‘Leave It to Beaver’ Star Jerry Mathers Reflected on Why Show Remains Popular

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

After all these years on television, Leave It to Beaver is still a popular show. Star Jerry Mathers has an idea why this is for him.

Mathers, obviously, played Beaver Cleaver on the famed 1950s-60s sitcom.

He talks about why the popularity is still there in this interview.

“A lot of shows today are joke shows,” Mathers said in a 2017 radio interview along with co-star Tony Dow. “They are set-up-set-up-joke. Leave It to Beaver‘s always a story and they’re several stories in it. It’s something you can watch over and over again. And obviously, people have for over 60 years.”

In case you didn’t know, Dow played big-brother Wally Cleaver.

And their parents? Hugh Beaumont and Barbara Billingsley who portrayed Ward and June Cleaver.

Let’s take a look at Mathers and Dow chatting it up for 106.7 Lite FM.

Episodes of Leave It to Beaver almost appeared to have lessons within the half-hour timeframe.

Script ideas would come from the real lives of creators Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher.

Today, a new generation is getting introduced to Wally and The Beave. They also are meeting Eddie Haskell, played by Ken Osmond; Larry Mondello, played by Rusty Stevens; Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford, played by Frank Bank; and Fred Rutherford, played by Richard Deacon.

Leave It to Beaver ran from 1957 to 1963, a total of 234 episodes. Its first season was on CBS, then the show moved for the rest of its run to ABC.

‘Leave It to Beaver’ Made Its Debut on CBS in October 1957

Way back in October 1957, CBS popped on the first episode of Leave It to Beaver on TV screens.

This was still back in the day of black-and-white TVs. At this time, sitcoms that had an all-American family feel to them dotted the TV landscape.

Any catastrophe usually got solved in a half-hour timespan.

Twitter account RetroNewsNow didn’t forget this auspicious anniversary. The CBS sitcom’s original opening credits are right here.

During a show reunion, radio host Bob Katzen shared some thoughts about the show in a YouTube video from March 2021.

The host said Leave It to Beaver stood out from other family-oriented sitcoms along with The Brady Bunch.

Mathers says that “one of the reasons it does, though, is that the writers were very keen to figure out that all the things that happened on Leave It To Beaver came from real life.

“It just wasn’t people going in and writing jokes for like what I call a joke show,” he says. “So people can always relate to it.”

And those who watch the show are still relating with the family, too.