Updated: October 10, 2009
LEAVE IT TO BEAVER PHOTO GALLERY #01
One of the most popular series in television history, Leave It to
Beaver stood out from the flock of family shows during TV's golden
age. While most Beaver contemporaries, like The Donna Reed Show and
The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, were star-driven vehicles in
which the kids were merely supporting players, the action and antics
in Leave It to Beaver centered around the Cleaver boys.
Premiering in the fall of 1957 and focusing on the adventures of
seven-year-old Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver and his 12-year-old
brother, Wally, Leave It to Beaver was remarkably fresh for its
time. While its tone reflected the innocence of the era, the series
had a realistic edge thanks to the show's creators, Joe Connely and
Bob Mosher, who based most of the young characters on their own kids
and other children they knew. The episode where Wally gives Beaver a
crummy coif after losing his haircut money was taken straight from
the experience of little Bobby Mosher. Does that mean there was
actually a real life Eddie Haskell and Larry Mondello too?
The lasting charm of Leave It to Beaver can also be attributed to
its timeless story lines. It's not difficult to imagine Wally and
the Beav's misadventures happening today, albeit with hipper lingo.
At the show's core is the theme of growing up, and while most of us
don't have model parents like Ward and June Cleaver or Gus the
Fireman to dispense advice, we can identify with many of the Cleaver
kids' predicaments. Boys will be boys, after all.
Though the original series left prime time in September 1963, it has
remained a regular in reruns ever since. In the early 1980s, Leave
It to Beaver experienced a resurgence in popularity that resulted in
a sort of Beaver Cleaver fever. Wally and the Beav suddenly found
themselves on Kellogg's Cornflakes boxes, as well as the subject of
a number of books. A reunion movie, Still the Beaver, was produced,
and led to a syndicated series reuniting many of the show's original