It's a Small World (Leave It to Beaver)
|"It's a Small World"|
|Leave It to Beaver episode|
Mathers and Sullivan
|Episode no.||Season —
|Directed by||Jerry Hopper|
|Written by||Joe Connelly
|Production code||Pilot aired on Studio 57|
|Original air date||April 23, 1957|
"It's a Small World" is the pilot episode from the iconic American television series Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963). The pilot (originally proposed as Wally and The Beaver) was first televised April 23, 1957 on a syndicated anthology series, Studio 57, without a laugh track nor the series' well known theme song, "The Toy Parade". It never aired as an episode within the series. It was televised again in October 2007 as part of TV Land's 50th anniversary celebration of Leave It to Beaver. It was released to DVD, 2005. The series proper made its CBS debut several months later on October 4, 1957 with the episode, "Beaver Gets 'Spelled".
Wally and Beaver want a new bicycle. Frankie Bennett, a mischievous boy, tells them new bikes can be had a local dairy in exchange for 1,000 bottle caps from the company's products. The boys collect the bottle caps, but, in attempting to redeem them, learn they've been duped. Ward takes pity on the boys and buys them a bicycle. Ward is seen smoking a cigarette in two scenes of this episode.
Casey Adams (aka Max Showalter) and Barbara Billingsley appear in the pilot as archetypal suburban couple, Ward and June Cleaver, with Paul Sullivan as Wally Cleaver and Jerry Mathers as Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver.
Hugh Beaumont (rather than Adams) would appear in the series proper as Ward Cleaver while the role of Wally went to Tony Dow after Sullivan experienced a growth spurt on the eve of series' production. Diane Brewster appears as Miss Simms, a secretary, with Richard Deacon as Mr. Baxter, Miss Simms' boss. Brewster and Deacon would find roles in the series proper as Miss Canfield, Beaver's second grade teacher, and Fred Rutherford, Ward's co-worker and father of "Lumpy," Eddie Haskell's easily duped henchman/bully. Joseph Kearns appears as milk company executive, Fred Crowley, and would later appear as Mr. Wilson in the sitcom, Dennis the Menace. Harry Shearer plays Frankie Bennett, a mischievous boy who leads Wally and Beaver astray while Tommy Randall plays Frankie's pal. In two scenes of this episode, Ward Cleaver is seen smoking a cigarette. Other cast members include Russ Thorson as Man with Milk Bottles, Leonard Bremen as Milk Bar Operator, Tim Graham as Doc, and Virginia Carroll as Nurse. Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher wrote the teleplay with Jerry Hopper directing the episode. Richard Lewis produced the episode.
The pilot was a single camera, black-and-white, full-screen, half-hour episode filmed at Republic Studios and the Universal Studios backlot. With some modifications, the façade of the Cleaver house in the pilot became that of the Cleaver house in the first two seasons of the series. Some decorative elements (like the curtains in the boys' bedroom) would be retained for the series proper.
Characters and cast
- June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) is the wife of Ward Cleaver and the mother of Wally and Beaver.
- Ward Cleaver (Max Showalter as Casey Adams) is the husband of June Cleaver and the father of Wally and Beaver.
- Wally Cleaver (Paul Sullivan) is the older son of Ward and June and the brother of Beaver.
- Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver (Jerry Mathers) is the younger son of Ward and June and the brother of Wally.
- Miss Simms (Diane Brewster) is a secretary/receptionist at the Franklin Milk Company.
- Mr. Baxter (Richard Deacon) is an executive at the Franklin Milk Company and Miss Simms' boss.
- Mr. Crowley (Joseph Kearns) is the CEO of the Franklin Milk Company.
- Frankie Bennett (Harry Shearer) is a mischievous boy and an acquaintance of Wally and Beaver.
- Bark, Ed. "Leave it to DVDs to give us the best of the Beav", The Dallas Morning News, November 28, 2005. Accessed January 3, 2008.
- King, Susan. "Museums; Weekend Chat; A TV Tribute With No Middle", Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2001. Accessed January 3, 2008.
- Mathers, Jerry. ...And Jerry Mathers as "The Beaver". Berkley Boulevard Books, 1998. (ISBN 0425163709)
- Applebaum, Irwyn. The World According to Beaver. TV Books, 1984, 1998. (ISBN 1575000520).
- Bank, Frank. Call Me Lumpy: my Leave It To Beaver days and other wild Hollywood life . Addax, 2002. (ISBN 1886110298), (ISBN 978-1886110298).
- Leave It to Beaver: the complete first season. Universal Studios, 2005.
- Leave It to Beaver: the complete second season. Universal Studios, 2006. (ISBN 1417074876)
- Mathers, Jerry. ...And Jerry Mather as "The Beaver". Berkley Boulevard Books, 1998. (ISBN 0425163709)