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Beavers
Beaver Cleaver - The family nickname of Theodore Cleaver (Jerry Mathers) on the sitcom LEAVE IT TO BEAVER/CBS/ABC/1957-63 and the sequel series STILL THE BEAVER/DIS/1983-85 and THE NEW LEAVE IT TO BEAVER/TBS/1986-89.

Jerry Mathers as Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver - LEAVE IT TO BEAVER

When Theodore was born, his brother, Wally (Tony Dow) tried to pronounce his new brother's name but ended up mouthing "Tweeter" which sounded like "Beaver" to his parents, Ward (Hugh Beaumont) & June (Barbara Billingsley) and so began the saga of Beaver Cleaver and the jokes about his name. Beaver's real name, Theodore was based on June's Aunt Martha's brother.


Opening Narration

"LEAVE IT TO BEAVER starring Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, Tony Dow...and  Jerry Mathers as the Beaver."


Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond), a wisecracking, insincere friend of teenager Wally Cleaver (he called Beaver "Squirt" and "Creep") would greet him with taunts like "Hiya Beaver, you gnaw down any trees today?" Beaver's brother Wally often said the phrase "Boy, Beave, are gonna get it."

 Jerry Mathers as Theodore 'The Beaver' Cleaver

TRIVIA NOTE: During a 1995 episode of the situation comedy ROSEANNE/ABC/1988-97- which gathered together many of the famous TV family mother characters - Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr) sarcastically responded to June Cleaver's (Barbara Billingsley) criticism of her parental skills by saying "Yeah, well at least I didn't name my kid, Beaver!"

The nickname "Beaver" was inspired by the toothy smile of the Indian character "Little Beaver" in the western adventure serial RED RYDER/SYN/1956.

When series star Gerald "Jerry" Patrick Mathers (a.k.a. the "Beaver") was in high school, he teamed up with former cast member Richard Correll (who played Richard Rickover) to form a rock and roll band. They called themselves "Beaver and the Trappers" and recorded the single "Happiness Is Havin'" (White Cliff Records). Jerry Mathers also recorded "Wind Up Toy" (Atlantic Records).

TV rerun fanatics from the Huron High School intramural softball team in Michigan named themselves "The Almighty Beavers." Their team motto was "We don't care."


"Boy, Beaver, wait'll the guys find out you were hanging around with a girl. They'll really give you the business."


In May 1982 when Hugh Beaumont died (the Beaver's TV father), the team wore black armbands in mourning. (TV Guide 6/18/83).

The series title LEAVE IT TO BEAVER was probably inspired by a previous sitcom called LEAVE IT TO LARRY/CBS/1952 starring Eddie Albert. See also - FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS, LODGES & CLUBS - "The Beavers"


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