Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Seekor kuda adalah seekor kuda, tentu, tentu,
Dan tidak ada satu orang pun yang bisa bicara dengan seekor kuda, tentu...
Terkecuali, tentu, seekor kuda itu adalah TUAN ED terkenal.

Pergi langsung ke sumbernya dan tanja seekor kuda itu.
Dia akan memberikan kepada Anda jawabannya
Yang Anda bisa menerima.
Dia selalu menjalan lurus sehinga...
Membicara dengan TUAN ED.

Orang-orang berbicara dan berbicara dan omong kosong banyak
Tetapi TUAN ED tidak mau bicara,
Terkecuali dia mempunyai apa-apa untuk bicara.

Seekor kuda adalah seekor kuda, tentu, tentu,
Dan kuda ini akanbicara sehinga kerongkongnya sakit
Apa Anda sudah dengar seekor kuda yang bisa bicara?
Baiklah, dengarlah ini—
“Saya TUAN ED!”

Demented polyglots will recognize the above as the theme song for Mister Ed, a semi-beloved sitcom of the early 1960’s, rendered in Bahasa Indonesia... a language for which the music is singularly ill-suited.

Mister Ed first aired fifty years ago today: January 5, 1961. Starring Bamboo Harvester as the eponymous (and occasionally voluble) Mister Ed and Alan (nĂ© Angus) Young as Wilbur Post, his bemused keeper, the series was the opening shot in a long volley of increasingly harebrained television comedies to which viewers of the early 1960’s were subjected.

Wilbur and Mister Ed
Wilbur and Mister Ed.

The central conceit of the series was that Mister Ed was able to talk... and he would talk only to Wilbur, thus creating many opportunities to make trouble. This would have most people doubting their sanity, but it apparently did not bother Wilbur, who was not, apparently, the sharpest knife in the block. These days, with video cameras everywhere, you would think Ed might have trouble keeping his abilities under wraps, but the ubiquity of talking animals on YouTube would point toward a strategy of hiding in plain sight.

A talking equine was not an original concept even half a century ago. Ed had his antecedent in Francis the Talking Mule, star of seven feature films from 1950-56. And since there is no concept so lame that Hollywood will not generate knockoffs of it (e.g., The Addams Family and The Munsters), there eventually followed My Mother the Car, which featured an antique vehicle that would speak only to its owner (and into which the owner’s deceased mother had been reincarnated. Reinferronated?) MMTC had the distinction of being recognized by TV Guide as the second-worst television show of all time; as stupid as Mister Ed may have been, there were depths to which it did not descend.

Alan Young is, as of this writing, alive and well. I remember him best not for his role as Wilbur Post, but for playing David Filby - and his son James Filby - in George Pal’s The Time Machine (1960), a double role that utilized his (almost) Scottish origins quite effectively. In 2002, Young had a cameo role as a flower shop worker in the Simon Wells-directed remake of The Time Machine, and, as the story has it, when he when to the costume department to get outfitted, the starched collar he received was the exact same one he wore in the George Pal film.

Sheer coincidence, they say. But that’s gotta be as bizarre as... a talking horse.


Anonymous said...

One of my top ten favorite movies of all time....the 1960 version of The Time Machine!

- Morris William

BobG said...

I agree with Morris; I preferred the older version of The Time Machine. The remake had better photography, but they missed the whole point of what the Eloi represented.

Houston Steve said...

The very best part of the 1960 version was Yvette Mimieux playing Weena. There's way too many (and obvious) double entendres that can be played here, so I will refrain.

And as stupid as MMTC may have been, it was still better listening to Ann Southern trying to be funny than listening to William Daniels not trying to be funny as the voice of the car in Knight Rider.

Elisson said...

And there you have it, folks... thanks to Houston Steve's encyclopedic knowledge of Teevee Trivia, we can now trace the lineage of Knight Rider back to its earliest known antecedent: Francis the Talking Mule.

Titan Mk6B said...

I have paid homage to Mr. Ed. His grave (purportedly) lies just outside of Talequah, OK. It is actually in someone's backyard. You knock on the door and they let you go back to see.

Some years ago a local radio station paid to have a huge headstone installed.

Cappy said...

This demands a follow up post on Francis, the Talking Mule.