Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963)
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Beaver's Autobiography 

Beaver encourages pretty classmate Betsy Carter's crush on him to get her to help him write his autobiography for a school assignment; but when Betsy finds out that Beaver has been calling ... See full summary »

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Annette Gorman ...
Betsy
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Harlan Warde ...
Mr. Thompson
Terry Burnham ...
Virginia
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Mrs. Carter
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Beaver encourages pretty classmate Betsy Carter's crush on him to get her to help him write his autobiography for a school assignment; but when Betsy finds out that Beaver has been calling her names behind her back, her assistance turns to sabotage. Written by shepherd1138

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baseball cap | See All (1) »

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Comedy | Family

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20 December 1962 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Gilbert Bates: Every once in a while, my pop likes to do my homework 'cause he wants to see what kind of marks the teacher'll give him. Last week, he wanted to come over and holler at Mr. Walker for flunking him in arithmetic.
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Never Trust a Girl
15 April 2016 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

"Beaver's Autobiography" retreads elements from earlier episodes, but moral nuances and funny writing raise it to more than the sum of its parts. Beaver has to write an autobiographical essay for class, but has trouble coming up with enough material to fill three whole pages ("After I wrote two pages, my whole life was used up!"). So he takes advantage of classmate Betsy's crush on him to enlist her to write the autobiography for him. Betsy is new at the school and likes Beaver because he is not mean like the other boys; little to her knowledge, Beaver has been making unkind remarks about her behind her back! Betsy's friend/enemy Virginia fills her in on what a rat Beaver is, and to avenge herself Betsy sets about writing an outrageous essay full of bizarre fabrications (Beaver grew up in Africa among the cannibals, ate tea and crumpets with Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, etc.). She hands it in before showing it to Beaver, and Beaver's teacher reads it in front of the class. Beaver gets an "F" on the assignment. How he redeems himself, you'll have to watch to find out.

Where have we seen these plot elements before? Beaver writes a wild, far-fetched essay which is read in front of the class ("Mother's Day Composition"); Beaver gets in trouble for entrusting a school assignment to a proxy instead of doing it himself ("Beaver's Typewriter"); and more besides. Still, solid writing and performances make this episode distinctive. Virginia is played by the late Terry Burnham, who made an indelible impression as the spooky child in the TWILIGHT ZONE episode "Nightmare as a Child." She is excellent here as a devious female Eddie Haskell, costumed first in a black dress and then a white one to symbolize her duplicity. Beaver's English teacher on this occasion is sympathetic and youthful-seeming Mr. Thompson, who unfortunately never appeared in another episode.

At the end Beaver's and Betsy's behavior leaves us with the impression that all human beings are a mixture of good and bad. All in all, an episode that lives up to the series' standard.


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