Posts tagged ‘leave it to beaver’

Toilets: Taboo for TV Until 1957

By Kaye Nemec

Prior to the very well thought out Leave It to Beaver pilot episode in 1957, it was considered taboo to show a toilet on television. If you consider how frequently bathroom scenes (some racier than others) appear in movies and on TV shows now, it is hard to imagine that it was unheard of 54 years ago.

Leave It to Beaver’s pilot episode, Captain Jack, was the first network TV program to bring bathrooms out of hiding when it included a scene with Wally and the Beave with a baby alligator they had ordered through the mail. Assuming a pet alligator would not have been approved, they hid it in the toilet tank.

The toilet scene is at about 3:20

When it was originally filmed, the whole toilet was included in the scene, but CBS refused to air the episode as is. Unable to figure out an alternative place to hide the alligator, the production company was finally able to compromise with CBS and very tight camera angles were used to make sure the seat was kept hidden and only the toilet tank appeared on screen.

The ban on toilets continued even into the late 1970’s when people using toilets on TV was simply not part of scripts. However, during this era All in the Family was the first show to air the sound of a flushing toilet.

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Sources: The Toilet Museum, Snopes

March 9, 2011 at 2:00 am 3 comments


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