Continuing our tribute to Alan Young’s birthday…I tend to think most people today know his later show best, the immortal Mr. Ed which ran from 1961 to 1966, and thereafter in re-run syndication, which is where and how I first encountered it as a child. For those too young to know, the premise (almost identical to that of the Francis the Talking Mule movies, which were also created by Arthur Lubin) saddles (sorry) a young man with a magical talking horse, who creates embarrassing situations and ONLY talks to his owner, an architect named Wilbur (Young). The rumor (since debunked) is that the producers made Ed “talk” by putting delicious peanut butter on his snout. The voice was provided by old time western star Allan Lane. Television at its best! Regulars on the show at various times included Leon Ames and Jack Albertson. And there were many notable guest stars, the most notorious of whom was Mae West!
For more on slapstick comedy don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
For more on show business history consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.