One of my favorite shows has always been "Leave It To Beaver." Although the show debuted before I was born and completed its six-season run when I was 2, I happily watched it in reruns on local channels, decades before the Nick-at-Nite concept was hatched. The show was pitched as a warm family comedy, offering a glimpse into the problems faced by kids, followed by gentle lessons in parenting. Its goal was light humor, regularly shunning the broad slapstick of "I Love Lucy." According to co-star Tony Dow: "If any line got too much of a laugh, they'd take it out. They didn't want a big laugh; they wanted chuckles."
|Lumpy, Eddie and Wally.|
|Beaver, Gilbert, Whitey.... and Larry.|
In addition to getting Wally and Beaver into trouble, these so-called friends were always borrowing money and toys and comic books and sporting equipment from the Cleaver boys. They mooched dinners by taking advantage of Mrs. Cleaver's hospitality. In the case of Wally, they moved in on girlfriends. In Beaver's case, they taunted him for having a girlfriend. These "friends" had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. So why did Wally and Beaver keep them around? There wouldn't have been a show otherwise. And that's what makes television television.
Don't worry Wally, I won't ever let you down.