How I Got The Name “Beaver” on “Leave it to Beaver”

How I got the name “Beaver” on “Leave it to Beaver”

90 Responses to How I Got The Name “Beaver” on “Leave it to Beaver”

    • Beverly says:

      James, the poor kid who was stuck in the soup bowl was also my first thought. I never get tired of watching this show. Got to meet Jerry and Tony after a play they did in Southern Indiana back in the late 70’s. Super nice guys.

  • James K. says:

    If the episodes were based on things that happened to a kid, did some poor unfortunate child actually get stuck in a soup bowl?

  • Lydia says:

    Thank you for clearing that up, Jerry! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE “Beaver”. I bought the series on dvd and never get tired of watching it.

  • Pasquale says:

    I remember the recap, AND the lame excuse, like you said Jerry. But overall….the series is one of the best. I have the complete collection, plus some signed books by yourself, and the grandkids can’t wait for me to pop in a DVD of LTB. Just so you know, the other best series on TV , in my opinion was “Homicide: Life on the Streets”. I have this collection also.

  • Archie Hodge says:

    I am a 55 yrs old black man who grew up watching “Leave it to Beaver”. I like it
    more now than when I was a kid. My wife and I bought the entire series on dvd
    and watch an episode almost everyday. The good thing about the show is that is
    reaches people of every race, culture and age group. For me being able to write
    the “Beav” is honor that I will never forget!

  • Chris Reulbach says:

    I was born in 1950 and grew up watching Beaver. My younger cousin Judy couldn’t pronounce “Christopher” so ever since I’ve been “Ditatba” 😀

  • Doug Lincoln says:

    Very interesting! Now I want to know where the name Lumpy came from? I’m a LTB fan for life!

  • Bob Capobianco says:

    Faithful fan of the show from the very first episode. Have the pleasure of having an autographed photo of you Jerry written out to me and also meet you, Tony and Ken at the Hardrock Casino in Hollywood Florida several years ago. Thanking all of you for 57 years of wonderful memories.

  • Marvin trotter says:

    a wonderful show!!! I have watched everyone over and over I have been watching and enjoying for 50 years+. you are my hero and a wonderful adult I thank you for a show well done. I am 62 years old and would
    d love to meet you

  • Ron Perrin says:

    I grew up with ya Jerry, an still growin up with every show i catch, I’ll tell ya how devoted i am, in the Leave it to Beaver episodes on each side of your front door was a Victorian painting, one being a girl in a flowing gown, the other being a smart looking young man holding his large hat with the large feather, well we have those same paintings in our home, not the ones from the show but exact replicas, hows that for devotion Jerry!

  • Ruth K. says:

    Thank you! I always watched “Leave It to Beaver” as a child and then my boys also watched it. I’ve been watching it on Netflix now from the first episode all the way through. Now that my boys are grown and have left home I can laugh even more seeing things they also did as kids. Oh how I wish I had the wisdom of Mr.and Mrs. Cleaver. Thank you for the story behind Beaver’s name!

  • Joseph Hughes says:

    I grew up watching the show and loved every episode. My question is.How old was you and (WALLY) when the show ended.

  • Linda Maury says:

    Best show ever as a child. So glad that I can watch it. I seriously want the collection of the shows. Santa are you watching?

  • Connie Schauer says:

    This will sound kinda silly, I suppose, but…whenever I feel down, or stressed, or out of sorts for whatever reason, I put on “Leave it to Beaver”, and it calms me right down. If ‘one’ episode doesn’t quite do it, I’ll watch ‘several’ episodes till all is well in my little world. 🙂

  • Mary Kidd Holt says:

    I watched this when I was young I was not all that much older than Beaver ,maybe I was can’t remember now.Now here I am again retired Police Officer. Home watching it again on ME T.V. I love it all over again! Love the show never tire of it!They don’t make shows like they use too.

  • Jim Sullivan says:

    I love that Beaver – the series, not the character – is exactly my age. I was also born in 1957.

    Anyway, it’s my favorite show and I thank you for all the great memories and fun.

  • Kat Redman says:

    Leave It to Beaver is one of my all time favorite shows ever! I grew up watching that show… I’m 59 years old now! You were responsible for being a very happy memory from my younger years. Thanks for sharing that story with us, Jerry. 🙂

  • Danna Love says:

    LITB was a lovely part of the rich tapestry of my childhood. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s meant having a TV lineup that reflected the kind and good things of the culture of the day. The honesty and goodness of LITB still fills my heart with joy. Our kids today miss the innocence we experienced then. Kudos to the creators, writers, and cast for bringing such a wonderful show to the us as children and as adults.

  • james blake says:

    I still love the show and I am sixty five years young.. I have the dvd series and watch often. Ihad the pleasure of meeting you a few years back in the animal show at Sea World Orlando, Florida. Keep up all the good work you are doing and remember your fans will always love you and the entire cast that allowed us to get in trouble with you and to grow up with you and your tv family.

  • Corrina Countryman says:

    That’s nice to know. I love your show very much and it is so fun to watch. I like how Wally and Beaver interact with one another.

  • Barb Osborn says:

    I love this show. Watched it as a child growing up in early 1960’s. I always thought Beaver (or Jerry) was younger than me as I was born in 1954 and was watching the shows that ran in the early 1960’s, thinking that’s when it was filmed. I didn’t learn till I was a teenager, that Jerry Mathers was older than me. I didn’t care, I loved the show then and I love it now. Watch it every morning from 7 – 8 am on ME tv.

  • Chris Casey says:

    Jerry, Thank you for being a part of something that truly came from the heart of America. You were all actors of course but it is very clear that Beaver was Beaver because of YOU, not just the script. A number of years ago now I was allowing my two youngest daughters to walk home from school as I watched from down each street. The way they walked along pointing things out, kicking sticks and things, etc reminded me of the show. Very neat. Thanks again! All the best to you and yours!

  • Verne Gordon says:

    I never knew the reason for the ‘Beaver’ name! This was a great explanation by Jerry Mathers!
    I watched the show when I was a kid and still watch it now as an adult. It was one of my favorite shows! I think what made it popular was that it was a family show with absolutely no violence or bad language! Thank you, Jerry and all the cast for great memories!

  • Miles Nelson says:

    I was in high School when “Leave it to Beaver” series started. By the time It was over 6 years later, I was in the USAF stationed on a remote radar site in Germany, and we did not have access to American TV shows at that time. I watch it on ME TV now, and am catching up on the missed episodes after all these years. Knowing now that there is a DVD on the series, will be checking p on this! I have a brother who is 10 years younger, but we never developed the relationship shown in this series. However, there was an episode where Wally and the Beaver weren’t getting along, and their Dad said to their Mother, “Well at least they have a relationship even if they aren’t getting along. My brother and I share maybe a Birthday card and Christmas card!” That statement woke me up to the fact that this was what my relationship was with my brother. He doesn’t have computer access, and no mobile phone. So I started writing to him just since I saw this episode about 3 months ago.

  • Margaret Bates says:

    Loved LITB! Just wish I had so I could still see it now. I did watch every episode numerous times, and I’m 66, so I do mean “from day one!” I also watched “Stil the Beaver, but I missed Hugh/Ward so much! You were a great kid and I’m glad you were a part of my childhood and hope to watch LITB again someday! I have Dishnetwork, so mo, but I’d think it a good fit on NICK or INSP or UP!!!!!!

  • Linda Cook says:

    Great story, Jerry, and you tell it so well! You and the show are timeless … thank you so much!

  • Joan Gilmor says:

    I’m 59 years old and not a day goes by that I don’t watch this show. I have the whole DVD collection and tape it every morning. I even set my timer at bedtime and put an episode on, it relaxes me. Oh the good old days! Thank you for such a great wholesome show.

  • Paul French says:

    I hated it that in the later series, Beaver was divorced. It was like all that great parenting he received was no good. Making the adult Beaver out to be pretty much a loser was a big mistake. I would have made Beaver far more successful than Wally, and created a new dynamic where Wally was the one looking to his younger brother for advice, not that Wally would be unsuccessful, but I would have made Beaver very successful in marriage and business.

  • Marlene Immel says:

    I watched your show as a kid and loved it and watch it every time it is on and i can get it and i am in my 70s it is a great family show and how kids should be brought up

  • John Flores says:

    I always liked the show, because the things that went on and the way kids acted was pretty realistic. Not really phony.
    My brother and myself used to watch the show in summertime when we weren’t having to work on my dad’s farm. He let us get away with it if we were watching an afternoon episode of Leave It To Beaver. Got us out of the summer heat! Our dad was also a lot like Ward Cleaver. Always wondered how Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow liked Hugh Beaumont off the set. Seemed like a great guy in real life.

  • Mr. Dennis G. Fleming says:

    Hello. I grew up watching litb. Loved it as a kid more so now. Theres just something so relatable to this show. Jerry your an American treasure.

  • Lora Hoopes says:

    This show makes me Smile! I absolutely love it. There are two episodes on every morning at 7 am. I won’t start my day without it!

  • Donald Nelson says:

    Many of the episodes are similar to something that would happen to a child while growing up;such as Beaver having a girl write his autobiography;watch the movie of a novel to write a book report;Eddie’s calling up and
    saying he is ‘Julie Foster’ in one episode and then calling up in another episode and saying he is ‘Mary Ellen’s father’,and Richard’s giving Beaver’s name to the policeman. But I agree –one incident was a little far-fetched
    where Beaver got stuck in the soup.

  • Lonny Williams says:

    I just wanted to say , I grew up watching your show and loved it as a child. What am I saying I love it as an adult just as much. I wish they would make more shows like yours , the ones that have great family values. I want to say thank you to you and the whole cast for so many laughs.

  • mike hutchinson says:

    Thank you for the info you have a blessed day Jerry . Love watching the show its a blast

  • Brian Johnston says:

    They don’t make shows like Leave it to Beaver anymore so family freindly show. No need for any bad langage especialy when the carratotr of Ward Cleaver was in real life a preacher. He would have really frown on that kind of stuff.Brian J.

  • Carol Fairman says:

    Still one of my favorite shows. Watch it on ME TV when I am home during the week and on Sunday mornings, I think that the program not only can teach kids some lessons, but also parents

  • Dave Mokry says:

    Always like watching “Leave It To Beaver”— good wholesome show– comedy, moral, and just plain Horse-Sense !!!

  • Brenda Higgins says:

    I grew up watching the show, and if I can catch reruns, I still love to watch. I like the way the kids all talk to each other. Calling each other a creep, or just the way they think and blurt out stuff. It is like being on the playground in grade school again. People always say it was not like real life with June wearing pearls and a nice dress everyday. Well, my mother looked just like June, nice dress and pearls. She dressed up everyday. Even wore the white gloves to church.
    By the way, I saw Jerry and Tony years ago in Columbus, OH at a dinner theater. Lots of fun.
    Thank you,

  • Debbie Cohorst says:

    The explanation for the name Beaver because Wally couldn’t pronounce Theodore didn’t seem so far-fetched to me since I knew of people who had nicknames because of a siblings mispronunciation.

    It’s such a shame they don’t have these kinds of shows on tv anymore. Thank heavens for re-runs!

  • Linda S. Brooks says:

    Thanks so much for that interesting fact. Have been a fan of Litb for many many years. Also enjoyed seeiing you and meeting you at the stage doors of hairspray a few years ago. Stay with us Jerry!!:-) What is next for you?

  • Tony Sutherland says:

    I loved leave it to beaver, growing up, I am 57 now and still love it. keep the reruns coming beav.


  • I can see that. My mother has a great nephew, my cousin of course, who couldn’t pronounce her name. He got as close as he could and now that is her nickname.

  • Mary Ellen Lloyd says:

    Ha ha, I also wondered immediately – first thought – if some poor kid actually got stuck in a soup bowl!! I am glad to finally know how the name “Beaver” was given to your character. I always wondered.

  • Kamal says:

    I watch the beaver everyday and never get tired of seeing the same episodes over and over. Always prefer quality and message . There is nothing today that could compare.

  • Anne Harmon says:

    Mr mathers I think your a wonderful actor to think at such a young age could express feelings ,emotions,and it was from the heart any one can see this from watching leave it to beaver, and tyvm for service our country God bless you

  • Duane Robb says:

    What a timeless masterpiece. Enjoy it every morning with my toast and coffee. Love from Michigan. Dewey

  • Neal says:

    i have recently become a big fan of the show LITB. I watch the show ALOT. Let’s just say, I can’t get enough of it. I have my five year daughter watch with me too. I would have never thought that this show would have brought me and my family so much comfort after so many years – but it just does. I am so grateful that all the peoe involved did this work so well. Thanks to you Jerry, all the fans of the show have a nice website to share our appreciation. “Hey ma, can I have a hunk a milk”? : )

  • Lisa MacNeil says:

    Thank you Jerry for the explanation of Beaver. I too, thought that was a lame explanation on the last show. Having said that, you, the other actors in the show, the producers, directors and writers have blessed millions for decades with this one show! It’s such a true to life yet wholesome and sweet show! I love it and always will. I have the DVD set of the show and I cherish it. 🙂

  • Christopher Chipps says:

    Thanks Jerry. I had always wondered why they called you “Beaver” and why they named the show, “Leave it to Beaver”

  • Harry Beam says:

    Read a while back that you served in the USAF and wanted to Thank You for your service because I am a Veteran of the USAF served 1966 to 1970 watched the show back in the day and watched the reruns.

  • Hollie Hastings says:

    I was born on 67. And never missed an episode. I wish there was a wholesome show like this for children to see today. I will always be a Beaver fan!

  • Steven Wilcox says:

    When my nephew started talking he would call me Uncle Weebin and everyone thought it was so cute and I became Uncle Weeben ever since!

  • Alan Sorenson says:

    Probably my favorite all-time show. Still love it to this day. I watched them all the 1st time around.

  • Roger Epps says:

    Beaver was about three or four years older than me so he was my ‘Hero” growing up!!

  • Charles Cleaver says:

    Wondering how they came up with the fathers name of WARD? My grandmother Cleavers maiden name was WARD. Hence the reason for my question. Have always enjoyed watching my relatives on TV lol

  • bobrzik says:

    So Mr. Connelly was a Merchant that why Lumpy wanted to join the Merchant Marines?

  • There was a curb at my sons school where the buses drop the kids off. One morning when there was only a couple of buses there, my 2nd grader started walking down the curb, one step on the curb, one step on the ground, etc., etc.. When a teacher suddenly appeared, grabbed my son and took him straight to the principal’s office! When I got the call, I just chuckled and said we were just watching Leave It To Beaver last night!

  • Dawn Narmore says:

    Hi Beav, Is it true that Alice Cooper played the part of Eddie Haskell? If so do you remember how long and what episodes?

    • No, Alice Cooper never played Ken Osmond’s part as Eddie Haskell. It was just a rumor that got started somehow. Ken is a decorated Los Angeles Police motorcycle officer.

  • Eddy Patrick says:

    Thank you for my all time favorite series. It still takes me back to my childhood every time I see an episode for the 10 the time. We are close to the same age so we kinda grew up together..

  • Andres Mendoza says:

    I love this show because it is not only entertaining but it also teaches a lot of stuff for parents. Great explanation about the name. I live in Venezuela but I lived in the USA while going to school and this is one show that is really special. It must be a great experience to meet the characters in person. God bless you all and thanks for a great show.

  • Eve says:

    Thank You for letting me know where the name Beaver came from. I was curious about that for so long. I Loved LITB growing up as a kid. I remember I couldn’t wait to get home from school to watch it…I never missed an episode. Loved Wally and Beaver. oh, and Eddie Haskel was cool too. the Beav’s parents were parents I wish I had. Thank You and everyone who was involved in making my childhood a happy one because of a great Family oriented show. 🙂 I wish Today’s t.v. shows were as good and Wholesome as LITB & many others were.

  • Steve Benavides NDHS'68 says:

    You did not like that name in High School Jerry. “Cheer, Cheer for Ole Notre Dame, Ring out the echoes cheering her name!”

  • …I am almost 65 years old and still enjoy each episode…for some unexplainable reason , they bring semblance to today’s “crazy world”…

  • Sharon mcgowan says:

    I luv leave it to beaver. Even though I own almost every season on dvd, I luv when I catch it on tv. I could watch it everyday over and over. Beaver fan forever!! ♡♡

  • Kyle Klever says:

    I was in 7th grade in ’79 when the first person called me Beaver. At that point I had never seen or heard of “Leave it to Beaver”. I thought he just called me that because it rhymed with my last name. A few months later they started showing reruns of the show and I realized that was where he got it! My high school Spanish teacher even used the Spanish translation (castor) for my name in class. I also always wondered why Theodore was nicknamed Beaver.

  • Ann Pierson says:

    My brother and I watched your show when we were young. It was a wonderful family show. You were my favorite because you looked like my younger brother when he was the age you first portrayed. Earl had muscular dystrophy since he was born and and spent his life in a wheelchair from 8 years old until he died when he was 21 in 1971. We watched all the reruns on TV. I think he enjoying watching other kids being active tho he couldn’t. He never complained that his family knows of. After he died I tried to find your rerun shows so I could see my littler brother again through you. Jerry I also loved your mom and dad and Wally on the show. I am currently 67 now and Earl would have been 65 last December. You brought many years of clean wholesome laughter to America and we will always love you.

  • S C says:

    Look forward to watching your show every weekday I’m not at work -simple time, common sense values and always a chuckle. I had a mischievous cat I nicknamed the beav back in the day😊

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