This Blog is dedicated to the Noble and Great horses in our lives and throughout history. Visit the land of the unicorns in Behind The Mist, the horse lover's fantasy for pre-teens to adults.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

MR. ED - A Horse is a Horse

In Behind The Mist, the reader learns that the Noble and Great horses are trained to become unicorns in the after-life and earn their horns. This Blog is dedicated to the Noble and Great horses that we have known and throughout history.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course
And no one can talk to a horse of course,
That is, of course, unless the horse
Is the famous Mr. Ed.
So write to this source, and ask this horse,
he'll give you the answer that you'll endorse
He's always on a steady course, Talk to Mr. Ed!

People Yakity Yak a streak and waste your time of day,
But Mr. Ed will never speak unless he has something to say!

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
And this one'll talk 'til his voice is hoarse,
You Never heard if a talking horse?
Well listen to this: I Am Mr. Ed!"

If you are singing along with this song then you must be about my age!

Mr Ed was an American situation comedy on CBS from October 1, 1961 to February 6, 1966, in the days when situation comedies were worth watching. I was just a ten year-old so, of course, I loved it! The star of the show was Mister Ed, a beautiful, intelligent, palomino horse played by a gelding named, Bamboo Harvester. His voice was by Allan Lane who originally wanted to remain anonymous but once the show was a hit, he asked for credit...which he never got! The credits listed Mister Ed as being played by "Himself." The co-star was an eccentric and klutzy architect named Wilber Post, portrayed by Alan Young. Ed would only speak to Wilber and loved to cause trouble for his owner.

Bamboo Harvester was a crossbreed of American Saddlebred, Arabian and Grade ancestry. "Grade" horses are basically Mutts of unknown ancestry. By 1968, Bamboo Harvester was suffering from a variety of health issues. He was quietly euthanized in 1970 and buried at Snodgrass Farms in Oklahoma. A different horse that was used for publicity shots died in 1979 but that horse was not the t.v. actor.

Wikipedia had an interesting explanation for how Bamboo Harvester was trained to move his lips:
"Others argued that examination of Mister Ed footage shows Ed's handler pulling strings to make him talk, and that this method was at work at least some of the time. Young later said during an interview for the Archive of American Television that a nylon string was tied to the halter and the loose end inserted under his lip to make Ed talk, saying that he had used the peanut butter fable for years in radio interviews instead of telling the truth. The loose thread can be seen tied to the halter, and it is clearly not taut as it would be if it were being pulled. Young also states in the AAT interview that after the first season, Ed didn't need the nylon – Alan and trainer Les were out riding one day and Les started laughing, telling Alan to look at Ed, who was moving his lips every time they stopped talking, as if attempting to join in the conversation. This difference is visible when comparing first season episodes to later ones, as it is clear that early on he's working the irritating string out, sometimes working his tongue in the attempt too, and later on he tends to only move his upper lip, and appears to watch Alan Young closely, waiting for him to finish his lines before twitching his lip.
Young added in the Archive interview that Ed saw the trainer as the disciplinarian, or father figure, and when scolded for missing a cue, would go to Alan for comfort, like a mother figure, which Les said was a good thing.[11]"

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