In the 1960s, the story of a man and his talking horse captivated the globe. The show was Mister Ed, and it followed the hijinks of a talking horse named Mr. Ed and his keeper Wilbur Post. The show became an instant classic, and the character of Ed has popped up everywhere from rap music and comedy sketches to children’s shows.
Lighthearted and humorous at times, stubborn and imperious on occasion, the real Mr. Ed was a true trailblazer. In the wake of his passing we learned that while he could indeed be imitated, he was one of the greatest horse stars of all time.
Here are 24 fun facts that you didn’t know about Mister Ed…
1. BAMBOO HARVESTER WAS THE REAL NAME OF THE HORSE
Bamboo Harvester was the name of the Palomino show horse that played Mr. Ed. Born in 1949, the Palomino lived until 1970.
Bamboo Harvester was a beautiful and energetic horse that caught the eye of many. He also won awards and accolades as a show horse. While his most notable footprint – or should we say hoof print – in Hollywood was his performance as Mr. Ed, his California neighbors remember fondly for both his spirit and his spunk.
2. PART OF A REVERED HORSE LINEAGE
This epic Equestrian celebrity’s story began in sunny California. He was born in 1949 to two purebred horses and was eventually owned by Lester “Les” Hilton. His family came from a long line of purebred horses meant for show, and his father Harvester was one of the prized horses of the San Fernando Valley.
3. ORIGINAL MR. ED TRACES BACK TO 1937
The character of Mr. Ed originated from a series of magazine stories, that dates back to 1937. The short story, “The Talking Horse” appeared in an issue of Liberty Magazine, where he not only talked, he also got drunk.
4. ACTOR REPLACEMENT
During the third season, Larry Keating (Roger Addison) passed away and was replaced by Leon Ames (Colonel Gordon Kirkwood.)
5. STUDEBAKER WAS SPONSOR. THE SHOW BEGAN IN SYNDICATION
At first, CBS refused to put the production on their network in 1960. Studebaker Automobile Company, which sponsored the show, ended up purchasing it and putting it into syndication. It was an instant hit, and CBS bought it one year later.
6. THE VOICE
Production only revealed the real name of the actor who played Mister Ed towards the ends of the series. The uncredited voice was played by TV Western Actor, Allan “Rocky” Lane.
7. REFINED TASTE AND A HEFTY APPETITE
Mister Ed had a very refined and specific taste. His daily meal always included twenty pounds of hay and a gallon of sweet tea. That’s not all he consumed. In an interview, Alan Young once said that they used peanut butter to get Bamboo Harvester to move his lips and “talk.”
8. SCROOGE McDUCK
Alan Young portrayed Wilbur Post, which is the role he is best known for. In 1974, he began voice acting and played Scrooge McDuck in several Disney films.