Many sitcoms have featured coming-of-age themes through the years, but few are as influential as Leave it to Beaver. The popular CBS – and later ABC – show launched in 1957 and followed the inquisitive Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver and his family. And as one of the first shows filmed from a child’s point of view, we have it to thank for later classics like The Wonder Years and Malcolm in the Middle. Nearly 60 years after it first aired, then, Beaver remains as popular as ever, and these little-known facts will make you fall in love with it all over again.
20. Jerry Mathers didn’t even want to be on the show
While the character Beaver Cleaver made him a star, the young Jerry Mathers didn’t even want to be cast on the show. Ironically, the then nine-year-old actor only won the part because he revealed he would rather be at his Cub Scout meeting during his audition. Producers liked his honesty and he landed the now iconic role.