If you’re looking for a new show to binge, look no further. Right now, you can return to the idyllic Mayfield and watch the beloved series, “Leave It To Beaver.”
The Real-Life Kids That Inspired ‘Leave It To Beaver’
Many of the sitcom’s storylines and themes were inspired by what everyday kids said to each other.
Joe Connelly, the classic series’s co-creator, used his two sons as the blueprint for Wally and Beaver. He based the characters’ own experiences on those of his sons.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Jay, Connelly’s 14-year-old son, inspired Wally’s character. His 8-year-old son, Ricky, inspired Beaver.
Connelly also used his son’s childhood friends as the inspiration for Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond) and Larry Mondello (Robert “Rusty” Stevens).
He didn’t stop there: Connelly even made sure to have his pen and paper ready in case his sons or their friends said something that would be good on the show.
“Joe used to be one of those guys who’d walk around with a pad of paper in his pocket and whenever a kid would say something funny, he’d write it down,” Brian Levant, the co-writer on Still the Beaver, said.
“There is a legendary story that Ricky Connelly once left the dinner table in a huff and stopped at the top of the stairs and said, ‘I’m never giving you any more material for your show’,” Levant added.
Why the Cast Doesn’t Receive Residual Payments
Unlike other popular sitcoms, the “Leave It To Beaver” cast doesn’t earn residual payments thanks to reruns.
As Jerry Mathers said in 2011, he and his fellow cast members stopped earning royalties from the show years ago. According to the actor, their opportunity for royalties ran out after each episode aired six times.
However, the surviving cast members are still making money off the show in other ways: reunions and spin-offs that followed the original series provided residuals.
“Just yesterday, I got a check — I forget what show it was — something in the ’90s,” Mathers said before disclosing the amount.
“It was 13 cents. But I have no regrets. I’ve done very well and I’m in fairly good shape.”
In 1983, The New Leave It to Beaver aired. The TV-movie followed adults Wally and Beaver with their families.