The stars of the show are Mister Ed, a palomino horse who could talk ("played" by gelding Bamboo Harvester and voiced by Allan Lane), and his owner, an eccentric and enormously klutzy yet friendly architect named Wilbur Post (portrayed by Alan Young). Much of the program's humor stemmed from the fact Mister Ed would speak only to Wilbur, as well as Ed's notoriety as a troublemaker. According to the show's producer, Arthur Lubin, Young was chosen as the lead character because he "just seemed like the sort of guy a horse would talk to". Lubin, a friend of Mae West, scored a coup by persuading the screen icon to guest star in one episode.
In the United States, reruns aired on Nick at Nite from March 3, 1986, to February 1, 1993. Sister station TV Land also reran the show from 1996-98 and again from 2003-06. The series is currently broadcast every morning on This TV, along with sister series The Patty Duke Show. As of January 1, 2011, the first two seasons of the show are available on Hulu.