Leave it to Beaver star Tony dow once described what he felt was the show’s “interesting point of view.” Dow played Wally Cleaver. Wally was the eldest son of June and Ward. And of course, he was the oldest brother to “Beaver” Ward. Dow is now an artist and a sculptor.
He discussed the “interesting point of view” of the show in a 2017 interview with 106.7 Lite FM.
“It’s kind of an interesting point of view because most shows like Father Knows Best, were shows [about] adults looking at their crazy kid’s antics. And we were kids looking at the craziness of the world and trying to navigate through it. So it was a bit of a different approach. I think it had a lot to do with why it seemed so successful,” he said.
The Show was Also Shot from This Perspective
His former co-star Jerry Mathers, who was also present for the interview, also noted that a lot of the camera work was done to make the show feel like it really was being told from the Kid’s perspective.
“If you watch [Leave it To Beaver] you’ll see a lot of the camera shots are from the child’s perspective or our perspective instead of a parent’s perspective,” he said.
Many shows would go on to mirror the success of Leave it to Beaver which aired from 1957 to 1963. Later on, TV viewers would see many more shows told from the perspective of a kid taking on the world. Or learning how to deal with the wackiness of the adults around them.
But at the time, giving so much voice to the children was incredibly unique. And as a family show, it really found its niche amongst young audiences who related to the characters and their struggles.
‘Leave it to Beaver’ Remains a Classic. Here’s Why Jerry Mathers Thinks So
It’s no doubt that Leave it to Beaver is one of those shows that’s remained in the cultural lexicon over the years. The show stands as an important landmark of its era. And Jerry Mathers had a lot of insight about why that might be.
“A lot of shows today are joke shows,” Mathers said in the interview. “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.”
While there are plenty of shows out there that go beyond joke shows, Leave it to Beaver was one that really paid attention to the story over a quick laugh. And that’s paid off for it big time.