PCA Book Club: Mister Ed and Me and More! by Alan Young

One of PCA’s biggest highlights of 2010 was our two part interview with entertainment legend Alan Young, the soft spoken comedian most famous for his portrayal of Wilbur Post on the classic sitcom Mister Ed.  However, with a colorful career spanning over seven decades, even our two part interview could not cover Alan’s entire story.  There is a lot more story to tell.  The basis for PCA’s interview was Alan’s book Mister Ed and Me and More!, which provided not only an overview of Alan’s career for my personal research purposes, but provided a warm and funny narrative from one of the kindest and genuine men in the entertainment industry.

Alan Young’s second book, Mister Ed and Me and More is a delightful memoir of Alan’s life in the entertainment industry and provides a detailed history of Mister Ed.  Alan talks about the show’s unconventional origins, writes about key episodes including insights on guest stars such as Mae West, Clint Eastwood and the LA Dodgers, and writes his memories about his co-stars.   In fact, Mister Ed and Me and More! includes a special chapter written by Alan’s leading lady Connie Hines, who passed away in 2009, telling readers about her career as well.  Of course, Alan’s most famous co-star was Mister Ed the horse himself, and Alan talks about his special relationship with his four legged pal. 

Comedian Alan Young clowning around with four legged co-star Mister Ed

But of course Alan’s career was not all about Mister Ed, and Alan takes readers through his entire career from his impoverished childhood in Vancouver, to his budding radio career on the CBC, to his whirl wind journey to New York and finally Hollywood.  Working in all three of the major entertainment mediums of the 20th Century – radio, television and film – Alan talks about his early career in radio and his successful transition to television where he won a total of three Emmy Awards for The Alan Young Show.  Alan goes on to cover his film career, including the classic sci-fi film The Time Machine, and his longest lived character, Uncle Scrooge McDuck.  As a result, Mister Ed and Me and More! becomes an oral narration of one man’s journey through the golden age of entertainment, giving insights to the rise and fall of radio, the birth of television and the Technicolor age of film. 

The most pleasant aspect of Mister Ed and Me and More! is Alan’s unique writing style.  Unpretentious and laid back, Alan Young’s words have a certain warmness to them and his narration reads as if he is sitting across a table from you telling you his life story.  As someone who has interviewed Alan Young, reading Mister Ed and Me and More! is very much like talking to the man himself.  Furthermore, Mister Ed and Me and More! is a pleasant memoir filled with more positivity then cynicism.  The entertainment industry is not always a kind place, and Alan Young has had his share of hard knocks.  Although he does write about his disappointments, through his book he continues to  look at the positive side of his experiences instead of focusing on the bad times.

One of the true gentlemen of Hollywood, Alan Young has had an amazing life.  Mister Ed and Me and More! is a warm retelling of his career, told with the gentle humor that we’ve come to expect from this show business legend.  Full of background insider information on Alan Young’s show business experience, Mister Ed and Me and More! is a perfect holiday gift for the classic television fan in your life, or a personal Christmas gift for pop culture addicts everywhere.

To order your own copy of Mister Ed and Me and More! click here.

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