"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Saturday, March 10, 2007

And Jerry Mathers, as The Beaver . . . . .

More on Leave it to Beaver.

All-American kids in an All-American family. The Beav always got into trouble, but dad always had some good advice, and a clear lesson, from every adventure. No drugs, no teen pregnancy, nothing that couldn't be fixed with a little common sense.

Eddie Haskell is to this day the prime example of a particularly phoney, smarmy suck-up. In the show, however, it was always clear that his act didn't fool any of the real grown-ups.

Jerry Mathers (no relation to Eminem) is just about the same age as your humble and obedient servant.

There were a raft of these shows in the 1950's and early 1960's, with The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet as the prototype. (Oddly, Jerry Mathers appears in one episode during that show's first season.)

My favorite as a kid was The Donna Reed Show and, as intended by the producers, I had a crush on Shelley Fabares. In this All-American family, dad was no less authoritative, but was not the sole source of wisdom (and at least we knew what the heck he did for a living).

I've often wondered if it wasn't the prevalence of these shows -- rather than real life -- that has led morons to think the era dull or predictable. Wondering whether the Soviets might drop the Big One during recess was not a settling thought. We had air raid drills to remind us not to be complacent. In retrospect, we know nothing bad happened, and I guess we think it probably had something to do with boring, reliable, wise, amusing Ozzie Nelson (Rutgers, '27). In real life, Ozzie was a sharp business man, who made himself a fortune.

It wasn't until many years later that I realized Donna Reed was a stone fox.


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