Mr. Ed

TV classics: Mr. Ed

USA 1958-66, 6 seasons,  143 episodes, approximately 30 minutes each, Syndication and CBS, black & white. Cast: Alan Young, Connie Hines, Bamboo Harvester, Allan Lane, Larry Keating, Edna Skinner, Leon Ames, Florence MacMichael, Jack Albertson, Barry Kelley

Plot summary: Wilbur Post owns a talking horse. The question is: who gets deeper into trouble each week, Mr. Ed or his human master?!

Review: Based on short stories by Walter R. Brooks from the 1930s, Mr. Ed entered American living rooms in syndication before he conquered CBS in the fall of 1961. As a talking horse who only speaks to his owner, Wilbur Post, he easily won the hearts of a family audience who appreciated the comedic talents of the show’s main cast, Alan Young, Connie Hines and Bamboo Harvester as Mr. Ed. Clumsy Wilbur Post and his wife Carol often enjoyed the company of a supporting cast and occasional guest stars such as Mae West or Clint Eastwood who always boosted the show’s basic plotline.

Rerun on Nick at Nite in the 1980s and 90s, the show is still diverting and easygoing today. While contemporary interpretation may suggest that Wilbur was a mad man who imagined he had a talking horse, Mr. Ed keeps offering 143 funny episodes presented by a decent cast and a horse that was a kids’ favorite back in the days. It is a program that brings back memories for those who grew up wishing they had a pet as cool as Ed, a program that will tickle your children’s imagination and amuse you no matter when you were born.

Available on DVD and Hulu. Mr. Ed sample episode with Mae West


6 thoughts on “Mr. Ed

  1. You seem to be a fan of my childhood. I clearly recall watching and loving the episodes. In my ‘mind’s eye’ I can see our black and white TV set. And I can hear the theme song ‘a horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to his horse of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is the Famous Mister Ed….’ I could go on. I even remember the chorus (anding with ‘Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say’. I read somewhere that they gave the horse chewing gum to get the effect of his seeming to talk?

    • 🙂 Well, I grew up on those programs, too, believe it or not. But you’re way better than me because I only know the Mr. Ed lyrics as far as you quoted them – I couldn’t sing on.

      A common theory behind the talking horse often was that Mr. Ed got peanut butter to chew on – that, however, seems to have been Alan Young’s “fault”. The show’s creators didn’t want to give away the actual industry secret to not disillusion their under-age audience, so the actor pulled that story out of his hat and it stuck around forever. Apparently, the horse had his usual trainer and learned to react on cue, but that’s such a “boring” explanation, don’t you think?! 😉

    • I’ve never been all too crazy about Mae West, but I just love how they played with clichés in this episode. I’m all with you on the sexism though – it’s such a shame how Ms. West’s toyboys had to humiliate themselves. Ha!
      By the way, could it be that Bette Midler copied some of her diva act from this episode’s Mae West?! Too funny!

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