It’s not a given that a show featuring a talking horse would become a cultural institution, but the combination of some sharp writing and imagination turned Mister Ed from a laughable gimmick into one of the most beloved TV shows of all time. The show’s premise focused on Wilbur Post and his talking horse named Mister Ed. The problem was that Ed spoke only to Wilbur—making his owner seem certifiably insane to everyone around him whenever he tried to explain himself.

Most of the credit for the show’s success has to go to the voice of Mister Ed himself, Allan Lane. All the producers had to do was play his lines over shots of Ed moving his lips slightly and it created one of the most lovable TV characters of all time. The simplicity behind such a winner is astounding, but sometimes that’s what works best.