‘Leave It to Beaver’: How Cub Scouts Helped Jerry Mathers Get the Role of Beaver Cleaver

by Samantha Whidden
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Although his acting talents played a major part in him getting the job on the classic TV sitcom “Leave It to Beaver,” Jerry Mathers revealed how Cub Scouts also helped him land the Beaver Cleaver role as well. 

While speaking to Wisconsin’s radio station 620 WTMJ, Jerry Mathers recalled having a Cub Scout meeting the same day as the “Leave It to Beaver” audition. “[I] told my dad, well, I can’t go to the interview, I have my Cub Scout meeting, my dad said, don’t worry, we’ll go, it’s not going to be like the first few interviews where there was all those kids, this is one where, you know, there’s just a few people.”

Jerry Mathers then said he went to the audition while wearing his Cub Scout uniform. “And I went, and what they said then was, they called my parents that night and said they’d rather have a boy that wanted to go to a Cub Scout meeting than, you know, be an actor and I had the job for — that was the pilot. Then we did the pilot. And then it sold, then for the next six years we did Leave it to Beaver.”

Jerry Mathers also said that when he auditioned for the “Leave It to Beaver” role, there were about 2,000 kids. “It wasn’t just for the part of the Beaver, it was Beaver and Wally and Eddie, so the whole cast,” Mathers explained.

Jerry Mathers Spoke About His Roles Prior to ‘Leave It to Beaver’ 

Along with discussing when his “Leave It to Beaver” audition, Jerry Mathers opened up about his other TV roles. He shared details about one of his first TV roles with Ozzie and Harriet. 

“Yes, I just — it was actually their Halloween show for that year,” Mathers stated.”And I just came up, and, you know, they said go over and, you know, you’ll knock on, I think, this man’s door, he’s going to come to the door, he’ll start talking to people and just keep pulling on his coat and then he’ll give you candy.”

As he circled back to his “Leave It to Beaver” audition, Mathers talked about how he and his mom went to the audition and didn’t know what the event would consist of. “What we didn’t realize is I’d already been picked for the part and now they were trying to find people that looked like friends. And, of course, the Wally character,”

Mathers went on to add that the auditions were very long and it took two months to actually know he had the part. “And then just do the pilot, which is, you know, ones that they do when they showed it, and it was very popular. And from then on, we did the series for the next six years.”

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