Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sunday Funnies: Mister Ed (1961)

Cartoon enthusiasts may only know Alan Young as a voice actor during the late 70's (Battle of the Planets) and 80's (DuckTales), but in truth, Young was a veteran entertainer who'd been a television fixture in the 50's through the mid-60's.

His most famous series was Mister Ed, which bowed the same year as Filmways stablemate The Beverly Hillbillies, and, if memory serves, on the same network (CBS). Young played Wilbur Post, whose horse, Ed, would only converse with him, but not with Wilbur's wife, Carol (Connie Hines). Western star Allan "Rocky" Lane voiced Ed, and one must assume the two Al(l)ans also dueted on the theme song.

Currently, cable rights to the series are split between This TV and Hallmark, with the latter airing the show on Sunday mornings on Hallmark Movie Channel.

Basically what the folks at Filmways sought to do was duplicate the success Universal was having with its Francis the Talking Mule movie series, and in a way they succeeded. Whereas the Francis movies had a great deal of airplay in syndication in the 70's, you'd be lucky to find them on cable today. Mister Ed ran for 6 seasons, and is better remembered as a result.

Following is the episode, "Ed & The Secret Service":

I remember when the series aired in repeats on Nick at Nite in the late 80's. The network's clever ad campaign reintroduced Ed to a new generation of viewers, which has enabled the series to be passed around over the last 25 years.

Rating: B-.


magicdog said...

I used to watch this as a kid (being a horse nut, it was a win win for me!), but now it's just downright painful despite the talented cast!

I thought Carol was so darn uptight, one wonders what Wilbur saw in her - especially since he chose to spend more time in the barn with Ed!

On the old "Jump The Shark" site, I read the comments about the show and it was hilarious how many male viewers were raving about how gorgeous Connie Hines was (yes, she was) and how stupid Wilbur was for ignoring her in favor of Ed!

hobbyfan said...

The gimmick would've been spoiled had Wilbur divided his time equally, or let Connie in on the fact that Ed could talk. Awkward, I know, but that's the way the show was written.