Casey Davidson
October 11, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

People who believe that the talking horse represents television at its very best will want to own The Famous Mister Ed, a history timed to coincide with the show’s 30th anniversary. Beginning with Ed’s origins in Francis the Talking Mule (Ed’s producer, Arthur Lubin, was the director of six of the Francis movies) to its current home on cable TV’s Nick at Nite, Nancy Nalven combs through the heavy issues raised by the show: Ed’s voice, the theories of how he was persuaded to move his lips (no one’s talking on this one), the color of Alan Young’s hair (darkened from its blond hue to contrast with Ed’s palomino do), and so forth. Plus lots more: Mister Ed collectibles, show synopses, and ”hoofnotes.” B+

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