Talking about the good old TV whinnies, of course, of course

Mr. Ed, the talking horse, was a steed of many talents, including answering the phone. Photo: File.

I blame it all on Mr. Ed. You know, the talking horse a few lifetimes ago. He would only talk to his human, Wilbur, an architect.

He had his own television show, with Wilbur as a supporting act with his (Wilbur’s) wife Carol, which gave new meaning to the word perky. (Mr. Ed never said if he was married.)

Mr. Ed lived in a lavish barn adjacent to the house, allowing Wilbur to use a small part of it as an office, clearly so they could talk privately.

I loved this show. The story goes that the show’s producers put peanut butter on Mr Ed’s lips to make them look like they were moving hence his speech but I knew it was a real one talking horse. I mean, I saw him answer the phone.

My favorite episode was in 1964 when Mr. Ed answered/almost inhaled the phone with a deep helloooooooooo.

It was Mae West, the sex siren of the 1950s. She wanted Wilbur to build fancy stables for her horses.

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Mr. Ed pretended to be Wilbur on the phone, inviting Mrs. West to “come up to see him once in a while”.

It was fabulous television. A time when horses ruled and people were only used to bring hay.

These days, with great streaming services, I thought I’d go with the flow. Create an account with one of them – obviously the one streaming all 143 episodes of Mr Edover six seasons, starting in 1961.

A friend told me that his streaming service had Mr Ed so, after a bit of a delay (translation: me trying to figure out how to do it), I signed up.

About a week after I signed up, and another week after they learned to stop deleting me from everything I wanted to watch, they stopped streaming Mr Ed.

It’s not like I could complain to anyone so everyone would know I had a thing for the big one.

Lassie and Timmy

Lassie and her favorite human Timmy. She spent her life saving him from dangerous situations, mainly mine shafts. Photo: File.

I watched black beauty a few times it didn’t help. Not more than national velvet. The horses were great but they just couldn’t hold a conversation.

Then I heard of a mule named Francis, clearly a very distant cousin of Ed, who supposedly could talk. But after watching the first episode, I was, unlike Francis, at a loss for words. It was so silly. Synopsis: Peter (human) finds himself behind enemy lines in Burma. François, the talking mule, carries him to safety. When Peter tells everyone that a talking mule saved his life, he is placed in a psychiatric ward.

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I mean, seriously. I bet the people who liked Francis were probably the same kind that felt Mr. Ed couldn’t really talk. As if.

I stubbornly decided to give up the horses after watching my first episode of Kid. Here is a dog should speak. With her beauty and intelligence, and her ability to find boys called Timmy who have always gone missing, usually in open mine shafts, it’s a no-brainer.

But, after 591 episodes over 19 seasons, his bark has become more annoying than his bite. Because, of course, Lassie would never bite. Lassie was just going to save everyone by the end of the season and by the time the show ended after about 3000 years she had retired to a ranch for, you guessed it, children in trouble. Good Girl Lass.

Disillusioned with old TV shows, I thought I’d try some new shows on old stuff.

I ended up settling for the one that filters Poldark, mainly for historical research. And because there are quite a lot of horses in it. Talk about unbridled passion.

Original article published by Sally Hopman on Riotact.

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