‘Mister Ed’: Famed Horse on Classic Series Had a Very Unusual Diet

by Thad Mitchell

Many people remember the classic television shows that featured a horse that could talk your ear off, “Mister Ed.”

“Mister Ed” stayed on the air for six seasons and was very popular due to its audience appeal. The horse would often talk to his owner, Wilbur Post, but not many others could hear him. “Mister Ed” the horse was played by a gelding named Bamboo Harvester who held the roe for each season. Wilbur Post was played by veteran actor Alan Young, who was cast because he “looked like someone who would talk to a horse,” a show official once said.

The show’s comedic value centered around the conversations of a man and his talking horse. Mister Ed’s voice came from Allan Lane a veteran actor who starred primarily in western films. It might not be a concept applicable to today’s television audiences, but was the right fit for the times. It ran for 143 episodes through six seasons from 1961 to 1966.

Apart from his “Mister Ed” role, Bamboo Harvester lived the life of a Hollywood star horse. He was very well fed with something of a strange diet. According to a Me TV story, the horse consumed 20 pounds of hay each day. A horse eating hay isn’t news to anyone but it is what he washed it down with that may raise a few eyebrows. Along with his bevy of hay, Bamboo Harvester guzzled down a gallon of sweet tea on a daily basis. As if that isn’t spoiling the horse enough, he also got lots of peanut butter to chow down on. The “Mister Ed” crew placed peanut butter in the horse’s mouth to get him to move his lips so that he appeared to be talking.

‘Mister Ed’ Horse Lived the Good Life During Show’s Run

Now, several decades after the show went off the air, “Mister Ed” is still having a cultural impact. It is an unlikely success story for the hilarious sitcom that features not much more than a talking horse and his human buddy.

Believe it or not, the “Mister Ed” show was not the first time the talking host was introduced to the world. The character made its first appearance all the way back in 1937. It was a short story “The Talking Horse” appearing in an edition of Liberty Magazine that first uses “Mister Ed” as a character.

One of the show’s most popular episodes came in the second season when famous actor Clint Eastwood joins in. “Clint Eastwood Meets Mister Ed” first hit the air in 1962.

The cultural relevance of the “Mister Ed” show lives on and will not soon be forgotten. Not bad for a show about a talking horse and his human friend.