Tony Dow said it was ''very odd'' watching reruns of Leave It to Beaver

You wouldn't catch Tony Dow binge-watching Leave It to Beaver.

Because of the success and longevity of Leave It to Beaver, Tony Dow gave us the wonderful gift of being able to watch Wally Cleaver grow up on screen. In addition, because of the durability of the series, it also means that the gift can be enjoyed by multiple generations, not just those who were there to see the episodes air. Rewatching old episodes of Leave It to Beaver can be a real treat, except for when you're that kid on the screen, and you're watching yourself.

In an interview with The Kansas City Star, Tony Dow described watching older episodes of Leave It to Beaver as "very odd." He elaborated, "It's sort of like there's a disconnect. I mean, I know it was me. I was on the show. But I can watch it and be divorced from it."

He did amend that some episodes were easier to sit through than others, and said, "Some of the early ones, I cringe, because of my lack of acting ability. But that's just one of the charms of the show."

Even with his enduring stardom as a child, Dow was more reluctant to speak publicly as an adult. He said, "It's rare for me. It scares me to death every time I have to do it."

Still, fans are still just as receptive to Dow as they were during his time on the series, even if he didn't completely understand it. He said, "I could never understand the reaction that Jerry or I would get from people." 

Of rewatching his on-screen brother during reruns, Dow has nothing but nice things to say. He commented, "Jerry was an actor. He was unbelievably good. Every line he read was perfect. He was amazing." 

Watch Leave It to Beaver on MeTV!

Weekdays at 8 & 8:30 AM, Sundays at 1 & 1:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

9 Comments

tootsieg 3 months ago
I always wondered if actors watched themselves on reruns and what they thought of themselves and the episode. Thanks for running the article.
JennylovesTV 3 months ago
He was great in the show. All of them were. I watch a few episodes every night before bed. It's my comfort show. 😊
Andybandit 3 months ago
That is too bad. TD was very good in LITB.
Bapa1 3 months ago
I bet he liked the episodes when there was a pretty girl involved.
McGillahooala 3 months ago
Wonderful show. One of the best.
Pacificsun 3 months ago
Keeping in mind a couple of things. The Show's fans have been watching LITB for decades, just as they've been faithfully following what's been written by the actors, particularly here in this MeTV space. So Dow's self-consciousness isn't a new theme. Meaning that it would be interesting to reread the subject with a new twist. For example, if Tony Dow felt self-conscious about his performance skills. Then was there a way in which he tried to improve, like classes, advice, did Jerry Mathers inspire confidence, did he learn from observing co-stars. The idea is, there are all kinds of jumping off points to pursue if that quote (above) is going to be the "meat & potatoes" (motivation) for fans reading more about their fave actor. In reviewing Tony Dow's Wiki, he was indeed involved with many opportunities.

My hunch is, the writers have been tasked with this goal: pick a very popular Series to attract visitors to the site especially because of the MeTV Mall (for selling merchandise). Noteworthy is that the average number of comments has fallen off over the past two years. Partly because there's little to "discuss" anymore. But, there used to be a certain kind of energy motivating visitors to check-in, to see what was going on! Controversy, or maybe just the opportunity to add their two-cents, which prompted their involvement. It's also a way for the Staff to read traffic (statistics) for utilizing the Mall.

Just a thought. Including the idea that writing is not easy!!
Runeshaper 3 months ago
I’m sure it’s not easy for everyone to see themselves onscreen or hear themselves over the phone so I get that lol 😆
LoveMETV22 3 months ago
It's unfortunate that we lost Tony Dow last year. He was excellent in the role of Wally on LITB.
His comments about Jerry Mathers were very kind, however not sure if he was just being humble when reflecting on his own role.

Perhaps the comments about his reluctance to speak publicly about the role are out of context time wise. It seems there are various interviews he had done with Jerry or his wife and even a few with Ken Osmond. He didn't look uncomfortable in any of them.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 3 months ago
Very true! And there are different kinds of speaking engagements. Obviously, scripted. Or, preparing for an interview, even exchanging comfortably with fellow co-stars. But many people can be intimidated by speaking "off-the-cuff." Or to strangers, or asked to give an opinion. Included in my comment above was checking Wiki to cover my bases. A surprise to me is that Mathers and Dow appeared on stage together. And actors (in general) point out that can be among the most difficult kinds of performance (speaking in public) because it's so immediate.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?