Wednesday, January 21, 2015


It used to be my contention that Mr. Ed, the talking horse in that eponymous sitcom, was originally from the Isle of the Houyhnhnms, the race of talking horses from "Gulliver's Travels".  Since this was adapted into a mini-series, the book's story was absorbed from BookWorld into Earth Prime-Time.  (But unlike BookWorld, in which the characters all look different depending upon who happens to reading the books in question, Lemuel Gulliver and the other characters from Jonathan Swift's classic were locked into looking like the actors who portrayed them.)

'MR. ED'

But with this episode we met Ed's mother who was working as a plow-horse and Ed implored Wilbur Post that he should buy dear old Mom and save her from any further life of drudgery... or even worse!

So instead of Ed having surfed his way to America from the Island of the Houyhnhnms, either his parents or some of their forebears came to the New World.  I know Mr. Ed wasn't the only talking horse in television.  When that abysmal movie version of 'The Wild Wild West' was about to premiere, Burger King ran a tie-in blipvert in which a horse talked to a couple of cowboys.

There's a pozz'ble hitch to the overall claim of Ed's connection to the Isle of the Houyhnhnms:  Ed's Mother didn't talk.

It may be due to the fact that she was a palomino.  Although not as fair as a white horse, there may have been genetic reasons why she didn't talk. 

Back in their native country:

"Among the Houyhnhnms, the white, the sorrel, and the iron-gray, were not so exactly shaped as the bay, the dapple-gray, and the black; nor born with equal talents of mind, or a capacity to improve them; and therefore continued always in the condition of servants, without ever aspiring to match out of their own race, which in that country would be reckoned monstrous and unnatural."

So Ed's Mother may have been dim of mind and unable to talk, only to serve... which she did as a plowhorse.

Then again, Ed's a palomino as well and he certainly could talk... so long as he had something to say.  Not a problem, like Comic Book World, Toobworld has mutations in the genetic mix as seen in many TV shows.  This usually is seen only in relation to humans, but it could apply to horses and other intelligent animals as well.  And Ed could be duplicitous and most unlike his logic-adhering brethren back on the island of their ancestors.

So I'm still holding fast to this connection between 'Mr. Ed' and "Gulliver's Travels", but I will amend it so that it wasn't Ed himself who came from the Island of the Houyhnhnms, but either his parents or relatives from an earlier generation.

And what happened to Mr. Ed after his show ended?  Ed Murphy's pilot for "What's Alan Watching?" posited that he became a radio talk show host down in North Carolina.  (One of his topics was about Nazis.)  But this pilot falls into the dimension of Skitlandia despite the linking story about Alan (played by Corin Nemec.)

Personally, I think Ed finally got the chance to go back to the Island of the Houyhnhnms, where he lived out his life and was a hit with the ladies of Hay Society, despite the fact that he was white in color.  I'm sure a lot of his attitudes and opinions caused quite a few scandals among the population and may even have changed the long-entrenched way of life among those intelligent horses.

And how did he get back to that land located off the coast of Australia?  Well, we know he could surf, but that's quite a distance. 

There's one character who could have helped him, one who can be fit into just about any story from Toobworld......

I think the Doctor may have given him a hitch via the TARDIS.....



Anonymous said...

Isn't Mr. Ed a palomino (like Trigger), or is that what you mean by "white"?

Toby O'B said...

Looks white in that black and white show. But you're right. Thanks. I'll rewrite that section.