THE NEIGHS HAVE IT

By EW Staff
March 24, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST

In the early 1960s, when Alan Young came home tired at night, his wife would suggest it was because he’d been doing monologues all day. Not so, Young would correct her. Working with Mister Ed, on the sitcom of the same name, was like working with any other actor. ”I’ve got to be honest: To me, he was another actor,” says Young of the Palomino who was his wisecracking costar on the long-running television show. ”I used to drive down the freeway following his trailer,” recalls Young, who spent five seasons as Wilbur Post. ”If his tail was tucked inside, I knew he was sleepy. If it was flowing in the breeze, he was dying to get to work, as was I. And when we pulled up at the studio, he’d stomp his feet.” This and more can be found in Young’s tell-all tome, Mister Ed and Me (St. Martin’s Press, $13.95), written with Bill Burt, which includes such inside dirt as the real person behind Ed’s voice: Allan ”Rocky” Lane, a former Western actor who, embarrassed to be playing a horse, kept his name off the credits. Lane later changed his mind, but the producers preferred to keep ”Mister Ed Himself.” Young, a British-born Canadian who started out in radio, had initially balked at the idea of starring with a horse: ”They had approached me a few years beforehand. I said, ‘I won’t work with anyone who won’t clean up after himself.”’ After a few more years of showbiz ups and downs, he changed his mind. Young credits the show’s success to its being ”gentle and clean and funny.” And about a horse. ”I don’t think a talking dog would have worked,” says Young, who now takes voice-over jobs, including an occasional stint on the cartoon show Ren & Stimpy. ”To take a dog into a hospital is not too odd. To take a horse into a hospital to have the eyes looked at-that’s different.” Of course!

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