Playhouse 90: Three Men on a Horse (1957)

Run Time - 90 min.  |  
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Future Tonight Show host Johnny Carson made one of his rare acting appearances in this 1957 Playhouse 90 adaptation of George Abbott and John Cecil Holm's 1935 stage farce Three Men on a Horse. Carson plays Erwin Trowbridge, a henpecked husband who makes his living writing sappy verse for a greeting-card company. Erwin also possesses a unique gift: The ability to pick winning race horses (though he would never, ever dare to bet on one). It is thus inevitable that our hero would find himself genteely abducted by a trio of Runyonesque horse players who hang out in a seedy bar. Only one problem: Since there's money involved, Erwin's picking prowess is stymied--so the gamblers must figure out a way to get him over his mental block. Jack Carson (no relation to Johnny), Carol Channing and Edward Everett Horton are among the outstanding supporting players in this delightful comedy, which also features Frank McHugh, who'd starred as Erwin in the 1936 film version of Three Men on a Horse.