History for the Rest of Us

Leave it to Beaver

Leave it to Beaver

Oct 4, 2012

Leave it to Beaver first aired on CBS on October 4, 1957. The show centers around the adventures of Theodore “The Beaver” Cleaver at school, home, and in his neighborhood. Also featured in the show are Beaver’s parents June and Ward Cleaver, and his brother Wally. The series lasted for six seasons with a total of 234 episodes. Time Magazine ranked Leave it to Beaver as the #44 TV Show of All Time. The main characters: Theodore “The Beaver” Cleaver – Beaver is 100% stereotypical boy. A lover of comic books, money-making schemes, baseball, and animals; and a hater of dance, baths, and homework. Beaver shares a bedroom with his brother Wally throughout the series. His fireman neighbor Gus always gives him sound advice and helps to keep him from straying to far. Typically the episodes include a lecture from his father about some mistake Beaver has made. Wally Cleaver – Beaver’s older brother, Wally is a first rate athlete and popular with the girls who consider him to be ‘the absolute most’. Wally is friends with Eddie Haskell, ‘Lumpy’ Rutherford, Tooey Brown, and Chester Anderson. Wally functions as a translator helping Beaver understand ‘parentspeak’, and as an informant to his parents about Beaver’s latest adventures. June Cleaver – wife of Ward and mother to Wally and Beaver, June is a full time wife and mother. She is often seen in the kitchen preparing meals, and trying to comprehend Wally as he reports his school day activities in the teen jargon of the day. She dated Ward as teenager, attended college and briefly held down a part time job. Ward Cleaver – husband of June and father to Wally and Beaver, Ward is a white collar worker who regularly is giving his sons instruction on their decisions. His character was an engineer in the US Navy during World War II, and majored in Philosophy in college. Trivia about the show: The Cleaver house was also the home for Marcus Welby M.D. Beaver went to Grant Avenue School, a grammar school (grades K-8) Leave it to Beaver was the first show to show a toilet. It only showed the tank and flush handle, and never...

The Andy Griffith Show

The Andy Griffith Show

Oct 3, 2012

On October 3, 1960 The Andy Griffith Show was first televised on CBS. The series would go on to run for eight seasons. The show had many memorable characters including Andy Taylor (the Sheriff), Barney Fife (his deputy), Aunt Bee, Opie, Ernest T. Bass, the Darlings, Thelma Lou, Helen Crump, the Fun Girls, Gomer Pyle and Goober, Floyd the Barber, and others. TV Guide ranked The Andy Griffith Show 9th in its listing of the Top 50 Shows of all time. The main characters: Sheriff Andrew Jackson ‘Andy’ Taylor – Sheriff and Justice of the Peace. Andy was good-natured and able to use his common sense to solve a wide variety of situations he encountered on the show. He rarely wore or carried a gun, and to the dismay of his deputy, never completed his uniform with a tie. Andy’s girlfriends always played key roles in the series. He eventually married Helen Crump, his son Opie’s school teacher. Deputy Bernard P. ‘Barnie’ Fife – Deputy. Ill-equipped to be a deputy, Barney fumbles his way through his duties. As a protection to himself and others he almost always carried his bullet in his shirt pocket. On those rare occasions that the bullet was loaded in his gun, he usually ended up accidentally firing it. Barney also had several girls he dated, but he always came back to Thelma Lou. However, he was often caught on the courthouse telephone talking with Juanita down at the diner. Throughout the series his middle name fluctuated. In episode 25, his middle name was said to be ‘Oliver’ and according to his high school yearbook his middle name was ‘Milton’ (episode 82). In episode 157, his middle initially is repeatedly said to be ‘P’. Opie Taylor – son of Andy, Opie was about six when the series began. He was a good-hearted child who had a close relationship with his father and Aunt Bee. Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor – Aunt Bee came to live with Andy and Opie when Rose their original housekeeper got married and moved away. Her social life is often featured prominently in the show. Trivia about the show: The series was one of only three sitcoms...