Why Eddie Haskell Was My Role Model

KEN OSMOND AS EDDIE HASKELL. WHAT A ROLE MODEL FOR ME AT THAT AWKWARD AGE OF FIFTEEN.
KEN OSMOND AS EDDIE HASKELL. WHAT A ROLE MODEL FOR ME AT THAT AWKWARD AGE OF FIFTEEN.

The Many Humble, Useful Faces of Eddie Haskell

JERRY MATTHERS, (LEFT), AS BEAVER CLEAVER, RECEIVES VALUABLE TUTORING FROM KNOWLEDGEABLE EDDIE HASKELL.
JERRY MATTHERS, (LEFT), AS BEAVER CLEAVER, RECEIVES VALUABLE TUTORING FROM KNOWLEDGEABLE EDDIE HASKELL.
KEN OSMOND (BACK LEFT) LEAVE IT TO BEAVER; DWAYNE HICKMAN DOBIE GILLIS; ELINOR DONAHUE (FRONT LEFT) FATHER KNOWS BEST AND ANGELA CARWRIGHT DANNY THOMAS SHOW.
KEN OSMOND (BACK LEFT) LEAVE IT TO BEAVER; DWAYNE HICKMAN DOBIE GILLIS; ELINOR DONAHUE (FRONT LEFT) FATHER KNOWS BEST AND ANGELA CARWRIGHT DANNY THOMAS SHOW.
EDDIE HASKELL DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE A BAD PHOTOGRAPH.
EDDIE HASKELL DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE A BAD PHOTOGRAPH.
ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS, EDDIE HASKELL WAS DESTINED FOR SUCCESS EVEN AT AN EARLY AGE.
ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS, EDDIE HASKELL WAS DESTINED FOR SUCCESS EVEN AT AN EARLY AGE.
TONY DOW, (LEFT) AS WALLY CLEAVER, LISTENS TO KEN OSMOND, EDDIE HASKELL, AS HE SOLVES A TEENAGE PROBLEM FOR WALLY.
TONY DOW, (LEFT) AS WALLY CLEAVER, LISTENS TO KEN OSMOND, EDDIE HASKELL, AS HE SOLVES A TEENAGE PROBLEM FOR WALLY.
KEN OSMOND TODAY--SUAVE, SOPHISTICATED, IN THE KNOW, ALWAYS UP ON CURRENT EVENTS AND STILL AS POPULAR AS EVER.
KEN OSMOND TODAY--SUAVE, SOPHISTICATED, IN THE KNOW, ALWAYS UP ON CURRENT EVENTS AND STILL AS POPULAR AS EVER.

Eddie Haskell Meets Me At Age Fifteen

What an age, fifteen. Awkward. Lost. No direction. That was me. Not something I am proud of, but still, like everyone else, I had to go through being fifteen years old. Fifteen, most people will agree, is that age when you feel nothing you do is right. And nothing you say is understood. You are forever being scrutinized, analyzed, and criticized for the least, knit picky thing. I can tell you from personal experience that the age of fifteen for me was nothing to write home about. I still have bad dreams of that scary age. I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat reliving the daily, clumsy disasters that befell me at this age. It's a wonder and miracle of God, that I made it to sixteen.

I know now what my problem was. I chose, without apology to anyone, Ken Osmond, Eddie Haskell on Leave it To Beaver as my role model. Most kids my age were into rock music, fast cars and girls, well, I was kinda into girls, those who would give me the time of day, but I loved following Eddie Haskell on a daily basis. I even suffered scoffing and teasing from my buddies for wanting to be like Eddie Haskell. "not manly," they would say. I can recall the very first time I saw him on Leave it To Beaver. With his suave, charming, cool and charismatic style in handling his peers and grown-ups, I knew right then and there, Haskell was the role model for me. Oh, you are saying with amazement, "why Eddie Haskell ?" I say, "why not Eddie Haskell ?" I liked Robert Kennedy's way of making speeches also.

Eddie Haskell to me, was "the" man when it came to getting in and out of mischief unscathed. Without the smell of trouble on his clothing. His hair perfectly in place. A smile on his lips and a handshake for any adult who would acknowledge him. Eddie Haskell was, for lack of a better-fitting adjective, cool. How cool? A cucumber in a cold produce section of the grocery store would be sweltry compared to Haskell.

Eddie Haskell was charming. Okay, to be honest, maybe a tad manipulative, but still charming. I never witnessed anyone in my class who could even come close to Eddie Haskell when it came to charm, grace, and turning just the right phrase to either engineer his way into a social event without paying, or engineering his way into the door of the home of a pretty girl before his best friend, Wally Cleaver could make the first move. Eddie Haskell knew the score. He was always on top of his game. And seldom lost, and when he did lose, which was a very rare moment, he always, and I mean always, had a back-up excuse in place ready to use to explain why he lost. The sun was in his eyes, someone bumped his arm, a dog barked at the wrong time, these are a few sharp examples of the lines that Eddie Haskell would use when he would lose a sporting event or maybe a personal match of arm wrestling for a soda. Eddie Haskell was a boy way ahead of his time.

In my humble opinion, Ken Osmond, Eddie Haskell was the primary reason that Leave it To Beaver was so successful. To prove my point, let me ask you, "Imagine for a scary moment, Leave it To Beaver was written, produced and filmed WITHOUT Eddie Haskell." My friend, that is a scary thought if you let yourself think that deep. Eddie Haskell and his weekly antics, bad, good, or questionable, kept Leave it To Beaver garnering higher ratings and fan support each week liken a run away train going down a steep mountain grade in Colorado. Eddie Haskell was that talented. Okay. Ken Osmond was that talented.

Would you like some more valuable background information about Ken Osmond, who played my flawless role model Eddie Haskell? Okay. I am doing this favor too, for those of you who are compiling Eddie Haskell Scrapbooks And Momento's to pass along to your grandchildren or maybe, great grandchildren. Whoever gets the Eddie Haskell scrapbook is going to be a surely-blessed person.

Ken Osmond is now Age 68, but looks 35. Osmond was born June 7, 1943, in Glendale, California. His eyes are blue, his hair color is grey (from all the selfless charity work he has done on and off screen). Osmond is a Gemini and of the Christian faith. And as we all know, his claim to fame, was the Leave it To Beaver show and Osmond is the basic reason the show was so meteoric in it's rise to the top of the television ratings.

And here is more Ken Osmond, Eddie Haskell information that you probably didn't know.

Supporting actor Ken Osmond is best remembered for playing Wally Cleaver's oily, conniving best friend Eddie Haskell on Leave It to Beaver from (1957-1963), a role he has frequently capitalized on in films and subsequent incarnations of the ever-popular series. Prior to getting that role, Osmond -- usually billed as Kenneth Osmond -- was already a busy child actor, playing supporting parts in such big-budget Warner Bros. films as So Big (his big-screen debut) at age eight. He made the rounds of the studios, appearing in Fox's tear-jerker Good Morning, Miss Dove in 1955, as well as the comedy Everything But the Truth at Universal in 1956. It was a year later that he took on the part of Eddie Haskell in Leave It to Beaver, which was produced by Universal's television unit. Osmond's work as Eddie earned him a Youth In Films Lifetime Achievement Award.

So you see, my friends, why I chose Eddie Haskell for my role model. Haskell, I mean, Osmond, was already making a name for himself even before I knew what a television was. That's how it used to be in the world, "early bird gets the worm," as the saying goes. "nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel," that describes Ken Osmond alright. In all honesty, I couldn't have kept up this frantic pace to be successful. That's why there was only Ken Osmond. And one Eddie Haskell.

Okay. I guess this is the part that you have been waiting on. How I implemented many of Eddie Haskell's mannerisms and phrases into my life at age fifteen. Hey, some worked as well as a Swiss clock while some worked as well as a hobo in the train yards in Wichita hoping to hop a passenger train for free food.

I began combing by hair, which by the way, was the same color as Eddie Haskell's hair, the same way Eddie combed his hair. I started wearing sweaters instead of the accepted denim jackets to school. My mom thought I was "going through a teenage phase," when I asked for pleated dress pants instead of jeans for school. If Eddie Haskell met with success combing his hair so stylish and wearing sweaters and pleated dress pants, so could I. At least that's what I thought?

"You going to a funeral today?" Someone snarled at me the first day I showed up in my Eddie Haskell image. Ididn't know that teachers could say things that cold. I kept my mouth shut and then thought about what would Eddie Haskell do if he were in this fix. A General Electric light bulb went off above my head. I smiled at my woman teacher, smiled like Brer Fox and replied, "That's a lovely dress you have on, Mrs. Goggans," her face froze. Her lips ceased to move. Then her face went from a normal pinkish color to a tomato red. I stood near my desk and tried hard to smile again like Eddie Haskell would smile. "What was that you just said?" my teacher asked, and I don't know why she asked what I said. She had perfect hearing. So I did what my hero Eddie Haskell would do and fabricate, "Ma'am, I simply said, I am not going to rush to my desk for I want to work, not rest," and you know what? That worked. Like a nickel charm at a travelling carnival. Eddie Haskell had saved my life, to say nothing about my tender behind. I remember from that moment on, what an usually-good day I had--even with the obvious misunderstanding on Mrs. Goggans' part, but hey, she was, after all, human.

What about the way Eddie Haskell interacted with girls? This was the most-difficult area of being like Eddie Haskell. But if I were to really be a follower of this television icon, a hero in a sweater even on a hot summer day, I would have to put the Haskell charm to the test. Even if it meant certain shame and humiliation.

At morning recess, I spotted a couple of rather decent-looking females standing in the hallway probably gossiping about how "I" had changed from a rural hayseed to a suave, well-spoken, sharply-dressed young man who was well on his way to being voted Most Successful in our school. I got up my nerve, well, I didn't do that at all for Eddie Haskell would not have called up his confidence. He was built of confidence. I walked up to "Marie Fields," and "Cindy Glasgow," and stood as cool and unintimidated as I could. Both girls stopped in mid-gossip and said, "Ken, (see? It was working) what do you want?" I smoothed back my blond hair that I had combed with Brylcreem and said, "Oh, just this, girls. You two are sure looking swell today," and smiled that Eddie Haskell lady-killer smile. Both of these rather decent-looking girls said with a controlled-rage, "You calling us fat? Is that what you said? We looked swelled?" Needless to say, I did what Eddie Haskell would have done, not run off, but strategically-retreat and regroup. That is what a wise man like Eddie Haskell would do. So did that as well.

Later that day "Cindy" and "Marie" told Mrs. Goggans about my sensitive remarks and thought they had gotten the best of me. Just read on the you will not believe your eyes. Before our lunch period, Mrs. Goggans came to my desk and whispered, "Ken, (even she thought I looked like Eddie Haskell), I want to talk to you a few minutes before you go to lunch. Do not go with the class. You stay here. Did I sweat? No. Why was I worried? I never saw Eddie Haskell sweat the first drop. The lunch bell rang. My class arose from their desks to proceed to our lunchroom where they served the finest prison food in the county. "Cindy" and "Marie" strutted in front of me with that "We got you in trouble," look on their faces as I just sat and waited for Mrs. Goggans to shut the official school-approved brown-stained wooden door.

"Ken, we both know that there is a small problem here and I want to ask you what you said to "Cindy" and "Marie," Goggans said very professionally.

"That's a nice pin you are wearing, Mrs. Goggans, ma'am," I replied in my very-best Eddie Haskell tone of voice.

"Awww, thank you, Ken, but I will tell you that "Cindy" and "Marie," said that you said that they 'were sure looking swelled today,' is that correct, Ken?" Goggans asked and I think she didn't really want to know my answer.

"No, ma'am. What I said was, 'Cindy, Marie, I commend your mothers for sewing such wonderful dresses for you. Those dresses make you look like true southern belles," I replied looking as humble as possible.

"Is that true, is that what you really said?" Goggans asked impatiently. Secretly I wondered if she had something really tasty in her brown bag lunch sitting on her desk. I had, on occasion, observed that she was prone to pimento cheese sandwiches on white bread, red apples, and Saltine crackers with a Coca-Cola in the can. Today I wouldn't know what she had for lunch.

"Yes, ma'am. Would I say something wrong and get in trouble with you, and my mom and dad who are working so hard to provide for me an education?" I said with confidence in my voice. I would have sworn to hearing the Battle Hymn of The Republic playing as I replied. And a small tear form in Mrs. Goggans' left eye.

"Okay then, Ken. We won't talk about this anymore. And you know something, those two, "Cindy" and "Marie," they can tell the occasional tale when they want to," Mrs. Goggans said as she opened her lunch in a brown bag and sent me away to the lunchroom.

To this day, "Cindy" and "Marie," who are, by the way, still living and doing well, both think that Mrs. Goggans gave me the board and a severe dressing-down. I could have, a long time back, told them the real truth, but I chose to let them enjoy the moment.

That was something that not even my role model and idol Eddie Haskell would do. That was something, I, Kenneth Avery, would do. And did it.

Sadly, as the years first, crawled by and then with age, flew by, I gave up my attempts to be like Eddie Haskell. Frankly, I was sad as if I had lost my best friend, actually I HAD lost my best friend, Eddie Haskell as age came so did responsibilities, duties, and service to family, friends and country. These are part of the growing-up experience that all of us share.

But still, sometimes when I am alone, or in a grocery store with my wife, I amuse myself with secret, personal fantasies about how Eddie Haskell would approach the mundane chore of grocery shopping. Then, as always, reality hits me. And I realize.

Eddie Haskell wouldn't shop for groceries. He would invite himself to a friend's house for a free meal.

Then I ask my wife, "Say, honey, what are the Holliday's doing tonight?"






The Eddie Haskell Poll

Why Would You Love To Be Like Eddie Haskell?

  • For His Charm
  • For His Gift of Gab
  • For His Stylish Clothing
  • For His Friendly Attitude
  • For How He Always Helped Wally And Beaver
  • For How He Always Complimented June Cleaver
  • For How He Always Managed To Get Out Of Tough Spots
See results without voting

Eddie Haskell At His Best

when you play this video, even the non-fans of Eddie Haskell will fall in love with this true American legend and icon. Listen to his smooth tone of voice as he talks about the car company he is advertising for in this clip. You see, even when he wasn't starring in Leave It to Beaver, Eddie Haskell, was always doing something for his fellow man. And his beloved United States.

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Comments 14 comments

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

Hi Kenneth,

You sure are writing like crazy, and good stuff! I recall Eddie Haskell as being a bit of a sneak, but thinking about how perfect the Cleavers were made me realize Eddie probably helped the show. They needed a personality like his to jazz it up! Sort of like Fonzie on Happy Days. The family was great, everyone loved Mr. B, and Mrs. B., but there had to be an element that had a touch of "badness."


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I smiled all the way through this wonderful hub of yours. I think that I have seen every episode of Leave It Beaver. It was one of my favorite shows. However sorry to say this but I was not a fan of Eddie Haskell. I liked Wally and the Beav. I really did enjoy your hub though and hit all the buttons.


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

You are right...Leave it to Beaver without Eddie Haskell would have been dull.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Jean! Long time, no Jean! THANK YOU for the warm comment. I was then, and am now, a Leave It To Beaver fan. But I always had to root for Eddie in his various schemes and ways to get past the grown-ups. I had a few "Eddie's" in my teenager years. I don't anymore. I miss them terribly. Thank YOU, Jean for the comment.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Just Ask Susan, a Warm Hello and a GREAT BIG, HEART-FELT THANKS for the hub comment. That is perfectly alright to NOT like Eddie. Not many people do at first, but hang around him a few years and he just grows on you. Thank you, humbly for the VOTES and BUTTONS you pushed. You cannot fathom how much I appreciate YOU and YOUR comments about the materials that I work to provide for others. I am serious. Bless you. Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Warm Greetings, Sinea Pies, "THANK YOU for the comment. And for agreeing with my summizing of what Beaver would be like without Eddie. I sincerely appreciate it. In my dreams I have often thought about an entirely-revamped Leave It To Beaver, but NOT with anyone new. But with Older Wally, Beaver, Eddie, Lumpy, Etc. And call it "Left It To Beaver," and have these older guys sitting around as their grandchildren go through what they did as kids. Just a thought. Thanks for YOUR comment. Kenneth


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Kenneth,

Thank you for another entertaining and funny hub. One can never laugh too much.

Eddie was a smooth operator. I don't think June Cleaver fell for his lines. Here are a couple I found.

"Wally, if your dumb brother tags along, I'm gonna - oh, good afternoon, Mrs. Cleaver. I was just telling Wallace how pleasant it would be for Theodore to accompany us to the movies."

June Cleaver: "Eddie, would you care to stay for dinner? We're having roast beef. "

Eddie Haskell: No thank you, Mrs. Cleaver. I really must be getting home. We're having squab this evening."

Voted up,up and away!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Sueswan, THANK YOU for making ME laugh! These two Eddie lines are gems! Loved them to death! And they ARE what he said on the show. Smooth operator is what Eddie was alright. But I got to give him credit...he was the BEST at what he did. He always kept the Cleavers on their toes. I do miss the Beaver show so much. And Eddie. Thanks for the lines..I shall commit them to memory and quote them to my friends in Hamilton when I am blessed to meet them in public. You are a wonderful inspiration and friend, Sueswan! Kenneth And thanks for the Votes..I do thank you for that. It means a LOT.


Lee B profile image

Lee B 5 years ago from New Mexico

I agree, LITB would have too saccharine-sweet without Eddie H. He was the "spice." Really enjoyed reading this hub!


lyndapringle profile image

lyndapringle 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

Good hub! I didn't watch much of Leave It to Beaver but did find Eddie Haskell to be charming. My husband hates the Haskell character and accuses him of insincere flattery. But I like him. The way I see it - all flattery is good. If someone deems you important enough to flatter, then that's admiration in itself. :-) But, as you mention, that character doesn't translate well into adulthood and marriage once you become involved in relationships where people know you too well or you become embroiled in situations where raw honesty is the only way to handle things. However, it's a good persona to occasionally use in the work place to smooth over conflicts and to get along with co-workers. 15 is not a good time for anyone - sophomore year is probably the dullest of the high school years.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, Lee B! THANK YOU VERY MUCH for that very-insightful comment. I never thought of the Beaver show in that frame! Loved what you said. And Yes, to Eddie being important, even though Wally and The Beav, had a bigger fan base. Thanks again, Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, lyndapringle . . .LOL, your husband doesn't like Eddie? Well, guess what? My convervative wife despises him, so I understand. Still, Eddie is my personal hero of that time in our television history. I did love Long Ranger/Tonto and the good guys, but somehow with maturity came a sparkle of wisdom that it takes the Eddie's of life to make the world an exciting, and unpredictable place and YES, tell me about fifteen...awkward, dull and never on right track, that was MY fifteen. And I THANK YOU lynda from the bottom of my heart for this comment. Made my night and Rock on, Eddie Haskell!!! Sincerely, Kenneth


debi56 profile image

debi56 5 years ago from bremerton

I loved Eddie Haskell, the 'Eddie Haskells' of the world were always the ones I had a crush on. They always made me laugh. They had what it took to brown nose parents and then turn around and convince you to break the neighbors window while he watched. LOL He was a loveable jerk.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Amen, debi! I agree 110% with YOU! It WAS the Eddie's of the world who made our world interesting. My Eddie was Gilbert Abbott, a friend from the same poor background as me, but he loved to curse, get people to do things against teachers, he was a bona fide loveable troublemaker. I loved him. And debi56, THANK YOU SINCERELY, for your commment on this hub. YOUR comments mean a LOT to me. I mean that. I am so glad that I found such a creative and honest writer as yourself on hubs. Sincerely, Kenneth, a disciple even today, of Eddie Haskell.

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