The Eddie Haskell’s of the World

June 7th was Ken Osmond’s birthday and he turned 76 years old. It’s hard to believe Eddie Haskell is that old when he is frozen in time in the never-ending reruns of Leave It To Beaver. There were rumors that Osmond was Alice Cooper. Another rumor was that Ken was Porno Star, John Holmes.

In reality, Ken Osmond joined the LAPD in 1970 and later Osmond retired from the police department in 1988, eight years after being shot by a suspected car thief. Two bullets reportedly hit his bulletproof vest and he was protected from the third bullet by his belt buckle.

Eddie Haskell was one of the great characters of television. Not likable… pretty much the opposite but he was very familiar because we probably all know our own Eddie Haskell.

Eddie was always so nice to adults…Really too nice. The Ward Cleaver character once said…”The boy is unamerican…he is just too nice.” and always tormenting his friends and kids. Eddie was the ultimate two face… all smiles and yeses to authority, but quite the trouble-maker with his peers.

We all probably had an Eddie Haskell in our friendship circles. A guy who was always trying to grow up faster than anyone else. Someone who would give you advice and then criticize you when you took the advice and things went sideways. You stay friends with them because occasionally they will do something decent and you will think… he turned a corner… only to be fooled yet again.

Sometimes I guess we need an Eddie Haskell to blame our troubles on.

some Leave It To Beaver moments

Last winter I binge watched some Leave It To Beaver episodes. I remember watching them as a child in the afternoons in syndication. My wife and I were watching them and I was thinking to myself it would probably not age too well. I was pleasantly surprised.

The show really had some good writers. They caught kids being kids and it holds up today minus the cell phones, video games, and modern distractions. They do catch how kids think and feel and also parents. Yea sometimes it could be a little too perfect but the writers would surprise me… Eddie Haskell. The name has lived on beyond the show. Everyone knows an Eddie Haskell.

In one episode the boys are playing basketball and June Cleaver is making sandwiches for them all. Eddie tells Mrs.Cleaver that he is allergic to mayonnaise. June doesn’t like Eddie and it’s clear in this episode…what does she do? She loads Eddie’s sandwich up with mayonnaise.

In another episode, the Cleavers get new neighbors and the wife of the neighbor kisses Beaver…Eddie tells him the husband is going to get Beaver back for kissing his wife. Later on, Beaver asks Ward a question about kissing women. This was more for the adults.

Theodore Cleaver: Dad, you’re a married man, aren’t you?
Ward Cleaver: Yeah, I think we’re safe in assuming that.
Theodore Cleaver: And Mom’s a married woman, isn’t she?
Ward Cleaver: Oh, yes.
Theodore Cleaver: Have you ever kissed any other married woman besides Mom?
Ward Cleaver: Well… now, Beaver, why would you ask a question like that?
Theodore Cleaver: I’m just wondering.
Ward Cleaver: Well, actually son, No.
Theodore Cleaver: I guess you were scared to, huh?
Ward Cleaver: Yeah, that’s as good a way as any to sum it up, I guess.
Theodore Cleaver: I guess a guy could get in a lot of trouble doing that, huh?
Ward Cleaver : [a wistful smile crosses Ward’s face]  He sure could.

The Beaver had a great friend in Larry Mondello. Larry was on the show for a few seasons and then left. Larry would sometimes leave Beaver holding the bag but for the most part, he was good to him. On the other hand, his friends Gilbert and Whitey would trick the gullible Beaver. Again we have all known Gilberts and we have all had a Larry Mondello friend.

This show gets made fun of at times but after watching some as an adult…it is a solid and well-written show and the choices they make work for today also.

My favorite episode? In The Soup… Whitey again tricks the Beaver into climbing into the Billboard soup bowl.

in the soup.jpg