“Leave It to Beaver” star Jerry Mathers actually made his acting debut when he was a toddler. The actor was only 3-years-old when he appeared on the variety show “The Colgate Comedy Hour.”
Mathers was adorable as a gunslinger, still in diapers. During the sketch, Mathers appeared in a rough and rowdy saloon and made even the toughest outlaw stop in his tracks. The young toddler wore a 10-gallon hat for added comedic effect.
“They had a different celebrity, usually a comedian, hosting it every week, and it was a skit type of format. My first job was walking into a barroom through a set of swinging doors. And I would just pass under it with this big ten-gallon hat on. I would walk through a bunch of cowboys that were having a fight – breaking bottles and chairs over each other – and they would pick me up and set me on the bar,” Mathers told MeTV.
Mathers said he had an impression on producers. Because despite his young age, Mathers could remember his lines.
“I was wearing cowboy boots, the hat, a six-shooter, and diapers. And I’d say, ‘I’m the toughest hombre in these parts, and you’d better have my brand!’ And then they’d go into a commercial for Pet Milk,” Mathers continued. “Once you did that right, I worked all the time. So I did all of the live shows because they knew that I could say lines, and they knew that things would never really bother me because a lot of times in live TV, things would go wrong and you just had to improvise.”
Jerry Mathers Started As a Model
Before he was an actor, Mathers started as a model. He was quite the accomplished toddler. Mathers started his career as a model because of his mother. A department store approached her about having Mathers model their clothes during a fashion runway.
“My mom thought this was the big city and that there’d be some sort of catch, and she said ‘I really don’t know about that; what would he have to do?’” Mathers recalled. “And the lady said ‘He’d have to walk out on a runway with a model, in these clothes. We’d pay him, and he’d get to keep the clothes.’ My mom said ‘Oh, that sounds good, I think he could probably do that!’ So that’s how it started!”
From there, Mathers would go into acting and later star on “Leave It to Beaver.”