I saw over the weekend that Barbara Billingsley passed away who fondly played June Cleaver the mother on Leave it to Beaver (LITB). LITB (1957 – 1963) was one of a trifecta of shows on television in the late fifties and early sixties whose premise was to follow the lives of a suburban American family which consisted of a working dad, a stay at home mom and their happy children.
LITB was different than the other two sitcom’s because Ozzie and Harriett (1952-1966) and Father Knows Best (1954-1960) had plots that revolved around the parents whereas LITB plots mostly revolved around their eight year old son Beaver who would get himself in some kind of a mess. The moral of each story always being good behavior brings rewards while bad behavior brings undesirable consequences.
Here’s a clip from one of the episodes where Beaver’s friend Whitey dares him to find out if the cup on the billboard sign actually has soup in it. Tony Dow who played Beaver’s brother Wally said that if any line got too much of a laugh the writers would take it our because they only wanted chuckles.
Our brother in law Alec was an avid fan of the show when it was in reruns during the early eighties.