In the wake of the popular Francis the Talking Mule pictures, a pilot for a new show, called The Wonderful World of Wilbur Pope, was filmed and shopped around the networks in syndication; it was picked up by CBS in October of 1961 and became the show known as Mister Ed. Ed, Wilbur, Carol, and their neighbors the Addisons (later the Kirkwoods) lasted through 143 episodes and five seasons. The program had won a Golden Globe in 1963 for Best TV Show. Its theme song can still be sung easily by Americans of a certain age.
-The name of the horse that played Mr. Ed was Bamboo Harvester. He died in 1970.
-Actor Alan Young, who played Wilbur, was born in England and raised in Scotland and Canada. Besides Wilbur, he is perhaps best known for his roles in the George Pal pictures Tom Thumb and The Time Machine.
-The speaking voice of Mr. Ed was done by B-Western star Alan 'Rocky' Lane; the singing voice was done by Sheldon Allman.
-The original pilot for the show was based on a short story called "Ed Takes the Pledge" by children's author Walter R. Brooks.
-Mister Ed was the first of several fantasy-based sitcoms, including I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, and My Favorite Martian.
-On the show, Mr. Ed loved to watch television, but not Westerns - he said he hated to watch his relatives get killed.