History of Leave It To Beaver

Origins of Leave It To Beaver

Bio of Jerry Mathers

Leave It To Beaver Trivia
How did Beaver get his name?

This was revealed in the very last show.  When Theodore was an infant and Wally was
a young lad, he had problems pronouncing "Theodore."  It came out sounding like
"Beaver", so the nickname stuck.

How was Leave It To Beaver created?

Leave It To Beaver was created by Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly. Mosher and
Connelly started writing together in 1942 for the radio show "Amos and Andy".
Together, they wrote over 1,500 sketches over 12 years. They tried some one-time
projects for TV, and then came up with the idea of writing a family show from the
child's point of view, instead of the adults like all other contemporary day shows.
Between the two, they had nine children, so they had plenty of stories. Beaver was
modeled on Connelly's eight year old son, Ricky, and Wally was molded after
Connelly's oldest son, Jay.

The original show was titled, "Wally and Beaver", reflecting the focus on the children.
However, the show's primary sponsor, Remington Rand, thought the title sounded too
much like a nature show, and requested a title change. Hence, "Leave It To Beaver"
came about.

After Leave It To Beaver ran its course, Mosher and Connelly then created "The
Munsters." While Mosher and Connelly broke new TV ground with LITB as the first
program to show a toilet, they also broke new ground in The Munsters as well. The
Munsters was the first TV program to show a husband and wife in bed together.

How long did Leave It To Beaver run?

Leave It to Beaver ran from 1957 - 1963, producing 234 shows. On reason of LITB's
success is TV stations could air repeats of LITB every weekday for over a year without
showing a repeat.

Note about the prop master who specialized in the fine print on product packages (see
the comments from Shorpy above):

What a job description.  Maybe he was a lawyer who missed his calling.
John Chulick

I found this searching Leave it to Beaver (2 sites visited), then World Series (1 site),
then both of them together and on on my first try there found the answer at
http://www.shorpy.com/leave-it-to-beaver?size=_original. I would have entered sooner
but I was reading about the show and the actors on the first two sites! I really enjoyed
watching this show growing up and again in reruns.                             
Dawn Carlile

I was sort of guessing.  The pic from Leave It To Beaver (I was sure of that) looked
like a very early one.  I did a web search for the dates that the show ran, then web
searched the World Series for the first year of the show.  It looked like the Braves won
every other game, then won the Series, so I picked them.hahaha!  Beginner's luck
again!  It's probably the only quiz I'll even get close to, but put me on your list anyway.
This is fun!                                                                                       
Diane Wilson

I read the letter, it was funny!                                                          
Peter Trearchis

The program is an old favorite of mine -- Leave it to Beaver.  The series launched on
Oct. 4, 1957 the same day that Sputnik was launched.                               
Judy Pfaff

One has to assume that the Beaver is not happy with who is winning this world Series
therefore one has to guess the actual team Beaver pulls for. The actual location of
Mayfair is fictional but is assumed by many to be in the midwest, Chicago or Ohio. The
Beaver of the photo looks young but would be pulling against my New York Yankees
who dominated the series during the Beaver years except for 1959.  It could be
Milwalkee, or Cincy or even Pittsburgh but that was not the question. I think the Yanks
were ahead.                                                                                            
Jim Kiser

N.B.  Great circumlocution, Jim, so what's the answer???

The quizzes that you have had lately have really brought back a lot of memories.  I
watched the leave it to beaver re-runs when I was a kid.  I watched lot of the old
movies also.  The Walt Disney shows were really good also.               
Delores Martin

The contest photo shows an episode from Leave It to Beaver aired in 1958 on ABC TV.
It seems that this was not the first time that Ward had received a note from school,
regarding his son's (Theodore aka Beaver) behavior. The contest photo and contents of
letter are depicted on Google Images-  Shorpy.com. The Milwaukee Braves were
LEADING the New York Yankees two games to one on October 2, 1958.The said
episode Her Idol, with Ward Cleaver holding the letter aired Nov. 6, 1958 on ABC
Well, thanks for that info.  So - it was filmed on 2 Oct 1958, game 2 of the World
Series and "Milwaukee leads seven to one in the series".  I was "guessing" by the size of
the Beav.If they started in 1957, and he was age 7, he looked like he might be nearly 9.  
Oh, well, it was a fun exercise!  Thanks!                                             
Jinny Collins

That's really funny!                                                                               
Tom Tullis

Yes, I did read what the propmaster said. Sounds like everyone had to be on their
collective toes all the time! Surprises! Surprises! Never a dull moment on the set.
Grace Hertz
After the fourth game, down three games to one, New York was nearing the end of an
era and the Braves were on the verge of clinching their second consecutive title.
Burdette returned to face Bob Turley (a twenty-one game winner) in a final showdown.
Backed by Gil McDougald's bases-empty homer in the third, Elston Howard's
spectacular snatch (and double play) off Red Schoendienst's sixth-inning liner and a
six-run rally against Burdette and reliever Juan Pizarro in the bottom of the sixth, Turley
emerged a 7-0 winner by giving up only five-hits and chalking up ten strikeouts. Things
remained in their favor the following day as the Yanks squared the Series with a 4-3,
ten-inning victory in Game 6.
This was the first year New Yorkers had only one local team to root for; both the
Giants and the Dodgers were now playing their home games more than 3000 miles
away (in San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively). Both returnees to the Series had
no problems repeating as league champions during the regular season. Milwaukee
coasted to an eight-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League and the
Yanks bested the Chicago White Sox by ten games in the American. With no pennant
race in either league, managers Casey Stengel of the Yankees and Fred Haney of the
Braves could rest their aces in preparation for an exciting repeat of the 1957 World
Having been a Property Master in the television business for quite a few years, I can
assure you that this is extremely common. The text could be the actor's lines if they
have a tough scene and the prop guy likes them. Sometimes it is jokes designed to
crack the actor up during the first take. Other times it is exactly this kind of
stream-of-consciousness rambling serving no greater purpose than filling up the page.
My specialty was always the fine print on package labels. The warning on the beer
labels in the first "American Pie" movie said that beer could cause pregnancy, cause you
to act like an idiot, or just plain F- you up.                                 
Anonymous Tipster
If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
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Enter Contest
Quiz #122 - August 19, 2007
1.  This is a scene from what well-known American TV show, 1957-1963??
2. Who was ahead in the World Series when this scene was filmed?
1. Leave It To Beaver
2.  The Milwaukee Braves were leading the Yankees 2-0 games in the Series.
Quiz Tip
Some of our readers tried to enlarge this week's quiz photo to search for details
on either the date the scene was filmed, or on who was leading the World Series
at the time.  But alas!  The photo is too small to be enlarged enough to make out
sufficient detail for this.

A better way to find the answer is to search on www.google.com using the terms
"Leave It To Beaver" "World Series" (with the quotation marks).  This will lead
you to
http://www.shorpy.com/leave-it-to-beaver where the photo can be found
along with the answer to the quiz.
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Debi Stewart                Wayne Douglas
Margaret English                Anna Farris
Diane Wilson                Dean & Peter Treatchis
Jim Kiser                Judy Pfaff
Karen Petrus                Elaine C. Hebert
Mike Dalton                Jinny Collins
Dorothy Oksner                Tom Tullis
Linda Williams                Grace Hertz
Kelly Fetherlin                Mary Fraser
Gary Sterne                Diane Burkett
Margaret Waterman                Fred Stuart
Paula Harris                Dawn Carlile
Sharon Martin                Bill Utterback
John Chulick                Stan Read
Sandy Thompson                Bob McKenna
Rick Mackinney                Peter St. Wecker
Marjorie Wilser                Suzan Farris
Lynda Snider
Comments from Our Readers
Leave It To Beaver
Beaver climbs up a tree and talks to a classmate of his, Linda Dennison ( Patty Turner
). They talk about where the eggs in the bird's nest came from. Whitey and Larry give
Beav a hard time saying that Linda is his girl. Trouble is on the way.

This is a classic episode. The story was by Dick Conway and Roland MacLane, who
also wrote for Life Of Riley.
Her Idol
Filmed 10/2/1958
First aired: 11/6/1958
The 1958 World Series
The 1958 World Series
was a rematch of the
1957 Series, with the
New York Yankees
beating the defending
champion Milwaukee
Braves in seven games
for their 18th title, and
their seventh in ten
years. With that
victory, the Yankees
became only the
second team in Major
League Baseball to
come back from a 3-1
deficit to win a
best-of-seven World
Series; the first was
the 1925 Pittsburgh
Pirates. (The 1903
Boston Red Sox came
back from a 3-1 deficit
in a best-of-nine affair.)
Mr. Ward Cleaver
485 Mapleton Drive
Mayfield, State

My Dear Mr. Cleaver:

This paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It is here merely to fill up
space. Still, it is words, rather than repeated letters, since the latter might not give the
proper appearance, namely, that of an actual note.

For that matter, all of this is nonsense, and the only part of this that is to be read is the
last paragraph, which part is the inspired creation of the producers of this very fine

Another paragraph of stuff. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their
party. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. My typing is lousy, but the
typewriter isn’t so hot either. After all, why should I take the blame for these
mechanical imperfections, with which all of us must contend. Lew Burdette just hit a
home run and Milwaukee leads seven to one in the series. This is the last line of the
filler material of the note. No, my mistake, that was only the next to last. This is last.

I hope you can find a suitable explanation for Theodore’s unusual conduct.

Yours truly,
Cornelia Rayburn
The quiz photo, along with a closeup of
the letter Beaver's father is reading, was
posted on www.shorpy.com.  Shorpy is
a website with many interesting
photographs depicting life as it was 100
years ago.

When Dave, the person who posted the
photo (and also the owner of the site),
was watching a video of this episode of
Leave It To Beaver, he freeze-framed the
shot of the letter, and was able to read the
following text:
Comments on the Letter from the Shorpy Site
Lorem Ipsum
In publishing and graphic
design, lorem ipsum is standard
placeholder text used to
demonstrate the graphic
elements of a document or
visual presentation, such as
font, typography, and layout.
Lorem ipsum also serves as
placeholder text in mock-ups of
visual design projects before
the actual words are inserted
into the finished product. When
used in this manner, it is often
called greeking.

Even though using "lorem
ipsum" often arouses curiosity
due to its resemblance to
classical Latin, it is not
intended to have meaning.
Where text is visible in a
document, people tend to focus
on the textual content rather
than upon overall presentation,
so publishers use lorem ipsum
when displaying a typeface or
design in order to direct the
focus to presentation. "Lorem
ipsum" also approximates a
typical distribution of letters in
English, which helps to shift the
focus to presentation.

If you read the letter upside down and backwards,
it says that Space Aliens are going to attack the
world on May 09, 2007.

Anonymous Tipster


I don't know why but I decided to do some
research on the date this letter may have been
written and I'm pretty sure it's Thursday October
2nd 1958. I tried to go further and find the time of
day but I can only estimate late afternoon pacific
time (assuming it was written in LA). The Lew
Burdette sentence references the first inning of
game 2 in the 1958 World Series between the
Milwaukee Braves and New York Yankees.
Milwaukee went on to win the game 13 to 5 but
the Yankees won the series.  
Anonymous Tipster


Reading this, I am suddenly transported back 25
years to my American History class in 10th grade.
I was supposed to be writing an essay about
American gangsters of the early 20th century, and
for some reason I became convinced that my
teacher would never read everyone's paper every
single time. So being the incredibly wise-ass young
man that we all are at 16, I dropped in three or
four lines, beginning mid-sentence in a paragraph
about Al Capone's bootleg whiskey empire, all
about how my grandmother's poodles enjoyed
riding in cars (or some equally stupid text about
my grandmother...the exact words escape me
now), and then went on to say that I know that he
(my teacher) would never read everyone's paper
and that he would never know these lines were
buried in my own paper. I then went on to finish
the rest of the paper normally, and handed it in
with a smile on my face.

The day after I turned in the paper, the teacher
stood in front of the whole class and read my
paper out loud.  Had there been a way to drop
through the floor at the time...I'd have taken it. 25
years later, I can STILL feel my face get red, just thinking about it!

I can commiserate with the author of Beaver's letter...                
Anonymous Tipster


In a high school production of the musical Cinderella, the scroll that's supposed to
contain all the names of His Royal Highness Christopher Rupert Windemere Vladimir
(and so on) was covered by our props department with just one line, in big bold letters:
"DON'T SCREW UP".                                                            
Anonymous Tipster

Yankees – 3,
Braves – 4
(10 innings)
Oct. 1
County Stadium
Yankees – 5,
Braves – 13
Oct. 2
County Stadium
Braves – 0,
Yankees – 4
Oct. 4
Yankee Stadium
Braves – 3,
Yankees – 0
Oct. 5
Yankee Stadium
Braves – 0,
Yankees – 7
Oct. 6
Yankee Stadium
Yankees – 4,
Braves – 3
(10 innings)
Oct. 8
County Stadium
Yankees – 6,
Braves – 2
Oct. 9
County Stadium
During the second game, with the Braves ahead 1-0
after the first inning, the Braves added to their lead in the
2nd inning on another Covington single this time scoring
Eddie Mathews. Things would quiet down a little;
Mickey Mantle's solo shot, over the center-field fence,
in the 4th was the only other scoring until the 7th when
the Braves would score twice more and then thrice more
in the 8th. The Yankees would find some life in the top
of the 9th scoring three runs off a tiring Burdette. Hank
Bauer led off with a homerun followed by a Gil
McDougald single to left and then Mantle's second
homer of the game, into the left-center field bleachers
made it 13-5. Burdette showed some tenacity by retiring
Berra, Bill Skowron, and Bobby Richardson, in order,
for the win and a 2-0 series lead.
For the second straight year,
Larsen would be chosen as the
Yankees' starting pitcher in Game
7. And for the second straight
year, he lasted exactly three
innings before hitting the
showers. A short-rested Turley
returned in relief and after
escaping a bases-loaded situation
in the third, held a 2-1 lead over
Burdette and the Braves entering
the Milwaukee sixth. With two
out, though, Del Crandall belted a
game-tying home run. After both
clubs were held scoreless in the
seventh, Burdette retired the first
two Yankees in the eighth.
Fortunately for New York, the
Braves' luck was about to run
out. First, Yogi Berra tagged the
Milwaukee ace for a double. Then
Elston Howard followed suite with a go-ahead single. Andy
Carey singled off of third baseman Eddie Mathews' glove and
finally Skowron crashed a devastating home run to left-center,
The Yankees were ahead, 6-2, and the score did not change.
With Turley yielding only a single run and two-hits in 6 2/3
innings of relief, the Yankees managed to beat the odds for their
eighteenth World Series title.

The surprise comeback had not only restored the Yankees to
their previous stature, it had also tied a record as they became
only the second team (1925 Pittsburgh Pirates) to rally back
from a 3-1 deficit to win baseball's most prestigious crown.
Big-Time Baseball, edited by Ben Olan, 1961, pp. 105. as
referenced by
Lew Burdette
Hank Bauer (who was a nine-Series veteran) led with most runs scored (six), most hits
(ten), most home runs (four) and most runs batted in (eight). He also topped the
Yankees sluggers with a .323 average. Despite less-than-stellar stats in his first four
Classics (seven for fifty-seven with a .123 avg.), he combined for eighteen hits, six
home runs, fourteen RBIs and a .290 average against the Braves in '57 and '58.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1958_World_Series and
Leave It To Beaver
Frequently Asked Questions
That's what you had if you really
splurged on a TV for the living
room in those days. No sense
buying a color TV, since for the
$700 (and up) one of those cost,
you got to watch maybe one
show a week in color - a variety
show "special" with Fred Astaire
perhaps. Anyway, you couldn't
possibly read the letter from a
525-line video, no matter how big
your TV was. Film, maybe, but
not video.    
Anonymous Tipster
[I don't know about that. I'm the one who deciphered the letter and created this post,
and I used a 10-year-old, 27-inch, 525-line low-definition Sony. The main obstacle to
being able to read it in 1958 would have been that it was onscreen for just a few
seconds. - Dave]

Read more...http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=56603
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