Here’s a little tidbit that should be known not only to every classic comedy fan — but to every soul, living or dead who has ever spent time on planet earth. For God’s Sake, man — this isn’t “trivia”! This has import!
Mae West was on the Mr. Ed show. The episode premiered on March 22, 1964. And why is that significant? Well, it’s the only motion picture acting West did between The Heat’s On (1943) and Myra Breckinridge (1970). What’s astounding is the stuff she could have been in, and yet the one job she took during that 27 year fallow period was THIS! The answer emerges, I think, after only a little cogitation. Mae plays herself on the show, and this was probably the only thing she was offered that asked her to play her traditional screen character. In 1964, Mae was 71 years old. She hadn’t gotten scripts that asked her to be a sex symbol in over two decades. The Mr. Ed gig not only flattered her ego….but there had to have been a perverse joke at the back of it. After all, Mae had played Catherine the Great on stage. (The legend is that Catherine died while copulating with a stallion from her stables – -and I don’t mean the stable boy.)