‘Leave It to Beaver’: Why Beaver Actor Jerry Mathers Wore Surprising Outfit to Audition

by Joe Rutland
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Apparently, Jerry Mathers was a bit preoccupied when appearing at his audition for the lead role in “Leave It to Beaver.”

Mathers reportedly showed up to the audition wearing his Cub Scout uniform. The young boy was anxious to get to his meeting. Well, the show producers found that really amusing. His young innocence and desire to live a life beyond acting caught their attention.

So much so that they decided to give Mathers the lead role as Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, and the rest is TV history.

Just in the way Mathers showed up to his audition is, in a sense, the way he played Ward Cleaver’s son. There was a deep sense of wonderment and innocence within Beaver.

What it produced on the TV screen was 1950s and 1960s family-friendly television. There were not too many deep subjects on current-day societal events playing out in the Cleaver household.

It is a credit to Jerry Mathers’ acting abilities that the childlike innocence was maintained throughout the show’s six-season run.

Jerry Mathers Refused To Do Scene In One Episode

Speaking of his acting abilities, Mathers apparently had some pull around what he would and would not do on the show.

One episode had Beaver and older brother Wally, played by Tony Dow, appearing in a scene in their underwear. He didn’t do it. Here’s the backstory.

In the episode, the boys were supposed to be getting ready for a big party. The original script has the brothers in their underwear tying their ties in the mirror.

The writers thought it would be cute. Mathers thought it would be humiliating, plus he didn’t want his sister to see him only in his underwear.

Who won? Mathers did. The writers respected his wishes and re-wrote the script, having Beaver and Wally wearing pants.

Chalk it up as a win for the Beav.

Here’s Where You Can Watch ‘Leave It to Beaver’

In these days of multiple cable TV channels and digital streaming channels, it might be hard to find “Leave It to Beaver.” Don’t fret. We’ve got you covered.

All six seasons of “Leave It to Beaver” are available for free on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. It’s also available to rent on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes for $1.99 per episode.

You, too, can relive the escapades of Beaver, Wally, Eddie Haskell, played by Ken Osmond, Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford, and many others. Catch your favorite episodes right now and return to a simpler time on television sets.

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