Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, wanted Eddie Haskell to have his own show — so he created Bart Simpson

"When I grow up, I'm gonna do my own show, and it's gonna star Eddie Haskell."


Main characters carry a show. You can't have The Andy Griffith Show without Andy Taylor. Gunsmoke without Matt Dillon. The Flintstones without Fred Flintstone.

Yet, while we need a main character to keep the show grounded and serve as an "everyman", audiences often favor the wacky side characters more. The Gomer Pyles. The Festuses. The Great Gazoos.

One of those side characters that audiences adore, sometimes more than the main characters, is Eddie Haskell. While Beaver and Wally might get up to some trouble, they're good kids at heart who always end up coming to June and Ward for some advice. Eddie is a smart-mouthed wise guy who always has some scheme up his sleeve, and a lot of the time he's the reason Wally and Beaver end up in trouble in the first place. Sure, he's a stinker, but boy, isn't that what makes him fun to watch?

Matt Groening, the 13-time Emmy Award-winning creator of The Simpsons, Futurama, and Disenchantment, sure thinks so.

In a 1999 CBS special, Influences: From Yesterday to Today, the cartoonist talked about growing up watching TV in the Fifties and Sixties, and how that impacted his own work.

"Leave It to Beaver... [Beaver] was a good kid, but he was like 'gee Wally, I don't know, I don't know'... the character I really liked on Leave It to Beaver was Eddie Haskell," Groening said. "He was the bad kid. He got away with stuff, and I really liked that."

"I thought, 'Eddie Haskell should have his own show. And when I grow up, I'm gonna do my own show, and it's gonna star Eddie Haskell,' or some version thereof. Hence Bart Simpson."

"Bart, for me, is just the kid that I always wanted to see on TV that I never did see on TV," Groening explained. "I mean, if you're a kid in class, you know that the most interesting kid is the kid over in the corner shooting rubber bands and dropping encyclopedias out of the window. That's what Bart is. Bart's the kid who refuses to be bored, and I can relate to that."

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TownOfMayberry 1 month ago
MeTV needs to Corte t the punctuation in this article: “Everyman,”
In American English, commas and periods always come before the “end quote.”
Lillyrose 1 month ago
Leave it to Beaver is one of my favorite shows. Ken Osmond did an excellent job of portraying Eddie Haskell. I didn't watch The Simpsons, so I can't comment on that. I used to watch Silver Spoons, and Jason Bateman did a good job of playing Ricky's obnoxious friend Derek. Derek was like Eddie Haskell. But Ken Osmond was the best at playing that kind of character, hands down.
Coldnorth Lillyrose 1 month ago
Is Silver Spoons streaming anywhere?
Jimtypes 1 month ago
In Star Trek parlance, Eddie is Q. That relates to nothing but I think it's true.
( in the TOS universe, he's Trelane )
MeTV48 1 month ago
Eddie Haskell is arguably the most memorable secondary character in television history. Right up there with the likes of Chester Good in "Gunsmoke." Anyone of a certain age, regardless of whether you liked him or not, knows exactly who he is. That's saying something about a character who only appeared in 97 of the 235 "Beaver" episodes
markomalley 1 month ago
Eddie was a rich kid. Today he'd be called a rich punk. His parents had cooks and maids and he acted that way because his upper crust parents could care less about him, or anybody. Ken Osmond was a very talented actor who brought his character to life in a big way. IMO, Ken was the best actor on the show...hands down.
markomalley 1 month ago
I didn't like Leave It To Beaver when it was on live TV in the early 60's. They were way to rich for me! We were not poor, but the Cleavers unabashed spending and over dressing was sickening to me. Big Seeming Unlimited Allowances, Beaver & Wally buying whatever they wanted, Dad and Mom dressed like bejeweled fashion plate millionaires at the dinner table, camping, cooking burgers on the grill... everywhere! New cars every year, Den & Library, Housekeepers. Surprised they didn't also have a maid and manservant! I usually had to turn the show off after 15 minutes because it made me sick. 65 years later...I watch everyday. It's less PERSONAL to me today. Time heals.
Sooner markomalley 1 month ago
Resenting successful people is not a good way to build character. If they were politicians who are corrupt to get rich, that would be another thing, but Ward was a hard-working dad doing a great job of providing for his family. I agree that the jewelry around the house was a bit much.
markomalley Sooner 1 month ago
The Cleavers were supposed to be middle class Americans in 1957. Middle Class Americans did not act like the Cleavers in the 50's and early 60's, so I know I'm dealing with someone who never lived then. In other words, I don't care what YOU THINK. Leave It To Beaver was NOT a hit TV show, not even close. The show was mostly on life support the last 3 seasons. I would never watch it past 1961 and the show faded away without any notice whatsoever. The Cleavers had money yet lived in a Lower Class neighborhood on a tiny postage stamp lot with bad landscaping and lawn YET dressed like rich buffoons at their tiny kitchen table. The entire show premise was off kilter for that era. Totally Wrong. Like "The Connors" driving Bentleys and Lambo's...Sure...Whatever
AgingDisgracefully 1 month ago
The subject line in the E-mailing led me to think that Theo Cleaver and the then-unmarried Marge had a bouncy-bouncy session that led to Bart. Or WAS it Eddie after all?
I smell a pre-quel.
RicardoShillyShally 1 month ago
Eddie Haskell was probably the greatest, most unique character ever developed for television.
heyjoe00 1 month ago
Eddie was the Goofus to Wally's Gallant.
ChrisAnn heyjoe00 1 month ago
Exactly! I remember them from Highlights magazine.
Scott76112 1 month ago
"He was the bad kid. He got away with stuff, and I really liked that."

I must've seen a different Leave It to Beaver.

Everybody had Eddie Haskell's number. He only *thought* he got away with stuff.
Bapa1 1 month ago
Everybody knew a "Eddie Haskell" at one time in their life.
But then we all felt sorry for Eddie when he moved into that boarding house and had that dreary room that he was all alone in. Even sadder was that poor lonely dog he kept in the bathroom. That was probably the most depressing Beaver episode.
wow, i don't remember that at all.
trogg888 1 month ago
Eddie was bad but he never really got away with it,and usually he was repententinhis own way.9r he got his cumuppance like the time wally put ice cream down his pants.hewas the bullytha really was a coward at heart,but likableina weird way.not much to like about bart but he was a cartoon so he got away with it
Morals 1 month ago
As a child in the 50's, I hated Eddie Haskell. My son had a friend he meet at church camp & he always reminded me of Eddie.
LalaLucy 1 month ago
Eddie was obnoxious to be sure but was played much more as a contrast to Wally. He was the cautionary how-not-to-behave. However, in that, he also has some great vulnerable moments that are among my favorites in the series. I really
just cannot feature Bart pulling that off in the least. He seems more a brat just to be a brat.
Rick 1 month ago
"...audiences often favor the wacky side characters more. [...] The Great Gazoos..."

No. Not at all. Nobody favors the Great Gazoo. Not in the least.
Morals Rick 1 month ago
I agree with you Rick. Nasty Eddie.
Tresix 1 month ago
In a TVLand poll on the 10 characters you loved to hate, Eddie came in at #9. Dan Fielding from “Night Court” was #10, Louie from “Taxi” was #1.
Morals Tresix 1 month ago
Yep; Eddie would have bee #1 in my book maybe because I watched Leave it to Beaver more than the others.
Tresix Morals 1 month ago
I would have put Fielding over Eddie. Eddie was just a sneaky kid, Dan was a world class sleaze bag. In fact, Dan should have been MUCH higher.
KawiVulc 1 month ago
Never saw a similarity there other than Eddie/Bart on a TV show - entertaining, sure. Eddie/Bart in real life... not so much.
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