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Classic TV sitcoms – “Leave It to Beaver”

Classic TV sitcoms Leave It to Beaver

What’s “Leave It to Beaver” is all about?

Leave it to Beaver is a popular 1950s American television series. The show features a young boy named Theodore Cleaver, also known as “the Beaver” and the many adventures he experiences while growing up in the small town of Mayfield. The show also stars Beaver’s parents June and Ward Cleaver, and Beaver’s older brother, Wally Cleaver. The Cleaver family, is played by actors Jerry Mathors as Theodore Cleaver, Barbara Billingsley as June Cleaver, Hugh Beaumont as Ward Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Wally Cleaver.

The writers behind “Leave It to Beaver”

Leave it to Beaver was created by writers, Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher. The writers got many of their ideas for the shows characters, themes, and plots, from live experiences their children had had or experiences they had had with their children. Leave it to Beaver was one of the first television sitcom series’ to be written from a child’s point of view, rather than the parent’s or another adult.

The themes tackled on this series

A reoccurring theme portrayed inLeave it to Beaver is the difference between right and wrong. In many episodes, Beaver learns the hard way that when you chose to do the wrong thing, there are often times unwanted consequences. However, when you chose to do the right thing, things often go better for you. Education, occupation, marriage and family are also often talked about themes in Leave it to Beaver.

The show’s popularity and impact

Although this popular television series had long ended, Leave it to Beaver will always be remembered as one of the well-loved TV shows of the 1950s. In fact, it is still watched by many Americans today. It will forever bring back memories of laughter and excitement.

Leave it to Beaver became so popular that it ran for 6 seasons and had a total of 234 episodes. Although it was still very popular, Leave it to Beaver, was canceled in 1963, due to the desire of the cast to move on in there acting careers. The actor who played Beaver, Jerry Mathors, was beginning his freshmen year in high school, and the actor who portrayed Wally Cleaver, Tony Dow, was about to graduate from high school. Both young boys felt like it was time to begin a new chapter in their lives.

Although it ended in 1963, Leave it to Beaver was still very popular. It was so popular in fact, that a reunion tele movie was made, called Still the Beaver. The film was about Beaver’s life as an adult, and some of the struggles he had to face. In 1984, a sequel series of Leave it to Beaverwas produced which also focuses on Beaver in his adult life. The show also stars Beaver’s brother Wally Cleaver and his mother June Cleaver. In 1997 a movie, also titled Leave it to Beaver, was a remake of the original TV comedy series. 

Little known facts about the series

This situation comedy might have a lasting popularity, but there are still some facts about it that not all viewers may realize. Here are some of them now:

  1. It was the first series of its kind to have a proper series finale with flashbacks. Before that, shows would simply finish abruptly with a random episode. In the case of Leave it to Beaver, there was a flashback episode titled ‘Family Scrapbook’ with all the characters getting together to look at old photographs and reminisce about them. 
  2. Actress Barbara Billingsley, who played June Cleaver, wore a pearl necklace while in character. This was not a fashion choice, but one made to cover up a surgical scar located on her neck
  3. The same character, who was the mother of the boys, also wore heels after a certain point. This was mainly because the kids were experiencing growth spurts and would otherwise look too tall on screen with her
  4. The series never told the audience what state it was set in. However, Beaver once wished to get a surfboard, which points towards them living in a state somewhere near the beach
  5. Jerry Mathers, who played the the main character of Beaver Cleaver, started his professional career when he was merely two and a half years old. This was when he was asked to model in a catalog by a mall store, where he went shopping with his mother one day. From there on, he started getting commercials and roles in several movies including this show

Conclusion

This show might seem a little cheesy and quaint when viewed by modern audiences, but it’s still regarded as one of the most iconic American sitcoms. It’s known for imparting decent life lessons and can be enjoyed by several generations. If you haven’t seen this fan favorite yet, it might be time to check out some episodes now. 

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