine. The series writers all borrowed from their own childhood and families to compose the stories 

Ward Cleaver: How’d the fishing go Beav?
Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver: Great Dad. We didn’t catch any fish, but Larry and I saw a man slip on a wet rock and heard everything he said.

Mayfield is never given a home state, but based on numerous contradictory clues sprinkled throughout the 234 episodes, Mayfield shares disproportionate number commonalities with Mayfield, OH. As for Mayfield’s verifiable location, the world may never know.

Wally and the Beave advire a bullfrog.
Wally and the Beave discuss the virtues of bullfrogs.

Leave It to Beaver was created by Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly who started writing together in 1942 for the radio show “Amos and Andy”. Together they wrote more than 1,500 sketches over 12 years.

Wally Cleaver: Hi Dad. I didn’t do anything. Ward Cleaver: Why do you say that?
Wally Cleaver:
Well, I don’t know, but, uh, you have that look on your face like somebody did something.

They decided to use a fresh approach and write a family show from the child’s point of view, and with nine children between them, the writing team had plenty of fodder for stories. Beaver was modeled on Connelly’s eight year old son, Ricky, and Wally was molded after Connelly’s oldest son, Jay.

June and Ward Cleaver were America's middle upper-class parents for a while.
June and Ward Cleaver were America’s middle upper-class parents for a while.

The original G-rated show was titled, “Wally and Beaver” but was later changed to Leave it to Beaver at the request of the show’s main sponsor, Remington Rand.

They thought “Wally and Beaver” sounded too much like a nature show.

At the time, the word “beaver” wasn’t quite the double entendre it has become today, so when talking about “The Beave,” it helps to be more specific.

For example: “I’m a fan of Leave It to Beaver“, instead of, “I’m a fan of Beaver.” Or, “That Beaver Cleaver was always getting into trouble.”, instead of, “That Beaver was always getting into trouble.”

Jerry Mathers reportedly made about $500 a week while filming the show. It was good money, but certainly didn’t make him rich in the modern day sense.

June Cleaver: Eddie, would you care to stay for dinner? We’re having roast beef.
Eddie Haskell: No thank you, Mrs. Cleaver. I really must be getting home. We’re having squab this evening.

In fact, Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow (Wally), and Ken Osmond (Eddie) all got regular jobs after college; Jerry Mathers was a bank loan officer, Tony Dow worked in housing construction, and Ken Osmond worked as a Los Angeles traffic cop.

The Cleavers all dressed up and ready for Thanksgiving dinner.
The Cleavers all dressed up and ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Leave It to Beaver ran from 1957 – 1963, producing 234 shows. One reason of LITB’s success is TV stations could air repeats of LITB every weekday for over a year without showing a repeat. In 1982, there was a reunion show called Still the Beaver. Disney picked up the show and produced 103 shows between 1985 and 1989.

June gets her two sons ready for school.
June gets her two sons ready for school.

After Leave It to Beaver ran its course; Mosher and Connelly went on to create “The Munsters.”


YouTube: “I wish the US had held onto all the good stuff from the 1950’s.” – Detectivefiction   “It’s not the tv life people wish for. it’s the way people acted, how they talked, the thoughts they had. look at shows then and now. look at dick van dyke show and malcolm in the middle. that’s the difference between before and now. and that’s what people yearn for. the before.” – 7aichi  I was born in 50! Webelieved in a world outside the house back then. Great fun :)” – Chooka Crick In the 50’s we could see a double feature + cartoons or 3 stooges shorts for 35cents at our neighborhood theatre on Sundays. a cup of coca-cola from a machine was a dime, a box of popcorn was 7 cents. – TheMrbumpas

June, Ward, Wally and the Beave in front of their home in Mayfield.
June, Ward, Wally and the Beave in front of their home in Mayfield.

IMDb: ” I find the show hysterical. The exasperated look that Ward and June get when something happens, Wally’s comments, and the dealings with all the Cleavers friends are priceless.” – jwrowe3   “Leave It To Beaver will always be one of my all-time favorite shows. I can remember coming home for lunch each day from school and watching Leave It To Beaver at 12.00 o,clock . It has been on the same channel(The New VR) & time slot for over 25yrs. I still love watching it now into my thirtys. This show has stood the test of time, and should still for generations to come.” –  Dave Rowland  

MORE AWESOME PHOTOS: Pinterest and Flickr
MORE AWESOME VIDEOS: HuzzazVimeo and YouTube
FOLLOW TRiBYOOT: TwitterGoogle+Facebook and Linkedin
SEARCH FOR MORE: Bing, Google, Ask and DuckDuckGo