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Television as Popular Culture:

An attempt to influence North American Society?

An attempt to influence North American Society?

An Ideological analysis of Leave it to Beaver (1957-1961)

by Neil B. Lillico

A memoire submitted to the School of Graduate Studies and Research in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.A. degree in History

Université d’Ottawa / University of Ottawa

ã 1993 Neil B. Lillico

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Tony Dow and Barbara Billingsley, for their kindness in allowing me to conduct interviews to gather background information about Leave It To Beaver . Their insight and comments were extremely helpful, and they provided invaluable assistance which permitted me to conduct this analysis.

I would also like to thank my friend and advisor, Dr. Stephen Davies for his time, effort and advice, all of which helped to guide me through this project from its initial inception through to the finished product.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

The Development of Leave It To Beaver

Recurring Themes

Moral Messages

Parenting Techniques

Relationships

Conclusion

APPENDIX “A”: CAST OF CHARACTERS

APPENDIX “B”: CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF PROGRAMS

Appendix “C”: Synopsis of Sample Programs

Appendix “D”: Writers/Contributors

Appendix “E”: Recurring Themes

Appendix “F”: Moral Messages For Children

Appendix “G”: Parenting Techniques

Appendix “H”: Relationships

Bibliography

 

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Television as popular culture:

an attempt to influence North American Society?

An Ideological Analysis of Leave It To Beaver (1957-1961)

Introduction

Television has had a profound influence and impact on North American society. The medium is simultaneously a reflection of, and an influence on, societal beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. In essence, television is an educational tool, which gathers, synthesizes and disseminates information in four basic formats of news, formal education, advertising and entertainment. Of these four constructs, entertainment, with its strong links to advertising, is by far the most influential method of broadcasting purportedly acceptable social customs to the viewing public. Therefore, with such a prominent role in society, this raises questions about the medium of television as a pedagogical instrument.

The importance and wide ranging effects of television can be examined by referring to the historical growth of broadcasting. From this is will be possible to analyze a specific entertainment program, Leave It To Beaver, in terms of program content. This examination will reveal what messages and specific cultural ideologies were promulgated by the writers and creators of this program between 1957 and 1961.

The technological invention of radio was linked to a number of scientific experiments and research in the field of electricity and electromagnetics, which eventually led to the ability to transmit sound waves through the air. In November 1920, the Westinghouse Corporation launched the first government approved radio station in Pittsburgh (KDKA) by broadcasting the news of Warren Harding’s election as President of the United States. The success of this broadcast, heard by an estimated audience of 500 to 1,000, created an increased public demand for radios.

Based on this initial success the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) joined Westinghouse in the race to sell radios by building radio stations and attracting listeners. The American public, infatuated with gadgetry, reacted in an overwhelmingly positive manner and radio became a national craze. By 1922, there were 576 stations broadcasting in the United States and two years later there were more than 1,400. In addition, by 1924 Americans were spending one-third of their furniture budget on radios enclosed in wooden cabinets which dominated their living rooms. However, this rapid growth created a number of problems for the fledgling radio industry, such as programming and funding.

Broadcasters recognized the importance of offering programming which appealed to the public in order to retain and/or increase their audience. Initially, news broadcasts were the mainstay or radio along with some musical interludes, and the occasional church service. However, as radio increased in popularity the stations were faced with the necessity of creating other programs to fill the airtime. As a result, the networks turned to comedy, drama, education and sports to attract listeners. When the mounting costs of producing these programs could no longer be borne solely by the sales of radios, the stations felt the need to tap another market for revenue.

In 1922 AT&T introduced the idea of selling airtime to a sponsor to help offset mounting production costs. WEAF on Long Island became the first commercial radio station when it sold ten minutes of airtime to a local realtor for one hundred dollars. Other stations soon followed suit. At first, the sponsor’s name and product were simply mentioned at the beginning and end of each program in a very low-key manner. However, this soon led to more direct and frequent advertisements on the airwaves as corporate America found it could sell more products to the listening public by advertising. Moreover, the radio networks, underwritten by corporate sponsorship, had more funds available and could improve the quality of their programs by attracting higher priced talent. Thus, everyone seemed to benefit from advertising.

The link between corporate sponsors and networks created a symbiotic relationship with respect to programming – with the advertising agencies providing the necessary nexus. The sponsors wanted only positive identification with their products. Therefore, it was incumbent upon the advertising agencies to develop programs which did not offend the listening public in return for continued advertising revenues for themselves and the networks. As a result, the networks broadcast commercial programs which appealed to white middle-class America. The favoured format was the family serial.

The family serial accomplished two things for the advertisers and radio stations: identification and trust. The family aspect provided listeners with something to which they could relate. Problems encountered by the actors allowed the audience to identify with the characters in the program, but more importantly, the predicaments were always satisfactorily resolved by the end of each episode. By embracing this style of programming, allowing the listener to identify with the actors through problem resolution, the audience learned to trust the program. If the show could be counted on to provide continuously high levels of entertainment value then both the sponsor and the network became the recipients of audience trust and support. The networks attracted listeners who tuned in to a specific program on a daily or weekly basis. In turn, sponsors advertised their products because the audience listened to the program. The audience rewarded the sponsors by purchasing the advertised products. Thus, the audience, networks and sponsors created a never-ending continuum built on identification and trust, arising out of the popular appeal of the radio program developed by the advertising agencies.

Radio established the ground rules for commercial broadcasting and thus allowed television to enter the arena with a well-defined formula for programming and funding. Television was developed almost simultaneously with radio, once the technology was in place. However, television in these early years, did not attract the same level of popularity as radio due to the high costs associated with producing the receiver.

Other factors associated with the high cost also interfered with the ability of the major corporations to promote this medium of mass communication: the depression, World War II and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Television sets cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 and during the depression years people simply could not afford the purchase price. World War II forced the industrial corporations to turn away from the production of non-essential items, and focus their attention on producing weapons and armaments to supply the military. The FCC, dominated by ‘New Dealers’, was wary of corporate sponsorship of television. However, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) lobbied the Commission and eventually persuaded the FCC that commercial support was the only way to fund the fledgling television networks.

With the end of the war and the depression, and with the sanction of the FCC, the networks were finally in a position to promote commercial television. However, there were still problems to be overcome. From a financial perspective, television programs were much more expensive to produce than radio programs, and were available to a much smaller audience. In 1946 there were only 10,000 privately owned television sets, and over half of them were located in New York City. The networks needed something to convince their commercial sponsors television was the medium of the future.

In May 1947, NBC decisively displayed the effectiveness of television advertising. The network, in collaboration with the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, produced and aired in New York City, the Kraft Television Theatre, a classy dramatic program. The sponsor, of course was Kraft Foods. The advertising campaign focused on promoting Imperial Cheese, a product that was not selling well. Three weeks after the program aired, Imperial Cheese was no longer available in New York grocery stores because it had sold out. Recognizing the potential of this new medium, new sponsors such as Chevrolet, Ford and Philco rushed to advertise their products on television.

The link between sponsors and programs is an important element of television. Building on the knowledge they had acquired during the commercialization of radio, both the corporate sponsors and the networks were well prepared for television programming. They adopted the same format of producing programs, especially family oriented shows, which did not offend the viewing public, and at the same time, created trust and good-will for their product. However, the increased costs associated with television shows caused the sponsors to substantially increase their degree of control over program content. By extension, this meant the programs reflected the ideas of America’s corporate elite.

In most instances the viewer is led to believe that when they turn on their television to watch a specific program, the commercials are simply a necessary intrusion, which interrupts the storyline. However, this is not the case as both the commercials and the programs are subsidized by corporate America. Both the programs and the commercials promote and encourage uniformity by reinforcing, or reflecting, what are considered to be popularly held societal beliefs and customs. In order to determine what entertainment television was advocating, an analysis of Leave It To Beaver , a family oriented program, will be made. This examination is based on viewing 145 episodes of the program with specific focus on recurring themes, moral messages, parenting techniques and personal relationships. In doing so, it will illustrate the degree to which the program writers and creators influenced or promoted North American culture and ideologies in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

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Recurring Themes

When viewing the programs, four specific underlying themes were noted: education, marriage, occupation and family. (Please see Appendix “E” for a breakdown of each of these categories by episode.) Education was an important element of the Leave It To Beaver series. From a realistic perspective, it was necessary to incorporate schooling into the program. Beaver and Wally were both attending school and spent a major portion of their day at their respective educational institutions. On a less obvious level, the program itself was a pedagogical device. Moreover, Connelly and Mosher, as the writers, were strong proponents of post-secondary education, and used the program to promote schooling as an important part of preparing for the future. As evidence of the importance they placed upon education, reference is made to a particularly relevant speech delivered to Beaver, by Miss Landers, in the episode titled “Beaver Plays Hooky” (#060).

You’re bound to miss a day of school here or there for illness or some other good reason, but to deliberately miss a day of school means that you don’t respect your school, or the value of education. You might have learned something here today, no matter how small, that would have stood you in good stead later in life. Why it’s just as though you took a day out of your life and threw it away. I don’t think it’s wise to throw away any days, but especially not a school day. There is so much to learn and so little time to learn it.

For analytical purposes, under the educational sub-category of recurring themes, the programs were examined solely for instances where college was mentioned. As noted above, publicly funded schooling was an essential part of the lives of the two Cleaver boys, and attendance was mandatory. However, attending college was not automatic, nor was it guaranteed. The decision required conscious thought and forward planning.

In the course of the series, Connelly and Mosher relayed the message, regarding the importance of a college education in a subtle fashion. There were three ways in which they introduced the subject. The primary method was to have the topic of college casually included in a conversation. On a more blatant level, the boys would either be encouraged to save funds for their college education, or be discouraged from withdrawing cash from their college savings account. The final method was to raise the topic in connection with school tests or grades. By using this suggestive technique, the viewer learned it was the responsibility of the parents to advocate the benefits of higher education. From this, children were to be encouraged to save money and obtain good grades which would enable them to gain admission to college.

Similar to education, marriage was presented as a natural expectation for children. Ward and June were married, as were the parents of Wally and Beaver’s friends. The one notable exception was the Mondello family. Mr. Mondello was always ‘out of town’. As a result, Mrs. Mondello was essentially a single parent and she was portrayed as having difficulty coping with her son. On several occasions, Mrs. Mondello actually came to Ward for help to discipline or lecture Larry. The creation of a ‘single parent family’ within the confines of the program would seem to suggest the writers promoted the benefits and necessity of having both a mother and a father in the home. As discussed earlier, and evidenced by the preceding example, divorce was presented as a rare occurrence that had decidedly negative effects on family life. Marriage formed the cornerstone of the family, and as such children were expected to find a suitable mate and raise a family of their own.

The introduction of the subject of marriage took a number of different forms and was dependent upon the situation and the characters involved. In most instances marriage was included in general conversation and was presented as a logical step in the course of attaining adulthood. Other situations, which generally revolved around Wally’s dating activities, found June expressing concern that her eldest son was too young to be serious about a girl, or fearful that the girl was not the ‘right type’. The episode which best depicts June’s attitudes about dating and marriage are found in “School Sweater” (#095). In this program, June expressed her concerns about Francis to Ward by saying: “Who is she and what is she doing to our baby? … She’s got him following her around. I’m just not ready to cope with this kind of thing. … I hope she stops calling, she’s just not the right type for him.” At the end of the program, June gives her opinion about the kind of girl Wally should marry. “…Some very sensible girl from a nice family. One with both feet on the ground that can cook and keep a nice house and see that he’s happy.” Whenever Wally seemed too interested in girls, June turned to Ward and he would approach Wally to offer his advice about women. Thus, to prepare children for marriage it was necessary for them to interact with members of the opposite sex and to listen to the advice provided by their parents.

For both Beaver and Wally, girls were a mystery. Beaver had a youngster’s innate dislike for members of the opposite sex. Generally, boys and girls in Beaver’s age group were presented as having a naturally antagonistic attitude toward one another. On those occasions which Beaver found himself attracted to, or interacting with, females, it usually resulted in being teased by his peers. Most of Beaver’s preparatory lessons for marriage were learned vicariously through Wally’s dating activities and supplemented by Ward’s lectures.

Similar to Beaver, Wally found girls somewhat baffling, but unlike his younger sibling he was attracted to them. On a personal level, Wally was occasionally confused by the girls he met, or dated, but he always learned from the experience. Whenever Wally or Beaver had questions about females, they turned to Ward who provided fatherly advice about the ways of women and prepared them for the eventuality of marriage.

Like marriage and education, the boys were encouraged to plan for their future careers. The vast majority of jobs mentioned in the course of the program were middle-class occupations. Lower class jobs such as that of trashman, janitor or house painter were generally portrayed as less desirable. Most references to occupation were oblique and mentioned only in casual conversation.

One program, “Beaver’s Secret Life”, was devoted to career aspirations and there are two specific and important elements which bear mentioning. First, was Beaver’s choice of career. Second, was the automatic delineation of male and female occupational roles.

When asked by Miss Landers what he would like to be when he grew up, Beaver told his teacher he would like to be a writer. While the choice was necessary for plot development, it is difficult to imagine a youngster of this age (10) thinking about a career as a writer. Beaver’s stated reason for selecting writing as an occupation was: “You don’t have to go to school or know nothin’ [sic]. … You only have to make up adventures and get paid for it.” However, it is also possible that Connelly and Mosher, as writers themselves, were either making a ‘tongue in cheek’ jibe at script writers in general, or conversely were making a conscious effort to promote writing as a rewarding career.

After Beaver indicated his choice of career, Penny Woods stood up and told Miss Landers that she wanted to be a nurse. While she claimed her vocational choice was prompted by a desire to help humanity, Penny also stated she wanted to meet and marry a rich doctor. While this statement is a strong indication that the writers promoted gender specific occupational roles, there is also evidence to support the idea that girls could work in non-traditional female roles. In the episode entitled “Beaver’s I.Q.”, June, a collegegraduate herself, told Beaver that “today’s girls can be doctors or lawyers too you know. They’re just as ambitious as boys are.” Although the writers promoted separate occupations for girls and boys, and thus reinforced the dominant ideology of the age, there is also evidence they were aware of the changes taking place in society.

As a general rule, Connelly and Mosher did not advocated changing society. They focused primarily on retaining traditional values and promoted the family as the cornerstone of the American way of life. There were two ways in which family was presented in the programs, either as a responsibility, or as an expectation.

The writers relied heavily on June’s character when advocating familial responsibility. As a mother, June was often featured comforting and protecting her sons from the outside world, or trying to instill a sense of brotherhood between Wally and Beaver. June’s role was to identify problems and bring them to Ward’s attention. It was Ward’s responsibility to resolve the situation through a lecture, or discussion with the boys.

There was never any divergence of opinion with respect to expectations for family. Both June and Ward promoted a strong sense of social responsibility and respect for family through the application of, and adherence to, the established rules. Parents were expected to impart their concepts and ideals of family to their children by example. This would then provide their offspring with the necessary skills to carry out family responsibilities when they became adults with children of their own.

The message regarding the importance of family was also reinforced by the school system. In a particularly relevant speech, Miss Landers told her pupils, all of us here in this room are rather like one big family and I think our family could be a lot happier if we were considerate and friendly toward one another. I do think you should have mutual respect and learn to get along together. You know, if you do that, you’ll be taking a big step toward becoming the kind of men and women we want you to be.

Becoming proper men and women was the essential idea encouraged by the writers of this program who wove the recurring themes of college, marriage, occupation and family throughout the series. It is perhaps best exemplified in a speech made by Wally, to Beaver, in the episode entitled “Miss Landers’ Fiancé”:

In a couple of years, you’ll go to high school, and then you’ll go to college and meet a whole bunch of girls. You’ll probably marry one. Then you’ll have a whole bunch of kids and a job and everything.

This statement ties all the recurring themes into a coherent whole. A college education was the necessary step to achieve respectable middle-class status. College was the place where young people could obtain an education, and find a suitable mate. Equipped with a degree, a young man could find a job, get married, raise a family, and thus continue in his parent’s footsteps to become and upstanding and responsible citizen.

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Moral Messages

The foregoing themes provided a methodological framework. They spelled out the appropriate stages necessary to achieve middle-class status through parenthood. However, raising a family was not simply a procedure of procreating the species. Before becoming parents, children had to learn proper moral behaviour from their families and through social interaction. Connelly and Mosher were experts at incorporating moral messages for children in the Leave It To Beaver series. (See Appendix “F” for a listing of moral messages contained in each program viewed.)

There were six important moral messages repeated throughout the program: obey/trust your parents, tell the truth, develop self-esteem, have pride in your family, help (or don’t hurt) others, and accept responsibility for your actions. Often, more than one moral message was contained in a specific episode, such as when the boys disobeyed their parents and then lied. However, regardless of the circumstances, the program consistently delivered strong advice to children respecting their obligations to their family in particular, and society in general.

The issue of obeying and trusting parents was the most frequently repeated message. In most instances, Beaver was the recipient of the advice; however, there were a number of episodes where Wally had to be reminded of his obligations. For Beaver, “The Ring” (053) is perhaps the best example. Against his parent’s specific instructions, Beaver took a family heirloom ring to school. From Beaver’s perspective, he justified his action because he was told not to ‘wear’ the ring to school, so he simply tied it to a piece of string attached to his belt loop. When showing the ring to his friends he was encouraged to place it on his finger where it became stuck. When the school nurse was unable to remove the ring, June was called. Beaver then realized he should have listened to and trusted the advice given him by his parents.

Episode 049, “Wally’s New Suit”, best exemplifies Wally learning to accept and respect his parent’s advice. Encouraged by Eddie Haskell, Wally approached his parents for permission to buy a new suit, for an upcoming dance, without parental interference. Ward and June reluctantly gave their permission and were devastated when Wally arrived home with a gaudy checked suit. June managed to convince Wally the suit needed some alterations and when they returned to the store, Wally chose a more appropriate outfit. When he arrived home from the dance, Wally thanked his parents for their thoughtfulness in preventing him from wearing an inappropriate outfit. Wally, as the older of the two boys, had a better understanding of socially acceptable behaviour and was usually able to avoid placing himself in troublesome situations. Beaver, on the other hand, always knew when he did something wrong, but was portrayed as being afraid to bring the problem to the attention of his parents. His trepidation occurred for two reasons, uncertainty over the consequences of his actions, coupled with a fear of disappointing his parents.

Wally’s role was generally that of facilitator. He explained Beaver’s actions to Ward and June, or clarified for Beaver the reasoning behind his parents’ advice. Thus, children were not only encouraged to listen to, and obey, their parents, but they were to actively seek parental advice in difficult situations.

Telling the truth was another important issue addressed by the program. There were several ways in which the problem of lying was presented to the viewer. Most occasions involved Beaver by himself, although there were a number of situations in which both Beaver and Wally attempted to keep something from their parents. Sometimes the boys learned a lesson about lying through the actions of outsiders. One of the best examples of the consequences of lying, by an outsider, was the episode entitled “Mistaken Identity” (147). One of Beaver’s friends, Richard Rickover, broke a window in a deserted house. When the police caught him, he gave Beaver’s name as his own. This resulted in a (very embarrassing) police visit to the Cleaver home to inform Ward and June. When Beaver was called downstairs to answer for his ‘crime’ the office realized Beaver was not the boy he apprehended. Although Beaver knew it must have been Richard, he refused to ‘rat’ on his friend. As expected, Richard had an attack of conscience and called Ward to apologize for lying about his name and causing such a disturbance.

In two specific episodes, even Ward and June were used as examples to show the consequences of not telling the truth. In episode 084, “Beaver Takes a Walk”, Ward’s exaggeration about how far he walked as a youngster cost Beaver his baseball glove. When Beaver bought his mother a particularly gaudy blouse for her birthday, (092, “June’s Birthday), June lied and told him she liked the present. When she didn’t wear the blouse as promised, Beaver was devastated and felt betrayed by his mother. June was then forced to explain that sometimes people don’t tell the truth in order to spare the feelings of others. In each of the foregoing incidents, heavy reliance was placed upon individual conscience as a deterrent to lying, coupled with the fact the lie was always discovered and the truth revealed.

Regardless of the circumstances, or the methods employed by the writers, the underlying message was always the same: tell the truth. Ward’s lecture to Beaver, for not telling the truth about losing a library book, provides the best summation of this particular moral message.

In the first place, it’s always wrong to tell a lie. And in the second place, you just build up more trouble for  yourself by not facing the truth. It really is a lot better to tell the truth. That way you don’t have to cover-up for yourself. You see, Beav, you tell one lie, and then you always have to tell another to cover it up. Then that leads to another, and then another. And the first thing you know, you’ve told so many lies you can’t keep track of them. I just hope you   don’t think you are smart enough [to tell lies], because nobody is.

The development of self-esteem was another important message the writers relayed through the program. On a broad basis, this took the form of developing, or augmenting, a personal moral code based on interaction with other individuals in a variety of circumstances. A more specific reference to enhancing self-respect was achieved by creating situations in which the boys were concerned with their physical appearance, or forced too accept and be satisfied with their God-given talents.

By adopting this approach to self-esteem, Connelly and Mosher gave both adult and child viewers familiar situations with which they could identify. Who in the audience, had not at some point, been concerned with their physical appearance or abilities? The message for the viewer combined the universality of the human experience, with the necessity of overlooking shortcomings, and concentrating instead on the rewarding and positive aspects of life.

Next to developing self-esteem, pride in family was the most frequently noted moral message in the program. As the series revolved around family life, the episodes chosen were ones in which a direct reference was made to the importance of family. In most instances, family was presented as a safe haven where Wally and Beaver either counted on each other, or their parents to protect them from outsiders. Another method employed by the writers was to teach the boys to appreciate their family by comparison. On those occasions either relatives or friends were used as alternative role models.

By deliberately referring to the benefits enjoyed by membership in a family, the writers were able to convey to children the importance of family in their own upbringing. Moreover, it served to reinforce the necessity of retaining close family ties when youngsters started families of their own.

To promote this idea of familial responsibility, the writers also tried to teach children to treat other with respect. To a large degree this entailed developing a Christian attitude toward fellow human beings – following the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is not to say the programs had a particularly religious tone, but rather that the idea of respect for society required individuals to help one another, or conversely not to hurt others through words or actions.

The writers used the program to convey the message in one of two ways, either through family interaction, or by using outsiders. Some episodes showed how unkind words or actions had a devastating effect on the recipient. Others displayed how thoughtfulness was rewarded. The underlying message, however, was to encourage viewers to think of the consequences of their actions on fellow human beings.

Accepting responsibility for your actions, and acting responsibly went hand in hand with the foregoing message regarding kindness to others. Not only were children accountable for their actions, but they were expected to be trustworthy and dependable. Connelly and Mosher incorporated these two inter-related factors into the program in a very effective manner.

In some episodes, Beaver or Wally learned to be accountable by facing up to some difficult situation. In others, the boys revealed how well they had learned their parent’s lessons by proving they were trustworthy and dependable.As they were raised properly, Wally and Beaver always confronted their problems and found the consequences were never as bad as they imagined. Thus, the television audience received guidance and advice on how to react to, or extricate themselves from, troublesome circumstances.

The most important moral messages for children were to trust and obey their parents. This could only be accomplished if they told the truth when dealing with their parents. In addition, by listening to their parent’s advice, children would gain an understanding of the importance of family and also develop a sense of self-esteem. Equipped with a strong sense of self, children could venture into the larger society and contribute in a responsible manner by helping others.

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Parenting Techniques

Youngsters were constantly reminded their social responsibility started in the home. Therefore, teaching children proper moral behaviour required input from the parents. As noted previously, the series was really classified as an adult program shown through the eyes of a child. As a result, Connelly and Mosher devoted an equal amount of time and effort to provide advice to parents to help them establish proper parenting techniques. The writers advocated modern parenting methods to show parent how to deal with the problems associated with child rearing.

On of the most influential advocates of modern, or permissive, parenting methods was Dr. Benjamin Spock. In the post-war years, Dr. Spock’s book Baby and Child Care was used by numerous families for assistance in raising children. Connelly and Mosher incorporated many of Spock’s ideas into their program as advice for parents. Therefore, the parenting techniques advocated by the writers of Leave It To Beaver  will be discussed in terms of their connection to Spock’s advice.

The four categories established for discussion are very broad and encompass a wide variety of situations, as well as child-rearing techniques and messages for parents. (Please see Appendix “G” for the listing of parental messages contained in the programs.) The first classification examines the need for parents to support, understand, trust and protect their children. The next category looks at parental accountability in terms of social and familial responsibility. The third most frequently repeated message told mothers and fathers it was permissible to make parenting mistakes, and that reference to their own childhood would enable them to respond to, and understand, their children. The final category suggested parents avoid excessive interference, and keep their expectations for children in line with their abilities. In other words, parents were not to live their lives vicariously through their children.

Leave It To Beaver  suggested the primary task for parents was to love and protect their children. In the Cleaver household, Ward and June accomplished this by providing support in an understanding manner. There was always a concerted effort to involve themselves in their offspring’s lives through conversation. Usually this occurred at the dinner table when the family discussed the day’s events. However, on other occasions, the fatherly lecture successfully resolved an issue and the boys learned to comply with their parents wishes.

Ward and June closely followed Spock’s advice to parents. While there are numerous examples from Baby and Child Care , three specific quotations from Spock’s book are provided as examples of how Spock advised parents to deal with their children. “The real issue is what spirit the parent puts into managing the child and what attitude is engendered as a result.” “…Parents can’t feel right towards their children in the long run unless they can make them behave reasonably, and children can’t be happy unless they are behaving reasonably.” “Firmness, by keeping children on the right track, keeps them lovable. And they love us for keeping them out of trouble.” Ward and June put every effort into managing children, making them behave reasonably, and keeping them on the right track by supporting, understanding, trusting and protecting Wally and Beaver.

The program also taught the adult audience to reach their children through rational discourse. Depending upon the severity of the situation, there were times when the boys required some disciplinary action to reinforce the verbal message, but there were never any occasions where either child was physically punished. Punishment usually took the form of being sent to their bedroom, and being deprived of certain privileges such as attending movies, or being unable to watch television.

The writers of Leave It To Beaver,  adopted Spock’s approach to discipline. On the topic of corporal punishment, Spock stated,

before we go further with the subject of punishment [this is Spock’s terminology for spanking], we ought to realize that it is never  the main element in discipline – it is only a vigorous additional reminder that the parent feels strongly about what he says. We have all seen children who were slapped and spanked and deprived a lot and yet remain ill-behaved. The main source of good discipline is growing up in a loving family – being loved and learning to love in return. (Habitual criminals are people who in childhood were never loved enough to make much of a difference to them, and many were abused besides.)

He went on to say, “you come to punishment (if you use it al all) once in a while when your system of firmness breaks down…. I’m not particularly advocating spanking, but I think it is less poisonous that lengthy disapproval, because it clears the air, for parent and child.” Essentially, Spock left it up to the parents to decide whether or not to impose corporal punishment. The tone of his writing certainly suggested that spanking was a last resort and a loving environment was far more important and beneficial to encourage proper behaviour.

Coupled with the necessity to teaching the child to respect their parent’s rules, was the need to promote a sense of responsibility. There were two different types of responsibility advocated in the program, familial obligation and social accountability. Within the family, parents were encouraged to inculcate a strong sense of kinship ties. Children were to feel comfortable and secure in the knowledge they could always rely on their parents to help them in times of difficulty. Some programs showed parents how to teach children to respect their family, while others displayed how well the children had learned the lessons.

Social accountability involved the larger community. Parents were told it was their responsibility to teach their children to respect others and to treat them in a manner consistent with their upbringing. Any disillusionment the boys encountered in their interaction with outsiders was always offset by the love and protection afforded by their parents. The message for parents was clear. If all children were taught to respect and revere others, it would reduce dissension and create a homogeneous community where all could expect to be treated fairly and with compassion.

While protecting children from outsider was one aspect of parenting fulfilled by Ward and June, they were also involved in the community. June attended PTA meetings, was active in women’s groups and collected for charity, while Ward was involved in the Mayfield Youth Committee. By placing Ward and June in situations where they protected their family, and contributed to society, the writers were able to advocate the importance of social responsibility both within and outside the family.

The messages contained in Leave It To Beaver  meshed nicely with Spock’s advice on this topic. “Our only realistic hope as I see it is to bring up our children with a feeling that they are in this world not for their own satisfaction, but primarily to serve others. Children are proud to think they can be truly useful and will rise to the challenge.” Spock also suggested that “…in family conversations children should hear their parents’ concerns about problems of the community, the nation, the world. The should see that their parents are contributing directly to the solutions – by participating in the work of churches and welfare committees, for instance, belonging to concerned groups, making sizeable contributions of money.”

In keeping with the idea of fairness and compassion, the writers also strongly promoted the idea that parents look to their own childhood for solutions to the problems they encountered with their offspring. There were two reasons for advocating this parenting technique. First, parents were reminded they were human beings subject to making mistakes. Second, by reminiscing about their adolescence, parents could recall how their mothers and fathers handled a similar situation.

Ward and June occasionally erred as parents out of love, but this usually resulted in the fact they learned something from their children. In many instances, Ward and June reminisced about their adolescence and recalled how their parents handled a specific situation – usually it was not handled well. They would then suggest an alternate technique to correct what the obviously felt were deficiencies in their own upbringing.

It is also important to note that Ward and June’s parents were never seen, nor was their absence explained. Possibly, they were eliminated to prevent dissension and acrimony. In other words, the idea that Wally and Beaver submit to parental authority would be undermined if Ward and June did not listen to their own parent’s advice regarding child-rearing. However, for contrast, the writers did include two relatives, one from each side of the family, Ward’s Uncle Billy, and June’s Aunt Martha.

Uncle Billy was a flamboyant, irresponsible bachelor who could be counted on as a source of cash for birthdays and Christmas. His monetary gifts were not to be saved for college; rather the boys were expected to spend the money frivolously. Aunt Martha, on the other hand, was a spinster who advocated ‘old fashioned’, strict parenting methods. Unlike Uncle Billy, her gifts were always practical and this earned her the distinction of being referred to as ‘the umbrella aunt’. Billy’s permissiveness and Martha’s strictness allowed the writers to show alternate child-rearing techniques from opposite ends of the spectrum. By using aunts and uncles, rather than parents, the viewer was given the opportunity to see the advantages of adopting Ward and June’s middle of the road approach to parenting without undermining parental authority.

In keeping with parental authority, one of the most important messages relayed to the viewing audience was the need to allay the fears of children and encourage youngsters to talk to their parents. June frequently reminded Ward that it is parents who make children afraid because they are fearful of the consequences. Parents were reminded that children were naturally afraid when they did something wrong. Therefore, the role of mothers and fathers, as authority figures, was not to scare children, but rather to provide support, understanding and help through effective communication.

This idea was on keeping with Dr. Spock’s sentiments. To alleviate the child’s distress when he has to face the consequences of having done something wrong, Spock says

… it certainly is helpful for parents to recognize the inevitability of their occasional irritated feelings toward their child and to admit them jokingly to each other. It helps to clear the air if a parent occasionally admits to a child how angry he felt – especially if the angriness was not quite fair – and it doesn’t interfere with good discipline if it’s done in a sensible way. It’s good to say to a child once in a while, ‘I know how angry you feel towards me when I have to do this to you.’

Spock obviously believes the child will understand the disciplinary action is intended to curb the offensive behaviour, but should not frighten the child to the extent he/she is afraid to come to his/her mother or father.

The final message the writers of the program relayed to parents was the need to understand how their children were individuals with specific attributes and traits. Mothers and fathers need to realize and respect their youngster’s limitations, and not try to live their lives vicariously through their children. In addition, there was a strong caution about excessive interference in their children’s affairs. Parents had a responsibility to protect their offspring, but sometimes had to tread a fine line between interfering and leaving the child to sort out problems on their own.

The child-rearing techniques and messages for parents suggested by Connelly and Mosher closely paralleled the ideas advocated by Dr. Spock. Parents were to provide a warm and nurturing environment for children. They had an obligation to teach social and familial responsibility. Mothers and fathers were also reminded they were subject to human frailties. And as such, must be aware of their own shortcomings when dealing with their children. Finally, they were told they must temper their expectations to ensure they did not place excessive demands on their children.

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Relationships

Thus far the paper had examined various methods to prepare people for life in a family setting. Since the family was the place where children learned to interact with others, the final section of this paper will discuss how the writers viewed the concepts of problem resolution and finding consensus in married relationships. This can be accomplished by examining the relations between mal and female characters on a comparative basis.

Comparatively, there are three stages of relationships presented in the program. Beaver, a youngster who sees girls as the enemy; Wally, an adolescent who vacillates between seeing girls as friend and foe; and Ward and June, a married couple who live together in peaceful co-existence. Wally and Beaver’s interaction with members of the opposite sex have already been discussed in terms of preparing them for the eventuality of marriage (see pages 17-19). Therefore, the last stage, how Ward and June manage their marriage, because of its importance to the family aspect of the program, will be examined from the perspective of the problems encountered raising children. (See Appendix “H” for a summary of Ward and June’s relationship.)

The majority of material that has been written about Leave It To Beaver  criticizes the program for portraying an idealized version of the family which bears little or no resemblance to real life. The major accusation of Ward’s character related to the fact he was too wise and understanding. June, on the other hand, was seen as a deferent housewife who was shown preparing dinner, cleaning the house, or otherwise serving her family. While the preceding statements may have some validity, in actually viewing the program from the perspective of a pedagogical device, it can be seen instead as a vehicle to promote consensus in relationships through problem resolution. Therefore, the major criticisms, that Ward was too wise, and June to deferent, do not hold up under these conditions. If June suggested adopting a particular course of action, which was logical and in the best interests of the child, and Ward had no alternate solution, then June’s suggestion was followed. This is because Ward and June were portrayed as having mutual respect for each other.

To analyze the 145 programs viewed, each episode was examined to determine who identified the problem, who offered an opinion to resolve the situation, who delivered the necessary advice or discipline, and which of the partners had their solution adopted when there was a difference of opinion. This analysis revealed June identified the problem and offered a solution in 70.3% of the episodes. Ward delivered the lecture or discipline in 96% of the programs. The majority of problems (75.2%) were resolved without a difference of opinion. However, when there was a difference of opinion, (20% of the episodes), June’s solution was adopted 79.3% of the time. Specific examples from the Leave It To Beaver  television program will follow to put these statistics into context.

In terms of identifying the situation, June was the parent who saw the problem in the vast majority of the episodes. This can be attributed to the fact she was home, and thus far more likely to be made aware of a problem situation that Ward who was at the office. Ward once asked June “…how do you know everything that goes on around here?” June responded “you’d be surprised at how much information you collect transferring goldfish from one room to another.” However, this was not June’s only method of obtaining information. Often she found clues about the boy’s activities when she was going through jacket or pant’s pockets prior to cleaning clothes. In addition to collecting information in this direct manner, June was also portrayed as more perceptive. She recognized intuitively when something wasn’t right with her boys and always prompted Ward to take action. Ward, on the other hand, only realized something was wrong when he was directly confronted by the issue.

In addition to identifying the problems, and providing solutions, June was also very persuasive when she and Ward had a difference of opinion. Of the 29 episodes where Ward and June had opposing ideas to resolve a situation, June’s solution was adopted on 23 occasions (please refer to the summary in Appendix “H”). In the normal course of events, Ward and June resolved their differences in a calm and rational manner through discussion. However, there was one particular episode where June and Ward had a major disagreement, and June was proven right.

In “Beaver Runs Away” (041), Ward was fully prepared to let Beaver live up to his threat to leave home. Ward adopted this approach in order to teach Beaver a lesson, and to ensure parental authority was not undermined. When Beaver came downstairs with his bag, Ward shook hands and wished him best of luck. June was devastated when she learned what he had done. She refused to talk to Ward, stormed around the kitchen and slammed the refrigerator door. Against Ward’s wishes, she took the car and drove all through the neighbourhood looking for Beaver. Unable to find Beaver, she came home and berated Ward for his callous attitude and prevailed upon him to do something. Ward adamantly refused to alter his stance. It was only after Beaver was located at Larry’s house, that Ward realized his hard-line attitude had left Beaver with no option but to leave home. In the end, Ward admitted to both Beaver and June he had made a mistake, to which June responded, “I kinda knew this is what you would do.” While not gloating about the fact she was right, June effectively conveyed the message that in the final analysis, husband and wife will reach consensus. Disagreement over a child-rearing issue was not a question of one parent dominating the other; rather it was to ensure the child received the best possible upbringing.

While the foregoing example was an exception to the normal relations between Ward and June, it does provide some evidence that the writers acknowledged that husband and wife could have a heated discussion. However, as noted previously, Ward and June usually settled their differences amicably. As evidence of their ability to reach consensus, it is important to note that 75.2% of the time there was no disagreement between Ward and June over the issue of child rearing. However, this high degree of consensus must be tempered with the fact that June provided 70.3% of the solutions.

This is not to say that June prevailed in all instances, but rather her solution seldom resulted in Ward offering an alternative. Ward rarely disagreed with June, and when he did, he was usually proven wrong. Even when Ward was confronted with a problem, and attempted to formulate a solution, June often intervened and suggested an alternate approach. Ward’s main purpose in the relationship was to provide discipline. This took the form of either fatherly advice, a lecture, or the imposition of punishment. June never interfered in the type of punishment meted out, but she certainly had enormous input in determining what situations required discipline, and how it was to be handled.

The primary purpose behind conducting this section of the analysis was to show how Ward and June reached agreement when faced with a child-rearing problem. On a secondary level, it was also intended to reveal that June did not automatically defer to Ward as is commonly assumed. June and Ward saw their roles, as parents, as a joint effort to teach their children proper moral values, how to be good citizens, and to prepare them for raising a family of their own. The problems they encountered in the course of achieving this objective were handled in the best interests of the child. There was no need for one parent to dominate the other; problem situations required a solution and corrective action. It made no difference if June was the parent who formulated the vast majority of the solutions, and Ward was the main disciplinarian. The message Connelly and Mosher attempted to relay to the viewer, through the program, was the necessity of maintaining harmony in inter-personal relationships. By extension, if the child learned to live harmoniously in the family, this would be reflected in their dealings with others when they became and adult, participating member of society.

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Conclusion

As a pedagogical instrument, Leave It To Beaver  contained numerous messaged for the viewing audience. This paper has analyzed the program in four specific areas of recurring themes, moral messages, parenting techniques and problem resolution. A brief summary of the findings in each category is provided below.

Recurring themes dealt with parental expectations for children in terms of education, marriage, occupation and family. These themes spelled out the necessary stages required to achieve proper middle-class status. Children were expected to attend college to obtain a degree, which would enable them to secure employment in a satisfying occupation. Attendance as college also provided the opportunity to find a suitable mate, which would then allow the couple to start a family of their own.

The moral messages were concerned with parents teaching children proper behaviour. The six important moral messages were: obey/trust your parents, tell the truth, develop self-esteem, have pride in your family, help (or don’t hurt) others, and accept responsibility for your actions. By instilling this combination of morals into the characters of youngsters, the program suggested children would be well equipped to venture into the world and contribute in a positive manner.

Parenting techniques pertained to teaching parents how to teach children. There were four parental messages contained in the program. The first recommended that mothers and fathers provide support, understanding, trust and protection for their children. The next advocated parents assume accountability to teach their children proper social and familial responsibility. The third reminded parents it was permissible to make mistakes as they were only human and subject to the influence of their own upbringing. The final message advised parents to avoid excessive interference, and to keep their expectations for their children in line with their abilities. These techniques closely paralleled the advice offered by Dr. Benjamin Spock, thus lending a quasi-official approval to the suggestions proposed by the program.

Problem resolution examined the issue of establishing and maintaining a satisfactory inter-personal relationship through consensus in marriage. This examination revealed that the majority of problems associated with child-rearing can be resolved without major differences of opinion. For the relationship to be successful, both partners need to be in agreement on the overall issues as they relate to problem resolution. The program suggested the success of the marriage required each partner to have a mutual respect for the opinions and feeling of the other.

As an educational vehicle, Leave It To Beaver  strongly promoted the importance of family. This is evidenced by the content of the numerous messages relayed to the viewing audience in each episode. The recurring themes expounded parental expectations for children, while the moral messages revealed the importance of teaching children proper behavior. Teaching parents how to teach children was incorporated by promoting proper parenting techniques, and by suggesting methods for resolving problems and finding consensus in inter-personal relationships. To exemplify this idea, Ward and June were used as role models to emulate in order to achieve a successful married relationship. Each of these messages were designed to display an effective method to prepare youngsters for the inevitability of starting a life and family of their own.

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Dow, Tony. Actor who portrayed Wally  Cleaver on the Leave It To Beaver  television program, Los Angeles. Interview, 13 July 1992, and telephone interview 11 December 1992. [See also Appendix “A” for cast members and characterization.]

Leave It To Beaver . A sample of 145 episodes aired in syndication by television stations CKWS (Kingston, Ontario), and KTLA (Los Angeles, California), between 24 February 1992 and  30 October 1992. [See Appendix “C” for a synopsis of the episodes viewed.]

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The Cleaver Family

CHARACTER

PLAYED BY

Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver Jerry Mathers
Wally Cleaver Tony Dow
June Cleaver Barbara Billingsley
Ward Cleaver Hugh Beaumont

Beaver’s Male Friends

CHARACTER

PLAYED BY

Larry Mondello Rusty Stevens
Gilbert Bates Stephen Talbot
Hubert “Whitey” Whitney Stanley Fafara
Richard Rickover Richard Correll

Beaver’s Female Friends

CHARACTER

PLAYED BY

Penny Woods Karen Sue Trent
Judy Hensler Jeri Weil
Linda Dennison Patty Turner

 

 

Wally’s Male Friends

CHARACTER

PLAYED BY

Eddie Haskell Ken Osmond
Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford Frank Bank

Wally’s Female Friends

CHARACTER

PLAYED BY

Mary Ellen Rogers Pamela Beaird

The Adults

CHARACTER

PLAYED BY

Fred Rutherford Richard Deacon
Mrs. Mondello Madge Blake
Gus, the Fireman Bert Mustin

The Teachers

CHARACTER

PLAYED BY

Miss Canfield Diane Brewster
Miss Landers Sue Randall
Mrs. Rayburn Doris Packer

The Relatives

CHARACTER

PLAYED BY

Aunt Martha Madge Kennedy
Uncle Billy Edgar Buchanan

Importance and Relationships of the Characters

The Cleaver Family

The program, Leave It to Beaver, revolved around the trials and tribulations of raising a family. The Cleaver’s were a middle-class nuclear family residing somewhere in middle America, in the mythical town of Mayfield. Each episode had a message for both parents and children and was designed to promote understanding between adults and adolescents. Parents learned both parenting techniques and how they, as role models, were perceived by their children. Youngsters learned important moral messages and how to interpret and live up to the actions of their parents.

Beaver Cleaver was the main character around whom the series revolved. The program generally depicted Beaver in the midst of some situation in which he learned an important moral lesson, or gained insight into how his actions affected others.

Wally Cleaver was Beaver’s older brother. In some instances the programs revolved around a problem encountered by Wally from which Beaver would also learn. As a general rule, however, Wally acted both as a role model, and as a facilitator between Beaver and his parents. He generally reinforced, or explained, Ward and June’s reactions to Beaver’s problems (and sometimes, vice versa).

June Cleaver was wife and mother. She was generally depicted in a domestic setting (preparing meals, or doing housework) although she was also active in the community either with her women’s club, or with the PTA. She was a kind and understanding parent who often mediated between her husband and children.

Ward Cleaver was the husband, father and provider. In his role as husband, he and June co-operated in their efforts to ensure their sons grew up to be good, solid citizens. As the father, he was the disciplinarian who meted out the punishment when the boys did something wrong, or explained how their actions were socially unacceptable. He provided for his family by working as an accountant for a large multi-national, but un-named, corporation.

Beaver’s Male Friends

Beaver’s male friends were almost always the individuals responsible for Beaver’s predicaments. As a general rule, Beaver would resist their suggestions until he was bullied, or badgered, into mischief.

Larry Mondello was Beaver’s best friend. His life revolved around food, and he was almost always depicted eating, or trying to obtain something to eat. Larry often encouraged Beaver to misbehave by using such logical statements as: “If no one is around to see you, how will you get caught?”

Gilbert Bates is essentially a younger version of Eddie Haskell. His idea of fun is to suggest doing something wrong and then stand back and watch the results. As an example, Gilbert suggested he and Beaver make a face when the school picture was being taken. Beaver made the face while Gilbert smiled sweetly.

Whitey Whitney is a good-looking, blond haired boy who gets good grades in school. He is a naturally intelligent youngster who utilizes his native ability to breeze through life rather effortlessly. He usually was able to put Beaver into predicaments by challenging him to prove something wrong – which Whitey knew in advance, would result in Beaver’s failure.

Richard Rickover is a character who is on the periphery of Beaver’s group of friends. Sometimes he is accepted, and other times he is shunned. Whenever he and Beaver cross paths it usually results in a major disaster. As an example, when Richard was caught breaking windows, by the police, he gave Beaver’s name as his own.

Beaver’s Female Friends

Girls were the bane of Beaver’s existence. They were the main protagonists. They didn’t really cause trouble; they were simply a foreign species that Beaver didn’t understand.

Penny Woods was essentially the female counterpart of Whitey Whitney. Blond, pretty and intelligent, Penny used her pretentious manner to put Beaver in his place on a number of occasions. There were times when Penny and Beaver almost seemed to like each other, but they were generally short-lived.

Judy Hensler was the class “goody-two-shoes”. She could be counted on to the first one to put her hand up to answer a question in class, to volunteer as a monitor when the teacher left the room, (keeping a list of those who misbehaved), and to remind Miss Landers if she forgot to give a homework assignment. Like Penny, Judy’s sharp tongue kept Beaver in line, although there was never any possibility of the two liking each other.

Linda Dennison was the girl who Beaver liked the most. She invited him, as the only boy, to her birthday party, and also could appeal to him as a bit of a tomboy. However, Beaver never developed the same degree of admiration for Linda as she held for him.

Wally’s Male Friends

While Wally’s friends occasionally managed to get him into trouble, it was primarily Wally’s job to keep his friend on the straight and narrow. A strong sense of social responsibility, (primarily from Ward’s lectures), coupled with a maturity beyond his years made Wally a role model for other teenagers as well as adolescents.

Why Eddie Haskell was Wally’s best friend is never explained. The two boys were exact opposites. Eddie was insincere, always looking for an angle, and had none of the social responsibility displayed by Wally. Eddie very seldom managed to get Wally into trouble, through his devious plans, because Wally was smart enough to avoid falling into Eddie’s traps.

Lumpy Rutherford was an older version of Larry Mondello. He was bigger than most of the boys, but he was not very bright. His father, Fred Rutherford, refused to acknowledge his son’s lack of intelligence and preferred to pretend Lumpy was going to make something of himself.

Wally’s Female Friends

Over the years, Wally dated a number of different girls. Some were too anxious to become attached; others were simply using Wally to make other boys jealous. No matter how many girls Wally escorted to dances, proms, or other social events, the name Mary Ellen Rogers always brought a smile to his face.

Mary Ellen Rogers was the perennial popular girl at school. All the boys hoped to date her, but Wally was the only one who came close to meeting her perceived expectations. They never actually “went steady”, but she was essentially the girl of Wally’s dreams – the one to whom all others were compared.

The Adults

The adult characters were used for comparison purposes. They either displayed alternate parenting techniques (Fred Rutherford and Mrs. Mondello), or they augmented the practical advice (Gus) handed out by Ward and June.

Fred Rutherford was a business colleague of Ward’s. Although never specifically mentioned, it appeared that Ward was his superior. As a result, Fred was constantly attempting to improve his position in the office political structure. The two men also engaged in a degree of vicarious competition through their son’s Lumpy and Wally. As noted above, Fred often overlooked Lumpy’s shortcomings, while Ward noted and tried to correct Wally’s deficiencies.

Mrs. Mondello, Larry’s mother, was essentially a single parent. She was married, but Mr. Mondello was always out of town. Her major threat to bring Larry into line was to tell him “wait until your father gets home”. For very serious matters, Mrs. Mondello wouldn’t bother waiting for Mr. Mondello. On several occasions she brought Larry directly to Ward so he, as a man, could “get to the bottom of the situation”.

Gus, the fireman, was essentially Beaver’s friend. He provided both kindly advice, and admonishment, to Beaver when he needed an outside adult opinion. Gus, an elderly gentleman, took a grandfatherly role, and always supported the lessons delivered by Ward.

The Teachers

As the place where he spent most of the day, school played an important part in Beaver’s life. The moral lessons he learned at home were acted out in the classroom and on the playground. The teachers merely reinforced the guidance he received at home.

Miss Canfield was Beaver’s teacher in the first years of the program. Like most youngsters, he had great admiration and respect for his teacher. She was the person who took care of him, (a substitute mother), during the day. When she focused too much attention on him, and Beaver was accused by his peers, of being the teachers pet, both Miss Canfield and Beaver learned that teachers are people too, and they can make mistakes.

Miss Landers was the teacher who taught Beaver for the remaining episodes. It was never clearly explained why Beaver continued to have the same teacher as he progressed through different grades, but this was probably in the interests of maintaining program continuity. Like Miss Canfield, Beaver developed a special affection for Miss Landers and he appeared to be one of her favorite pupils. Miss Landers, a very strong proponent of social responsibility and civic pride, delivered a number of excellent speeches about the necessity of being a good citizen. Again, similar to Miss Canfield, Beaver learned teachers are people too, when Miss Landers came to dinner, and again when she explained why she was getting married.

Mrs. Rayburn was the school principal. A no nonsense disciplinarian, the students lived in mortal fear of being “sent to the office”. Like the other teachers in the school, Mrs. Rayburn served to underscore the lessons the students were taught at home. She was not afraid to send home a note, or call parents to request an interview if she felt her students were misbehaving.

The Relatives

The relatives made few appearances, but were there to serve as alternate role models to Ward and June. There was one from each side of the family, and they were vastly different to each other, and to Wally and Beaver’s parents.

Aunt Martha was June’s maiden aunt. She was from another generation and had strict ideas about what was proper and what was improper behavior. Her most important contribution to “old fashioned” versus “modern” child-rearing techniques occurred when she came to look after the family during June’s absence. Aunt Martha decided Beaver should wear a “proper school suit” and promptly purchased, and forced Beaver to wear, an outfit consisting of short pants and a cap. When Ward became aware of the problem, he met Beaver in the garage with a change of clothes, thus resolving the situation without upsetting or hurting anyone’s feelings.

Uncle Billy was Ward’s uncle, and presumably quite different from Ward’s father. Uncle Billy would arrive with a flourish, hand out $10 bills to the boys, (with strict instructions the money was to be spent frivolously), and regale the family with stories of his fantastic exploits. At first Beaver believed Uncle Billy’s stories, but after having his eyes opened began to rely on him simply as a source of cash for birthdays and Christmas.

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APPENDIX “B”: CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF PROGRAMS

Explanatory Note: This list contains the titles of all Leave It To Beaver programs aired between 1957 and 1963. However, only a sample of these shows have actually been viewed, or their scripts reviewed, subject to the availability of the material. The sample shows selected are those aired by television station CKWS (Kingston, Ontario) between February 24, 1992 and October 30, 1992 with the exception of programs numbered 143-148 inclusive which were viewed on KTLA (Los Angeles, California) between July 13-21, 1992. Please see Appendix “C” for a brief synopsis of those programs which were actually viewed.

Program # Year Program Title Viewed Script
001 1957 Captain Jack    
002 1957 The Black Eye    
003 1957 Beaver Gets ‘Spelled    
004 1957 Water Anyone    
005 1957 Wally’s Girl Trouble    
006 1957 Part Time Genius    
007 1957 New Neighbors    
008 1957 The Haircut    
009 1957 Brotherly Love    
010 1957 Perfume Salesman    
011 1957 The Clubhouse    
012 1957 Beaver’s Short Pants    
013 1957 Beaver’s Crush    
014 1958 Voodoo Magic    
015 1958 The Paper Route    
016 1958 Party Invitation    
017 1958 Lumpy Rutherford    
018 1958 Child Care    
019 1958 Bank Account    
020 1958 Lonesome Beaver    
021 1958 The Perfect Father    
022 1958 Cleaning Up Beaver    
023 1958 The State vs. Beaver    
024 1958 Beaver and Poncho    
025 1958 The Broken Window    
026 1958 Train Trip    
027 1958 My Brother’s Girl    
028 1958 Next Door Indians    
029 1958 Music Lesson    
030 1958 Tenting Tonight    
031 1958 Beaver’s Old Friend    
032 1958 Wally’s Job    
033 1958 New Doctor    
034 1958 Boarding School    
035 1958 Beaver’s Bad Day    
036 1958 Beaver’s Poem    
037 1958 Beaver and Henry    
038 1958 Beaver’s Guest    
039 1958 Cat Out of The Bag    
040 1958 Ward’s Problem    
041 1958 Beaver Runs Away    
042 1958 Beaver and Chuey    
043 1958 Lost Watch    
044 1958 The Pipe    
045 1958 Wally’s Present    
046 1958 Her Idol    
047 1958 Grass Is Always Greener    
048 1958 Beaver’s Hero    
049 1958 Wally’s New Suit    
050 1958 The Shave    
051 1958 The Visiting Aunts    
052 1958 The Tooth    
053 1958 Beaver’s Ring    
054 1958 Beaver Gets Adopted    
055 1958 Eddie’s Girl    
056 1958 The Price of Fame    
057 1958 School Play    
058 1958 The Boat Builders    
059 1958 Happy Weekend    
060 1958 Beaver Plays Hooky    
061 1958 The Garage Painters    
062 1958 Beaver’s Pigeons    
063 1958 Wally’s Pug Nose    
064 1958 Haunted House    
065 1958 Wally’s Haircomb    
066 1959 Beaver and Gilbert    
067 1959 The Bus Ride    
068 1959 The Horse Named Nick    
069 1959 Beaver Says Goodbye    
070 1959 Beaver’s Newspaper    
071 1959 Beaver’s Sweater    
072 1959 Friendship    
073 1959 Dance Contest    
074 1959 The Cookie Fund    
075 1959 Forgotten Party    
076 1959 Beaver The Athlete    
077 1959 Found Money    
078 1959 Most Interesting Character    
079 1959 School Bus    
080 1959 Beaver’s Tree    
081 1959 Wally’s Play    
082 1959 Blind Date Committee    
083 1959 Beaver’s Fortune    
084 1959 Beaver Takes A Walk    
085 1959 Beaver Finds A Wallet    
086 1959 Beaver Takes A Bath    
087 1959 Beaver’s Prize    
088 1959 Borrowed Boat    
089 1959 Beaver’s Library Book    
090 1959 Baby Picture    
091 1959 Teacher Comes To Dinner    
092 1959 June’s Birthday    
093 1959 Pet Fair    
094 1959 Wally’s Election    
095 1959 School Sweater    
096 1959 Beaver The Magician    
097 1959 Beaver Makes A Loan    
098 1959 Tire Trouble    
099 1959 Larry Hides Out    
100 1959 Wally’s Test    
101 1959 Beaver and Andy    
102 1959 Beaver’s Dance    
103 1959 The Hypnotist    
104 1959 Larry’s Club    
105 1959 Wally and Alma    
106 1959 Ward’s Baseball    
107 1959 Beaver’s Monkey    
108 1959 Wally’s Orchid    
109 1959 Beaver’s Bike    
110 1959 Mother’s Day Composition    
111 1959 Beaver and Violet    
112 1959 Spot Removers    
113 1959 Beaver The Model    
114 1959 Wally The Businessman    
115 1959 Beaver and Ivanhoe    
116 1959 Beaver’s Team    
117 1959 The Last Day of School    
118 1960 Beaver’s House Guest    
119 1960 Beaver Becomes a Hero    
120 1960 Beaver’s Freckles    
121 1960 Beaver Won’t Eat    
122 1960 Beaver’s Big Contest    
123 1960 Wally The Lifeguard    
124 1960 Beaver’s I.Q.    
125 1960 Beaver Goes In Business    
126 1960 Wally’s Glamour Girl    
127 1960 Eddie’s Double Cross    
128 1960 Miss Landers’ Fiancé    
129 1960 Chuckie’s New Shoes    
130 1960 Ward’s Millions    
131 1960 Teacher’s Daughter    
132 1960 Beaver and Kenneth    
133 1960 Beaver’s Accordion    
134 1960 The Dramatic Club    
135 1960 Uncle Billy    
136 1960 Beaver’s Secret Life    
137 1960 Wally’s Track Meet    
138 1960 Beaver’s Old Buddy    
139 1960 Beaver’s Tonsils    
140 1960 The Big Fish Count    
141 1960 Mother’s Helper    
142 1960 Beaver’s Poster    
143 1960 Wally and Dudley    
144 1961 Beaver’s Report Card    
145 1961 Eddie Spends The Night    
146 1961 Wally’s Dream Girl    
147 1961 Mistaken Identity    
148 1961 The School Picture    
149 1961 Beaver’s Frogs    
150 1961 Community Chest    
151 1961 Beaver’s Rat    
152 1961 Kite Day    
153 1961 In The Soup    
154 1961 Junior Fire Chief    
155 1961 Beaver’s Doll Buggy    
156 1961 Substitute Father    
157 1961 Wally’s Weekend Job    
158 1961 Wally’s Car    
159 1961 One Of The Boys    
160 1961 Beaver’s First Date    
161 1961 Wally’s Big Date    
162 1961 No Time For Babysitters    
163 1961 Wally Goes Steady    
164 1961 Beaver’s Birthday    
165 1961 Beaver Takes a Drive    
166 1961 Beaver’s Cat Problem    
167 1961 Weekend Invitation    
168 1961 Beaver’s Ice Skates    
169 1961 Beaver’s English Test    
170 1962 Wally’s Chauffeur    
171 1962 Farewell To Penny    
172 1962 Ward’s Golf Clubs    
173 1962 Beaver’s Electric Trains    
174 1962 Beaver The Bunny    
175 1962 Nobody Loves Me    
176 1962 Beaver’s Laundry    
177 1962 Beaver’s Long Night    
178 1962 Beaver’s Jacket    
179 1962 Beaver’s Fear    
180 1962 Eddie Quits School    
181 1962 Three Boys and A Burro    
182 1962 Wally Stays At Lumpy’s    
183 1962 The Younger Brother    
184 1962 Lumpy’s Car Trouble    
185 1962 Beaver, The Babysitter    
186 1962 Beaver’s Typewriter    
187 1962 Brother Versus Brother    
188 1962 The Merchant Marine    
189 1962 The Yard Bird    
190 1962 Tennis, Anyone?    
191 1962 Sweatshirt Monsters    
192 1962 A Night In The Woods    
193 1962 Stocks and Bonds    
194 1962 Long Distance Call    
195 1962 Untogetherness    
196 1963 Wally’s License    
197 1963 Wally Buys A Car    
198 1963 Wally’s Dinner Date    
199 1963 The Clothing Drive    
200 1963 Beaver’s Autobiography    
201 1963 The Late Edition    
202 1963 Eddie, The Businessman    
203 1963 Beaver’s Football Award    
204 1963 Double Date    
205 1963 Beaver Joins Record Club    
206 1963 Tell It To Ella    
207 1963 Bachelor-At-Large    
208 1963 Beaver, The Sheep Dog    
209 1963 Wally’s Car Accident    
210 1963 Beaver The Hero    
211 1963 The Party Spoiler    
212 1963 The Mustache    
213 1963 The Parking Attendants    
214 1963 More Blessed To Give    
215 1963 Beaver’s Good Deed    
216 1963 The Credit Card    
217 1963 Uncle Billy’s Visit    
218 1963 Beaver On TV    
219 1963 Box Office Attraction    
220 1963 Beaver The Caddy    
221 1963 Lumpy’s Scholarship    
222 1963 The Silent Treatment    
223 1963 Eddie’s Sweater    
224 1963 Beaver’s Prep School    
225 1963 Wally and The Fraternity    
226 1963 The Book Report    
227 1963 The Poor Loser    
228 1963 Summer In Alaska    
229 1963 Don Juan Beaver    
230 1963 Beaver’s Graduation    
231 1963 Wally’s Practical Joke    
232 1963 The All Night Party    
233 1963 Beaver Sees America    
234 1963 Family Scrapbook    

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Appendix “C”: Synopsis of Sample Programs

Wally’s Girl Trouble (1957, #005): Wally and Beaver, who would rather go fishing than to dancing class, concoct a plan whereby Beaver will pretend to sprain his ankle so they can leave the class early. However, once at the class, Wally meets Penny Jameson, and attractive girl who mesmerizes him with her flattering remarks. Beaver is devastated when his older brother decides he would rather do things with a girl than with his younger sibling. Despite the fact Wally has abandoned him, Beaver cuts the grass, (Wally’s chore), to try and win his brother’s approval, and to prevent Wally from getting into trouble with Ward. The next day, Wally is forced to chose between fishing with Beaver and seeing Penny. When Wally suggests to Penny that he bring his brother with them to the soda shop, Penny tells him she doesn’t want any “grubby little infants” tagging along. Wally comes to Beaver’s defense and has an argument with Penny. Beaver is upset he has caused this problem between Wally and Penny, so he goes to Ward for advice on how to “make-up” with girls. Ward tells him a meaningful present often works wonders. The most meaningful possession Beaver has is his pet frog Herbie. He has the frog gift-wrapped and takes it to Penny telling her is it a peace-offering from Wally. Penny is devastated when she opens the gift, and calls Wally to tell him she never wants to see him again. While Beaver is upset he has lost his best frog, and Wally that he lost Penny, both boys come to the conclusion they can always find another frog and another girl.

Part Time Genius (1957, #006): While taking an intelligence test at school, a new student (Charles) switches his paper with Beaver’s resulting in the mistaken idea that Beaver is a genius. When the hoax is discovered, Charles reveals he doesn’t want to be classified as a “brain” and would rather be a “regular and popular kid” like Beaver.

New Neighbors (1957, #007): When the Donaldson’s move in next door, June sends Beaver over with a bouquet of flowers. Mrs. Donaldson gives Beaver a kiss in return. Eddie Haskell, who has observed this display of affection, tells Beaver he cannot kiss a married woman. Eddie further compounds the problem by telling Beaver his life is in danger because of the violence perpetrated by jealous husbands. When Beaver is invited to the Donaldson’s to meet their niece that evening he runs away because of his fear of Mr. Donaldson. The situation is resolved when Beaver tells Mr. Donaldson why he is afraid, and receives permission to kiss Mrs. Donaldson whenever he wants.

The Haircut (1957, #008): After receiving a stern lecture from Ward for losing his lunch money all week, Beaver is given $1.75 to get a haircut before the Christmas pageant. On the way to the barbershop, Beaver manages to lose the money. Fearful of telling his father, Beaver cuts his own hair with the assistance of his older brother Wally. The result, of course, is disastrous. A solution is found whereby Beaver wears a toque during the pageant to hide his haircut.

Brotherly Love (1957, #009): Fed up with the constant bickering an fighting between Wally and Beaver, June makes the boys sign a friendship pact promising to spend their time in each other company. On the Saturday following the signing of the pact, Wally is invited by his friend Chester to a football game, and Beaver is given the opportunity to go fishing with Gus the volunteer fireman. Since neither boy wants to be the first to break the pact, and disappoint their mother, they each attempt to outwit the other so they can pursue their separate interests. As a result, Wally misses the game and Beaver doesn’t go fishing. Recognizing the error of their ways, the following day, the boys visit Gus and he allows the boys to use his dinghy to go fishing together.

Perfume Salesman (1957, #010): Responding to an advertisement in a magazine the boys send away for a box of “Flower of the Orient” perfume which they hope to sell so they can win a movie projector. When the perfume arrives the boys are unable to sell the product because it smells like “a first baseman’s glove”. Ward intercepts a final notice from the perfume company requesting payment and helps the boys unload the fragrance by advance calling the members of June’s women’s club. When the “prize” movie projector arrives it is only a hand-held model and Ward replaces it with a real projector so the boys won’t be disappointed twice by the same company. The boys, realizing what Ward has done, show movies to their friends and used the proceeds to buy him a gift (a mantle clock) to show their appreciation for all his help.

The Clubhouse (1957, #011): Stuck inside on a rainy day, Wally, Eddie and Tooey decide to build a clubhouse based on a suggestion made by Beaver. Eddie, true to form, says they should charge dues of $1 for boys in the eighth grade, and that Beaver (in grade two) can join for $3. Lacking the financial resources, Beaver asks Ward for the money. Citing Beaver’s ever changing interests and short attention span, Ward refuses to give Beaver the $3. Left to his own devices, Beaver goes out to try and raise the money himself. After meeting a man with a sandwich board, Beaver makes his own and manages to raise $1.75.

Beaver’s Short Pants (1957, #012): June has to go out of town to help her sister Peggy who has just given birth to a new baby girl. In June’s absence, her spinster Aunt Martha comes to look after Ward, Wally and Beaver. Due to her old fashioned and traditional ideas she takes Beaver shopping and buys him a “proper” school suit complete with short pants and a cap. Beaver is embarrassed to wear this outfit to school, but had promised his mother he will do whatever Aunt Martha wants in order not to upset her. When Ward becomes aware of the problem he meets Beaver in the garage where he ahs a change of “normal” clothes. Ward’s understanding and compassion solves the problem of Beaver’s embarrassment and also ensures Aunt Martha is not upset.

Beaver’s Crush (1957, #013): Beaver develops a crush on his teacher Miss Canfield. When teased by the other students that he is the “teacher’s pet”, he attempts to dispel their taunts by placing a coil snake in her desk drawer. His attempts to remove the “snake” before Miss Canfield finds it, (which includes sneaking out of the house at night with Wally to break into the school), are all thwarted. In class the next day, Beaver pulls on Judy’s pigtails to re-direct the teacher’s attention when she starts to open the desk drawer. During his detention, Beaver tells Miss Canfield that he pulled Judy’s hair because he was responsible for the snake in the drawer. Miss Canfield realizes that teachers cannot show favoritism and admits, much to Beaver’s amazement, that teachers can make mistakes.

The Paper Route (1958, #015): The boys ask Ward for a new bike which costs $52.98. After receiving a lecture on the value of money, Wally and Beaver head to the newspaper office and obtain a job as paper boys to earn the money for the bike. Another lecture ensures about the importance of job responsibility and the boys are warned not to rely on their parents to fulfill their obligations. During the course of the first week, June helps Beaver deliver the papers when Wally is delayed by a ball practice, and Ware helps Wally during a rainstorm. Both boys are admonished by the assisting parent, not to tell the other. On Saturday the boys prepare their extra/undelivered papers form the previous week for return to the newspaper office and go off to play while waiting for the Saturday delivery truck. Ward and June see the packaged papers and assume the boys have abandoned their responsibility. They proceed to deliver the papers destined for return. This in turn prompts numerous calls to the newspaper office from disgruntled customers who complain they have received out of day papers. Wally and Beaver lose their job until Ward intercedes on their behalf, accepts the blame for the error, and has them re-instated.

Party Invitation (1958, 016): Linda Dennison, a girl in Beaver’s class, has developed a crush on the Beaver and invites him to her birthday party. Upon checking with his friends, Beaver finds he is the only boy invited to the party and decides against going. Unbeknownst to Beaver, June has found the invitation in Beaver’s pocket and accepted on his behalf. On Saturday, despite Beaver’s protestations, Ward forces him to attend the party. Beaver sticks it out until the girls decide to play “post-office” – when he promptly sneaks out of the room. After leaving the girls, Beaver encounters Mr. Dennison in his den, which is a male bastion complete with mounted animal trophies and a gun collection. Despite his initial reluctance to attend the party, Beaver arrives home happy because of Mr. Dennison.

Child Care: (1958, #018): Ward and June are accompanying the Wilson’s to the wedding of a daughter of a mutual acquaintance. Unfortunately the Wilson’s babysitter, for their four year old daughter (Puddin’), has cancelled at the last minute. Because Ward had bragged about how responsible and reliable his sons are, the Wilson’s suggest that Wally and Beaver look after their daughter while they attend the wedding. Reluctantly, Ward and June agree to let the boys baby-sit. All goes well until Puddin’ has to use the bathroom at which point she locks the door and refuses to come out. Despite the boy’s best efforts at persuasion, and trying to climb through the bathroom window, they are forced to call the fire department to effect the rescue. Ward and June are not made aware of the situation upon their return. However, the next day Ward receives a call from a neighbor how provides full details. Ward decides not to confront the boys about the situation because he realizes they are in fact responsible and reliable.

Bank Account (1958, #019): Ward brings home a piggy bank to teach his sons about thrift and the value of money. He then proceeds to tell them when they have saved enough they can spend the money on whatever they choose. When they have saved $32 the boys decide to spend the money on themselves. However, Ward’s advice is to put the money in their bank accounts. To further underscore the importance of saving, Ward tells them he would like a new hunting jacked, but will make do with the one he has in order to retain his savings. Wally and Beaver then decide they will use their money to buy Ward a new hunting jacket, as a surprise, to show their appreciation for their father. On school thrift day instead of depositing the money into their accounts, as they were supposed to, the boys each withdraw $10 to cover the cost of the $45 hunting jacket. Ward is livid when he learns through the school that the boys have disobeyed his advice. His attempts to encourage them to tell the truth result in failure and when a package arrives from the sporting goods store he intends to give them a lecture on lying and thrift – that is until he opens the package and has a whole new appreciation for his sons.

Lonesome Beaver (1958, #020): When Wally, Eddie and Tooey join the boy scouts, Beaver tags along only to find that he is too young to be admitted to the group. When Wally goes away on a scout camping trip, Beaver is left to his own devices and finds he has no one to play with because he was always dependent upon Wally. In this way, Beaver learns he has a responsibility to go his own way in the world and make his own friends.

The Perfect Father (1958, #021): Ward fears he is a bad father when he forgets a promise to take the boys to a sportsman’s show because he is too busy, and they go with Mr. Dennison. This is further compounded when he becomes aware the boys are always playing basketball over at the Dennison’s. To entice the boys back to the Cleaver’s, Ward puts up a basketball hoop in his own driveway. When Wally and his friends come over to play, Ward goes out to give them pointers and winds up taking over the ball and alienating the boys. When he runs into Mr. Dennison at the country club he realizes that this “perfect father” is not even aware that the boys are playing at his house. Mr. Dennison points out, and reminds Ward, that boys learn from their peers how to play sports, not from fathers. Ward gets the message that there must be a proper balance of parental interference – too much involvement is as bad as, not enough.

Cleaning Up Beaver (1958, #022): Wally and Beaver have a falling-out over Beaver’s lack of neatness. When Wally calls Beaver a pig, Beaver’s feelings are hurt and he decided to move into a separate room so he doesn’t have to be so neat and tidy. After a few hours on his own, Beaver is scared and comes back to Wally for help. After discussing the situation the boys decide they don’t want to be separated and reach a mutually satisfactory agreement wherein Beaver will be neater and Wally will be sloppier.

The State Vs. Beaver (1958, #023): Wally and Beaver are attempting to build a motorized go-kart, but have little success until Ward comes along to provide his assistance and expertise. Ward gives strict instructions that the kart is only to be used under his supervision. The next day, when no one is home, Larry Mondello convinces Beaver to take the kart for a short drive around the block. When they do, they are stopped by the police for driving an unlicensed motor-vehicle on a public thoroughfare. Not wanting to tell his father, Beaver enlists Wally’s aid to accompany him to the court as his guardian. The judge issues a stern lecture and leaves it up to Beaver to make the decision whether or not to tell his father, which of course, he does.

Beaver and Poncho (1958, #024): Beaver brings home a lost dog and wants to keep it. Ward reminds him that the dog belongs to someone and there is a responsibility to try and find the rightful owner. After placing an ad in the local newspaper, the owner contacts the Cleaver’s to arrange to pick up the dog. Beaver, however, has grown so attached to the dog he takes it to school, (hidden in his jacket), so the dog will not have to be returned. In the end he is found out and Poncho is given back to his owner.

The Broken Window (1958, #025): Beaver and Wally break the living room window while playing ball and are told not to play around the house. The next day, despite the warning, the boys play ball in the driveway and damage the car window. Eddie Haskell tells the boys to simply roll down the window and feign surprise if they are confronted. Even though their conscience bothers them, the boys follow Eddie’s suggestion. The following day, while out for a car ride, Beaver is told by Ward to roll up the window because of the breeze. Fearful of the consequences, Beaver delays until he finally confesses. When he rolls up the window the finds it has already been fixed because Ward thought he had broken the window when the closed the card door the previous evening.

Train Trip (1958, #026): When returning, by themselves, from a visit to Aunt Martha, the boys spend too much of their ticket money on candy and hot dogs and don’t have enough to pay the fare home. They buy a ticket for as far as they can, and just stay on the train after they pass the stop. When the conductor comes to collect the tickets, they fabricate a fantastic story which causes the conductor to pay for the fare out of his own pocket. Unknown to the boys, a family friend is in the same car and relays the story to Ward that evening. When confronted by Ward, the boys learn that someone is always watching and they will eventually be caught if they don’t tell the truth.

My Brother’s Girl (1958, #027): A school dance has been organized and Wally prefers to go with Eddie as opposed to taking a girl. Mary Ellen Rogers, however, wants Wally to escort her to the dance and accomplishes this by befriending Beaver. After inviting Beaver over to her house on several occasions, she finally coerces him to bring Wally, whereupon she promptly ignores Beaver. She tells Wally, that like him, she doesn’t really want to go to the dance either. However, since they are both in the same situation why don’t they go together as they will have something in common. Beaver feels very left out and used by this girl and ignores her when she comes to the Cleaver house before the dance.

Next Door Indians (1958, #028): When Eddie Haskell tells his fantastic, but unprovable stories, Beaver becomes jealous. In order to steal some attention from Eddie, and be accepted by Wally’s other friends, Beaver makes up a story about an ancient Indian battle being fought in the vacant lot across the street. Eddie bets him $1.50 it is not true and the boys gather in the vacant lot to dig for Indian artifacts. In the course of their digging they uncover some garnets which the boys think will make them wealthy. When Beaver takes the stones to Gus the fireman he finds out they are worthless as they are only used to make sandpaper.

Music Lesson (1958, #029): When Wally makes it to the baseball team, Beaver feels left out because he is too young to participate. June suggests Beaver do something that appeals to him so he decides to join the school band. He picks the clarinet because it looks easiest. After several days of practicing Beaver can play five notes of a song and doesn’t make it into the band. He feels he will disappoint his father if he tells him he was chosen so he continues to pretend he is in the band. June finds the notice about the band concert in Beaver’s pants and the whole family makes plans to attend. On the night of the concert Beaver still can’t find the courage to confront his father. However, Wally intervenes and relays the truth, along with Beaver’s fears, to Ward and June. Rather than make an issue out of a situation, Ward and June simply make up an excuse why they can’t attend to avoid embarrassing Beaver.

Tenting Tonight (1958, #030): When Ward has to abandon his plan for an overnight camping trip with the boys because of work, Wally and Beaver decide to set up a tent in the backyard. Shortly after dark it begins to rain, but the boys don’t want to admit defeat and go inside. They stick it out until midnight when they sneak into the house, (because Ward left the door unlocked), and then return to the tent at 6am pretending they spent the night outside.

Beaver’s Old Friend (1958, #031): While cleaning up the garage Beaver finds his old teddy bear named “Billy”. The bear is not only his first and oldest friend, but the one who saw him through the measles when he was all alone for extended periods of time. Ward and Wally convince him he is too old to be playing with stuffed animals and tell him to throw it out with the other trash. Beaver does so reluctantly, but comes back later to retrieve Billy only to be observed by three of his friends. Out of embarrassment, Beaver returns Billy to the trash can and feigns disinterest. When he returns he finds the trashmen have taken away the garbage and Beaver chases the truck and convinces the trash collector to pull Billy out of the garbage. He brings him up to his room and soaks him with June’s perfume to remove the smell. The next day when Ward and June are in the boys’ room they follow the scent and find Billy. June has him properly cleaned and repaired and returns him to Beaver, pleased that he has sun an emotional attachment to his “friend”. Beaver subsequently gives Billy to Benji, (the little boy next door), who has come down with the measles because Billy is the best friend a boy can have when you get the measles.

Wally’s Job (1958, #032): Wally offers to paint the trashcans for 50 cents each. However, when Ward forgets the paint, Wally finds other activities and the job is abandoned. Beaver volunteers to take over the job and Ward accepts his offer. This causes a fight between the boys when Wally thinks Beaver is cutting in on his territory. The situation is resolved when Ward suggests each boy paint one can.

New Doctor (1958, #033): Wally stays home from school with a sore throat. He is waited on hand and foot, gets a model airplane from June, a magic kit from his classmates, and ice cream from Ward. Beaver sees and opportunity to get some sympathy and some “loot”. The next day Beaver feigns as sore throat, but unfortunately his plan doesn’t work quite as well. It is only a half-day at school, his classmates bring homework, as opposed to a gift, and Dr. Richardson, the family doctor is away. Initially Beaver’s big concern is whether or not Dr. Bradley, the replacement doctor, is a “needle” or a “pill” doctor. However, once Dr. Bradley conducts his examination and finds Beaver is not really ill, he delivers a lecture about the little boy who cried wolf. He then proceeds to tell Beaver he was wrong to feign illness for attention, and also because he called the doctor away from people who were truly sick and needed his assistance. As a result, Beaver confesses to his parents he wasn’t really sick, and promises never to “cry wolf” again.

Boarding School (1958, #034): Wally is visited by Johnny Franklin, an old school friend who had go to military school. Johnny describes the life he leads at the military academy, which includes riding horses, marching, and participation in physical activities and sports. Wally begins to think he might like to attend the school to take advantage of the facilities. When he asks his father, Ward says Wally should do whatever makes him happy. As the time grows closer to making a decision, Wally begins to get cold feet especially when Eddie tells him is was probably a parental set-up to get him out of the house. When Beaver finds Wally crying he asks Ward why his parents don’t love Wally anymore and want to get rid of him. Ward and Wally talk, and the decision is made that Wally will stay in Mayfield and attend the local public high school.

Beaver’s Bad Day (1958, #035): After trying on his recently altered suit, June tells Beaver to go upstairs and change into his play clothes. Beaver becomes distracted reading a comic book and has still not changed his clothes when Larry Mondello calls. Not only does Beaver go out in his suit, but he also goes to the lot where a new house is being built, despite being warned to stay away. At the lot he and Larry construct a makeshift seesaw out of an old board. Eddie Haskell comes by and pushes Larry off the seesaw and Beaver rips his pants. When Beaver gets home he makes up a story about a dog ripping his pants, but his parents see the rust from the nail and Beaver is punished for lying. The next day on the way home from Sunday School, Beaver tells Wally what really happened and that Eddie claimed he could beat-up Wally with one hand tied behind his back. Wally decides to stop by the lot to settle the score with Eddie. In the course of the scuffle, at the lot, Eddie’s dog rips Beaver’s pants. When the boys arrive home, Beaver tells the same story as the previous day and once again both boys are punished for lying. Later that day, June is speaking to Mrs. Mondello and the story of the dog and the ripped pants is confirmed. Ward realizes he must apologized to the boys because he made a mistake by not believing them when they told the truth.

Beaver’s Poem (1958, #036): Beaver comes to Ward with a request for help with his homework. Beaver is to compose a poem for school due the next day, but assigned three weeks earlier. Ward gives Beaver two lectures. The first lecture, on the necessity of not putting things off to the last minute. The second, not to always expect his parents will do his work for him. Despite having said this, Ward writes Beaver’s poem and it wins an award. Ward explains to Beaver, he cannot accept the award because it is not his work. He then goes to the principal and explains the situation. Mrs. Rayburn’s solution is to let Beaver write a new poem before the ceremony so he can accept the award with a clear conscience.

Beaver and Henry (1958, #037): When Ward and the boys set a trap to catch a gopher, that they believe is eating June’s flowers, the instead capture a white rabbit. They decide to keep it as a pet and name it Henry. However, a few days later, “Henry” has babies. Ward tells Wally not to handle the newborn rabbits for fear of rejection by the mother. When Wally relays this message to Beaver it is too late as Beaver has already picked up some of the babies. Not sure how to tell his father, Beaver goes to see Gus the fireman to see if he can correct the situation. Gus tells Beaver to sprinkle all the rabbits with talcum powder so they will all smell the same. In addition, he suggested putting vanilla extract on the mother’s nose to confuse her sense of smell. The plan works and Beaver is only found out because of the smell of the talcum powder – still Ward is proud of Beaver for his ingenuity.

Beaver’s Guest (1958, #038): Beaver invites Larry over for the weekend. About an hour after his arrival the two boys have a falling out, and Larry wants to leave. Since his parents have gone out of town he decides he wants to go to his grandmother’s. Ward is unable to drive him, so they call a cab to take Larry to his destination. By the time the cab arrives, the boys are playing again, the argument is forgotten, and Larry has decided to stay.

Cat Out Of The Bag (1958, #039): The next door neighbors, the Donaldson’s, are going away for the weekend and have asked Wally and Beaver to look after their cat and water the lawn. Ward thinks this is too much responsibility for the boys and tells them not to come to him if they need help. Despite the fact this is a joint effort, Wally goes off to a carnival and leaves Beaver alone. Beaver puts the cat out in the yard while he goes to move the sprinkler. Unfortunately, he doesn’t close the gate properly and Eddie’s dog chases the cat. Beaver and Wally, fearful of telling Ward what happened, try to find the cat, but are unsuccessful. In the middle of the night, cat meows wake-up the boys and they are forced to get Ward to help rescue the cat from the tree. The boys tell Mr. Donaldson, when he returns, what happened and refuse payment because of their error. Mr. Donaldson tells Ward that the boys are little characters. While Ward agrees, he also thinks they are pretty nice little characters.

Ward’s Problem (1958, #040): Ward promises to take Wally fishing on the weekend after backing out three times previously. The same evening Beaver comes home to tell Ward there is a school sponsored father and child picnic the same weekend. Ward is torn between the two boys and finally decides, Wally, as the eldest will understand that the fishing trip can be re-scheduled while the picnic cannot. Beaver, in the meantime, has concocted a fantastic story that his father cannot attend the picnic because he has to go to Washington to meet with the President. The school calls to express their regrets that Ward will be unable to attend and Beaver’s story is exposed as a hoax. When Ward confronts Beaver about the lie, telling him how he changed his plans in order to attend the picnic, Beaver reminds his father he told everybody, (Wally and June), but didn’t tell Beaver himself about the change. Ward acknowledges Beaver’s falsehood by admitting he told everyone about his change of plans except Beaver. As a result, Ward realizes he left his son with no option but to fib, in order protect his father.

Beaver Runs Away (1958, #041): Beaver is playing in the garage with Ward’s unplugged power drill and Larry suggests plugging it in a really using it. Against Beaver’s better judgment the hold a piece of wood up against the side of the garage and drill right through the wall. Both boys leave to avoid the punishment that they know will befall them. When Beaver returns home he tells Ward what happened and tries to put the blame on Larry. Ward tells Beaver he is showing a lack of respect for his home, belongings, and parents by not accepting the blame himself. Beaver thinks Ward is too mean and decides to run away from home. After he leaves he hopes Ward will come after him and apologize, but he doesn’t because Ward believes parents must retain some control over their children and cannot constantly cave in to their threats. Beaver only runs to Larry’s house where he has supper and is eventually found by a greatly relieved June. When Beaver returns, he apologizes to Ward. As a reminder, Beaver asks Ward how he felt when he ran away as a kid and his father didn’t come after him. Ward realizes he has forgotten when it is like to be a child.

Beaver and Chuey (1958, #042): Beaver has a new school friend Chuey who is from South American and speaks only Spanish. Despite the obvious language problems the two boys manage to get on quite well. Eddie Haskell suggests to Wally that he teach Beaver a nasty saying in Spanish to repeat to his new friend. Despite Wally’s protests, Eddie sneaks away and teaches Beaver the Spanish phrase “you have the face of a pig”. When Beaver repeats the phrase, Chuey runs home in tears and Beaver does not know why. Chuey’s parents, also only Spanish speakers, are unable to make their point when they come to complain to the Cleaver’s. Finally, Wally figures out what Beaver has said, and Ward writes a note of apology to Chuey’s parents. The next day Chuey arrives with flowers and a note of forgiveness from his parents stating that parents learn from their children.

Lost Watch (1958, #043): While Wally and the older boys are playing baseball, Beaver is given custody of their watches, wallets and jackets. At the end of the game when everyone comes to collect their possessions, Lumpy Rutherford demands his watch, which Beaver does not have. Lumpy bullies Beaver over the next several days to come up with the watch, or the cash to replace it. Beaver is so frightened of Lumpy, he takes his Aunt Martha’s birthday present savings bond from Ward’s desk and tries to cash it at the bank. The teller refuses to cash the bond and calls Ward at home to tell him what Beaver has done. When Beaver gets home, Ward calls Fred Rutherford who admits Lumpy lost his watch several weeks ago and they are just waiting for him to admit to the loss. When Ward tells him what Lumpy has done, Fred is very upset and sends Lumpy over to apologize to the entire Cleaver household.

The Pipe (1958, #044): The Rutherford’s, vacationing in Germany, send the Cleaver’s a meerschaum pipe as a gift. Since Ward is not a pipe smoker, the pipe is put out on display in the living room cabinet. When Larry Mondello sees the pipe he convinces a reluctant Beaver they should try smoking. Lacking tobacco, the use coffee grounds with little success. The next day, Larry comes back with tobacco he has obtained from the ashtrays in his house and the boys try smoking again and both wind up feeling sick. Ward finds the pipe has been used and automatically suspects Wally because he is the eldest. When Ward confronts Wally he denies smoking, but Ward punishes him anyway because he is convinced Wally is lying. When Beaver overhears that Wally is being punished he confesses it was he and Larry that used the pipe. Later, when the boys are getting ready for bed, Beaver apologizes to Wally for “getting him into trouble”, but Wally admits he did something wrong earlier and thus deserved the lecture.

Wally’s Present (1958, #045): Ward and June realize Wally is getting older when he decides he would rather spend his birthday with Eddie eating hamburgers at the drugstore and then going to a movie. June’s suspicions that Wally is more interested in girls is confirmed when Beaver overhears Wally on the phone telling Eddie they can meet Mary Ellen Rogers and her friends at the drugstore and then find out what movie they are attending. As a result, Beaver feels left out of Wally’s life. The next day when Beaver is at the store to buy Wally’s present, (a camera), Larry convinces him to spend the money on a bow and arrow set for himself because Wally is so selfish. With some reluctance, Beaver agrees and he only buys Wally a 45¢ bolo bat. Then, Larry, in attempt to string the bow, breaks it instead. When Beaver arrives home he finds Wally has changed his plans. The entire family has cake and Beaver is invited to the movies with Wally and Eddie. Beaver is ashamed of his gift. Worried about Beaver’s reaction, Ward calls the store and finds out why Beaver didn’t buy the camera. He sends Beaver back to the store to exchange the bow and arrow unaware it is broken. Beaver walks around the block several times not knowing what to do until he finally confesses to Ward and June. They are very understanding and tell him Wally will forgive him if he only apologizes. Beaver tells Wally he is sorry for buying him such a cheap present and the boys are friends once again.

Her Idol (1958, #046): On his way over to Larry’s house to dig a hole, Beaver finds Linda Dennison sitting in a tree examining a bird’s nest. Amazed that a girl can climb a tree, Beaver climbs up with her and they both look at the nest. After coming down he encounters Whitey and Larry who tease him about talking to girls and accuse him of being “sweet on her”. The next day at school, Beaver has to put up with more teasing and finally says he will call Linda a name to show her he doesn’t have any feelings for her. He calls her “a smelly old ape” and Linda runs off crying. Beaver is so mad he was forced to hurt her feelings, he punches Larry in the stomach. Miss Landers stops the fight and Beaver is sent to the office where he has to take a note home to Ward. Ward understands what happened and clears up the matter by calling the school. The next day Miss Landers gives the class a lecture on the value of friendship between boys and girls indicating they should be kind, considerate and have mutual respect for each other. After school, Beaver finds Larry sitting in the tree with Linda looking at the bird’s nest.

Grass Is Always Greener (1958, #047): Complaining there is nothing to do around the house, Beaver asks Ward’s permission to go with Mr. Fletcher, the trashman, to visit his children. When June arrives home from her shopping she is upset Ward has let Beaver go to the “other side of town” to play in a junkyard with the trashman’s “rough kids”. Beaver arrives home all excited and full of stories about all the “neat things” he was able to do at the Fletcher’s. He asks to go back the next day, but Ward suggests the Fletcher boys come to visit the Cleaver’s instead. June is somewhat apprehensive about having these “rough boys” at their house, but defers to Ward and Beaver. Pete and Chris Fletcher arrive the next day, and they are neatly groomed and extremely polite. Both boys are enthralled with the trees and grass around the Cleaver home, and admire the tools and workbench in the garage. As a result, Wally and Beaver develop a new appreciation for the things they took for granted previously.

Wally’s New Suit (1958, #049): When Wally needs a new suit for an upcoming dance, Eddie convinces him he should tell his parents he is old enough to buy his own clothes because clothes picked out by parents are “square”. Ward and June are apprehensive about letting Wally choose his own clothing, but since they feel Wally is sensible, and they want to encourage his responsibility and independence, they reluctantly agree. Ward even goes so far at to tell Wally regardless of the suit he won’t criticize the choice. Despite the salesman’s reluctance to sell him the suit, Wally comes home with a loud checked outfit. Eddie and Tooey think the suit is “S-H-A-R-P” and commend Wally on his fashion sense. Ward and June think the suit is totally inappropriate, and they are hard pressed to keep their promise of no criticism. Ward wants to “lay down the law”, but June intervenes. In a far less direct manner, she convinces Wally the suit needs to be altered. When they return to the store, the salesman manages to convince Wally his physique is not suited to the checks, and Wally agrees to a solid blue suit which is much more becoming. On the night of the dance, when all his friends show up in similar suits, Wally thanks his parents for their help and understanding because he realizes the checked suit would have been inappropriate and he would have been embarrassed at the dance.

The Shave (1958, #050): Some of Wally’s school friends, Eddie especially, are discussing how frequently they shave. Wally is embarrassed to say he has not yet started. However, when he arrives home that evening he gets Ward’s razor and practices without a blade. When he puts the blade in the razor, his hand is shaking so badly he cuts himself in several places. This prompts a lecture from Ward when Wally arrives at the dinner table. In an attempt to discourage Wally from shaving, Ward tells him his beard will grow thicker and stiffer the more often he shaves. This only prompts Wally to use his father’s advice as a method of improving his beard. Several days later, when Ward needs his razor, he finds Wally using it to show off to Eddie. Ward delivers a strong lecture to Wally, in front of Eddie, about not using his razor until he really needs to shave. The next day at school, after Eddie tells the other boys what Ward said, Wally is teased and called “baby-face”. Because Wally is so upset and embarrassed, Beaver goes to Ward and tells him what happened. Ward realizes he should not have yelled at Wally in front of Eddie, and devises a plan to correct the situation. The next day, at the barbershop, Ward drops by and tells the barber, in front of Wally’s friends, to give Wally a shave. This immediately raises Wally’s standing in the eyes of the other boys. When they get home, a grateful Wally thanks Ward for what he did at the barbershop. Ward reminds him a beard is only the outside manifestation of becoming a man – it is what is inside that really counts.

The Visiting Aunts (1958, #051): The boys are all set to go to the carnival, but their plans are delayed with Aunt Martha and her friend drop by for an unexpected visit. Their departure is further delayed when June insists the guests stay for lunch, and the boys must forego the carnival. When Aunt Martha finally leaves, Ward offers to take them to the fair, but the boys refuse because they are trying to punish their parents, through guilt, for ruining their fun. Ward explains that Aunt Martha is a very important person in June’s life and that Wally and Beaver have hurt their mother very badly by their selfish actions. Recognizing the error of their ways, Beaver and Wally apologize to June and the whole family goes to the carnival for an evening of fun and enjoyment.

The Tooth (1958, #052): When Beaver develops a toothache, June takes him to the dentist where and X-ray is taken of the affected tooth. When Beaver meets up with Lumpy and Wally after the dentist, Lumpy tells Beaver the dentist will make a huge hole in his tooth with a drill. As a result, Beaver becomes afraid to go to the dentist to have the cavity filled. Outside the dentist’s office, Ward tells Beaver to be a “brave little soldier”, and not to disappoint his father by crying or being afraid. Once in the office, Beaver refuses to get in the chair, cries and to be bribed by the dentist. Once they arrive home, Ward realizes he put so much pressure on Beaver to be brave, that he left him no option but to be afraid of what was going to happen. Recognizing his shortcomings as a father, Ward apologizes to Beaver for his actions, and for making Beaver fearful of the dentist.

Beaver’s Ring (1958 #053): Aunt Martha sends Beaver a family heirloom signet ring which belonged to his namesake, Uncle Theodore. Ward and June tell Beaver the ring is only to be used on special occasions, and is not to be worn to school. Despite the warning, Beaver decides to take the ring to school. However, in keeping with his parents’ wishes, he doesn’t wear it – he carries it on a string in his pocket. At school, Judy Hensler doesn’t believe it belongs to Beaver and wants to see him wear the ring. Beaver puts the ring on his finger and it becomes stuck. He is forced to go to the school nurse, who calls June and eventually the doctor is called to cut the ring off Beaver’s finger. Ward delivers an exceptionally strong lecture about disobedience and disappointment and decides Beaver’s punishment is to write Aunt Martha and tell her what he did. After Beaver writes the letter, Ward decides Beaver has learned his lesson and destroys the letter telling his son the ring can probably be repaired.

Beaver Gets Adopted (1958, #054): Wally brings home a trophy from the school track meet and Ward and June make a big fuss about his accomplishment. Beaver feels somewhat left out and jealous because he was unable to achieve a victory like his brother. The next day, Beaver and Larry are playing in Beaver’s bedroom and Wally’s trophy is accidentally dropped on the floor and breaks. Despite their best efforts to repair the damage, they are unsuccessful and Wally accuses Beaver of deliberately breaking the trophy. Following a lecture from Ward, Beaver expresses the opinion his parents don’t love him. This prompts Ward to tell Beaver if he thinks he can do better, maybe he should get himself some new parents. After school the following day, Beaver presents himself for adoption. Mrs. Brady, the adoption agent, listens to Beaver’s story and promptly calls Ward and June. She then tells Beaver she had managed to find a wonderful family for him just as Ward and June enter the door. Beaver decides these people will be just fine as his parents.

The Price of Fame (1958, #056): While cleaning the blackboards after school for Miss Landers, Larry spins a tale to Beaver about a spanking machine hidden in Mrs. Rayburn’s office. On his way out of the school, Beaver’s curiosity gets the better of him and he heads to the principal’s office to see this machine. He finds nothing, of course, but hides under the principal’s desk when the janitor comes in so he won’t be caught were he is not supposed to be. Unfortunately, the janitor locks the door and Beaver is trapped in the office. Beaver figures his only way out is to pull the fire alarm, and Beaver arrives home in a fire truck. Ward delivers another lecture about believing Larry’s stories, being where he wasn’t supposed to be, costing the city money by using the fire department for a non-emergency situation, and finally by making himself conspicuous and embarrassing his family. The next day, while looking for four leaf clovers in the park, Beaver gets his head stuck in the iron fence and cannot get loose. When he doesn’t show up for lunch, Wally is dispatched to try and find Beaver. When Wally finds his brother, Beaver tells Wally he must try to get out of this situation himself so he is not conspicuous and doesn’t embarrass his family. When Wally and Beaver’s attempts to extricate Beaver from the fence fail, Wally is forced to go home and get Ward. Ward enlists the assistance of the park gardener who loosens one of the rails and Beaver is released. Understanding why Beaver was reluctant to come to him, Ward tell Beaver that no matter what the situation, he must always come to his parents for help because his parents will always come to his aid.

School Play (1958, #057): Beaver is selected as the lead in the class play. The part has no speaking lines, which suites Beaver just fine. He is only required to wear a yellow canary costume and float like a bird among some flowers and mushrooms played by his classmates. Ward is somewhat concerned that Beaver is playing a yellow canary, and wishes instead he were an eagle. Despite Beaver’s lack of ability to “float”, Miss Landers decides to keep him in his part. On the night of the play, Ward and Wally tell him not to worry if he makes mistakes, or trips and falls during the play as it is natural and expected. Due to Ward and Wally’s “advice”, Beaver develops a severe case of stage fright. When the play is presented, the canary does a fine job. It is not until after the presentation that Ward, June and Wally discover that Whitey was wearing the canary costume. It appeared Beaver was so nervous, he and Whitey exchanged parts and Beaver played a mushroom. When questioned by his family as to why he abandoned the lead, Beaver tells them “a guy oughta do what he can do”. Ward agrees, and tells Beaver, in life, “it just doesn’t work when a mushroom tries to fly”.

The Boat Builders (1958, #058): When Chester, Tooey and Wally decide to build a kayak, Ward does not appear concerned because he feels they will not be successful in their attempt. However, at June’s urging, he tells the boys the kayak is not to be put in the water without adult supervision. When the boat is completed Chester and Tooey convince Wally that they should test the boat in Miller’s pond, and not tell Ward, because he will spoil the fun. Wally reluctantly agrees and they head off to the pond with Beaver tagging along. When they reach the pond, Chester is selected to be the first captain. Unfortunately, Chester cannot fit into the opening because the bucket they have nailed to the inside, for ballast, is in the way. As a result, Beaver (as the smallest), nominated by default. The boat is pushed off and it almost immediately tips over and Beaver is dumped into the water. After they fish Beaver out of the pond, the next problem is how to get him home and out of his wet clothes without being discovered by Ward and June. This requires some strategic planning. First, Chester and Tooey place a phone call to the Cleaver’s to get June out of the kitchen, and into the living room where the telephone is located. This allows Wally and Beaver to make it into the kitchen and the dining room, but they must go through the living room to get upstairs. To accomplish this, Wally turns on the carburetor. This causes June and Ward to rush to the kitchen to investigate the cause of the noise. The boys then sneak upstairs through the dining and living rooms. Wally brings Beaver’s wet belongings downstairs in a box, and successfully makes it to the basement where he places everything, including Beaver’s rubber boots, on the furnace to dry. In the middle of lunch, Ward smells burning rubber and finds the wet clothes and boots in the basement. Wally and Beaver receive as stern lecture about deceit, and the potential danger of drowning posed by setting Beaver adrift in an untested boat. As punishment, the boys are grounded for two weeks and they are not permitted to watch television during this time period.

Happy Weekend (1958, #059): Ward decides to take the family camping on the spur of the moment. He tells the boys of the wonderful times he spent at this campsite as a boy and expects they will enjoy a similar experience. Much to his chagrin, the boys are not at all pleased as they would rather stay home and go to the moves and read comic books. Ward, however, is adamant and the family heads off into the wilderness. The next morning when Ward and June arise, they find the boys have already left the cabin. Ward assumes they are hiking in the woods. When Wally and Beaver return they tell him of the town they found just over the hill which has a movie theatre and a drug store, where the boys had breakfast. Undeterred, Ward takes the boys fishing to make sure “they have a good time, like it or not”. They rent a boat and catch eight fish. However, the thrill of the catch is diminished when they find the lake is stocked and fenced to prevent the fish from escaping. To top it all off, Ward has to pay one dollar for each fish. Later that evening the boys are out again – this time with the field glasses. Ward assumes they are watching the stars, or observing animals. Much to his dismay, when he goes to find them, he discovers they are using the binoculars to watch a movie playing at the local drive-in theatre. Totally disgusted, Ward returns to the cabin where he and June start packing to head home. Suddenly the boys rush in and are disappointed they are going to leave because they have found some old logs and plan to build a raft the next day. Pleased that the boys have finally found the true reason why they came camping, Ward relents and the family stays for the remainder of the weekend.

Beaver Plays Hooky (1958, #060): After Beaver has been late for school three days in one week, June warns Beaver and Larry not to dawdle on their way to class. Despite their good intentions, the boys stop to watch some construction work. Was a result, not only are they late for school, but their lunches and books are run over by a truck at the construction site. Realizing they are in serious trouble, Larry persuades Beaver not to go into the school in order to postpone “getting yelled at” until the next day. To avoid being caught by the truant officer, Beaver and Larry hide behind a billboard until hunger forces the to seek food. Since the neighborhood supermarket offers free samples, they decide to head to the store. At the grocery store they join what they think is a line up for food, only to find they are at a live TV broadcast to promote Rocket Chocolates. While all this is happening to Beaver and Larry, Wally has been sent home from school with a sore throat. While waiting for the doctor, Wally asks June if he can watch television. Of course, Wally and June see Beaver and Larry in the audience. June calls Ward at work to go to the supermarket, pick up the boys, and take them home. However, instead of bringing Beaver directly home, Ward drops Beaver off at school so he can explain his absence to Miss Landers. Miss Landers gives Beaver a lecture about not respecting school or education. The teacher tells him he may have missed something vitally important that may have helped him in future years.

The Garage Painters (1958, #061): Beaver and Wally are worried they will have nothing to do for the weekend when they discover the television set is broken. Ward suggests they read a book and gives them a copy of Tom Sawyer. He tells the boys Tom was a real boy and Ward himself did many of the same things as Tom when he was growing up. The next day, when Ward is called away to a members meeting at the golf course, Beaver and Wally volunteer to finish painting the garage doors. After realizing painting is not much fun, Wally and Beaver decided they might be able to use Tom Sawyer to their advantage. They try to convince both Larry and Lumpy that painting is fun, but both boys decline. When little Benji from next door wanders in, Beaver tries the same tactic on him. Benji, however, pours paint over himself because he wants to see what h will look like if he is green. Benji’s mother is very upset with Beaver and Wally for what happened to her son, and Ward is forced to call her and apologize. Ward then realizes he must caution the boys not to take Tom Sawyer literally, and takes special pains to include the habits of smoking, cutting school, cussing and lying. He explains that Tom lived in a different time and things are just not the same in present society.

Beaver’s Pigeons (1958, #062): When Larry and Whitey form a pigeon club, Beaver asks Ward to buy him two pigeons so he can join. Ward agrees, but Wally is apprehensive because he is afraid the task of looking after the birds will fall on his shoulders. Wally reminds Ward that when Beaver neglected his hamster, Wally took on the task of feeding and cleaning the pet. Then when it died, Wally had to take the blame. Ward assures him Beaver us now older and more responsible. That evening when Ward brings home the birds, (named Miss Canfield and Miss Landers, after two of the most important women in his life), he finds the Beaver has contracted the chicken pox and as a result will be unable to look after the pigeons. Ward then prevails upon Wally to look after he pigeons until Beaver has recovered. Wally reluctantly agrees. The next day Larry brings his pigeons over to the Cleaver’s and asks Wally to look after them because he is going away for the weekend. Wally is concerned Larry’s pigeons don’t look too well, but he puts them in the cage with Beaver’s birds. Later in the day, when feeding the birds, Wally notices Beaver’s pigeons are looking ill and he and Ward take all four birds to the pet store. They find Larry’s pigeons have lice and have infected Beaver’s birds as well. The pet store provides some spray to eliminate the lice and the birds are healthy once again. The following day, when Wally returns from Sunday School, he finds the neighborhood cat has knocked over the cage and killed Miss Canfield and Miss Landers. When Ward offers to break the news to Beaver himself, Wally declines his father’s offer because he must accept the responsibility for the death of Beaver’s birds.

Wally’s Pug Nose (1958, #063): Gloria, a new girl at Mayfield High has been asking questions about Wally. Encouraged by Lumpy and Tooey, Wally reluctantly decides to talk to Gloria when she is alone in the cafeteria. During the course of their conversation, Gloria makes a comment about Wally’s pug nose. Unsure of the meaning, Wally looks the word up in the dictionary and finds it described as a turned up nose like a bulldog or a monkey. Totally devastated that he is some kind of a freak, Wally orders a nose harness through a mail order catalogue. The harness is supposed to reshape noses into a Roman profile. When Ward and June discover what Wally has done, they feel they must build his self-confidence without causing him to be embarrassed. Using a situation from his own childhood, Ward tells Wally he used to be concerned about his large ears even going so far as to tape them back every night. Wally appears to understand, and Ward is pleased he was able to make his son feel better about his physical appearance. Unfortunately, Wally took the advice the wrong way, and begins to tape his ears back as well as wear his nose harness. Several days later, Wally runs into Gloria at school and she asks him to escort her to the dance claiming she has an attraction for boys with pug noses. Wally finally comes to the realization his fears about being unattractive are all in his head and he disposes of the nose harness.

Haunted House (1958, #064): Miss Cooper returns to Mayfield after a fifteen-year absence. She takes up residence in ‘the old Cooper house’, which is rumored to be haunted because it has been vacant for so long. Based on this falsehood, Beaver and Larry become frightened and think Miss Cooper is a witch when she appears on the front porch carrying a broom, wearing an old smock, and has her hair tied up with a kerchief. Beavers is faced with an even more difficult situation when he finds June had volunteered his services to walk Miss Cooper’s dog on a daily basis. Despite his trepidation, Ward insists Beaver do his duty. A very scared Beaver arrives at Miss Cooper’s hours, but he runs away after seeing his own reflection in the mirror. When Miss Cooper comes to see what happened to her dog walker, Ward is forced to make a rather difficult explanation that Beaver thought she was a witch. The situation is resolved when Beaver meets Miss Cooper in the pet store and finds she is a very nice lady. Beaver agrees to accept the job of walking Angela, the cocker spaniel.

Wally’s Haircomb (1958, #065): Inspired by a movie star, and his friends at school, Wally adopts the “jellyroll” hairstyle. Ward and June are horrified with Wally’s appearance, but have differing opinions as to how to deal with the problem. Ward suggests just letting the situation resolve itself. He feels Wally will outgrow the hairstyle, or it will be replaced with some other fad. Since Ward won’t directly confront the issue, June visits Wally’s principal and asks him to impose a hair code on the boys at Mayfield High. Mr. Haller, the principal, essentially offers her the same advice as Ward. He advises her the “jellyroll” is just a passing fad, and a sign of self-expression. As long as the boys are neat and clean, Mr. Haller cannot see any reason to prevent them from wearing their hair in this style. June acquiesces and accepts the advice of these two men until Beaver copies his older brother’s hairstyle. This is too much for June. She makes both boys wash their hair and return to a more acceptable hairstyle. She explains to Wally she is embarrassed by his “jellyroll” and reminds him how he felt when he was forced to walk down the street with his brother, when Beaver insisted on wearing on of June’s old hats. Wally understands his mother is only trying to help him and he apologizes for embarrassing her in public.

Beaver and Gilbert (1959, #066): After school, Beaver, Larry and Whitey make fun of Gilbert Gates, the new student in their class. They think he is a “dumb kid” because of his name and the fact he carries a briefcase. When Beaver arrives home, June encourages him to go outside and play with Gilbert who has moved into the house across the street from the Cleaver’s. Reluctantly, Beaver goes over to the Gates’ where he finds Gilbert practicing for the 1968 Olympics. In addition to this imaginative story, Gilbert also tells Beaver he has been on an expedition to the North Pole, his father is an FBI agent, and his brother pitches for the St. Louis Cardinals. When Beaver relays these stories to his family they react with skepticism. Wally warns him about believing Gilbert’s allegations. Still, Beaver decides to abandon his old friends Larry and Whitey and makes arrangements to go to the movies with Gilbert. However, Gilbert stands Beaver up and goes to the movies with Larry and Whitey. When the boys return from the theatre they play football at Gilbert’s, and Beaver is encouraged by Ward to join the game. Everyone “gangs-up” on Beaver and he runs home crying. Ward tells him he should find a solution to the problem himself. Beaver goes back outside to and calls Gilbert over to his house where he promptly starts a fistfight. After letting the fight continue for a few minutes, Ward eventually separates the boys and then meets Mr. Gates who has also come to break up the fight. After the boys have been sent to their respective houses, Ward and Mr. Gates discuss the boys’ behavior. Mr. Gates tells Ward he is a musician and as a result he move quite frequently, and Gilbert has already been in ten schools. He also tells Ward that because Gilbert is always the new child in school he makes up these fantastic stories to attract attention and to make friends. When Ward goes into the house he relays this information to Beaver and tells him he should make an effort to accept Gilbert and to understand why he makes up these fantastic stories.

The Bus Ride (1959, #067): When Beaver receives an invitation to visit his old friend Billy Peyton in Crystal Falls, Ward and June realize they will be unable to drive him because they have a barbeque to attend on Saturday afternoon. To help out, Wally offers to take Beaver to Crystal Falls on the bus. June is somewhat apprehensive about letting the boys go on a three- hour bus ride, but Ward assures here there will be no problem because Wally is so responsible. On Saturday the boys leave on the bus and disembark at Elmhurst for refreshments. The boys are separated when Wally goes to pay the restaurant bill, and Beaver goes to buy some comic books. Beaver asks for directions to the correct gate telling the clerk he is on the Mayfield bus not realizing he should give his destination rather than his point of departure. As a result, Beaver ends up on the wrong bus. When Wally arrives in Crystal Falls, he calls home, and finds Beaver in the house. Because Billy is so upset, Mr. Peyton agrees to drive Wally back to Mayfield and bring Beaver back to Crystal Falls with him. When Ward and June arrive home, Wally is congratulated for doing a fine job of getting Beaver to his destination. Wally accepts the compliments until June leaves the room and he tells Ward what really happened. Ward appreciates the fact Wally told him the truth, but decides they had best keep the information from June until a later date to avoid upsetting her unnecessarily.

The Horse Named Nick (1959, #068): The boys take part-time jobs cleaning and feeding the circus animals while the carnival is in town. While June is worried the boys may get hurt working around the animals, Ward tells her it is all part of growing up, especially for boys. Ward’s main concern is the boy’s may not be paid because of the tendency of carnival operators to leave town before paying their employees. Despite Ward’s concern, Beaver and Wally do get paid. Unfortunately, it is not in cash, but rather they receive a horse in payment for their services. While trying to decide what to do with the horse, Ward if forced to move even more quickly when he receives a visit from the board of health. It appears the neighbors called to complain the Cleaver’s had a horse in their garage. Wally and Beaver place an ad to sell the horse and feel the problem has been solved until they realize the purchaser owns a rendering plant. Ward takes matters into his own hands and calls Mr. Peyton who lives on a farm in Crystal Falls. Mr. Peyton agrees to take the horse – and it will only cost $10 a month for board.

Beaver Says Goodbye (1959, #069): When Ward and June tell the boys the family is moving, Beaver tells all his friends at school. When Ward’s offer on the new house is not accepted, Beaver is worried about how he will tell his schoolmates he is not leaving the neighborhood, without appearing a liar. Before he can tell anyone, the class holds a surprise going away party for him and each student gives him a present. When Beaver arrives home with his gifts he sneaks them up to his room so he doesn’t have to tell his parents. When Wally sees the presents he tells Beaver he cannot keep them because his friends will call him a “crook”. While trying to decide what to do, Larry drops by and tells Ward all about the gifts and the party. Ward and June confront Beaver and tell him he must make the decision about what to do with his presents – making it perfectly clear what he is expected to do. The next day when Beaver returns to call, he finds Charles Fredericks has written “Beaver is a Crook” on the blackboard and the entire class shuns him. Miss Landers arrives and explains to the class that Beaver was too surprised to tell everyone during the party that he was not moving, but has returned all the gifts to the principal. She further tells the class that anyone who wishes to retrieve his or her gift may obtain the present from Mrs. Rayburn. Judy Hensler is the only one who makes a move to leave the room and when she does, Larry tells her is she moves he will slug her. In the end all the students realize the difficult situation Beaver was in, and he is once more an accepted member of the class.

Beaver’s Newspaper (1959, #070): While cleaning up the garage, Beaver finds an old typewriter that was handed down from Ward to Wally. When Wally says he no longer wants the machine, Beaver takes it to Gus the fireman who manages to fix it. Beaver and Larry then decide to use the typewriter to publish a neighborhood newspaper. Wally offers his assistance for the first edition when Beaver has the carbons in backwards. Wally is not available for the second edition as he has a ballgame, so June pitches in. When neither Wally, nor June, are available for the third edition, Ward comes to the rescue and solves the assistance problem by typing “Final Edition” above the headline.

Beaver’s Sweater (1959, #071): Beaver sees a “genuine” Eskimo sweater in a store window and decides he must have it. Against their better judgment, Ward and June let him buy the sweater using his college savings. The next day at school, Judy Hensler shows up wearing the same sweater. Beaver cannot be seen wearing the same thing as a girl, and hides the sweater in the park each morning on the way to school. On Saturday he stuffs the sweater behind the candy machine at the movie theatre and tells his parents it was stolen. The manager of the theatre, however, calls June to tell her the sweater was found and identified through the nametag sewn in the back. When Beaver reveals the truth of why he “lost” the sweater, Ward and June are understanding and realize as parents they sometimes let their children do the wrong thing out of love.

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Appendix “D”: Writers/Contributors

Please Note: As creators and producers of the Leave It To Beaver television program, Joe Connelly (J.C.) and Bob Mosher (B.M.) either wrote or supervises the writing of most of the episodes. There are however, a number of shows in which the stories were written or suggested by other individuals. This chart lists all the people who were responsible for, or connected with, the preparation of scripts for each program viewed.

Program # Year Program Title Writer(s)/Contributors
005 1957 Wally’s Girl Trouble Ben Gershman & Mel Diamond
007 1957 New Neighbours J.C. & B.M.
008 1957 The Haircut Bill Manhoff
009 1957 Brotherly Love J.C. & B.M. Story by Norman Tokar
010 1957 Perfume Salesman Mel Diamond & Ben Gershman
011 1957 The Clubhouse Mel Diamond & Ben Gershman
012 1957 Beaver’s Short Pants J.C. & B.M.
013 1957 Beaver’s Crush J.C. & B.M. Story by Phil Leslie
015 1958 The Paper Route Fran VanHartesveld & J.C. & B.M.
016 1958 Party Invitation Mel Diamond & Ben Gershman
018 1958 Child Care J.C. & B.M.
019 1958 Bank Account Phil Leslie & J.C. & B.M.
020 1958 Lonesome Beaver J.C. & B.M.
021 1958 The Perfect Father J.C. & B.M. Story by Fran VanHartesveld
022 1958 Cleaning Up Beaver Bill Manhoff
023 1958 The State vs. Beaver J.C. & B.M.
024 1958 Beaver and Poncho J.C. & B.M.
025 1958 The Broken Window J.C. & B.M.
026 1958 Train Trip J.C. & B.M.
027 1958 My Brother’s Girl J.C. & B.M. Story by Bill Manhoff
028 1958 Next Door Indians J.C. & B.M. Suggested by R.P. Smith
029 1958 Music Lesson J.C. & B.M. Story by Jack Patrick
030 1958 Tenting Tonight J.C. & B.M. Story by Bill Manhoff
031 1958 Beaver’s Old Friend Dick Conway, Roland Maclane, J.C. & B.M.
032 1958 Wally’s Job J.C. & B.M.
033 1958 New Doctor J.C. & B.M.
034 1958 Boarding School J.C. & B.M. & D. Conway & R. Maclane
035 1958 Beaver’s Bad Day John Whedon & J.C. & B.M.
036 1958 Beaver’s Poem J.C. & B.M. & D. Conway & R. Maclane
037 1958 Beaver and Henry J.C. & B.M.
038 1958 Beaver’s Guest J.C. & B.M.
039 1958 Cat Out of The Bag J.C. & B.M. Story by D. Conway & R. Maclane
040 1958 Ward’s Problem J.C. & B.M. Story by Ed James
041 1958 Beaver Runs Away J.C. & B.M.
042 1958 Beaver and Chuey George Tibbles under supervision of J.C. & B.M.
043 1958 Lost Watch Richard Baer under supervision of J.C. & B.M.
044 1958 The Pipe J.C. & B.M. Story by F. VanHartesveld
045 1958 Wally’s Present J.C. & B.M. & Keith Fowler & Norman Paul Story by K. Fowler & N. Paul
046 1958 Her Idol J.C. & B.M. & D. Conway & R. Maclane Story by D. Conway & R. Maclane
047 1958 Grass Is Always Greener J.C. & B.M. Story by John Whedon
049 1958 Wally’s New Suit Richard Baer under supervision of J.C. & B.M.
050 1958 The Shave Bob Ross & J.C. & B.M.
051 1958 The Visiting Aunts J.C. & B.M. Story by Bob Ross
052 1958 The Tooth J.C. & B.M. & Bob Ross Story by Bob Ross
053 1958 Beaver’s Ring J.C. & B.M. Story by Ed James
054 1958 Beaver Gets Adopted J.C. & B.M.
056 1958 The Price of Fame J.C. & B.M. Story by Dick Conway & Roland Maclane
057 1958 School Play J.C. & B.M.
058 1958 The Boat Builders J.C. & B.M.
059 1958 Happy Weekend J.C. & B.M.
060 1958 Beaver Plays Hooky J.C. & B.M. & D. Conway & R. Maclane
061 1958 The Garage Painters J.C. & B.M.
062 1958 Beaver’s Pigeons J.C. & B.M.
063 1958 Wally’s Pug Nose George Tibbles under supervision of J.C. & B.M.
064 1958 Haunted House George Tibbles under supervision of J.C. & B.M.
065 1958 Wally’s Haircomb J.C. & B.M. Story by George Tibbles
066 1959 Beaver and Gilbert J.C. & B.M. & George Tibbles
067 1959 The Bus Ride J.C. & B.M.
068 1959 The Horse Named Nick J.C. & B.M. Story by Hugh Beaumont
069 1959 Beaver Says Goodbye George Tibbles & J.C. & B.M.
070 1959 Beaver’s Newspaper Elon Packard & Harry Winkler & J.C. & B.M.
071 1959 Beaver’s Sweater Katherine & Dale Eunson
072 1959 Friendship Mathilde & Theodore Ferro
073 1959 Dance Contest J.C. & B.M.
074 1959 The Cookie Fund J.C. & B.M.
076 1959 Beaver The Athlete J.C. & B.M.
077 1959 Found Money Katherine & Dale Eunson
078 1959 Most Interesting Character J.C. & B.M. & Mathilde & Theodore Ferro
080 1959 Beaver’s Tree Dick Conway & Roland Maclane
081 1959 Wally’s Play George Tibbles
082 1959 Blind Date Committee Katherine & Dale Eunson & J.C. & B.M.
084 1959 Beaver Takes A Walk Theodore & Mathilde Ferro
085 1959 Beaver Finds A Wallet Mathilde & Theodore Ferro
086 1959 Beaver Takes A Bath J.C. & B.M.
087 1959 Beaver’s Prize J.C. & B.M.
088 1959 Borrowed Boat J.C. & B.M.
089 1959 Beaver’s Library Book J.C. & B.M.
090 1959 Baby Picture J.C. & B.M.
091 1959 Teacher Comes To Dinner J.C. & B.M.
092 1959 June’s Birthday J.C. & B.M.
093 1959 Pet Fair J.C. & B.M.
094 1959 Wally’s Election J.C. & B.M.
095 1959 School Sweater J.C. & B.M.
096 1959 Beaver The Magician J.C. & B.M.
097 1959 Beaver Makes A Loan J.C. & B.M.
098 1959 Tire Trouble John Zimmer
099 1959 Larry Hides Out J.C. & B.M.
101 1959 Beaver and Andy J.C. & B.M.
102 1959 Beaver’s Dance J.C. & B.M.
105 1959 Wally and Alma J.C. & B.M.
106 1959 Ward’s Baseball J.C. & B.M.
107 1959 Beaver’s Monkey George Tibbles
108 1959 Wally’s Orchid Bob Ross & J.C. & B.M.
109 1959 Beaver’s Bike J.C. & B.M.
110 1959 Mother’s Day Composition J.C. & B.M.
111 1959 Beaver and Violet J.C. & B.M.
112 1959 Spot Removers Bob Ross & J.C. & B.M.
113 1959 Beaver The Model J.C. & B.M.
115 1959 Beaver and Ivanhoe J.C. & B.M.
116 1959 Beaver’s Team J.C. & B.M.
117 1959 The Last Day of School J.C. & B.M.
118 1960 Beaver’s House Guest Arthur Kober
119 1960 Beaver Becomes a Hero Frank Gabrielson
120 1960 Beaver’s Freckles William Cowley & Peggy Chantler
121 1960 Beaver Won’t Eat Bob Ross
122 1960 Beaver’s Big Contest Arthur Kober
123 1960 Wally The Lifeguard George Tibbles & J.C. & B.M.
124 1960 Beaver’s I.Q. Theodore & Mathilde Ferro
125 1960 Beaver Goes In Business D. Conway, R. Maclane & J.C. & B.M.
126 1960 Wally’s Glamour Girl J.C. & B.M.
127 1960 Eddie’s Double Cross J.C. & B.M.
128 1960 Miss Landers’ Fiancé J.C. & B.M.
129 1960 Chuckie’s New Shoes J.C. & B.M.
131 1960 Teacher’s Daughter J.C. & B.M. Story by Alan Lipscott & Bob Fisher
132 1960 Beaver and Kenneth J.C. & B.M.
133 1960 Beaver’s Accordion J.C. & B.M.
134 1960 The Dramatic Club J.C. & B.M.
135 1960 Uncle Billy J.C. & B.M.
136 1960 Beaver’s Secret Life Wilton Schiller & J.C. & B.M.
137 1960 Wally’s Track Meet J.C. & B.M.
138 1960 Beaver’s Old Buddy D. Conway, R. Maclane, J.C. & B.M.
139 1960 Beaver’s Tonsils T. & M. Ferro, J.C. & B.M.
140 1960 The Big Fish Count D. Conway, R. Maclane, J.C. & B.M.
141 1960 Mother’s Helper D. Conway, R. Maclane, J.C. & B.M.
143 1960 Wally and Dudley J.C. & B.M.
144 1961 Beaver’s Report Card J.C. & B.M. Story by T. & M. Ferro
145 1961 Eddie Spends The Night D. Conway, R. Maclane, J.C. & B.M.
146 1961 Wally’s Dream Girl J.C. & B.M.
147 1961 Mistaken Identity J.C. & B.M.
148 1961 The School Picture J.C. & B.M.
150 1961 Community Chest Raphael Blau, J.C. & B.M.
151 1961 Beaver’s Rat J.C. & B.M.
152 1961 Kite Day J.C. & B.M. Story by K. & D. Eunson
153 1961 In The Soup D. Conway & R. Maclane
154 1961 Junior Fire Chief D. Conway, R. Maclane, J.C. & B.M.
155 1961 Beaver’s Doll Buggy D. Conway, R. Maclane, J.C. & B.M.
156 1961 Substitute Father J.C. & B.M.
157 1961 Wally’s Weekend Job J.C. & B.M.
158 1961 Wally’s Car J.C. & B.M.
159 1961 One Of The Boys J.C. & B.M. & Gwen Gielgud
160 1961 Beaver’s First Date Joseph Hoffman & Lou Breslow Story by J.C. & B.M.
161 1961 Wally’s Big Date Bob Ross Story by Kenneth A. Enochs
163 1961 Wally Goes Steady J.C. & B.M.
164 1961 Beaver’s Birthday J.C. & B.M.

 

 

Summary

Writer(s)/Contributors Number of Shows Percentage
Joe Connelly & Bob Mosher alone 65 44.8%
Joe Connelly & Bob Mosher with Other Contributors 57 39.3%
Other Contributors alone 23 15.9%
Total 145 100%

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Appendix “E”: Recurring Themes

Please Note: When viewing this program it became apparent that many of the episodes contained a message for the audience with respect to expectations for the future. The writers promoted, on a fairly frequent basis, the natural progression children should follow in order to perpetuate and replicate the existing social order. College was presented as the stepping stone from the family of orientation to the family of procreation. In other words, college provided an opportunity for education, as well as a place to meet a suitable mate. Armed with a degree and a wife, a young man could then join the ranks of corporate America and raise a family. The chart below indicates the frequency with which individual episodes made at least on reference to the specific themes of college, marriage, occupation or family.

Program # Year Program Title

College

Marriage

Occupation

Family

005 1957 Wally’s Girl Trouble        
007 1957 New Neighbors        
008 1957 The Haircut        
009 1957 Brotherly Love        
010 1957 Perfume Salesman        
011 1957 The Clubhouse        
012 1957 Beaver’s Short Pants        
013 1957 Beaver’s Crush        
015 1958 The Paper Route        
016 1958 Party Invitation        
018 1958 Child Care        
019 1958 Bank Account        
020 1958 Lonesome Beaver        
021 1958 The Perfect Father        
022 1958 Cleaning Up Beaver        
023 1958 The State vs. Beaver        
024 1958 Beaver and Poncho        
025 1958 The Broken Window        
026 1958 Train Trip        
027 1958 My Brother’s Girl        
028 1958 Next Door Indians        
029 1958 Music Lesson        
030 1958 Tenting Tonight        
031 1958 Beaver’s Old Friend        
032 1958 Wally’s Job        
033 1958 New Doctor        
034 1958 Boarding School        
035 1958 Beaver’s Bad Day        
036 1958 Beaver’s Poem        
037 1958 Beaver and Henry        
038 1958 Beaver’s Guest        
039 1958 Cat Out of The Bag        
040 1958 Ward’s Problem        
041 1958 Beaver Runs Away        
042 1958 Beaver and Chuey        
043 1958 Lost Watch        
044 1958 The Pipe        
045 1958 Wally’s Present        
046 1958 Her Idol        
047 1958 Grass Is Always Greener        
049 1958 Wally’s New Suit        
050 1958 The Shave        
051 1958 The Visiting Aunts        
052 1958 The Tooth        
053 1958 Beaver’s Ring        
054 1958 Beaver Gets Adopted        
056 1958 The Price of Fame        
057 1958 School Play        
058 1958 The Boat Builders        
059 1958 Happy Weekend        
060 1958 Beaver Plays Hooky        
061 1958 The Garage Painters        
062 1958 Beaver’s Pigeons        
063 1958 Wally’s Pug Nose        
064 1958 Haunted House        
065 1958 Wally’s Haircomb        
066 1959 Beaver and Gilbert        
067 1959 The Bus Ride        
068 1959 The Horse Named Nick        
069 1959 Beaver Says Goodbye        
070 1959 Beaver’s Newspaper        
071 1959 Beaver’s Sweater        
072 1959 Friendship        
073 1959 Dance Contest        
074 1959 The Cookie Fund        
076 1959 Beaver The Athlete        
077 1959 Found Money        
078 1959 Most Interesting Character        
080 1959 Beaver’s Tree        
081 1959 Wally’s Play        
082 1959 Blind Date Committee        
084 1959 Beaver Takes A Walk        
085 1959 Beaver Finds A Wallet        
086 1959 Beaver Takes A Bath        
087 1959 Beaver’s Prize        
088 1959 Borrowed Boat        
089 1959 Beaver’s Library Book        
090 1959 Baby Picture        
091 1959 Teacher Comes To Dinner        
092 1959 June’s Birthday        
093 1959 Pet Fair        
094 1959 Wally’s Election        
095 1959 School Sweater        
096 1959 Beaver The Magician        
097 1959 Beaver Makes A Loan        
098 1959 Tire Trouble        
099 1959 Larry Hides Out        
101 1959 Beaver and Andy        
102 1959 Beaver’s Dance        
105 1959 Wally and Alma        
106 1959 Ward’s Baseball        
107 1959 Beaver’s Monkey        
108 1959 Wally’s Orchid        
109 1959 Beaver’s Bike        
110 1959 Mother’s Day Composition        
111 1959 Beaver and Violet        
112 1959 Spot Removers        
113 1959 Beaver The Model        
115 1959 Beaver and Ivanhoe        
116 1959 Beaver’s Team        
117 1959 The Last Day of School        
118 1960 Beaver’s House Guest        
119 1960 Beaver Becomes a Hero        
120 1960 Beaver’s Freckles        
121 1960 Beaver Won’t Eat        
122 1960 Beaver’s Big Contest        
123 1960 Wally The Lifeguard        
124 1960 Beaver’s I.Q.        
125 1960 Beaver Goes In Business        
126 1960 Wally’s Glamour Girl        
127 1960 Eddie’s Double Cross        
128 1960 Miss Landers’ Fiancé        
129 1960 Chuckie’s New Shoes        
131 1960 Teacher’s Daughter        
132 1960 Beaver and Kenneth        
133 1960 Beaver’s Accordion        
134 1960 The Dramatic Club        
135 1960 Uncle Billy        
136 1960 Beaver’s Secret Life        
137 1960 Wally’s Track Meet        
138 1960 Beaver’s Old Buddy        
139 1960 Beaver’s Tonsils        
140 1960 The Big Fish Count        
141 1960 Mother’s Helper        
143 1960 Wally and Dudley        
144 1961 Beaver’s Report Card        
145 1961 Eddie Spends The Night        
146 1961 Wally’s Dream Girl        
147 1961 Mistaken Identity        
148 1961 The School Picture        
150 1961 Community Chest        
151 1961 Beaver’s Rat        
152 1961 Kite Day        
153 1961 In The Soup        
154 1961 Junior Fire Chief        
155 1961 Beaver’s Doll Buggy        
156 1961 Substitute Father        
157 1961 Wally’s Weekend Job        
158 1961 Wally’s Car        
159 1961 One Of The Boys        
160 1961 Beaver’s First Date        
161 1961 Wally’s Big Date        
163 1961 Wally Goes Steady        
164 1961 Beaver’s Birthday        

Summary of Recurring Themes Based on 145 Programs Viewed

Frequency

College

Marriage

Occupation

Family

Number

30

37

30

23

Percentage

20.6%

25.5%

20.6%

15.8%

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Appendix “F”: Moral Messages For Children

Please Note: Almost every episode of Leave It To Beaver consistently contained the same underlying moral message for children: obey/trust your parents, tell the truth, and ensure your actions do not hurt other people. In some programs the entire episode was devoted to one of those specific themes. In others it was a more subtle undercurrent, rather than a blatant message. The following list contains the prime moral messages contained in each of the programs viewed.

Wally’s Girl Trouble (1957, #005): Family is more important than outsiders.

Part Time Genius (1957, #006): Be satisfied with your God-given skills and attributes and learn to accept yourself as you are.

New Neighbors (1957, #007): Seek advice from trustworthy sources such as your parents.

The Haircut (1957, #008): Regardless of the circumstances, go to your parents when you are in trouble, or have done something wrong.

Brotherly Love (1957, #009): Sometimes parents impose unrealistic expectations on their children, but they only do this out of concern and love.

Perfume Salesman (1957, #010): When parents help you out of a problem situation ensure you show your appreciation in return.

The Clubhouse (1957, #011): There is always a way to earn money if you want or need it badly enough.

Beaver’s Short Pants (1957, #012): Father’s are understanding people who can be counted on to help you through difficult situations.

Beaver’s Crush (1957, #013): Don’t do things at the insistence of others because of a dare. Instead, be true to your own feelings and discuss problems with adults.

The Paper Route (1958, #015): Working is not much fun as it requires a great deal of responsibility, however you can count on your parents for assistance.

Party Invitation (1958, 016): Your parents know best. When they force you to do something you don’t want to do, it often produces surprising results.

Child Care: (1958, #018): Show your parents you can live up to their expectations.

Bank Account (1958, #019): Ensure you show your parents the proper amount of love and affection for all their efforts.

Lonesome Beaver (1958, #020): Age is an important factor in your ability to participate in particular activities. Sometimes your are left out, so learn to be independent.

The Perfect Father (1958, #021): Don’t resent your father’s interference as he is only trying to help.

Cleaning Up Beaver (1958, #022): What brothers say to each other is important. Don’t hurt your sibling’s feelings.

The State Vs. Beaver (1958, #023): Always tell the truth, and listen to your parents.

Beaver and Poncho (1958, #024): Things must be returned to their rightful owner. Lying, or omitting all the facts, is not permissible.

The Broken Window (1958, #025): Don’t do things that will disappoint your parents. However, if you do something wrong, always tell the truth.

Train Trip (1958, #026): If you tell lies you will always get caught because someone is always watching you, and your parents will always find out.

My Brother’s Girl (1958, #027): Be wary of people, (especially girls), who befriend you; their motives are often far from altruistic.

Next Door Indians (1958, #028): Don’t make up false stories to gain attention, or to impress others. You will only be caught in your lies.

Music Lesson (1958, #029): Don’t be afraid or ashamed to come to your parents if you fail at something. People all have different attributes and capabilities.

Tenting Tonight (1958, #030): Don’t be disappointed if your father cannot keep his promises because of the demands of his occupation. Learn to be independent and do things on your own.

Beaver’s Old Friend (1958, #031)

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Appendix “G”: Parenting Techniques

Please Note: Similar to Appendix “F”, the Leave It To Beaver television program contained a message for parents in terms of how to deal with the problems they encountered with their growing adolescents. The writers tended to lean toward permissive child rearing techniques by counseling parents to adopt an understanding and supportive role. Parents were to serve as moral role models to ensure their children grew up to be good citizens, but at the same time there was a concerted effort to remind parents that children were children, and not mini-adults. Often after delivering a stern moral lecture, especially to Beaver, Ward would come to the realization that his son viewed the world from a far different perspective. As a result, Ward often verbalized to the viewing audience not to forget what it was like to be a child.

Wally’s Girl Trouble (1957, #005): As children get older, and develop outside interests, a rift may develop between them. However, in the end, family ties will proved stronger and keep them united.

Part Time Genius (1957, #006): Ensure your aspirations for your children are in keeping with their attributes.

New Neighbors (1957, #007): While children need your help and assistance, sometimes it is best to let them discover the solutions to problems themselves.

The Haircut (1957, #008): Putting too much pressure on your children to be responsible can result in a fear to communicate problems when they occur.

Brotherly Love (1957, #009): Your children are individuals and they are bound to grow apart, but it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.

Perfume Salesman (1957, #010): Where possible try to alleviate or eliminate disappointing situations for your children and they will reward you with their love and affection.

The Clubhouse (1957, #011): Children have short attention spans, and if given everything they want, they will be bored, and parents will be bankrupt.

Beaver’s Short Pants (1957, #012): Fathers have a responsibility to help their children out of embarrassing or difficult situations.

Beaver’s Crush (1957, #013): When adults make mistakes it is permissible to admit their shortcomings to children and to they too are capable of learning from their errors.

The Paper Route (1958, #015): Parents cannot jump to conclusions regarding their children’s understanding of responsibility. Excessive interference will cause more problems than it solves.

Party Invitation (1958, 016): While parents have a certain level of understanding regarding their children’s wishes, there is an obligation to teach children about social responsibility.

Child Care: (1958, #018): If children are raised properly they can be counted on to behave in a responsible manner.

Bank Account (1958, #019): Don’t immediately jump to the wrong conclusion when you find your children have done something you consider wrong.

Lonesome Beaver (1958, #020): Age differential between brothers can promote independence.

The Perfect Father (1958, #021): Remember your childhood. Children can learn more from their peers than from their parents. The parent’s job is to provide guidance, not interference.

Cleaning Up Beaver (1958, #022): Don’t hurt your children’s feelings, and don’t interfere between brothers unless necessary. Where possible, let the children work out their differences on their own.

The State Vs. Beaver (1958, #023): Parents must be consistent in their application of rules and regulations, otherwise children will be afraid to come for help when they are in trouble.

Beaver and Poncho (1958, #024): It is important for parents to understand their children’s feeling and help them follow the right path. Teachers also have a responsibility to ensure they keep children out of trouble by augmenting the lessons children learn at home.

The Broken Window (1958, #025): If you instill proper values in your children they can be counted on to tell the truth.

Train Trip (1958, #026): Ensure your children understand the questions you ask are because of parental interest, and not just an excuse to criticize their actions.

My Brother’s Girl (1958, #027): When children are hurt by the actions of others, parents must provide support, assistance and explanations so they understand why this type of behavior is inappropriate.

Next Door Indians (1958, #028): It is not necessary for parents to constantly pry into the activities of their children. Sometimes they must be left alone, and parents should only intervene if children are doing something dangerous.

Music Lesson (1958, #029): Parents should build up their children’s confidence and not wait until they do something good to tell them they are proud of them.

Tenting Tonight (1958, #030): Provide proper explanations to children if you cannot keep your promises. They will understand and it will teach them to be independent.

Beaver’s Old Friend (1958, #031): Be sensitive to your child’s needs. Everyone need to hang on to some happy reminder of the past.

Wally’s Job (1958, #032): Don’t create dissension between siblings by going back on your promises.

New Doctor (1958, #033): Often, advice given by an outsider to the family has more impact on children that directives issued by parents.

Boarding School (1958, #034): It is important for children to make up their own minds. Parents are there to provide moral support and assistance in terms of pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of the child’s decision.

Beaver’s Bad Day (1958, #035): Since children learn by example, it is important to live by the same rules you teach and impose upon your children.

Beaver’s Poem (1958, #036): While it is important for parents to help their children with their schoolwork, it is not good it parents do all the work.

Beaver and Henry (1958, #037): Children are scared when they do something wrong, therefore, don’t make them too afraid to come to their parents when they make a mistake.

Beaver’s Guest (1958, #038): It is much more difficult to discharge your duties as a parent when you are responsible for someone else’s children.

Cat Out Of The Bag (1958, #039): Don’t criticize your children to the point where they are afraid to come to their parents for assistance when they are in trouble.

Ward’s Problem (1958, #040): Be honest and straightforward with your children. Don’t place them in situations where they are confused and/or forced to make up stories to protect the integrity of parents.

Beaver Runs Away (1958, #041): Because parents impose adult rules on children, it is important for parents to remember what it is like to be a child. Especially when children disappoint their parents by breaking the rules.

Beaver and Chuey (1958, #042): It is tough being a parent, but they learn from their children.

Lost Watch (1958, #043): Don’t make things so tough on your children that they are afraid to come to parents when they are in trouble.

The Pipe (1958, #044): Don’t jump to conclusions about your children. If children are raised properly, you can count on your child to admit when they do something wrong.

Wally’s Present (1958, #045): Teach your children that two wrongs don’t make a right, and that an apology with help resolve a problem.

Her Idol (1958, #046): Families should be kind, considerate and show mutual respect for each other.

Grass Is Always Greener (1958, #047): Children will gain a new respect and appreciation for their parents and circumstances when they are compared to other families.

Wally’s New Suit (1958, #049): Even if children make errors in judgment, if raised properly, they can be counted on to realize they have made an error and will rectify the situation.

The Shave (1958, #050): Don’t embarrass your children in front of their peers. If you do, don’t be afraid to admit your error.

The Visiting Aunts (1958, #051): Parents have a right to demand and expect compliant behavior from their children when they are asked to do something when they would rather be somewhere else.

The Tooth (1958, #052): Putting too much pressure on your children can result in disappointment for both parents and child alike. Reassurance is a much better approach.

Beaver’s Ring (1958 #053): Teach your children they must be responsible for their actions.

Beaver Gets Adopted (1958, #054): Watch what you say to your children. They may take you at your word.

The Price of Fame (1958, #056): Don’t say things that make your children afraid to approach you when they have a problem.

School Play (1958, #057): While providing reassurance to your children, don’t create situations, or scenarios, which contribute to nervousness.

The Boat Builders (1958, #058): Parents must respect children’s privacy, but only to a certain point. If they are going to do something dangerous, parental supervision is required.

Happy Weekend (1958, #059): Although there may be some initial disappointment and reluctance, children can still become excited by the attractions of simpler times.

Beaver Plays Hooky (1958, #060): Children must be taught to obey the rules of society and face up to authority when they misbehave.

The Garage Painters (1958, #061): Parents must realize times have changed and their children will face a much more complex society.

Beaver’s Pigeons (1958, #062): Parents must do all they can to understand and help their children through difficult situations.

Wally’s Pug Nose (1958, #063): When children suffer from a lack of self-esteem about their appearance, the situation must be handled with tact and diplomacy, not by embarrassment.

Haunted House (1958, #064): You must learn to listen to and understand your children’s fears. A proper explanation will resolve and eliminate fearful situations.

Wally’s Haircomb (1958, #065): While hairstyles may be a passing fad, they are also a method of self-expression and a way for teenagers to conform through non-conformity. However, parents have a responsibility to impose certain standards to ensure their children don’t embarrass themselves or their parents.

Beaver and Gilbert (1959, #066): Sometimes children must be encouraged to solve their own problems. They can’t always run to their parents for solutions.

The Bus Ride (1959, #067): You can trust and rely on your children to be both responsible and to always tell you the truth.

The Horse Named Nick (1959, #068): Parents must do what they can to ensure the happiness and satisfaction of their children.

Beaver Says Goodbye (1959, #069): Place your faith in your children and rest assured they will prove themselves honest, reliable and upstanding citizens.

Beaver’s Newspaper (1959, #070): Parents have an obligation to help their children accomplish or complete big tasks.

Beaver’s Sweater (1959, #071): Sometimes parents love their children so much they let them do the wrong thing.

Friendship (1959, #072): Parents must ensure moral lessons given to children must be consistently taught and applied across society.

Dance Contest (1959, #073): Parents must do all they can to help their children when they are having difficulty.

The Cookie Fund (1959, #074): There are times when parents have to place trust in their children and not ask questions when the child makes a request.

Beaver The Athlete (1959, #076): Don’t push children too hard to be competitive. Each child is an individual and as such have different skills and abilities.

Found Money (1959, #077): Don’t automatically disbelieve your children when they tell you a fantastic story. They may be telling a truthful version of the events as they occurred.

Most Interesting Character (1959, #078): A child’s view of his parents is based on his perception of their feelings toward him, rather than specifically on what their parents do.

Beaver’s Tree (1959, #080): Ensure you understand your children’s actions and motives. What may appear to be a thoughtless act may have a much deeper meaning in terms of respect for parents and family.

Wally’s Play (1959, #081): Encourage your children to try new things and expand their horizons.

Blind Date Committee (1959, #082): When children approach parents for advice regarding a problem the solutions can often be found if parents refer to similar situations in their own childhood.

Beaver Takes A Walk (1959, #084): Do not exaggerate your childhood stories. Your children regard you as a role model. Your words and actions can cause problems if you don’t realize children will believe everything you tell them.

Beaver Finds A Wallet (1959, #085): Sometimes parents must make allowances, and take responsibility, for the faults or thoughtless actions of other adults.

Beaver Takes A Bath (1959, #086): If children are brought up properly they will be honest with their parents.

Beaver’s Prize (1959, #087): Proper parenting techniques will ensure children learn proper values and will grow up to be good citizens.

Borrowed Boat (1959, #088): While parents are important, sometimes it is necessary to let brothers depend upon each other when trouble occurs. In this way the children learn both from the experience, and that they can trust each other.

Beaver’s Library Book (1959, #089): Parents must remember they were once children, and they must not make their children afraid to come to them when they have a problem.

Baby Picture (1959, #090): It is possible for one parent to help his/her children out of a problem without upsetting or hurting their spouse.

Teacher Comes to Dinner (1959, #091): Recognize your children’s fears and do all you can to allay their anxiety.

June’s Birthday (1959, #092): Be kind to your children. Spare their feelings with kindness and love.

Pet Fair (1959, #093): Parents must take an understanding attitude toward their children and back them up – within reason.

Wally’s Election (1959, #094): While it is permissible for parents to want their children to have a better life, parents should not live their lives vicariously through their children. If you push too hard, and realize you made a mistake, an apology to the child is in order.

School Sweater (1959, #095): Parents have a responsibility to ensure their children do not become romantically involved at too young an age.

Beaver The Magician (1959, #096): Parents must go to any lengths to allay the fears of their children.

Beaver Makes a Loan (1959, #097): Let children arbitrate their problems between themselves. If parents get involved, the situation may get out of hand.

Tire Trouble (1959, #097): Parents must watch what they say. Words hurt more than physical punishment.

Larry Hides Out (1959, #099): When children misbehave, do not yell at them in front of their friends. This is extremely embarrassing for children.

Beaver and Andy (1959, #101): While parents have a responsibility to protect their children from some of the more unpleasant aspects of life, such as alcoholism, failure to be fully open with the details can have disastrous results.

Beaver’s Dance (1959, #102): Although parents must listen to their children’s concerns, they have a responsibility to ensure their children learn social graces as this will be important in later life.

Wally and Alma (1959 #105): Parents must know who their children’s friends are and ensure they are not being pushed in the wrong type of situation.

Ward’s Baseball (1959, #106): When punishment is imposed, stick to it. If parents go back on their word, (even if it is punishment), children lose respect for their parents as they appear to be push-overs.

Beaver’s Monkey (1959, #107): Sometimes it is necessary for parents to think like a child instead of an adult.

Wally’s Orchid (1959, #108): Parents can’t plan their children’s lives. Remember what it is like to be a child.

Beaver’s Bike (1959, #109): Parents are ultimately responsible for the behavior and actions of their children. However, they are also human and subject to making mistakes.

Mother’s Day Composition (1959, #110): Children make up stories about their parents because they love and respect them and want them displayed in the most favorable light possible.

Beaver and Violet (1959, #111): Boys and girls have a mutual animosity toward each other, and like each other for it.

Spot Removers (1959, #112): Always try to understand you children’s mistakes and remember children will be children.

Beaver The Model (1959, #113): Sometimes the advice of strangers can make more of an impression on children than the advice of their parents.

Beaver and Ivanhoe (1959, #115): When parents unintentionally misdirect their children they must accept the blame and intervene to rectify the situation.

Beaver’s Team (1959, #116): Don’t embarrass your children in front of their peers.

The Last Day of School (1959, #117): Children have a tremendous capacity to straighten out problem situations on their own. However, when parents make mistakes it is incumbent upon them to apologize.

Beaver’s House Guest (1960, #118): You don’t divorce someone you love. You stay together for the sake of the children.

Beaver Becomes A Hero (1960, #119): Parents must support and help their children when they are in difficult situations.

Beaver’s Freckles (1960, #120): Sometimes parents must ignore children’s small problems because these things usually resolve themselves, and they seldom last a long time.

Beaver Won’t Eat (1960, #121): Parents should not force children to do something they don’t want. Parents should also give children another chance to redeem themselves when they misbehave.

Beaver’s Big Contest (1960, #122): Parents must do things in the best interests of their children.

Wally The Lifeguard (1960, #123): Parents must be proud of their children even if they are disappointed.

Beaver’s I.Q. (1960, #124): Parents must help children to achieve their goals and develop an understanding of the importance of education.

Beaver Goes In Business (1960, #125): When other adults let children down, it is up to parents to do something to restore a child’s faith in grown-ups.

Wally’s Glamour Girl (1960, #126): Parents need to prove a sympathetic ear and understanding when their children encounter difficulties.

Eddie’s Double-Cross (1960, #127): Children should be discouraged from “going steady” too soon.

Miss Landers’ Fiancé (1960, #128): Adults must be understanding and sympathetic when children develop infatuations with older authority figures.

Chuckie’s New Shoes (1960, #129): Don’t let your children be afraid to come to their parents when they are in trouble.

Teacher’s Daughter (1960, #131): Children should be discouraged from “going steady”.

Beaver and Kenneth (1960, #132): Believe in your children. If you have raised them properly they will tell you the truth and not let you down.

Beaver’s Accordion (1960, #133): When your children do something wrong it is permissible to understand why they acted the way they did if parents recall their own childhood.

The Dramatic Club (1960, #134): Counsel your children to live up to their responsibilities. They cannot abandon something simply because they don’t want to do it.

Uncle Billy (1960, #135): Sometimes other adults will tell exaggerated stories, which hurt children. If children have been raised properly they will be able to understand and sort out the lies from the truth.

Beaver’s Secret Life (1960, #136): When you invade your child’s privacy, for whatever reason, you must explain and/or apologize for breaking the confidence.

Wally’s Track Meet (1960, #137): When children do something wrong, parents can’t always intervene. Sometimes the intervention will prove more embarrassing than letting the child sort out the problem by himself.

Beaver’s Old Buddy (1960, #138): Talk to, and counsel, your children when you see they are unhappy. It won’t change the problem, but it will help them to understand they are not alone in the situation.

Beaver’s Tonsils (1960, #139): Sometimes parents try to prepare their children too well for a problem situation and this only results in disappointment.

The Big Fish Count (1960, #140): If children have been raised properly they will have a conscience and will know right from wrong.

Mother’s Helper (1960, #141): Don’t let children get too involved with members of the opposite sex.

Wally and Dudley (1960. #143): Different parents have different parenting techniques.

Beaver’s Report Card (1961. #144): Don’t jump to conclusions about your children and make false accusations. If you do, an apology in definitely in order.

Eddie Spends The Night (1961, #145): Parent’s love is determined by how much they check on their children.

Wally’s Dream Girl (1961, #146): Parental intervention must be tempered with common sense. Try to put yourself in your child’s shoes before making plans for them.

Mistaken Identity (1961, #147): When children lie, even not your own, they will eventually tell the truth and apologize.

The School Picture (1961, #148): Despite your best efforts, your children may disappoint you on occasion.

Community Chest (1961, #150): Parents can be tough, as long as they are fair to their children.

Beaver’s Rat (1961, #151): Sometimes if is necessary for parents to reverse their decisions. This is fine as long as an explanation is provided to the child.

Kite Day (1961, #152): Don’t disappoint your children even if they do it to you.

In The Soup (1961, #153): Always support and help your child, regardless of the situations they encounter.

Junior Fire Chief (1961, #154): Sometimes parents have to let children find out for themselves when they are making errors in judgment.

Beaver’s Doll Buggy (1961, #155): Parents have a responsibility to help their children out of embarrassing situations.

Substitute Father (1961, #156): If you have raised your children properly they can be counted on to be responsible individuals who know right from wrong, and can conduct themselves in an adult manner.

Wally’s Weekend Job (1961, #157): Don’t embarrass your children in front of their friends.

Wally’s Car (1961, #158): When children make mistakes, they can be trusted to do what they are told in order to rectify the situation.

One of The Boys (1961, #159): If children have been raised properly you can rely on them to make the right decision.

Beaver’s First Date (1961, #160): Don’t pair off children too soon. Remember they are just children.

Wally’s Big Date (1961, #161): Sometimes parents can’t interfere in their children’s lives. They must let children sort out problems on their own.

Wally Goes Steady (1961, #163): Parents must discourage thoughts of marriage if they think the child is too serious and too young.

Beaver’s Birthday (1961, #164): Parent’s have a responsibility to encourage thrift and saving money.

Summary

Parental Message/Technique

Frequency of Repetition

Percentage

Support, understand, trust and protect children

80

55.1%

Teach responsibility/promote sense of family.

79

54.4%

Admit parental errors/remember childhood/don’t make children afraid to approach parents

58

40.0%

Don’t interfere excessively/keep expectations in line with abilities

26

17.9%

Please Note: The parenting techniques fell into one of the four categories as listed above. However, in some instances the messages overlapped, and as a result some episodes are included in two classifications. The percentages are based on the 145 episodes viewed.

Appendix “H”: Relationships

Please Note: Establishing, and maintaining, satisfactory inter-personal relationships was a very important element of this television program. The most important relationship being that between husband and wife. In the course of viewing these programs, it became apparent that Ward and June had clearly defined roles in terms of providing parental guidance to their offspring. In their relationship it was usually June who identified troublesome situations and brought them to Ward’s attention. Ward was then expected to deliver the advice, or discipline, necessary to resolve the situation. While both parents had the same aspirations in terms of providing a proper upbringing, there were occasions where they had differing points of view regarding the proper course to follow to achieve the anticipate results. This chart is intended to show the frequency with which situations were identified by a specific partner; which parent administered the advice/discipline; the degree of consensus and also, which parental viewpoint prevailed when Ward and June had a difference of opinion.

Legend

Situation Identified: This indicates who identified the problem, or had the situation requiring parental input brought to their attention. (W & J) indicates the problem was presented to both parents simultaneously.)

Disciplinarian: This indicates who delivered the lecture, or imposed the punishment when the boys misbehaved.

Solution Adopted: This category shows which parental opinion prevailed when Ward and June had a difference of opinion.

Note: If there was not difference of opinion, the following is recorded in the “Solution Adopted” column.

N/A – 1: No difference of opinion between Ward and June.

N/A – 2: The problem was resolved by outside forces. As an example, in episode 006 “Part-Time Genius”, Ward and June had different opinions about letting Beaver attend school for exceptional children. However, the matter was resolved for them when they learned the I.Q. test results belonged to another student.

N/A – 3: Only one parent involved. There were only a few programs in which Ward and June were left to their own devices to solve problems. As examples, in episode 012 “Beaver’s Short Pants”, June was out of town helping her sister with a new baby, and in episode 156, “Substitute Father”, Ward was away on a business trip.