Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Horse Is A Horse, Of Course, Of Course.......Wilbur!

Mr. Ed first aired in 1961 and was produced by Filmways. Mr. Ed was a smart 12 year old Palamino American Saddlebred horse who could talk. The horse was played by Bamboo Harvester and the voice was Allan Lane. His owner, the architect, Wilbur Post was portrayed by Allan Young. The cool thing was, that Mr. Ed would only talk to Wilbur. Young was chosen for the role because he seemed like the kind of guy that a horse would talk to.
Ed's stablemate was a horse named Pumpkin, who later played in the series Green Acres. Pumpkin was also Mr. Ed's double in some of the shows.
In 1968, Mr. Ed became ill and was euthanized in 1970 with no publicity. He was buried in Oklahoma. It was said that the horse died from a tranquilizer in a stable in Burbank, California while in retirement. Hmmm... sounds kinda fishy to me.
The other characters in the show were Carol, Wilburs wife and the neighbors, the Addisons.
The theme song was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, According to urban legend, when the song was played backwards, the words, "Someone sung the song for Satan and the source is the devil," is clearly heard. What is all this about playing songs backwards? Remember, "Paul is dead?"
So, how did Mr. Ed move his lips when he talked? Rumor had it that peanut butter was applied to his gums and he moved his lips to try and get it off. But, Alan Young admitted in 2004, that the real method used was a loose piece of nylon inserted under his lip. On his trainers cue, the horse tried to remove it.
Actually, Mr. Ed's handler sometimes used the "marionette theory" to make him talk by pulling strings attached to a nylon bit. Young denied this, but sometimes the camera would accidentally show the strings.
At any rate, I think Mr. Ed deserves one big salute for being such a fabulous horse.
Mr. Ed 1949-1970

The Best of Mister Ed - Volume Two

No comments: