LEAVE IT TO BEAVER:
THE COMPLETE SERIES
QUICK DVD STATS:
- Number of Episodes -- 234 (Plus the Original Pilot Episode)
- Number of Discs -- 37 (Single-Sided)
- Video -- 1.33:1 Full Frame (B&W)
- Audio -- Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English only)
- Subtitles? -- No (But each of the episodes is Closed Captioned in English)
- "Play All" Option? -- Yes
- Any Bonus Stuff? -- Heck, yes! (Details below)
- Are These Episodes Complete and Unedited? -- Yes! (With a minor "but"*)
- DVD Distributor -- Shout! Factory (The set is copyrighted by NBC Universal)
- DVD Release Date -- June 29, 2010
- MSRP -- $199.99
On June 29, 2010, a very pleasant thing happened -- something that many people probably didn't think would ever happen in their lifetime -- Shout! Factory released to the public "LEAVE IT TO BEAVER: THE COMPLETE SERIES", a spectacular 37-Disc DVD collection that includes all 234 episodes of what I consider to be one of the best and most rewatchable television series of all-time.
And Shout! has treated The Beav with expert care too, make no mistake about that fact. These 234 shows (plus the pilot episode, entitled "It's A Small World", which is also included in this mega-set) look and sound fantastic on these DVDs.
To quote Brian Ward, the producer of this DVD collection, who spent a good deal of time helping make this Complete Series LITB set a reality:
"These episodes are complete and look better than you've ever seen them before. They've been restored and remastered from the original film elements. I've honestly never seen 50s television look this good. For those that bought the original seasons 1 & 2 released a couple years ago, these are leagues above those transfers. They really are something." -- Brian Ward of Shout! Factory; January 27, 2010
These shows do, indeed, look gorgeous on these DVDs, but I will add this note about the video quality --- The majority of the episodes in Season 1 and Season 2 of this set appear to me to have pretty close to the same video quality as the Universal DVD releases of those two seasons which came out in November 2005 and May 2006.
Those two Universal sets have very good overall picture quality too, but many of the scenes that were filmed indoors are peppered with an abundance of grain. The scenes shot outdoors, however, look perfect and free of almost all grain.
This Shout! set mirrors those Universal video characteristics for the first two seasons, with some of the "indoors" footage being speckled with much more film grain than is found in any of the last four seasons. There are exceptions to this though, with two exceptions being the first-year episodes "Brotherly Love" and "Beaver's Short Pants", which look better in this Shout! set than they do in the 2005 Universal release, with less grain visible in the Shout! versions.
Some of the shows from Season 1 also look darker on the Shout! DVDs when compared to the Universal edition, particularly the episode "Captain Jack", which is way too dark in the Shout! set. So it would certainly seem as though Shout! has not used the exact same prints of the shows that Universal worked with in 2005.
But once I got to Season 3 of this Shout! set -- WOW! Simply magnificent in all respects! Almost all of the grain in every episode has been completely eliminated for the final four seasons. It's remarkable how blemish-free these new high-definition DVD prints look. Almost as if they were filmed yesterday. They look that good.
One of the things that I immediately noticed when watching some of the episodes from Seasons 3 through 6 (which were filmed after the Cleavers moved into their new house on Pine Street in Mayfield) was the chair in the living room, the one in which dad Ward Cleaver is often seen sitting while reading the newspaper.
The chair's bold and unique fabric looks particularly bright on these remastered DVDs. The pattern practically jumps right off the screen, illustrating just how sensational these DVD transfers really are. It might even be a good idea to wear sunglasses when watching those living-room scenes from now on. :)
A couple of footnotes concerning the "grain" topic -- I contacted Universal Studios Home Entertainment in 2006 and asked them why their LITB DVDs had so much grain in them when compared to other filmed television programs from that same 1950s era. The response I received on July 6, 2006 (which can be read HERE) was not exactly satisfying to me in all respects, and it left me still scratching my head a little bit about this "grain" issue.
And now that I see that virtually all of the annoying speckles of grain in Seasons 3 through 6 of Leave It To Beaver have been cleaned up, I'm left even more perplexed than I was in 2006 concerning the matter of "grain removal". Oh, well. I've scratched my head enough. I'm just going to enjoy the pristine nature of these Shout! DVDs. :)
DVD producer Brian Ward just might have hit on the correct answer when discussing the "grain" topic with me at the Shout! Factory message board:
"The 'mystery' is why [Seasons] 3-6 look cleaner. The more and more I research it, the more I'm convinced that Republic--responsible for the first two seasons--simply used a different stock. Precisely one of the differences between a big studio motion picture and something from, say, Roger Corman's library." -- B. Ward; June 30, 2010
Anyhow, with or without grain, the highest praise I can muster goes out to the Shout! people for taking the time and effort to do this classic TV sitcom the "DVD justice" it richly deserves.
And each episode is presented complete and uncut, just as they were originally aired on network television in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The average length per episode is about 25 minutes and 45 seconds.
A few episodes clock in at about 24:55. But then there are still others that exceed 26 minutes. So, I think it's probably safe to say that these episodes are just about as complete as we're ever going to get.
And Brian Ward of Shout! Factory has also assured fans that all of the episodes in this set are uncut -- "The episodes are complete" were Mr. Ward's exact words on May 26, 2010 (via a post Brian made at the Shout! Factory Community Forum).
* = There is, however, one small section of one episode that is missing. And I'd be willing to bet that it's missing by pure accident. It's the preview (or "teaser") that was originally aired at the very beginning of the episode "The Black Eye". That short preview, narrated by Hugh Beaumont (which is when we hear Hugh say, "And that's our story tonight on Leave It To Beaver"), is nowhere to be found in this Shout! set. It is there, however, in the Universal 2005 DVD set.
The reason I said it's missing by "accident" is because of the way the order of most of the show openings for Season One have been rearranged. The short preview scenes that were part of the first-year episodes were (I think) originally aired PRIOR to the opening titles. That's the way they are presented in the 2005 Universal DVD set anyway.
But in this Shout! set, the majority of the preview clips are shown AFTER the opening credits. There are seven exceptions, however. The following seven episodes are presented as they originally aired, with the teaser coming prior to the opening titles: "Music Lesson", "The Perfect Father", "The State Vs. Beaver", "Beaver Runs Away", "Party Invitation", "The Bank Account", and "Lonesome Beaver".
This is a real mystery to me. I can't figure out why in the world the people who were responsible for remastering these episodes would have decided to reverse the order of the teasers and opening credits for about 80% of the first-season episodes in seemingly willy-nilly fashion, while choosing at the same time to leave the teasers where they should be in the first place (at the very beginning of the show) on 7 of the 39 episodes. It doesn't make a bit of sense. It almost looks like somebody at NBC Universal was being deliberately spiteful. [READ MORE HERE.]
Anyway, my guess would be that when someone was fiddling around with the chronology of most of these show-opening segments, somehow the preview/teaser clip for the "Black Eye" episode was never re-inserted and was inadvertently cut out completely.
[EDIT: On July 2, 2010, I confirmed beyond all doubt that the first-season teasers/previews were shown prior to the main titles when the episodes originally aired on CBS in 1957 and 1958. HERE'S the confirmation.]
Here's another oddity that I noticed about the first-season previews -- In the Shout! set, the preview segment for the episode "Brotherly Love" is completely different from the one that can be found on the 2005 DVD. The narration by Hugh Beaumont is identical in both DVD versions, but the video is totally different. Weird, huh? I had no idea that more than one teaser segment existed for any of the episodes in Season 1. (It kind of makes the 2005 Universal DVD set for the first season of LITB seem a tad more valuable now, since there's something unique about a portion of it.)
The people at Shout! Factory have permitted a few previews of this Leave It To Beaver collection to be put on the Internet, so that potential customers can get a glance at how really spectacular these episodes look on these DVDs. TVShowsOnDVD.com has posted several of the free previews HERE.
The price of this LITB set is certainly something to celebrate too. Even if I had to pay the full retail price of $199.99 for this mega-set, it would still have been worth it.
At the full $199.99 price, the cost comes out to just 85 cents per episode. And at the discount price I paid (which was only $113.89 via a pre-order that I placed at DeepDiscount.com on June 8, 2010), each Beaver installment cost me less than 49 cents! (And that price doesn't even factor in the extra disc of bonus material.)
I doubt that even the cheapest of cheapskates could complain about the cost of this
DVD collection. Even tightfisted Jack Benny would have appreciated this Beaver bargain. :)
NOTE -- Shortly after posting this review, I received a very nice e-mail from Stu Shostak, who had a hand in making this Shout! DVD collection become a reality and is responsible for some of the set's bonus material. Stu offered up some excellent tidbits of information concerning the picture-quality issues connected with the LITB episodes from the first two seasons of the series. With his permission, I've posted my e-mail exchanges with Mr. Shostak -- HERE.
Leave It To Beaver premiered on CBS-TV on Friday, October 4, 1957, and continued on network television for a total of six seasons, with the final episode airing on June 20, 1963. Each of the six seasons consisted of exactly 39 episodes, a hefty number when compared to current seasonal standards.
CBS carried the show for the first season only. For the final five years, "Beaver" was a part of the ABC-TV schedule. All of the episodes were filmed in black-and-white, with the first two seasons being filmed at Republic Pictures Studios, while the last four years were produced on the much larger backlot at Universal City.
The Leave It To Beaver storylines were always very simple and uncomplicated, which is probably a big reason why it is so charming and appealing. No major earth-shattering disasters ever befall the Cleavers. Nobody ever gets hurt (except an occasional scraped knee), the parents (Ward and June) rarely fight about anything serious and never threaten to leave each other, and above all, these characters really seemed to care about each other, without getting too sappy about it.
All of the above-mentioned traits helped make Leave It To Beaver what it was each week in 1957, and what I believe it remains today: a good, clean, fun, uncomplicated half-hour of entertaining television.
Starring Jerry Mathers as Theodore (Beaver) Cleaver, Tony Dow as his brother Wally, Barbara Billingsley as June, and Hugh Beaumont as Ward, the excellent cast of Leave It To Beaver was a well-chosen group in my opinion.
While it's true, I suppose, that the acting was a bit on the "stiff" side on many occasions, I still think that this ensemble did quite well on this show. A sense of true believability and realism finds its way quite comfortably into each of these episodes.
Toss into this cast grouping the very funny Richard Deacon, who portrayed Ward's friend and co-worker, Fred Rutherford, plus Ken Osmond as the ever-sarcastic Eddie Haskell, Frank Bank as Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford, Rusty Stevens as Larry Mondello, and all of Beaver's and Wally's other various friends, classmates, and schoolteachers, and you've got a really first-rate supporting cast of characters to build stories around.
Right out of the gate in Season 1, a whole bunch of top-notch episodes are on tap, with some of my favorites from the first year being: "The Black Eye", "Tenting Tonight", "Beaver's Short Pants", "Party Invitation", "The Bank Account", "Train Trip", "The Perfect Father", "Beaver Runs Away", and my #1 fave from the rookie season, "The Haircut", which has Beaver getting scalped by barber Wally in one of the funniest episodes of the whole series.
There's also the funny "Captain Jack" episode -- which was the very first show to be filmed; but was the second program to be aired. "Captain Jack" has Wally and Beaver sending away for a pet alligator, and includes the very funny scene where Minerva (the maid who is never seen again in the series) comes running up the basement stairs screaming "Help! A monster! There's an alligator in the basement!" .... This is followed by Ward's skeptical -- "An alligator?" (LOL.)
"Captain Jack" also has the distinction of being the very first episode in television history to show a toilet on screen. (The "tank" portion of the Cleaver toilet is shown, not the [~gasp!~] "bowl" itself.) :-)
In fact, it was the "toilet" scene in "Captain Jack" that kept that episode from being aired by CBS as the debut show of the series in late 1957. But LITB show executives, including writers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher (who authored a great number of the episodes during LITB's six-year history, including "Captain Jack"), stuck by their guns and won the "toilet battle" with CBS bigwigs, and thus "Captain Jack" (toilet scene intact) was approved for network broadcast one week later, being aired on October 11, 1957, as Leave It To Beaver episode #2.
And yet another winning Season-One entry is entitled simply "Lumpy Rutherford" -- where we get our first look at Clarence Rutherford, known to most people as "Lumpy" (or "The Lump"). You'll note how Lumpy goes from being one of Wally's feared enemies to one of his best friends as the series progresses.
The famous Leave It To Beaver opening theme was composed by Dave Kahn (who was interviewed briefly for one of the bonus featurettes in this DVD set). The title song written by Kahn is called "The Toy Parade", and it went through two versions during the six-year lifespan of LITB. The original version composed by Kahn is heard at the beginning of every episode in Seasons 1 through 5. The theme was then given a facelift and was pepped up for Season 6, with a much jazzier instrumental arrangement being used during that final year of the series. I, myself, kind of like both versions of Kahn's theme song. Each rendition has its own individual appeal.
Some people might not realize it, but Peter Rugolo, the composer who wrote much of the incomparable music for the 1963-1967 TV series The Fugitive, also wrote some original music for Leave It To Beaver.
I have no idea exactly what music cues he wrote for the show, but information at IMDb.com says that Rugolo composed music for these episodes of LITB during the final season of the series in 1962 and 1963.
The background music in the LITB episodes is another thing that is just perfect about this television series. I think all of the music fits the show to a tee.
It even seems to me that the music "matures" right along with Wally and Theodore as the series progresses into its later years. The background musical themes and cues that were used for Seasons 1 and 2 would not sound quite right in the later seasons, but it is ideally suited for the first two years.
For example, take the music that is used for the first-season episode "Water, Anyone?". When I watch that episode, I always feel as though I have climbed into a time machine and have travelled back to 1957. I am then immersed in the Cleavers' world on a hot, summer day in the mythical town of Mayfield. And the music seems to add a great deal to the "immersion".
The background music in the first couple of seasons wasn't written specifically for Leave It To Beaver, however. Much of that same music can also be heard throughout many episodes of the Universal-produced TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which always seems a little weird when I hear it on that show, because Hitchcock's series and Leave It To Beaver are about as opposite as you can get. But Hitch very often had his tongue in his cheek, which is no doubt why he chose to use some "lighter" (comical) music in his TV series all about murder and mayhem.
And some of the Beaver music is included in the first season of Hitchcock's series, which dates back to 1955, two years before Leave It To Beaver ever made it to American television screens.
So, apparently when LITB came down the pike at Republic Studios in 1957, they merely grabbed some stock music from the nearby Universal Studios music library and used that for a lot of the incidental musical material.
But, regardless of where the music came from, somebody made a good choice, because Beaver wouldn't seem like Beaver without its well-placed background music (particularly in the first two seasons).
As mentioned, the original Leave It To Beaver pilot episode ("It's A Small World"), which originally aired on April 23, 1957, has also been included in this Shout! set. It was first aired as an installment of the syndicated anthology program Studio 57. And it's a darn good pilot too, in my opinion, with a good storyline (unlike a lot of other series-launching pilots).
I know that a lot of people don't particularly like the Beaver pilot very much, but I myself think it's a pretty good show, which does a nice job of introducing the series and the characters. I actually find myself returning to watch this pilot show quite a bit.
I will say, though, that it would have been nice if Hugh Beaumont could have been included in the pilot's cast too. His presence would certainly have made it a better program, to be sure. Because Hugh's portrayal of Ward Cleaver will live on forever as one of the top "TV dad" performances there ever was.
Both Barbara Billingsley and Jerry Mathers co-star in the "Small World" pilot, but different actors played the parts of Wally and Ward. Paul Sullivan portrayed Wally and Casey Adams (aka Max Showalter) filled Ward's shoes.
A 13-year-old Harry Shearer (famed voice actor on The Simpsons) also was featured in the cast of the pilot episode. It's a small part for Shearer, but he was very good as "Frankie Bennett", an Eddie Haskell-like smart-aleck. I was impressed by the naturalness of Harry's performance.
Leave It To Beaver veterans Richard Deacon and Diane Brewster are also part of the "Small World" cast, although not in the same roles that they ended up playing in the series. Deacon's part, in fact, is a fairly extensive one, as an executive for the "Franklin Milk Company".
Some of my other favorite episodes from Seasons 2 through 6 are listed below. You'll notice a preponderance of episodes centering on Wally here, especially in Seasons 5 and 6. The shows that focused primarily on Wally and his friends in the latter years of the series are, in my view, a tad bit better than the "Beaver"-oriented shows from those same seasons.
The writers/producers of the series, Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, obviously realized that Tony Dow was becoming somewhat of a teen heartthrob, and therefore wrote many episodes featuring Wally as the center of attention during the last two or three seasons:
Season 2 --- "Happy Weekend", "Wally's Haircomb", "The Shave", "Wally's New Suit", and "Most Interesting Character".
Season 3 --- "Teacher Comes To Dinner", "Beaver Takes A Bath", "Larry Hides Out", "Ward's Baseball", and "Beaver Takes A Walk".
Season 4 --- "Eddie Spends The Night", "In The Soup", "Beaver Won't Eat", "Wally And Dudley", and "Chuckie's New Shoes".
Season 5 --- "Wally's Car", "Wally's Chauffeur", "Wally's Big Date", "Wally Stays At Lumpy's", and "Beaver's Long Night".
Season 6 --- "Wally's Dinner Date", "Wally's Practical Joke", "The All-Night Party", "Wally's License", and "Wally's Car Accident".
Shout! Factory has produced an entire disc of supplemental bonus material for this monster-sized DVD collection, and there's some very good stuff in here too. Let's have a gander:
- "It's A Small World" -- The original Leave It To Beaver pilot episode (discussed earlier). Running time: 25:07.
- "Forever The Beaver: The Cleavers Look Back" -- This is a 74-minute featurette made in 2005, with some of the cast members from the show (Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow, and Barbara Billingsley) looking back on the series. Some interesting nuggets of information are revealed in this documentary program. There's no shortage of remembrances here. Also featured in this bonus is Brian Levant, one of the co-creators of The New Leave It To Beaver (aka Still The Beaver) TV series, which was produced in the 1980s.
- "Ken Osmond And Frank Bank Remember" -- This featurette, which was made in April 2010, allows us to visit with two members of the LITB cast who weren't part of the "Forever The Beaver" program -- Ken Osmond and Frank Bank. Running time: 29:54.
- "The Drum Major Of The Toy Parade: A Conversation With Dave Kahn" -- Dave Kahn, the composer of the Leave It To Beaver theme song, is interviewed in late 2004 or 2005. Kahn was 94 at the time of this very brief interview. He passed away in July 2008. The person conducting this interview is Tony Dow. And Tony makes a mistake when he says that Kahn's theme song (entitled "The Toy Parade") was jazzed up in the third season of the LITB series. But it wasn't until the sixth and final year of the show that the "jazzing up" of Mr. Kahn's famous theme song was done for the opening and closing credits. The length of this bonus supplement is 3:16. I'm not quite sure why the Shout! producers even bothered putting this mini-featurette on the DVD. There isn't very much of substance here at all. But it's still nice being able to hear from a person who was involved in the LITB creative process, Mr. Kahn, who is someone we would never get a chance to see or hear if not for this DVD set.
- U.S. Treasury Film -- This bonus is sort of a "mini" episode of Leave It To Beaver. It was produced during the third season of the series, in cooperation with the United States Treasury Department. Beaver learns a valuable lesson about saving money in this rarely-seen 15-minute advertisement for U.S. Savings Bonds. This program hasn't been restored or remastered like the other episodes in this boxed set, so the video quality is a little rough around the edges. It also doesn't include a laugh track, and the absence of such a track here serves to emphasize the importance and necessity of the "canned" laughs that we hear throughout all of the regular episodes in this series. Because after hearing an episode without any laughs at all, it becomes painfully obvious that those laughs coming from a "canned" audience are definitely better than hearing dead silence instead.
- Original Promos -- Two ABC-TV promotional ads for LITB. Some episode clips from various seasons of the show are included in these two brief television ads. And watch out for an alternate take of a scene from the fifth-season episode "Wally's Weekend Job". When Wally is getting chewed out by Mary Ellen Roger's father, LITB aficionados will instantly be able to tell that the dialogue being spoken is from a different take of that scene which ended up on the cutting-room floor. The picture quality for these ABC promos is really terrible. No cleaning up of this material was done at all (which is understandable, since these TV ads are merely a bonus anyway). But when watching how these promos have deteriorated as they have, it makes you appreciate the exceptional quality of the episodes in this set. The running time for these two promos is 2:01.
- DVD Trailers -- A collection of promo spots for some other TV-on-DVD sets marketed by Shout! Factory. These same promos/trailers are also on Disc 1 of each of the six seasons in this Complete Series set (but they can easily be skipped on those six discs by pressing the Menu button).
- Another cool bonus included in this collector's set is a very unique and rare item -- a replica of an original board game called the "Leave It To Beaver Money Maker Game". The paper replica of the game, which looks just like what is seen in the picture below, comes folded and tucked underneath the tabs that are affixed to the inside front cover of the slim plastic case reserved for the "Bonus Features".
In addition to the full disc of extra stuff, there are also six radio shows included in this massive DVD set too (one show per individual season set). These radio programs all come from Shokus Internet Radio and are all episodes of "Stu's Show", which is an online program hosted by Stu Shostak. Stu is the owner and operator of Shokus Video and Shokus Internet Radio.
Shostak's show regularly features guests from the world of 1950s and 1960s television, including several shows with LITB cast members, six of which can be found scattered throughout this DVD mega-set. Most of the radio programs in this set are pretty lengthy too, running for about 1 hour and 45 minutes each.
Go HERE for download links to all of Stu's archived Internet radio programs, dating back to his first show in December 2006.
This Shout! LITB set, in some ways, comes pretty close to a "Dream DVD Set" that I fantasized about in 2005 when I wrote THIS REVIEW AT AMAZON.COM. Maybe miracles do sometimes come true. That Amazon article seems kind of eerie now. :)
Unfortunately, there aren't any bloopers or outtakes to be found among this DVD set's bonus material (I don't think any kind of a gag reel even exists for the original LITB series), but I've got the next best thing in the video below -- eight minutes of bloopers from The New Leave It To Beaver series from the 1980s. Several of these gaffes provide some pretty large belly laughs, too. And take note of how remarkably good Barbara Billingsley looks in these clips, at age 68:
The packaging that Shout! has put together for this LITB Complete Series set is very nicely done, adding just one more element of "near perfection" to this outstanding DVD release.
The outer slipcase box is fairly thick and sturdy, and it looks cool too. The way Beaver seems to be snagging "The Complete Series" with his fishing pole is a clever design. HERE is a picture of the back side of the slipcase.
Each of the six individual seasons has its own case, with all six seasons then sliding comfortably (but not too tightly) inside the outer slipcase box. The one disc full of bonus material is housed in a separate plastic "slim" case.
The individual season cases are standard-sized (half-inch wide) Amaray type plastic keepcases, which means that this set has a fairly small overall footprint on your shelf (considering there are 234 episodes, plus a disc of extras, contained in this box). The total width of the whole package is just a shade under 4 inches [PHOTO].
The discs in each of the six seasonal cases (which are all single-sided! Yay!) are colorful and are arranged nicely too, in that the DVDs don't overlap one another at all. There are two swinging "leaf" pages hinged to the center of each plastic case, with each of these pages holding two discs (one on each side of the page/leaf). Discs 1 and 6 are attached to trays that rest in the front and back covers of the case.
Each of the seasons features a different promotional picture on the front of the plastic case and on the six discs within that set.
The only bad thing about this packaging, IMO, is that many of the discs are very difficult to remove from their trays (or hubs). And while I certainly appreciate the fact that this set arrived without a single "floating disc" (i.e., none of the DVDs came off their hubs during shipping), a lot of these babies are really tight, especially Discs #1 and #6 of each season. Some of the discs are easier to remove than others, however. Perhaps they will loosen up after being removed from their trays over a period of time. I hope so. Because the death grip that currently has ahold of these discs just might be enough to make docile June Cleaver scream out loud. :)
[EDIT: I can confirm that the discs do, indeed, loosen up somewhat after being taken out of the cases a few times. June would be pleased. She's not screaming as loudly now.]
For a few additional laughs concerning the all-important topics of "hubs" and "floaters" as they relate (sort of) to this Beaver DVD set, go HERE.
A 12-page booklet is included for each of the six individual seasonal sets, which is kind of a "bonus" unto itself, since a lot of DVD products have gone "paperless" entirely nowadays.
The six booklets, like the rest of this collection, are attractive and nicely put together too, with information about all 39 episodes for each individual season, including writing and director credits, show descriptions, and original airdates for each episode. Plus, the booklets are sprinkled with a few LITB publicity photos too.
I would have liked it if Shout! had also included a quick-reference episode guide on the back cover of each of the six seasonal cases. Such an "at-a-glance" type of guide (like this one that I created for this LITB set) comes in mighty handy for quickly locating an episode on a particular disc, in my opinion. But, I guess you can't have everything. But Shout! comes mighty close with this DVD set, though.
The menu structure for these DVDs is pretty simple and non-gimmicky, which is always a good thing (IMO). All of the menus are laid out in a "wet cement" fashion, giving the impression that all of the words on the screen have been written in wet cement (to mimic the opening titles from Season 1 of the series).
The main menu and all of the sub-menus have the Leave It To Beaver theme music playing in the background, and it plays on a continuous loop. I'd prefer silent menus myself, or possibly a one-time playing of the music and then silence. [More Menu Music Talk.]
Each disc's main menu is adorned with various promotional pictures taken from the individual season contained on that disc.
There are sub-menus for "Episodes" and "Bonus Feature". The "Bonus Feature" option only appears on Disc #1 for each season (the single bonus item on those discs is one of the radio shows mentioned previously). There are 6 or 7 episodes per disc.
All discs include a "Play All Episodes" option. From the main menu, this continuous playback feature is simply labeled "Play". From the Episodes sub-menu, it's listed as "Play All".
A few chapter breaks have been inserted for each episode, and they are nicely placed, including a break right after the opening credits, which is always a good place to put a chapter stop, IMO, allowing a quick bypass of the main titles in order to get right to the beginning of an episode.
Following is a batch of Leave It To Beaver trivia (and "quotes") that Beaver fans might find useful and/or entertaining:
THE OPENING TITLES:
A brand-new main titles sequence was filmed for each of the six Leave It To Beaver seasons. In case you can't remember all of them, here's a brief description of the six different openings:
Season 1 --- The "Handprints In Wet Cement" opening.
Season 2 --- Ward and June meet the boys at the bottom of the staircase.
Season 3 --- Ward and June enter the boys' bedroom, awakening them for school. (The first season in the "new" house at 211 Pine Street; Mayfield USA.)
Season 4 --- Ward and June hand the boys their coats on the front porch.
Season 5 --- "Yard Work" (featuring June presenting a tray of ice-cold homemade lemonade for her hard-working crew of three men in the front yard). This is the worst opening, IMO, which also features the "Magical Closing Front Door" after June exits the house with her tray of beverage delights. Perhaps Eddie Haskell was inside to serve as "doorman" or something. I only hope somebody gave this opening's creator "The Business" for producing such an opening-credits sequence, which comes complete with Beaver's delightfully-fake "lip licking" in anticipation of receiving a glass of June's ice-cold beverage. :)
Season 6 --- The 1962-1963 "jazzed up" beginning, with everybody running toward Ward's brand-new '62 Plymouth Fury four-door sedan.
Leave It To Beaver had its fair share of laugh-out-loud lines of dialogue during its 6-year duration on network TV. Here are some of my favorite bits of LITB humor (and a whole lot of additional funny dialogue can be found later in this blog when I list all of the episodes in the series):
EDDIE HASKELL -- "Good morning, Mrs. Cleaver! Gee, Mrs. Cleaver, your kitchen always looks so clean. My mother says it looks as though you never do any work in here."
FRED RUTHERFORD -- "Oh, you don't have to worry about Clarence's driving, Ward. When it comes to brains, he's got a head on him like the Rock of Gibraltar."
JUNE -- "Do you have room in your suitcase for my shoes?"
WARD -- "Yeah, I guess so. What's the matter with your suitcase?"
JUNE -- "Well, I don't want to jam them in with my dresses."
WARD -- "Oh, of course not. Maybe you could wrap them in one of my clean shirts."
WALLY -- "Gee, dad...we didn't mean to get Mr. Rutherford [with the 'barrel hoops']."
BEAVER -- "Yeah, we hollered 'meathead' and he came runnin' out."
JUNE -- "Ward, what happened at the office today?"
WARD -- "Well, one of the office jokers put pencil shavings in Fred Rutherford's instant-coffee jar."
JUNE -- "Did Fred think that was funny?"
WARD -- "No -- he never noticed."
WARD -- "Oh, my comment [about hairstyles] wasn't referring to you dear -- your hair looks like it never saw a curler."
JUNE -- "Who's Cornelia Rayburn, and when did she see YOU off your feet?!"
JUNE -- "Ward, why don't you ever bring me flowers?"
WARD -- "I'm the kind that says it with seat covers."
JUNE -- "Honestly, Ward, he [Wally] just looks like a...a...a GANGSTER! The next thing you know he's going to be wearing a leather jacket and motorcycle boots!"
WARD -- "Remember when Beaver had to have that football helmet? I paid six dollars for it. Two days later he gave it to the milkman in case he had a head-on collision."
WARD -- "How can you try too hard to be a good parent?!"
JUNE -- "I don't know, but it looks like you've mastered it."
WARD -- "Well, Duke, is Mayfield going to have another good basketball team next year?"
DUKE HATHAWAY -- "Oh, I don't think so Mr. Cleaver -- I'm graduating."
WALLY -- "Heck, if a girl called up here, you wouldn't tell her I was taking a bath, would ya?"
WARD -- "Well, with the number of baths you take, I don't think the risk is very great."
EDDIE -- "...The way he looks at me when he opens the door. Sometimes I think he'd be happier to see Khrushchev standing there."
MRS. HANSON (Alma's Mother) -- "Mrs. Cleaver, I hope we didn't keep you away from your dishes."
JUNE -- "Not at all -- they're used to being alone!"
JUNE -- "Well, [Ward], just because you were a hoodlum when you were young is no reason to have my babies travelling around the countryside like a couple of gypsies!!"
WARD -- "Oooh, that Eddie Haskell!!"
JUNE -- "Just for that, I'm going to put mayonnaise on his sandwich!"
WARD -- "That's my girl."
WARD -- "Hey June, Beaver just told me that Wally intercepted a pass today and ran for a touchdown!"
JUNE -- "Oh no Ward! Now they'll probably want him to play ALL the time!"
JUNE -- "Well, Beaver, did you have a good day today?"
BEAVER -- "No -- I went to school."
JUNE -- "I hope Beaver had something to eat over at the Mondellos."
WALLY -- "I wouldn't worry about that, mom. Every time you go over there, somebody's always eating."
JUNE -- "Ward, sometimes I think you like to stay late down at that office."
WARD -- "Oh sure. It's a regular 24-hour Mardi Gras down there."
WALLY -- "Women are funny -- maybe they like to smell like old catcher's mitts."
EDDIE -- "Athletics are fine, Mr. Cleaver. Of course, my father prefers me to develop in a normal manner."
WALLY -- "Gee, mom, the way they fix ladies' hair nowadays, you can't tell whether they've been to the beauty parlor or just standing around in the wind."
WALLY -- "You know, Lumpy, your whole tailpipe is wired up with a coat hanger."
LUMPY -- "Yeah, I did that to pass the safety inspection."
Another interesting topic that can be used for "LITB List Making" is "Wally's Girlfriends".
My favorites would be both Mary Ellen and Julie -- a dead heat for "Top Doll" (aka: "Wally's Top Babes"). :-)
Here's a relatively complete list of girls whom Wallace Cleaver was associated with throughout the LITB series:
- Mary Ellen Rogers (Played by Pamela Baird).
- Julie Foster (Cheryl Holdridge).
- Gloria Cusick (also played by Cheryl Holdridge).
- Carolyn Stewart (Vickie Albright).
- Evelyn Boothby (Mary Mitchel).
- Margie Manners (Candy Moore).
- Alma Hanson (Carol Sydes).
- Penny Jamison (also portrayed by Carol Sydes).
- Kitty Bannerman (Bernadette Withers).
- Kathy Gregory (Carole Wells).
- Lori Ann (Brenda Scott).
- Gail Preston (Laraine Stephens).
- Ginny Townsend (Linda Bennett).
- Caroline Cunningham (Karen Green).
- Shirley Fletcher (Beverly Lunsford).
Judy, played by Barbara Parkins. Judy can't really (officially) be considered one of "Wally's Girls", but he did make goo-goo eyes at her in one episode in Season 5.
Carole Martin, a tennis player (played by Cindy Robbins) who took Wally "for a ride" in order to lure her real boyfriend back into her scheming arms. That vixen! She doesn't deserve the likes of a Wallace Cleaver!
Marlene Holmes (Diane Sayer). This girl, from "the wrong side of the tracks" -- who drank beer and smoked cigarettes (that tramp!!) -- gave Wally, to my knowledge, his only on-screen kiss; and a beaut it was, which took Wally by surprise as he uttered, after the sensuous smooch, a shocked "Goll-y!!".
QUICK-REFERENCE EPISODE GUIDE:
Click on the image below for a larger view of my Leave It To Beaver DVD quick-reference episode guide. And for an even bigger version of the guide, CLICK HERE.
THE EPISODES (YES, ALL OF 'EM!):
Below is a list of all 234 Leave It To Beaver episodes that can be found in this Complete Series DVD collection. Some of my own personal thoughts about many of these shows are thrown in for good measure, and a whole lot of quotes from the episodes too.
Plus, I've included the episode numbers and original network airdates. And if you click on the episode titles, you'll see a photo from that particular LITB show (except for a few episodes where pictures were not available).
Shout! Factory has presented all of these episodes in their original "Airdate" order. .....
SEASON ONE (1957-1958):
1. "Beaver Gets 'Spelled" (First Aired: October 4, 1957) -- This very first Leave It To Beaver episode has little Theodore (aka: "The Beaver") terribly upset after he's given a note to take home from school. Watch for the very funny (and somewhat racy, for 1957 standards) dialogue exchange between June and Ward after June receives some flowers from Beaver's school principal that were really meant for Ward as a 'get-well' gift. June asks her hubby, suspiciously: "Who's Cornelia Rayburn, and when did she see YOU off your feet?!" ~ROFL!~ .... Leave It To Beaver shared its premiere date with another historic "first" -- the Russians launched the first Earth-orbiting satellite ("Sputnik 1") on the very same day, 10/4/57. It's up to you to decide which event was the most significant -- Beaver's debut or Sputnik's? :>)
2. "Captain Jack" (October 11, 1957) -- Via a magazine ad, the boys send away for a "Genuine Florida Everglades Alligator" for $2.50. .... WARD: "You know, the little fella didn't actually bite me; he kind of 'sawed' at me!"
3. "The Black Eye" (October 18, 1957) -- WARD: "You mean a GIRL gave Beaver that black eye? .... And I practically sent him over there to annihilate her!"
4. "The Haircut" (October 25, 1957) -- This is an episode filled with laugh-out-loud moments, after Beaver loses his haircut money and decides to perform the hair-trimming himself (with a little help from brother Wallace). .... JUNE: "Do you have to wear those awful caps night and day for a whole week?" BEAVER: "That oughta do it!"
5. "New Neighbors" (November 1, 1957) -- BEAVER: "Dad, have you ever kissed any other married women besides mom? I guess a guy could get in a lot of trouble doing that, huh?" WARD [smiling]: "He sure could." .... Watch for Phyllis Coates (the first "Lois Lane" on the Superman TV series) in this episode. When she plants a kiss on Beaver's cheek, all heck breaks loose!
6. "Brotherly Love" (November 8, 1957)
7. "Water, Anyone?" (November 15, 1957) -- WARD: "He's got a monopoly; he's practically operating a 'black water' market."
8. "Beaver's Crush" (November 22, 1957)
9. "The Clubhouse" (November 29, 1957)
10. "Wally's Girl Trouble" (December 6, 1957) -- This episode features Penny Jamison's hysterical scream (double meaning there) after Beaver gives Penny a toad as a gift. Penny's ear-piercing cries of anguish send Beaver running for the hills. ~LOL~
11. "Beaver's Short Pants" (December 13, 1957) -- Aunt Martha's visit means nothing but misery and suffering for poor Beaver. .... AUNT MARTHA: "Theodore, don't slump over your milk toast like that; you'll have curvature of the spine!"
12. "The Perfume Salesmen" (December 27, 1957) -- The boys try to peddle 24 bottles of awful-smelling perfume. .... WARD: "It kind of smells like an old first baseman's mitt I used to have."
13. "Voodoo Magic" (January 3, 1958) -- A fabulous episode in the LITB annals. Many hilarious moments, including the following quote. .... JUNE [speaking to Eddie Haskell's father]: "George, I just can't believe this [about the "voodoo curse" Beaver put on Eddie]. The Beaver is such a sweet little fellow. He likes everybody -- even Eddie!"
14. "Part-Time Genius" (January 10, 1958) -- BEAVER: "I think I'd like to be a garbage collector when I grow up. You don't have to wash your hands all the time, and nobody cares how you smell!"
15. "Party Invitation" (January 17, 1958) -- Beaver is forced to attend an "all-girl" party. (God help the lad!)
16. "Lumpy Rutherford" (January 24, 1958) -- This is the rib-tickling "Barrel Hoops" episode, with Wally & Beaver setting a trap for mean ol' Lumpy just outside his house. But Lumpy's father falls into the trap instead of "The Lump". June's excitedly-worried reaction to the boys' practical joke elicits another classic bit of dialogue from this great TV series --- "Ward, if my babies go to jail, it's going to be all your fault!!"
17. "The Paper Route" (January 31, 1958)
18. "Child Care" (February 7, 1958) -- It's yet another funny predicament for Wally & The Beav, when the boys are called upon to baby-sit while Ward and June go to a party. The boys have to call the fire department to extract young "Puddin'" from the bathroom she's managed to lock herself into. .... PUDDIN': "I want to see Mary Jane!!"
19. "The Bank Account" (February 14, 1958) -- This one's a real heart-tugger, as Wally and Beaver surprise their father with a very special gift.
20. "Lonesome Beaver" (February 28, 1958)
21. "Cleaning Up Beaver" (March 7, 1958)
22. "The Perfect Father" (March 14, 1958) -- WARD: "Oh, for Pete sake! I just put it up [the basketball backboard] for them to fool around with; I didn't think they were going to put a micrometer on it!" --- The early-season shows feature several "Ward tantrums", with this being one such funny example. Hugh Beaumont, as Ward Cleaver, was "The Perfect Father" choice for this TV series, if ya ask me.
23. "Beaver And Poncho" (March 21, 1958) -- Another episode that will leave a lump in your throat, with Beaver adopting the cutest little Chihuahua dog for a few days. .... BEAVER: "Wally says he's a bald-headed Mexican."
24. "The State Vs. Beaver" (March 26, 1958)
25. "The Broken Window" (April 2, 1958)
26. "Train Trip" (April 9, 1958)
27. "My Brother's Girl" (April 16, 1958) -- JUNE: "As a woman, I'm very proud of Mary Ellen! Why, if we women waited until you men were good and ready to settle down and raise families, this whole continent of America would be nothing but buffaloes, jack-rabbits, and grizzly bears!!" --- June gets in some good wisecracks of her own upon occasion (as can be seen here).
28. "Next-Door Indians" (April 23, 1958)
29. "Tenting Tonight" (April 30, 1958) -- The boys' 6-hour-long session at the movie theater sparks some quintessential angry "Ward-isms" in this episode. .... WARD: "You spent over six hours today sitting in that stuffy movie theater!!" BEAVER: "Yeah, they sure give ya a lot for your 35 cents, don't they?"
30. "Music Lesson" (May 7, 1958)
31. "New Doctor" (May 14, 1958)
32. "Beaver's Old Friend" (May 21, 1958)
33. "Wally's Job" (May 28, 1958) -- The non-complex stories continue (with more funny results) in this episode about, quite simply, painting the family garbage cans.
34. "Beaver's Bad Day" (June 4, 1958) -- Again, here we have another example of a super-simple premise (Beaver rips his pants; EGADS!), which rises to a very funny level in the hands of this adept cast. Ward's angry reaction when he thinks Beaver is feeding him a tall tale is a highlight here.
35. "Boarding School" (June 11, 1958)
36. "Beaver And Henry" (June 18, 1958) -- JUNE: "I hardly think that 'Henry' is the proper name for a rabbit in HER condition."
37. "Beaver Runs Away" (June 25, 1958) -- Another fine example of a LITB ep. that combines comedy with a healthy dose of sentimentality as well. Beaver drills two holes in the garage wall, which, naturally, displeases Ward quite a bit. Beaver decides to pack up and leave home after a run-in with his dad. The final scene here is quite touching and realistically portrayed.
38. "Beaver's Guest" (July 2, 1958) -- Beaver's best pal, Larry Mondello, stays overnight at the Cleaver abode. His visit is marred by a fight with Beaver and Larry's middle-of-the-night stomach ache that keeps the whole house awake half the night. .... WARD: "Oh, the way that boy ate! It was like watching a mongoose! I don't think I've ever seen anyone eat ketchup on corn before."
39. "Cat Out Of The Bag" (July 16, 1958) -- Season 1 ends with the boys getting into still more hot water when they lose the neighbor's cat that they're supposed to be looking after. .... WALLY: "Gee, dad, you're always saying I'm old enough to take care of 'The Beaver'. It shouldn't matter just because the cat is worth something."
SEASON TWO (1958-1959):
40. "Beaver's Poem" (October 2, 1958) -- Season Two opens with a very sweet and engaging episode, with Beaver having trouble writing a poem for a school assignment. Father Ward comes to the rescue and writes the poem for Beaver, which results in some trouble later on, when the poem wins a prize. This is a perfect "do your own homework" lesson for children; with Ward learning his "lesson" as well. The scenes where Ward scolds Beaver at the top of his lungs are hilarious here. And keep a sharp eye out for the several (very smoothly done) edits that were integrated into this season-opening show, with each edit (or "dub") revolving around the school "grade" that Beaver was supposed to be in at the time. The original filmed dialogue has the words "second grade" spoken by various cast members throughout the episode. But, on each of these occasions, the words "third grade" have been seamlessly dubbed into the script by the actors at a later date.
41. "Eddie's Girl" (October 9, 1958)
42. "Ward's Problem" (October 16, 1958) -- Sue Randall makes her first appearance as Beaver's new teacher, "Miss Landers".
43. "Beaver And Chuey" (October 23, 1958) -- This episode breaks a few language and cultural barriers, as Beaver makes a new friend, who just happens to be Spanish and speaks not a word of English. This show is written with just the right mix of humor and tenderness, with another of "life's little lessons" being learned through the eyes of Beaver Cleaver. .... To give you an idea of the impact that this particular LITB entry made on me -- I can't speak a speck of Spanish, except for the six-word insulting phrase that Eddie Haskell teaches Beaver to say to "Chuey" in this episode. Those six words flow off my tongue fluidly because of this program. The six words being: "Usted tiene una cara como puerco". Translation (to the chagrin of everyone concerned in this episode): "You have the face of a pig". More hilarity ensues when Ward asks Beaver what those words mean. Beaver's answer to his father: "I don't know dad; but whenever you say it, everybody leaves the room". ~LOL~
44. "The Lost Watch" (October 30, 1958)
45. "Her Idol" (November 6, 1958)
46. "Beaver's Ring" (November 13, 1958) -- Beaver learns yet another of life's many lessons after getting a ring stuck on his finger. And for a while, The Beav thinks they're going to have to chop off his finger to get the darn thing off! .... BEAVER: "It's just about my favorite finger."
47. "The Shave" (November 20, 1958) -- A terrific episode, with Wally center-stage this time, as he thinks he's ready to start shaving his massive beard on a near-daily basis. Watch for Howard McNear as "Andy The Barber" here. McNear, two years later, would make a name for himself by playing the part of yet another barber ("Floyd Lawson") on the popular TV series "The Andy Griffith Show". (It seems as if Howard was destined to play barbers on TV.)
48. "The Pipe" (November 27, 1958) -- A late-'50s lesson about the effects of smoking is illustrated in this funny LITB installment. There's no talk of cancer, though -- just a whale of a tummy ache for Beaver and his friend Larry Mondello, who is forever getting The Beav into trouble.
49. "Wally's New Suit" (December 4, 1958) -- Wally just loves his brand-new "bright" and "loud" suit that he was allowed to shop for all by himself. .... WARD: "Alright, let him wear that horse blanket to the dance!"
50. "School Play" (December 11, 1958) -- Keep an eye peeled for an extremely rare look at Larry Mondello's father near the end of this episode. .... WARD: "I expect you have a few butterflies in the ol' stomach, eh Beav?" BEAVER: "How would they get in there, dad?"
51. "The Visiting Aunts" (December 18, 1958)
52. "Happy Weekend" (December 25, 1958) -- Ward takes the family to a cabin up in the woods for the weekend. This is a truly great "old-fashioned" type of episode, worthy of numerous viewings. .... Wally gets in a good zinger when face-to-face with the man who rents the fishing equipment up at the lake -- "Dad says the stuff you rent is a bunch of junk." .... "Happy Weekend" ranks as one of my all-time favorite episodes. It might just be #1 on my list. Tony Dow told The New York Times in 2010 that this was his all-time favorite Beaver episode, too.
53. "Wally's Present" (January 1, 1959) -- EDDIE: "Gee, that's a very nice cake, Mrs. Cleaver. It almost looks like you bought it in a store."
54. "The Grass Is Always Greener" (January 8, 1959) -- Wally and The Beaver befriend the trash man's kids in this very charming show. As Ward says in this episode, Wally and Beaver start looking at things "through the eyes of the trash man's kids". And everyone's the better for this revelation (especially those of us watching this delightful episode). Jess Kirkpatrick plays the trash man here. He pops up in multiple Beaver episodes as various characters, including more than one appearance as the neighborhood garbage collector.
55. "The Boat Builders" (January 15, 1959) -- WARD: "If that boat sails anyplace, it'll be in a vacant lot somewhere among the weeds."
56. "Beaver Plays Hooky" (January 22, 1959) -- WALLY: "What a dope! First he plays hooky, and then goes on television!" .... This episode has one of the best "one-way telephone calls" I've ever seen filmed for any television program before or since, where Ward gets word from June over the phone that Beaver has ditched school. Hugh Beaumont, as the flustered Ward, plays this phone scene to utter perfection, a scene which ends with Ward's absolutely hysterical line: "June, you can pick up clothes-pins anytime!"
57. "The Garage Painters" (January 29, 1959) -- LARRY: "Boy, somebody really messed up your garage."
58. "Wally's Pug Nose" (February 5, 1959) -- GLORIA CUSICK: "Your name is Wally Cleaver, isn't it?" WALLY: "Yes, ma'am."
59. "Beaver's Pigeons" (February 12, 1959)
60. "The Tooth" (February 19, 1959) -- Beaver's fear of visiting the dentist isn't eased the slightest bit after Lumpy adds his two-cents' worth about what he says the dentist is going to do to poor Beav. And Fred Rutherford's account of a previous medical procedure performed on his daughter, Violet, certainly doesn't help matters for Beaver either: "When that doctor took her leg and started pulling, and the bones were grinding..."
61. "Beaver Gets Adopted" (February 26, 1959) -- Beaver advertises for new parents after some trouble at home. There's a touching resolution to this episode (which, of course, isn't uncommon among LITB eps., since most of them end in a similar fashion, which is part of the overall pleasantness of this forever-enduring television series). .... WARD: "When I was a kid, if I'd even implied to my father that I didn't have the best parents in the world, he'd have taken me right out to the woodshed and proved to me that I did."
62. "The Haunted House" (March 5, 1959) -- WARD: "Well I'm sorry dear, I guess there just isn't any diplomatic way to tell a woman she looks like a witch."
63. "The Bus Ride" (March 12, 1959)
64. "Beaver And Gilbert" (March 19, 1959)
65. "Price Of Fame" (March 26, 1959) -- A double batch of trouble for predicament-prone Beaver in this episode. He first gets locked in the principal's office at school; and later finds himself trapped in an iron fence in the park.
66. "A Horse Named Nick" (April 2, 1959) -- WARD: "Well, June, you can't just take a full-grown horse out and lose him. Anyway, there's probably a law against 'equine desertion'." .... 'BOARD OF HEALTH' OFFICIAL: "I'm sorry madam, I can't touch them unless they're dead."
67. "Beaver's Hero" (April 9, 1959) -- BEAVER: "Dad, I'll bet you were the best dirt-leveller in the whole Seabees."
68. "Beaver Says Goodbye" (April 16, 1959)
69. "Beaver's Newspaper" (April 23, 1959)
70. "Beaver's Sweater" (April 30, 1959) -- Beaver and mean old Judy Hensler show up at school one day wearing exactly the same kind of "Eskimo" sweater. Needless to say, Beaver's not exactly thrilled at the realization he's purchased an article of female apparel.
71. "Friendship" (May 7, 1959)
72. "Dance Contest" (May 14, 1959)
73. "Wally's Haircomb" (May 21, 1959) -- Just thinking about this episode (and its humorous title) makes me burst out laughing. Wally's new-fangled "haircomb" (dubbed a "Jelly Roll") sends mother June into a frenetic state of worry and concern over her boy's hideous looks due to the "comb". The "jazzy" musical accompaniment every time we see Wally's strange-looking hairdo is a real howl (and a neat twist that's not normally encountered in this TV series). By episode's end, however, June has shown Wallace the error of his hair-combing ways, with June offering up a hunk of advice that every child would be wise to listen to -- "Wally, we knew you'd grow up with good sense; but what's wrong with having good sense on the way?"
74. "The Cookie Fund" (May 28, 1959)
75. "Forgotten Party" (June 4, 1959)
76. "Beaver, The Athlete" (June 11, 1959) -- Ward is concerned over Beaver's poor grade in Physical Education. .... WARD: "How about that, June. Isn't that something?" JUNE: "It sure is, now I'm going to have to wash his hair tonight."
77. "Found Money" (June 18, 1959) -- Larry Mondello does it again, managing to get Beaver into more hot water after swiping some of his mother's loose change and then coaxing Beaver into coming over to his house to conveniently "find" the loot in Larry's yard. According to Larry, the money dropped out of an airplane when the pilot was flying upside-down over Larry's dwelling. [LOL!] .... Young Larry's mother (played by SIXTY-year-old Madge Blake, who, in reality, was more of the age to be portraying Lawrence's grandmother, instead of his mom) appears in this episode and supplies numerous laughs with her unique delivery of funny lines of dialogue. .... I imagine Larry's dad was in Cincinnati on business again during this program (he's forever going to Cincinnati when Larry's getting into trouble at home). Perhaps Mr. Mondello was just a huge Cincinnati Reds baseball fan, and loved visiting Crosley Field constantly. :-)
78. "Most Interesting Character" (June 25, 1959) -- The season-two wrap-up show is a dandy. Beaver has to write a composition for school, and ultimately decides to write about his father. The final act has Ward reading Beaver's essay to the whole family at the breakfast table, providing yet another sweet and tender "LITB moment" (without being overly sappy about it). Hugh Beaumont reads it just perfectly. .... WARD [reading Beaver's essay]: "He may not be interesting to you, or someone else, because he's not your father -- just mine."
SEASON THREE (1959-1960):
79. "Blind Date Committee" (October 3, 1959) -- LARRY: "A fella once called me up and asked me what my sister looked like." BEAVER: "Did you tell him?" LARRY: "No! She was sitting right there!"
80. "Beaver Takes A Bath" (October 10, 1959) -- Well, not exactly. Beaver never really does take a bath here. He was going to take one, but then he had to go eat his dinner (not brussels sprouts, thank God). The only problem is: he leaves the water running in the bathtub, resulting in a nice mess when the tub overflows. .... MRS. MONDELLO: "What do you have there?" WALLY: "Oh, uh, towels." MRS. MONDELLO: "But, they're dripping wet." BEAVER: "Well, I took a bath." MRS. MONDELLO: "You used all those towels?" WALLY: "Uh, well, he's kinda hard to dry."
81. "School Bus" (October 17, 1959)
82. "Beaver's Prize" (October 24, 1959) -- This episode contains one of the best "Ward blow-ups" in the series, which comes after Beaver spills ink all over Ward's desk in the den. .... WALLY: "Do you want me anymore, dad?" WARD: "No, but you watch your step too!" .... JUNE: "Dear, just because you didn't get pears, you don't have to take it out on the boys."
83. "Baby Picture" (October 31, 1959) -- LARRY MONDELLO [mocking Judy Hensler]: "To Hollywood."
84. "Beaver Takes A Walk" (November 7, 1959) -- Ward learns a lesson in this episode after telling Beaver that he used to walk 20 miles a day when he was a kid. .... WALLY: "Hey mom, if me and Tooey get the motor scooter running, would you buy it off of us to go to the market with?" JUNE: "Well, Wally, I think Tooey's mother deserves first crack at it."
85. "Borrowed Boat" (November 14, 1959)
86. "Beaver's Tree" (November 21, 1959) -- BEAVER: "A nation's growth from sea to sea, stirs in his heart who plants a tree."
87. "Teacher Comes To Dinner" (November 28, 1959) -- It's a calamity of immense proportions for The Beaver when "teacher comes to dinner" (the fetching Miss Landers [Sue Randall], that is). ;) .... GILBERT: "Look! She's got toes!"
88. "Beaver's Fortune" (December 5, 1959)
89. "Beaver Makes A Loan" (December 12, 1959) -- JUNE: "You're having your golf clubs cleaned? Well, the other day when I wanted to have the windows cleaned, you told me to wait until after Christmas." [I still haven't quite been able to figure out what these two acts of "cleaning" have to do with each other. I guess June's line of thinking is: Nothing should be cleaned before the windows of the house are cleaned. And that includes Ward's golf clubs.] :)
90. "Beaver, The Magician" (December 19, 1959)
91. "June's Birthday" (December 26, 1959) -- An ugly blouse makes for some very good comedy in this LITB installment. .... WARD: "Ooo-la-la!"
92. "Tire Trouble" (January 2, 1960)
93. "Larry Hides Out" (January 9, 1960) -- Larry Mondello runs away from home and attempts to hide out in Beaver's bathtub for awhile. The "Larry" episodes are always fun to watch, and (as usual) food plays a part in most of the shows which highlight Larry. In this episode, Lawrence complains about June's cooking. He doesn't seem to like her meat loaf or carrots. That's gratitude for ya! The kid is given a perfectly good bathtub to hide in and he gripes about the menu! :-)
94. "Pet Fair" (January 16, 1960)
95. "Wally's Test" (January 23, 1960)
96. "Beaver's Library Book" (January 30, 1960)
97. "Wally's Election" (February 6, 1960)
98. "Beaver And Andy" (February 13, 1960) -- The subject of alcoholism is tackled in this poignant episode. The actor playing Andy Hadlock is Wendell Holmes, who would later portray Mr. Blair, one of Beaver's teachers, in future episodes.
99. "Beaver's Dance" (February 20, 1960) -- How is it possible for two boys who are headed for a dance to come home filthy dirty and smelling like horses? Watch "Beaver's Dance" and see.
100. "Larry's Club" (February 27, 1960)
101. "School Sweater" (March 5, 1960)
102. "The Hypnotist" (March 12, 1960) -- Poor Beaver thinks he has hypnotized Eddie Haskell, and The Beav doesn't know how to undo the spell before Eddie jumps in the lake. Wally has the remedy though.
103. "Wally And Alma" (March 19, 1960) -- WARD: "You know, when Wally gets home, I think I'm going to have a talk with him. I'd hardly approve of his going steady with one girl, and I certainly don't approve of his going steady with her mother!"
104. "Beaver's Bike" (March 26, 1960)
105. "Wally's Orchid" (April 2, 1960) -- Wally learns a valuable lesson about women (and orchids) in this episode. .... WARD: "Escorting a glamour girl is a disconcerting blend of pleasure and pain."
106. "Ward's Baseball" (April 9, 1960)
107. "Beaver's Monkey" (April 16, 1960)
108. "Beaver Finds A Wallet" (April 23, 1960)
109. "Mother's Day Composition" (April 30, 1960)
110. "Beaver And Violet" (May 7, 1960) -- It's bad enough that Beaver was kissed by Violet Rutherford at a family picnic, but to make matters (much) worse, Fred takes a picture of the kiss. .... FRED RUTHERFORD: "Say Ward, I hate to mention it, but this neighborhood's getting a little on the rough side. Coming down the block just now, a kid yelled 'hey, skinhead' at me."
111. "The Spot Removers" (May 14, 1960)
112. "Beaver, The Model" (May 21, 1960)
113. "Wally, The Businessman" (May 28, 1960) -- This is a fun episode, with Wally getting a job selling "Igloo" ice cream bars.
114. "Beaver And Ivanhoe" (June 4, 1960)
115. "Wally's Play" (June 11, 1960) -- WARD: "Beaver ripped Wally's dress."
116. "The Last Day Of School" (June 18, 1960) -- This very funny episode has Beaver on a spot when he thinks his mother has bought Miss Landers an undergarment as a gift. .... BEAVER: "Gee Wally, I can't give Miss Landers underwear in front of the whole class." WALLY: "Well, maybe you could--you're just a little kid." BEAVER: "Yeah, but I'm not that little a kid."
117. "Beaver's Team" (June 25, 1960)
SEASON FOUR (1960-1961):
118. "Beaver Won't Eat" (October 1, 1960) -- It's those darn brussels sprouts! Beaver won't have anything to do with the things. (I don't blame him.) :)
119. "Beaver's House Guest" (October 8, 1960) -- Barry Gordon plays Beaver's friend, "Chopper".
120. "Beaver Becomes A Hero" (October 15, 1960)
121. "Wally, The Lifeguard" (October 22, 1960) -- JUNE: "I want you to talk to that man up at the lake and be sure he doesn't let Wally do anything dangerous." WARD: "Alright, dear, alright, I'll tell him to just have Wally save people in shallow water."
122. "Beaver's Freckles" (October 29, 1960)
123. "Beaver's Big Contest" (November 5, 1960)
124. "Miss Lander's Fiance" (November 12, 1960)
125. "Eddie's Double-Cross" (November 19, 1960)
126. "Beaver's I.Q." (November 26, 1960)
127. "Wally's Glamour Girl" (December 3, 1960)
128. "Chuckie's New Shoes" (December 10, 1960)
129. "Beaver And Kenneth" (December 17, 1960)
130. "Beaver's Accordion" (December 24, 1960) -- Several very funny moments here, particularly when Beaver's rented accordion comes bouncing down the stairs. .... BEAVER: "I guess accordions don't bounce down stairs very cheap." WARD: "This one bounced down about forty dollars' worth."
131. "Uncle Billy" (December 31, 1960)
132. "Teacher's Daughter" (January 7, 1961) -- Ross Elliott portrays Wally's English teacher, Mr. Foster, who also just happens to be the father of Julie Foster, the girl Wally is currently dating. This combination of circumstances has Wally convinced that he's going to flunk English after he has a fight with Julie. .... Click HERE for some fun trivia concerning this episode. .... JUNE: "Oh Ward, wouldn't it be nice when the semester changes on Monday if Eddie ended up in a different homeroom from Wally?" WARD: "Yeah...or a different state."
133. "Ward's Millions" (January 14, 1961)
134. "Beaver's Secret Life" (January 21, 1961) -- BEAVER: "I don't think there's another kid in my whole class whose father knows how to pick a lock!"
135. "Wally's Track Meet" (January 28, 1961)
136. "Beaver's Old Buddy" (February 4, 1961) -- I think this episode's script serves as a microcosm for many of the LITB shows that aired during the last two or three years of the series, with the theme of "Beaver's Old Buddy" being: "You can't re-live your childhood". As Jerry Mathers got older, it became increasingly impossible for writers Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly to churn out scripts like those we find in Season 1 and Season 2, which feature a super-cute Theodore Cleaver at a younger age. Perhaps that very thought was going through the writers' minds when they penned this episode.
137. "Beaver's Tonsils" (February 11, 1961)
138. "The Big Fish Count" (February 18, 1961)
139. "Beaver's Poster" (February 25, 1961)
140. "Mother's Helper" (March 4, 1961) -- JUNE: "What are we supposed to do with the [coffee] cups -- have them dry cleaned?"
141. "The Dramatic Club" (March 11, 1961)
142. "Wally And Dudley" (March 18, 1961) -- Dudley McMillan is the new boy at school, and June has arranged for Wally to show ol' Dud around his new school. This development doesn't make Wallace too happy. .... LUMPY: "And they've got this little box thing for hats." (In addition to the "tall, thin" lockers for students with overcoats. Eddie and "The Lump" were ruthless, weren't they?) ~grin~
143. "Eddie Spends The Night" (March 25, 1961) -- WARD: "What?! Eddie Haskell spend the night here?! .... I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound like it was a catastrophe."
144. "Beaver's Report Card" (April 1, 1961) -- BEAVER: "Gee, I'm not worried about learning anything; I'm just worried about gettin' by tomorrow."
145. "Mistaken Identity" (April 8, 1961) -- WALLY: "Anyway, you practically got the whole United States Constitution backing up your squealing."
146. "Wally's Dream Girl" (April 15, 1961) -- When June invites Wally's "dream girl", Ginny Townsend, to go along on a family picnic, Wally learns the bitter truth about Ginny: she's a little clumsy and she's allergic to chicken and the sun. .... I've always had mixed feelings about this episode, because it seems to me that Wally is sort of snubbing Ginny because of a series of very unimportant shortcomings and physical ailments. I mean, just because she can't eat chicken because she's allergic to it, that doesn't mean she's not a nice person. .... And also watch for a very rare occurrence in this episode: June actually tells a lie! (Gasp!) She tells Wally that she "just happened to be talking to Mrs. Townsend on the phone", which isn't true at all. The truth is, June initiated the call to Mrs. Townsend herself, in order to ask Ginny to the picnic. It just goes to show that not even the most perfect of all television moms is perfect all the time. :-) .... JUNE: "Do you think he's really gotten over her?" WARD: "Uh-huh. Someday, Ginny Townsend will be just a name out of the past. Just a name to annoy his wife with at appropriate moments."
147. "The School Picture" (April 22, 1961)
148. "Beaver's Rat" (April 29, 1961)
149. "In The Soup" (May 6, 1961) -- This is a favorite episode for many fans of this series. Beaver climbs atop a billboard in order to prove to Whitey Whitney that there's not really soup inside that huge bowl. Unfortunately for The Beav, he ends up at the bottom of the big soup bowl. .... WHITEY: "I must've lost. I didn't hear a splash." .... EDDIE: "What are you doing up there kid, taking a bath?"
150. "Community Chest" (May 13, 1961) -- WARD: "So far, no one's wanted his money back. I don't know if it's generosity, or if they're just fed up with hearing from Cleavers."
151. "Junior Fire Chief" (May 20, 1961)
152. "Beaver's Frogs" (May 27, 1961)
153. "Beaver Goes In Business" (June 3, 1961) -- EDDIE: "I'm glad to hear it's a worthwhile project, Mrs. Cleaver. I know you'd appreciate me letting you know if little Theodore was engaged in some sort of mischief."
154. "Kite Day" (June 10, 1961) -- JUNE: "Is the greatest kite maker in Shaker Heights having trouble?" WARD: "Is the belle of East St. Louis trying to annoy the greatest kite maker in Shaker Heights?"
155. "Beaver's Doll Buggy" (June 17, 1961)
156. "Substitute Father" (June 24, 1961) -- WALLY: "Boy, you sure can't say that to mom. I don't even know if you can say that to dad."
SEASON FIVE (1961-1962):
157. "Wally Goes Steady" (September 30, 1961) -- 20-year-old Ryan O'Neal pops up as a guest star in this episode, as Wally's friend Tom Henderson.
158. "No Time For Babysitters" (October 7, 1961)
159. "Wally's Car" (October 14, 1961) -- This episode provides several funny moments after Wally purchases a 1936 "hand-painted motor vehicle" for $25. .... MR. GARVEY (JUNK YARD OWNER): "All the parts are there, he says. Looks like a fish that has been boned! What did you do, strip it while I was driving over?!"
160. "Beaver's Birthday" (October 21, 1961)
161. "Beaver's Cat Problem" (November 4, 1961)
162. "Wally's Weekend Job" (November 11, 1961)
163. "Beaver Takes A Drive" (November 18, 1961)
164. "Wally's Big Date" (November 25, 1961) -- Good ol' Eddie Haskell strikes again. This time, Edward decides to stab his best friend in the back by slickly arranging a swap of blind dates with Wally. The girl Wally acquires in the trade, Gail Preston, "must be at least nine feet tall" (to use Wally's verbiage from this episode). .... As a side note, I wonder if Ken Osmond (Eddie) still has that strange-looking sweater/shirt with the "V" shape down the front of it that we see him wearing in this episode and several others? It looks like the kind of garment that you might see Captain Kirk wearing on Star Trek. :) .... JUNE: "Ward, Wally's pretty angry. You don't suppose he'll go up there and hurt Eddie, do you?" WARD: "I don't know. I think I'll wait about half-an-hour, then go up and check."
165. "Beaver's Ice Skates" (December 2, 1961) -- Beaver learns another valuable lesson after a manipulative salesman cons poor Beav into buying a pair of ice skates that would have been better suited for King Kong.
166. "Weekend Invitation" (December 9, 1961)
167. "Beaver's English Test" (December 16, 1961) -- WALLY [talking about Beaver's English teacher, Mr. Blair]: "He's the kind of guy who drives around in a convertible, but he never puts the top down."
168. "Wally's Chauffeur" (December 23, 1961) -- It's another social disaster for a member of the Cleaver clan when Wally learns that he's going to be driven to a school dance by--brace yourself--a girl!! The horror of it! By episode's end, though, Wallace realizes that his fears were unjustified. But I'm wondering what Ward would have thought about all those kids piling into the girl's car at the end of the show on their way to the malt shop (right in front of a policeman, no less!)? You see, earlier in the episode, Ward had objected to Wally travelling in a similarly-packed vehicle. .... POLICEMAN: "How 'bout those illegal pipes? Have you been meaning to get those fixed, too?" LUMPY: "Well, you see, I just borrowed it for the evening. It's my father's car." POLICEMAN: "Oh, sure."
169. "Beaver's First Date" (December 30, 1961)
170. "Ward's Golf Clubs" (January 6, 1962)
171. "Farewell To Penny" (January 13, 1962)
172. "Beaver, The Bunny" (January 20, 1962)
173. "Beaver's Electric Trains" (January 27, 1962)
174. "Beaver's Long Night" (February 3, 1962)
175. "Beaver's Jacket" (February 10, 1962)
176. "Nobody Loves Me" (February 17, 1962)
177. "Beaver's Fear" (February 24, 1962)
178. "Three Boys And A Burro" (March 3, 1962) -- MRS. RICKOVER: "Those aren't MY footprints all over those azalea plants!"
179. "Eddie Quits School" (March 10, 1962)
180. "Wally Stays At Lumpy's" (March 17, 1962) -- Confusion reigns at the Cleaver home after Wally spends the night at Lumpy's house without first acquiring a notarized permission slip from Ward and/or June. (Just kidding about that last part. But there is trouble at 211 Pine Street when Ward finds out that Wally stayed overnight at Clarence Rutherford's dwelling without garnering the proper clearances.) .... WARD: "Fred, when you're through yelling at Clarence, would you send Wally right home please?"
181. "Beaver's Laundry" (March 24, 1962)
182. "Lumpy's Car Trouble" (March 31, 1962)
183. "Beaver, The Babysitter" (April 7, 1962)
184. "The Younger Brother" (April 14, 1962)
185. "Beaver's Typewriter" (April 21, 1962) -- WARD: "I hope Fred doesn't embarrass me by not picking up the check. Last time, it practically curled up before he paid it."
186. "The Merchant Marine" (April 28, 1962) -- FRED: "Yes sir, I know my boy."
187. "Brother Versus Brother" (May 5, 1962)
188. "The Yard Birds" (May 12, 1962)
189. "Tennis, Anyone?" (May 19, 1962)
190. "One Of The Boys" (May 26, 1962) -- Wally and Eddie are invited to join a snobbish social club at their high school. They end up not joining, which is a good thing, because I'd hate for Wally to be part of a club that includes members who think that going to the bowling alley for lunch is a major improvement over the food that can be found in the school cafeteria. ~LOL~ .... EDDIE: "This is the best thing that's ever happened to us in our entire career as teenagers!"
191. "Sweatshirt Monsters" (June 2, 1962) -- WARD: "Yes, I imagine there was quite a run on those."
192. "A Night In The Woods" (June 9, 1962) -- EDDIE [while waiting to be rescued off a ledge in the woods]: "Talk to me, will you Gilbert?" GILBERT: "Okay, what do I say?" EDDIE: "Say anything." GILBERT: "Alright -- you're a dumb, stupid creep and a big wise guy!"
193. "Long Distance Call" (June 16, 1962) -- Don Drysdale of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a guest appearance. Beaver and two of his friends decide to call Drysdale in Los Angeles. But the call ends up costing a bit more than the boys were anticipating -- $9.35 (plus tax) to be exact. .... GILBERT: "Maybe we shouldn't have waited for him to get out of the shower." .... For baseball fans out there, I can offer up this unique bit of Los Angeles Dodgers trivia (as it relates--sort of--to this Leave It To Beaver installment): On the same day this LITB episode aired (Saturday, June 16, 1962), the Dodgers lost a game to the Houston Colt .45s at Dodger Stadium, 4-1, in front of a huge crowd of 51,530. Drysdale didn't pitch the June 16th game (Johnny Podres did), but Drysdale did start the previous game, on June 15, and lost to the Colt .45s, 2-0, even though Drysdale pitched a great game, allowing only 2 runs and 6 hits in 8 innings, with no walks and 6 strikeouts. It was just Drysdale's 4th loss of the 1962 season, compared with 10 wins. The Dodgers' record after their 4-1 loss to Houston on June 16, which was L.A.'s third straight defeat, was still an excellent 44-23 (.657) for the '62 season. .... Another piece of Drysdale trivia can be found in the booklet for Season 5 that's included in this DVD package. The description that Shout! Factory's Brian Ward wrote for this episode says the following (which is kind of a strange description, since this is the only thing mentioned in this episode's descriptive blurb): "Unfortunately, despite the 420-foot game-winning homer mentioned in the Cleavers' newspaper, Don Drysdale actually didn't hit a single home run for the Dodgers in 1962." .... That description is 100% correct too, as this stats page confirms.
194. "Stocks And Bonds" (June 23, 1962) -- EDDIE: "Mayfield Power & Light? Are you weird? That's for old ladies!"
195. "Un-Togetherness" (June 30, 1962)
SEASON SIX (1962-1963):
196. "Wally's Dinner Date" (September 27, 1962) -- This is an episode I find myself watching over and over again. I just love it. Wally discovers that he's a little short in the cash department after agreeing to take Julie Foster to a fancy restaurant for dinner. (Julie is played by the very cute Cheryl Holdridge, who also played the part of another one of Wally's female interests earlier in the series, Gloria Cusick.) The price of a bowl of soup at "The White Fox" (80 cents) has Wally practically hitting the ceiling. Luckily, though, Wally has a very understanding dad, who is willing to advance Wally fifteen dollars. .... EDDIE: "No girl in the world is going to settle for a liquid diet."
197. "Beaver's Football Award" (October 4, 1962)
198. "Wally's License" (October 11, 1962) -- The episodes which feature Wally driving and/or getting a "new" car are some of my favorites in the LITB archives. And this one is no exception. .... WARD: "How long have you been driving, Eddie?" EDDIE: "In three weeks, it'll be two months."
199. "The Late Edition" (October 18, 1962)
200. "Double Date" (October 25, 1962)
201. "Eddie, The Businessman" (November 1, 1962)
202. "Tell It To Ella" (November 8, 1962) -- WALLY: "Well, when a guy starts acting weird, a girl's the first thing you look for."
203. "Bachelor At Large" (November 15, 1962) -- LUMPY: "That guy [Eddie] is really livin' it up. The only time he's been back home is to get clean sheets."
204. "Beaver Joins A Record Club" (November 22, 1962)
205. "Wally's Car Accident" (November 29, 1962) -- Wally borrows his father's new car and a headlight gets broken (with a little help from Eddie Haskell). .... I noticed a different license plate number on Ward's Plymouth Fury in this episode -- HBC-743. But in the opening credits, the number on the car's license plate is WJG 865. .... WALLY: "That chicken salad was pretty good. It didn't have as many bones in it as usual."
206. "Beaver, The Sheep Dog" (December 6, 1962)
207. "Beaver, The Hero" (December 13, 1962)
208. "Beaver's Autobiography" (December 20, 1962) -- BEAVER [referring to his sneaky classmate, Betsy]: "Boy, what a kook."
209. "The Party Spoiler" (December 27, 1962) -- This show aired on my 1st birthday. (No wonder Wally was having a party that night.) ~grin~
210. "The Mustache" (January 3, 1963) -- JUNE: "Ward, do you think Wally is really serious about growing a mustache?" WARD: "Well, that stuff on his upper lip this morning wasn't crabgrass."
211. "Wally Buys A Car" (January 10, 1963) -- Yes, it's another "car" episode, and another good one too. This time, however, Ward helps Wally purchase his vehicle. .... WARD: "Yes, son, strange as it may seem, the invention of the automobile did predate my boyhood."
212. "The Parking Attendants" (January 17, 1963) -- WALLY: "Eddie, did anybody ever tell you that you're a big, dumb, stupid loudmouth?!" .... I noticed a small mistake in this episode regarding the cars owned by Ward Cleaver and Fred Rutherford -- the two cars are exactly the same, right down to the identical license plate number (WJG 865). Obviously, the producers were thinking, Who's going to notice the fact we've given Fred and Ward the exact same car and license plate?
213. "More Blessed To Give" (January 24, 1963)
214. "Beaver's Good Deed" (January 31, 1963) -- JUNE: "Well, I don't think Beaver was entertaining Noël Coward."
215. "The Credit Card" (February 7, 1963) -- EDDIE: "It's just like having a key to Fort Knox."
216. "Beaver, The Caddy" (February 14, 1963)
217. "Beaver On TV" (February 21, 1963)
218. "Box Office Attraction" (February 28, 1963)
219. "Lumpy's Scholarship" (March 7, 1963) -- Incredibly, Lumpy Rutherford receives a football scholarship, but his grades just might keep him from getting it. .... FRED [mocking his son]: "No, you're not getting the scholarship." .... Fred is not exactly the most tactful of fathers, is he? He could use a few lessons from Ward. ~grin~
220. "The Silent Treatment" (March 14, 1963)
221. "Uncle Billy's Visit" (March 21, 1963) -- Edgar Buchanan makes a return visit as "Uncle Billy".
222. "Beaver's Prep School" (March 28, 1963)
223. "Wally And The Fraternity" (April 4, 1963)
224. "Eddie's Sweater" (April 11, 1963)
225. "The Book Report" (April 18, 1963)
226. "The Poor Loser" (April 25, 1963)
227. "Don Juan Beaver" (May 2, 1963)
228. "Summer In Alaska" (May 9, 1963) -- CAPTAIN DRAKE: "Couldn't his nursemaid make it?!"
229. "Beaver's Graduation" (May 16, 1963)
230. "Wally's Practical Joke" (May 23, 1963) -- This one is a true classic. Wally and Eddie play a practical joke on Lumpy Rutherford, but the joke backfires when the tow chain that the boys attach to Lumpy's "heap" results in Lumpy sitting in the middle of the street--minus the rear wheels of his car. .... FRED [to Lumpy]: "Why don't you go in the house? But DON'T practice your stupid tuba; your mother's trying to sleep."
231. "The All-Night Party" (May 30, 1963) -- WALLY: "Boy, I'm telling you, to swing this I'm going to have to practically look like Pat Boone."
232. "Beaver Sees America" (June 6, 1963)
233. "The Clothing Drive" (June 13, 1963)
234. "Family Scrapbook" (June 20, 1963) -- Leave It To Beaver ends with the Cleavers reminiscing by looking through a family photo album. This retrospective episode includes several clips from previous shows.
A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS:
Leave It To Beaver is an American institution. Although extremely simple and unsophisticated in nature, the show never fails to entertain.
What other television show could possibly produce entire half-hour episodes that revolve around nothing more than getting a ring stuck on your finger, or buying a new suit, or hating brussels sprouts, or painting a garbage can, or writing a grade-school poem....and yet make these seemingly mundane occurrences come out so charming and realistic on our TV screens?
Not many shows could accomplish this task as nicely and skillfully as Leave It To Beaver managed to do.
This 37-Disc set is a little like placing a piece of mid-20th-century Americana right into your living room. And having the whole series in one box is enough to make any Beaver fan do a few cartwheels.
I think possibly the thing I treasure the most about having all 234 Leave It To Beaver episodes in my DVD library is being able to revisit Mayfield and the Cleaver gang anytime of the day or night by simply popping in one of these discs. Knowing that I can do that is kind of a comforting thought all by itself.
David Von Pein
A LEAVE IT TO BEAVER PHOTO GALLERY:
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MORE BEAVER DISCUSSION:
Reviewing The Universal "LITB Season 1" DVD Set
Reviewing The Universal "LITB Season 2" DVD Set
Book Review: "The World According To Beaver"
All About The Universal Backlot Where LITB Was Filmed
Tom Shales Revisits "Leave It To Beaver"
MY OTHER "TV SHOW" BLOGS & BLOG POSTS: