Imagine, today, a TV series featuring the misadventures of a wisecracking talking horse and its owner. If such a thing were attempted, it would likely be pulled after one or two episodes. Well, beginning in 1958, there was such a TV series, and it lasted into 1966! The name of the series? – Mister Ed.
It is another of my fond childhood memories and we never missed an episode if we could help it. It was a simpler time back then, and it was yet another of the ‘safe’ TV series that parents could entrust with their children. And bedsides, it was often downright funny. From the IMDb:
_This may have been one of the silliest shows of all time, but Ed spoke to a generation gap that continues to this day some 50 years after he went off the air into syndication.
The story goes like this: Married couple Wilbur and Carol Post buys a home in the country and discovers a stall in the back yard and inside is a lame horse named Mister Ed. But this horse isn’t like any other; when no one else is around he talks to Wilbur and to Wilbur alone, and does amazing things as well such as reading the newspaper (seen above) and using a telephone, and always manages to get Wilbur in trouble.
The show was very keen in having great guest stars, including one episode where Clint Eastwood stepped out of character during a segment which was very silly, but to see Clint in a comedy role for a change was great. Two of the stars of The Beverly Hillbillies, Max Baer and Irene Ryan, also appeared in a hilariously funny episode. And the opening theme song was another earworm that I recall hearing kids singing in my elementary school.
Some assorted episodes are directly available on YouTube, the bulk of them apparently having been removed because of copyright. All appear to be available indirectly. I have embedded some few below, including a segment of the episode with Clint Eastwood, made just prior to the beginning of his spaghetti western career. Who knew he could do comedy back then? Give them a look and see what comedy used to be without foul language.
One final word: after the series ended, Alan Young went on to other things, mainly voice acting, and hr was Disney’s choice to give voice to Uncle Scrooge. He died last year at age 97, having lived a full life in film and television, including being the only man around ever to banter with a horse.
A typical episode of Mister Ed.
A Special Episode of Mister Ed for Government Savings Bonds.
Mister Ed Secrets.
Excerpt from the episode with Clint Eastwood.