Thursday, May 17, 2012

15 Greatest TV Characters of the 1960s: Eddie Haskell


Name: Edward Clark Haskell

Portrayed by: Ken Osmond

TV series: Leave It to Beaver (1957-63); The New Leave It to Beaver (aka Still the Beaver) (1984-85; 1986-89)

Occupation: Teenage troublemaker; held various jobs as a teen (e.g., worked at a car garage and pet store). He became a building contractor as an adult.

Family and Friends: Best friends were Wally Cleaver and Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford. His parents were George and Agnes, though his father's name has sparked a minor controversy. Eddie called himself Edward Clark Haskell, Jr. in one episode--implying Dad's name was Edward. In another episode, Eddie referred to his father as Frank. In The New Leave It to Beaver, the grown-up Eddie's sons were Freddie and Bomber (played by Ken Osmond's real-life kids). As a child, Eddie had a dog named Wolf. Eddie's girlfriends included Christine Staples (played by Marta Kristen from Lost in Space), Caroline Schuster (who actually thought Eddie was a creep), and Cindy Andrews (Eddie punched Wally for "seeing" Cindy--Wally was actually serving as a model for a sweater that Cindy was making for Eddie).

Trademarks: Called everyone "Sam." Played mean tricks on Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver (e.g., changed his D- in math to a B+).

Classic quotes: "That's a lovely dress you're wearing, Mrs. Cleaver" and "Look, Sam, if you can make the other guy feel like a goon first, then you don't feel like so much of a goon."

Classic episodes: "Eddie Quits School" (after getting into trouble at school, Eddie quits and goes to work at a garage--a surprising look at Eddie's vulnerability); "Eddie Spends the Night" (at the Cleavers!); and "Eddie's Double-Cross" (the Caroline Schuster episode).

10 comments:

  1. Now you're talking! Eddie H. was a hoot. My favorite episode with him was when the boys rode a roller coaster. Eddie kept kidding Beaver, saying he'd get sick. Of course, Beave loved it and Eddie was the one to get the queasy stomach.

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    1. Eddie was a lot more sensitive (in many ways) than he'd ever admit. I think that's one reason why he remains such a memorable character.

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  2. Eddie was the quintessential suck-up. His character was very believable, thanks to Ken Osmond. He added a whole new dimension to a very strong show. Great addition to your 15 great TV characters of the 60s!

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    1. Toto, Eddie may have the best suck-up in the history of American television!

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  3. Eddie Haskell was a great character, so smooth and always egging Wally on - 'let's give em the business' and you knew that trouble would follow, heh... thanks for the post!

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    1. How could I have omitted Eddie's classic quote about "giving them the business"? Thank you for including it!

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  4. Eddie Haskel is one those characters you can never forget. You don't really like him, but he's still admirable in some odd way.

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    1. Ed had his moments as a friend...but he did cause a lot of trouble.

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  5. Ken Osmond was perfection as "Eddie". I can't imagine anyone else making it work half as well.

    I can hear Wally explaining apologetically to Ward about Eddie, "Gee Dad, everybody has to have a best friend."

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  6. Eddie hid behind his trouble maker facade, but deep down he had a heart. Who could forget that episode where he talks Wally out of wearing a sport coat he knew the Beaver ruined. At the end, Beaver told Ward about it and said he wanted to tell everyone what a nice thing Eddie did Ward said "Look Beaver, you know Edddie did something nice and Eddie knows he did something nice, let's just leave it at that". Touching stuff.

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