When Ward's flamboyant Uncle Billy comes for a visit, June worries that his eccentric behavior and tall tales may have a bad influence on Wally and the Beaver.

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Uncle Billy Cleaver
Henry Hunter ...
Sports Store Clerk
Nancy Reynolds ...
Gloria
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Ward's paternal Uncle Billy is in town for a visit. June is worried that Uncle Billy's fanciful tales, which make him seem irresponsible to an adult, will leave a lasting impression on the boys, yet both Ward and June don't want the boys to disrespect an elder, especially one within their family. After telling his wild tales to the boys, Uncle Billy promises Wally a rifle he used to kill grizzly bears in Alaska with, and he promises Beaver a new fishing rod and reel so that they can go fishing much like he says he used to take Ward sailfish fishing in Mexico. When Wally learns that Uncle Billy's stories are exaggerations and that Uncle Billy probably will not come through with the gifts, Wally isn't surprised or upset. Beaver, on the other hand, doesn't want to believe that Uncle Billy is anything but a great guy. But Beaver ultimately sees Uncle Billy for who he really is. Ward plans on having a stern talk with Uncle Billy about leading Beaver on, until Beaver provides Ward with a ... Written by Huggo

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Comedy | Family

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31 December 1960 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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LITB at Its Best
19 September 2015 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Every family has its "crazy uncle"; the Cleavers have Uncle Billy. An eccentric personality worthy of any picaresque character in literature, Uncle Billy (actually Wally and Beaver's great uncle) boasts of exotic hunting exploits that never occurred, makes extravagant promises that he has no intention of fulfilling, and hands out bills of money like donuts. He is a high roller, a teller of tall tales and an all-around phoney - but a lovable phoney as played by colorful, gravel-voiced Edgar Buchanan. Beaver is enchanted by this figure, as any boy would be

  • but, in a poignant ending, he must experience the disillusionment of


learning (the hard way) what sort of person Uncle Billy really is.

This is one of the truly great "Beavers," a near-serious drama to rival the third-season episode "Beaver and Andy." It is about illusion, disillusionment, and the attainment of wisdom. Like many LITB episodes it comes to an emotional crisis (Beaver's discovery of Billy's true nature at a hotel barber shop) leading to a calming catharsis. "Uncle Billy" shows Beaver and Wally having to deal with an adult who is like a child in many ways. Ward and June are wary of the influence Uncle Billy might have on the boys, but at the same time want them to respect an elder relative; this is the central conflict.

Uncle Billy returned for a sequel episode in the final season ("Uncle Billy's Visit"); in that episode he is less of a rogue and more of an indulgent relative. "Uncle Billy" is BEAVER at its best.


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