Rest in peace, Eddie Haskell

Ken Osmond, I read this week, was nothing like his famous TV character Eddie Haskell. Good. No one should be like Eddie Haskell.
Eddie Haskell, the obnoxious suck-up who was Wally Cleaver’s best friend on the television show “Leave It to Beaver” in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, was the bane of my existence. Did they have to name that guy Eddie? Wasn’t it enough I’d been hearing “Eddie Spaghetti” for most of my grade school days?
Osmond’s death Monday at 76 conjured up memories of not only Eddie Haskell but also of all the other weights a fella named Eddie must carry. “Life isn’t easy for a boy named Sue,” Johnny Cash sang. Maybe so, but we Eddies have not had it easy either.
Eddie Haskell was a big part of that.
So was Mr. Ed.
Seriously, was this the only name they could think of for a talking horse?
It started even early, at a time I don’t even remember. When I was just a tyke, my late Aunt Dorothy liked to remind me, the song “Eddie, My Love” was a big hit, and if anyone sang it to me, I’d start to cry. So Aunt Dorothy sang it to me all the time.
I loved Aunt Dorothy, but come on.
And there’s been no let up.
Even as an adult, I’ve had to endure the hysterical laughter of my children, my own children, when the undesirable cousin in the movie Christmas Vacation turned out to be named – what else? – Eddie.
There was no solace in going with the shortened form Ed either.
Then you had to contend with Ed Norton, Jackie Gleason’s buddy who worked in the New York city sewers.
Or Ed Sullivan, who always looked like he left the hanger in his suit jacket.
Or Ed, the baseball playing chimpanzee.
Or yet another chance for my kids to pile on. The Disney movie “The Lion King” came out in 1994 and the characters had exotic African names like Mufassa (ooo, say it again), and Simba, and Zazu, and Rafiki.
Except for the goof ball hyena.
His name?
You guessed it.
At that point I considered a class action suit on behalf of Eds and Eddies everywhere. I still say we would have won.
And I bet Ken Osmond would have testified on our behalf.

Ed Ackerman