Alan Young

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Alan Young (1919-2016) discusses his Scottish and Canadian upbringing and starting his show business career as a teenager on radio. He speaks of  "The Alan Young Show" radio program and the television version, and recalls his experiences doing a 'live' television series. He talks about his movies with special effects wizard George Pal and working with Howard Hughes. Young then details the role for which he is best known, that of "Wilbur Post" on Mister Ed. He also touches on the many animated voiceovers and television guest appearances he made. Jeff Abraham conducted the interview on February 6, 2001 in Studio City, CA.

"I worked it out that you go to an audition feeling you're going to give your concept of what this part is you're not going to try to get anything. If the producer likes it, whether you get the part or not, you've given. It takes away all the anxiety and the weight. That's my best advice. Just give, and then trust."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Alan Young on appearing on Jimmy Durante's radio show, and on working with Al Jolson
Alan Young on the sponsors of Mister Ed
Alan Young on the first episode of Mister Ed, and on how the show was received and picked up by CBS
Alan Young on various guest stars on Mister Ed, including Clint Eastwood and Mae West
Alan Young on finding the voice for "Mister Ed," and on how they made the horse talk
Alan Young on the end of Mister Ed, and on the continuing popularity of the show
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on radio shows he listened to growing up, and learning how to do voices on radio; on appearing on the radio in Canada
On doing "The Alan Young Show" on radio; on Jim Backus being added to the cast of radio's "Alan Young Show," and on episodes of the shows; on appearing on Jimmy Durante's radio show, and on working with Al Jolson

Chapter 2

On doing his radio show from Hollywood, and on meeting legends like Jack Benny; on doing live stage shows, and on creating The Alan Young Show for television; on his earliest experiences of television
On The Alan Young Show; on a typical workweek for The Alan Young Show, and on the guest-stars of the show including Frank Sinatra; on winning Emmy Awards for The Alan Young Show
On how The Alan Young Show changed and evolved over the time it was on the air and on working with animals; on Joe Besser guest-starring on The Alan Young Show; on the end of the show

Chapter 3

On The Alan Young Show producer Ralph Levy, and on working with Stan Laurel; on appearing in various feature films; on appearing on live classic anthology shows in the '50s
On appearing on Studio One; on appearing in the live Matinee Theater teleplay "Ask Me No Questions"; on appearing in the unsold pilot The Life of Vernon Hathaway
On appearing in various feature films; on the development of Mr. Ed

Chapter 4

On the sponsors of Mister Ed; on Mister Ed transforming from pilot to series; on finding the voice for Mister Ed, and on how they made the horse talk
On his relationship with the horse "Mister Ed," and the supporting cast of the show; on the writers of Mister Ed; on the theme song for Mister Ed
On a typical workweek on Mister Ed; on the first episode of Mister Ed, and on how the show was received and picked up by CBS; on Mister Ed guest-stars William Bendix, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and George Burns, who was also a producer

Chapter 5

On various guest stars on Mister Ed, including Clint Eastwood and Mae West; on directing episode of Mister Ed; on the end of Mister Ed, and on the continuing popularity of the show
On the Hollywood Blacklist; on appearing on Broadway; on his involvement with the Christian Science Church
On his career doing voiceovers; on guest-starring on St. Elsewhere; on guest-starring on General Hospital

Chapter 6

On guest starring on Coach; on guest starring on the Hart to Hart reunion movie; on appearing in "Beverly Hills Cop III"
On guest-starring on various series; on then-current projects; on career achievements and regrets
On his faith and on his family; on advice to an aspiring actor; on various people with whom he's worked in his career

Chapter 7

B-roll photos from his career- on the set of Pantomime Quiz; doing his stand-up act; with his vocalist from his radio show; on the set of The Alan Young Show ; with Ceasar Romero; doing a sketch on The Alan Young Show ; pirate sketch from The Alan Young Show; doing an Englishman sketch on The Alan Young Show ; another Englishman sketch on The Alan Young Show ; on the set of Death Valley Days; with "Mister Ed"; with "Mister Ed" and his Patsy Award; doing a Magic Trick on the set of Mister Ed; with Connie Heines; on the set of Mister Ed; ad for The Alan Young Show; with "Mister Ed"; with "Mister Ed"
Shows

Alan Young Show, The

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Alan Young on doing live stage shows, and on creating The Alan Young Show for television
Alan Young on The Alan Young Show
Alan Young on a typical workweek for The Alan Young Show, and on the guest-stars of the show including Frank Sinatra
Alan Young on winning Emmy Awards for The Alan Young Show
Alan Young on how The Alan Young Show changed and evolved over the time it was on the air and on working with animals
Alan Young on Joe Besser guest-starring on The Alan Young Show
Alan Young on the end of The Alan Young Show
Alan Young on The Alan Young Show producer Ralph Levy, and on working with Stan Laurel

Coach

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Alan Young on guest starring on Coach

General Hospital

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Alan Young on guest starring on General Hospital

Hart to Hart

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Alan Young on guest starring on the Hart to Hart reunion movie

Mister Ed

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Alan Young on the development of Mr. Ed
Alan Young on the sponsors of Mister Ed
Alan Young on Mister Ed transforming from pilot to series
Alan Young on finding the voice for "Mister Ed," and on how they made the horse talk
Alan Young on his relationship with the horse "Mister Ed," and the supporting cast of the show
Alan Young on the writers of Mister Ed
Alan Young on the theme song for Mister Ed
Alan Young on a typical workweek on Mister Ed
Alan Young on his Mister Ed character "Wilbur Post"
Alan Young on the first episode of Mister Ed, and on how the show was received and picked up by CBS
Alan Young on Mister Ed guest-stars William Bendix, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and George Burns, who was also a producer
Alan Young on various guest stars on Mister Ed, including Clint Eastwood and Mae West
Alan Young on directing episode of Mister Ed
Alan Young on the end of Mister Ed, and on the continuing popularity of the show

NBC Matinee Theater

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Alan Young on appearing in the live Matinee Theater teleplay "Ask Me No Questions"

Smurfs, The

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Alan Young on voicing characters in the animated series The Smurfs

St. Elsewhere

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Alan Young on guest-starring on St. Elsewhere

Studio One

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Alan Young on appearing on Studio One
Topics

Advice

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Alan Young on advice to an aspiring actor

Anthology Drama

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Alan Young on appearing on live classic anthology shows in the '50s

Characters & Catchphrases

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Alan Young on finding the voice for "Mister Ed," and on how they made the horse talk
Alan Young on his Mister Ed character "Wilbur Post"

Emmy Awards

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Alan Young on winning Emmys for The Alan Young Show

Hollywood Blacklist

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Alan Young on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Alan Young on the Hollywood Blacklist

Pop Culture

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Alan Young on finding the voice for "Mister Ed," and on how they made the horse talk
Alan Young on the theme song for Mister Ed
Alan Young on his Mister Ed character "Wilbur Post"

TV Theme Songs

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Alan Young on the theme song for Mister Ed

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Alan Young on appearing on live classic anthology shows in the '50s

Television Industry

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Alan Young on the Hollywood Blacklist
Alan Young on advice to an aspiring actor
Professions

Actor

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Alan Young on guest starring on a soap opera (General Hospital)
Alan Young on advice to an aspiring actor

Performers

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Alan Young on advice to an aspiring actor
Genres

Animation

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Alan Young on voicing characters in the animated series The Smurfs

Classic Anthology Series

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Alan Young on appearing on Studio One and NBC Matinee Theater

Comedy Series

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Alan Young on the development of Mr. Ed
Alan Young on playing "Wilbur Post" on Mister Ed
Alan Young on playing "Wilbur Post" on Mister Ed
Alan Young on guest starring on Coach

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Alan Young on guest starring on the Hart to Hart reunion movie

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Alan Young on guest starring on General Hospital

Medical Dramas

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Alan Young on guest-starring on St. Elsewhere

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Alan Young on his first TV show The Alan Young Show
Alan Young on The Alan Young Show producer Ralph Levy, and on working with Stan Laurel
People

Jim Backus

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Alan Young on Jim Backus being added to the cast of radio's "Alan Young Show," and on episodes of the shows

Jack Benny

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Alan Young on doing his radio show from Hollywood, and on meeting legends like Jack Benny

George Burns

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Alan Young on Mister Ed guest-stars William Bendix, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and George Burns, who was also a producer

Jimmy Durante

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Alan Young on appearing on Jimmy Durante's radio show, and on working with Al Jolson

Clint Eastwood

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Alan Young on various guest stars on Mister Ed, including Clint Eastwood and Mae West

William Frawley

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Alan Young on William Frawley

Zsa Zsa Gabor

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Alan Young on Mister Ed guest-stars William Bendix, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and George Burns, who was also a producer

Howard Hughes

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Alan Young on Howard Hughes

Al Jolson

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Alan Young on appearing on Jimmy Durante's radio show, and on working with Al Jolson

Stan Laurel

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Alan Young on The Alan Young Show producer Ralph Levy, and on working with Stan Laurel

Ralph Levy

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Alan Young on The Alan Young Show producer Ralph Levy, and on working with Stan Laurel

Marilyn Monroe

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Alan Young on Marilyn Monroe

Vincent Price

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Alan Young on Vincent Price

Ronald Reagan

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Alan Young on Ronald Reagan

Frank Sinatra

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Alan Young on a typical workweek for The Alan Young Show, and on the guest-stars of the show including Frank Sinatra

Sharon Tate

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Alan Young on Mister Ed guest-stars Sharon Tate, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and George Burns, who was also a producer

Shirley Temple

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Alan Young on Shirley Temple

Mae West

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Alan Young on various guest stars on Mister Ed, including Clint Eastwood and Mae West

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