This unaired pilot episode of "Mr. Ed" is floating around on YouTube. I never really liked the show all that much but decided to give this first episode a try--and I'm glad I did. The show was funny and made me smile.
The pilot was made about three years before the show was picked up by the networks. Not surprisingly, the entire cast changed in the meantime--even the horse that played Ed. I also think some of this change may have been because the networks were hesitant to air the program, so the producers decided to fiddle, a bit, with the formula.
The plot is what you'd expect. A man and his wife buy a home and find it comes with a horse--a horse that can talk, but only to his master. In this case, it's Wilbur Pope--not the familiar Wilbur Post played by Alan Young. Throughout this show he tries to get everyone to believe him--but everyone believes he's a nut. In the later TV series, Post kept this all to himself--a smart idea!
So what's the problem? The pilot is enjoyable and the show should have been wonderful, right? Well, no. The problem I've always had is that although the idea could work, it couldn't work for long. It's such a limited concept and the longer the show inexplicably aired, the more ridiculous the series became--with Ed meeting the likes of Zha Zha Gabor and George Burns. Additionally, he even tried out for the LA Dodgers baseball team---a sign the series definitely had run out of ideas. Worth seeing but I STILL don't like the regular shows.
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