Boys Costumes Depicted in Television Shows: Leave It to Beaver--Chuy

Figure 1.--

Beaver in another episode makes friends with a little Hispanic boy named Chuy (Roberto "Chuy" Varela) who wears short pants and knee socks. The episode, "Beaver and Chuy", is about Beaver's new South American friend. Eddie Haskel, Wally's omnipresent obnoxious friend, comments that it was sissy to wear shorts. Eddie's mean jokes causes Beaver to inadvetedly insult Chuy. (Incidentally Eddie became a policeman.)


Interestingly, Chuy is as far as I know the only Hispanic that appeared on American television, other than Ricky Ricardo in I Love Lucy, until the 1970s. Ricky of course was only there because Lucy insisted. The Network was at first strongly opposed. Given the Hispanic population, now exceeding the balack population in America, they are still very stronglu under represented on American television.


Eddie Haskel has to be the all-time most obnoxious boy ever on American television. One wonders what Eddie thought of his role or how it affected him as an adult. Incidentally Eddie became a policeman.


One of Eddie Haskell's mean jokes causes Beaver to insult his Hispanic friend. In the episode, "Beaver and Chuy", Beaver has made a new friend, a boy from South America named Roberto "Chuy" Varela. Chuy is coming to visit Beav after lunch. Eddie Haskell had invited himself for lunch at the Cleavers and remarked that he considers Chuy and his family to be stuck up and strange. Eddie said he'd seen Chuy on Sunday, and the boy had worn short pants to church. Eddie and Wally both laugh out loud at the very idea, but Ward and June Cleaver give the boys a parental look of disapproval.

Chuy arrives in a light colored shirt, dark sweater vest, and dark short pants and knee socks. Neither Chuy nor his parents speak very much English, and Eddie's devious brain hatches a practical joke. Eddie has been studying Spanish at school, and he plans to trick Beav into insulting Chuy. Eddie told the Beaver to tell Chuy, "Usted tiene una cara como puerco.", which translates to, "You have a face like a pig." Beav asked Eddie what the Spanish words mean, but Eddie lied, saying it means, "You're a swell guy!" When Beaver innocently repeats the Spanish to Chuy, the boy is stunned, and runs off saying that Beaver is "muy malo" (very bad).

Chuy's parents are upset.The boy is home crying about something Beaver said, and they call on the Cleavers to find out what took place. Beaver repeats it for their benefit, and the Varelas, indignant, turn and walk out. Wally told his Dad what had happened, and Ward writes the Varelas a Special Delivery letter written in Spanish, explaining and apologizing for the misunderstanding. The next day, a Sunday, Beaver and family are waiting and hoping that all will be forgiven. Chuy then appears at the door, carrying a bouquet of flowers for June. There is also a card which reads, "We learn from our children. Vaya con Dios (Go with God)!", signed by the Varelas. Wally says he's going to slug Eddie the next day in the school cafeteria for causing this trouble. June asks Ward to prevent it, but Ward didn't seem to hear what she was saying! In the last scene Chuy wore a dark short pants suit, tie and knee socks when he brings the flowers and card. This costume is almost entirely obscured, however, by the kitchen table.

A HBC reader writes, "That was really one of the meanest things Eddie ever did, wasn't it! He got all the Cleavers in a mess and insulted a very, very nice guest of Beav and upset his family. An interesting costume episode!"


Chuy's short pants was one of the few times boys on Leave It to Beaver wore short pants. Typically the boybwas a well behaved foreign boy--a convention repeated in many other American television programs fot boys wearing short pants.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: December 10, 2002
Last updated: December 10, 2002