You all remember this show, right? To certain persons, Leave It to Beaver is the quintessential icon of the 1950s, an era loathed by libs ‘n’ progs–mostly loathed for the good things about it, which were many.
All right, my wife says she always had a problem with Mrs. Cleaver doing housework in high heels and always looking like she was ready to go to a tea party. And Mr. Cleaver had a distressing habit of always being right.
But was it such a terrible thing to depict parents as something other than rumpled, dope-smoking, clueless, morally bankrupt, and way, way less intelligent than their smarty-pants kids?
For me the enduring wonderfulness of this show rests in two supporting characters: the fantastically insincere and smarmy Eddie Haskell, and the long-suffering Mr. Rutherford (played by Richard Deacon, certainly one of the funniest TV actors ever), father of the aptly nicknamed Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford. Unlike Mr. Cleaver, poor Mr. Rutherford never, ever knew what to do.
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