Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quick Draw McGraw — El Kabong Meets El Kazing

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Animation – George Nicholas, Layout – Walt Clinton, Backgrounds – Dick Thomas, Story – Mike Maltese, Story Direction – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson. (no credits).
Voice Cast: Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Snagglepuss, Red Fringe Haired Gunman, 2nd Sheep – Daws Butler; Narrator, Grey Moustache Gunman, 1st Sheep, Sheriff, Steer – Don Messick.
Music: Jack Shaindlin, Phil Green, unknown.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-027, Production J-79.
First Aired: (week of Sept. 26, 1960?), week of March 26, 1961.
Plot: Quick Draw, as El Kabong, battles thieving Snagglepuss, as El Kazing.

One of my favourite Quick Draw cartoons is The Lyin’ Lion, where our hero takes on the orange, sheep-stealing, smart-ass version of Snagglepuss. A great team was put together—George Nicholas animating, Walt Clinton designing characters and Mike Maltese giving everyone funny dialogue and situations. Someone at Hanna-Barbera must have noticed because the group was brought back together for the first cartoon put into production in the Quick Draw McGraw Show’s 1960-61 season. Even better, Maltese decided to add the inept El Kabong into the mix, and then built on the caped avenger routine. His story’s great—the situation becomes more and more ridiculous until the climax in just the right place and an appropriate pun to end it all.

Nicholas is pretty easy to spot here. He gives characters little beady eyes in certain situations (he did the same thing on The Flintstones and little sideways horseshoe mouths during dialogue in characters with elongated snouts.



Nicholas comes up with some great acting for the full-of-himself Snagglepuss. He’s first surprised by the narrator addressing him, then closes his eyes as he tells about himself with an air of superiority. Then he gives the audience a sneaky look as he’s about to zip off camera to nab his prey.




We mentioned Walt Clinton earlier. I love his designs for the cow and sheep. The sheep has the same design he used for Woolley Boy in The Lyin’ Lion.



As far as I can guess, Dick Thomas is the background artist. We’re foiled a bit by a lack of credits on several other Quick Draws have the same outdoor setting: brown ground in two different shades, sponged on the drawing, and pink mesas with purple to indicate shadows. One exception is “Gun Shy Gal,” which has Thomas’ name. Some of the scenes have overlays on this particular background drawing, such as Snagglepuss’ blue rock cave. There are something like only a half-dozen background paintings in the whole cartoon.

Maltese has a great opening. As usual, a narrator sets it up: “The war between the cattlemen and the sheepmen went on unchecked in the old West. Every available hand took part in the struggle until, finally, a common disaster forced peace.” Not only are the cattleman and sheepherder shooting at each other (and missing from point-blank range), so are the cattle and sheep (one of each). When they run out of bullets, they call a truce. The cattleman and sheepherder shake hands. Then the camera pans over to the steer and the sheep and they’re doing the same thing. And, with that, the cattleman and sheepherder leave the cartoon for good.

Cut to Snagglepuss at his cave entrance. He gets indignant when the narrator suggests to him he doesn’t look like much of a nemesis to sheep and cattle. He demonstrates, zooming off screen and returning with a fat sheep. “Casserole of lamb, if so I desire,” he says. “And for dessert, observe!” He rushes off camera again and returns with a steer. “Bully beef a la gelatin. King-size, even.” Snagglepuss has a low crotch and Nicholas comes up with a great crouched, shuffle-run for him.

Cut to the side of a green building with Wanted posters. The camera pans to the side and pulls back to reveal Quick Draw and Baba Looey talking about Snagglepuss. A close-up of a poster spells the name “Snaggle-Puss.” Quick Draw says the word “hyphen” as he reads the name. Clinton, or whoever, tries to add some visual variety. When Quick Draw and Baba are in the shot together, they’re against a solid, greyish-blue background. When the camera goes in for a close-up on either one of them, the background changes to the blue entrance to Snagglepusses’ cave.

In Bully For Bugs (1953), Maltese had Bugs Bunny on his way to the Coachella Carrot Festival. In this one, Baba suggests to Quick Draw they forget about Snagglepuss and go to “the grapes-picking fiesta in California.” That brings about Quick Draw’s oft-heard “I’ll do the thin’nin’ around here” line.

Next scene. The sheriff says El Kabong is the only one who could possibly bring in Snagglepuss. When Quick Draw reveals he’s El Kabong, the sheriff thinks he’s gone “plumb loco.” But the narrator reminds us that it s true. To demonstrate, Quick Draw is now El Kabong for the rest of the cartoon and with a “Holé!” he flies through the air on a rope suspended on who-knows-what and right into the side of a cliff.



A nice little scene follows. Snagglepuss (left with beady cross-eyes for a moment) is bashed with El Kabong’s guitar on a wooden extender. He stops and is more annoyed than anything else. “Heavens to Murgatroyd,” he remarks. “It’s a musical rust-ler.” Snagglepuss simply resumes running into his cave and closes the door before El Kabong crashes into (and off) it. Cut to a shot of El Kabong in a heap. “Did somebody k-nock?” Uh, oh. What’s that? Looks like an oooold bundle of rags. Right in front of my door, too.” With a self-satisfied smile, Snagglepuss sweeps the unmoving heap off the edge of a cliff.



El Kabong is back together for the next scene (it is a cartoon, after all). “Hold on thar, Snaggletooth!” incorrectly yells Quick Draw. Snagglepuss looks annoyed. “Drat! It’s that nosey bundle of rags again.” El Kabong has somehow acquired a sabre and the cartoon escalates into a bunch of butt-stabbings and masked avenger costume wearings. Snagglepuss zips off camera and returns as El Kazing, “the champion of the bad guys.” El Kabong has a kabonger. El Kazing has a kazinger. It’s a bass violin he uses to shoot arrows in El Kabong’s butt (Snagglepuss utters the immortal words “Bend over and I’ll show you” in the scene). Baba Looey decides to come to the rescue as El Ka-powey, “champion of champions, I theen.” What’s his weapon? Suddenly, out of nowhere (four frames), Baba Looey has a boxing glove and clobbers the costumed Snagglepuss. Another great drawing from George Nicholas.







El Kazing decides fisticuffs are crude, so it’s “Exit, stage left.”

The final scene has Baba thinnin’ that he and Quick Draw can now go to the grape-picking festival. “If there’s any pickin’ to be done,” says Quick Draw. “We’re going to do it right here.” Cut to a shot of El Kazing’s arrows still sticking out of El Kabong’s butt. Baba ends it with one of his standard tag-lines, pointing to his head. “You know, I like that Quickstraw. He’s got a lot of stuff up here. No brains. Just a lotta stuff.”

Nothing unusual in the music in this cartoon. A stock version of “La Cucaracha” on the accordion makes an appearance, as it seems to in most El Kabong cartoons. I don’t know the source.


0:00 – Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:15 - tick-tock flute music (Shaindlin) – Gun battle scene.
0:49 - GR-348 EARLY MORNING (Green) – Snagglepuss appears, talks to narrator, zips out of scene.
1:09 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Snagglepuss returns with sheep and cow.
1:30 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Wanted posters, Baba and Quick Draw talk.
2:03 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Sheriff scene.
2:46 - GR-78 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – El Kabong swings from rope, crashes into bluff, drops.
2:57 - GR-454 THE ARTFUL DODGER BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – El Kabong on ground, talks to Baba.
3:07 - ‘FIREMAN’ (Shaindlin) – Snagglepuss with sheep, kabonged, runs into cave, El Kabong slams against door, Snagglepuss opens door.
3:37 - GR-346 FIRST BUDS (Green) – “Did somebody k-nock?”, Snagglepuss sweeps El Kabong off cliff, Baba Looey points.
3:54 - rising scale vaudeville music (Shaindlin) – Snagglepuss with steer, El Kabong stabs Snagglepuss in butt twice, Snagglepuss skids to stop.
4:20 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Snagglepuss argues with El Kabong, Snagglepuss runs out of scene.
4:43 - La Cucaracha (?) – Snagglepuss as El Kazing on rope, reveals his secret identity.
4:59 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – El Kabong with guitar, shot with arrow.
5:22 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – El Kabong runs, Baba talks to audience, Baba on rope, crashes into Snagglepuss.
5:50 - tick-tock flute music (Shaindlin) – Snagglepuss and Baba in costume talk, Baba punches Snagglepuss, Snagglepuss exits.
6:18 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Baba talks about grape picking festival, “a lot of stuff,” iris out.
6:42 Quick Draw McGraw Sub-End Title theme (Curtin).

2 comments:

  1. The sheriff seen on the Quick Draw McGraw episode Kabong Kabong's Kabong re-appears on this episode depicted on this topic.

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  2. George Nicholas (animation), Walter Clinton (design) and Michael Maltese (scripts) would be involved, still at this same year in which this Quick Draw McGraw episode was made (1960), in another greatest hit from Hanna-Barbera: The Flintstones.

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