Witches and genies and talking horses, oh my!
It may have been the effects of the Cold War, the rise of the counter culture or even the heartbreak of psoriasis, but it seemed Americans really embraced sitcoms with fantastical characters in the 1960s.
Be it witches, warlocks, genies, extraterrestrials or talking animals or cars, viewers bought in no matter how silly the storylines got. Suspension of disbelief became a national pastime.
Chief among these shows was “Mister Ed.” Played by a gelding named Bamboo Harvester and voiced by former Western film actor Allan Lane, he was the palomino who would speak only to his owner, genial but klutzy architect Wilbur Post (Alan Young), and no one else, thus causing him endless heartburn. His wife Carol (Connie Hines) and neighbors Roger and Kay Addison (Larry Keating, Edna Skinner) had no clue this phenomenon was in their midst, even when they’d overhear Wilbur conversing with someone with a deep baritone voice. Ed’s loquaciousness, however, was never explained.
The series ran in syndication and on CBS from 1961-66 and then had a long life in repeats. It can be streamed anytime on DDD Television.