Classic Television: Mr. Ed.

The late Connie Hines pictured with Alan Young and Mr. Ed.

With the recent death of Connie Hines it reminded me of Mr. Ed the talking horse. The horse would only talk to Wilbur Post the owner who was portrayed by Alan Young while his wife Carol Post was played by Connie Hines.

Mr. Ed would leave Wilbur in many comical situations since the others on the program couldn’t hear what Mr. Ed was saying.

It was a nonsensical comedy that may not go down in television history as one the greatest shows but it was still an entertaining show that made for good family entertainment.

Went From Syndication to the Network

Most television shows play on  network television first but Mr. Ed was unique in that it was syndicated before starting its run on CBS. It was on the air from January 5, 1961 till February 6, 1966.

Young who was born in England  was 42 when the show first aired and is now 90 years old. His co-star Hines passed away on December 18 at the age of 78. According to Wikipedia her main contribution to the show was to say “Lunch is ready”.

Real Name Was Bamboo Harvester

Mr. Ed’s real name was Bamboo Harvester a gelding and died in 1970 four years after the last episode aired. Pumpkin was a quarter horse who was Mr. Ed’s stunt double.

It is heartwarming to know that Young visited Mr. Ed after the series ended and he relates that Mr. Ed died from a tranquilizer that wasn’t necessary when Mr. Ed was struggling to get up which was common for Mr. Ed but his trainer was out of town and a caregiver thinking Mr. Ed was in distress gave the tranquilizer and Mr. Ed died a few hours later.

Mr. Ed needed assistance moving his lips the first season but later intuitively knew when it was time for him to speak. One time Young and trainer were with Mr. Ed and noticed that the horse was moving his lips whenever Young and the trainer stopped talking like he was trained to do for the show.

Alan Young and Connie Hines shown in an appearance in 2003 thirty seven years after the last Mr. Ed episode had been shown on CBS in 1966 and was later shown on TVLand and the Nick-at-Nite cable channels for several years.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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