Why Eddie Haskell Was My Role Model
The Many Humble, Useful Faces of Eddie Haskell
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?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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