Those of us of a certain age can never get enough of Eddie Haskell -- even if, as Ralph Keyes wrote earlier this year in Editor & Publisher, "Journalists who lace their copy with such retro terms or names risk alienating those who are too young to get the allusions." (Keyes was referring to a habit of pundits to compare Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to Haskell.) In the binary, black-and-white world of Leave It to Beaver, Haskell was the most real character. While it was hard to imagine an inner life (or, for that matter, an afterlife) for any of the Cleaver family outside of their backlot suburban-home set, we knew exactly where the smooth-talking Eddie was headed. He'd be a pimp, a dealer, a fixer, a salesman or, if he made it through college, a lawyer. Maybe he'd make it into the Watergate scandal as one of those minor dirty tricksters from L.A. like Donald Segretti.
Haskell's quotations form a weasel's code of conduct:
- "Look Sam, if you can make the
other guy feel like a goon first, then you don't feel like so much of a
- "Hey, guys, like my new vest? I think it brings out the Peter
Lawford in me."
has one of those where-are-they-now? profiles on Ken
Osmond, the child actor who played Haskell on TV. Highlighted by a
photo of Osmond that makes the 66-year-old look somewhat like a brother
of Bill Clinton, Dennis McCarthy's piece goes over Osmond's post-TV
career, from military serviceman to odd-jobber to, eventually, an LAPD
motorcycle cop. ("He was 14 when he became Eddie Haskell and 20 when
the show ended," McCarthy says of Osmond.) Now retired, Osmond
volunteers his time as a member of the Sun Valley American Legion Post.
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Interestingly enough, Osmond points out with a certain pride
that Eddie Haskell never stole anything. But those of us who were
Haskell watchers knew he didn't have to -- he could always con someone
else into doing his dirty work. Especially with that Peter Lawford vest on.