Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Paul Sommer; Layout – Tony Rivera; Backgrounds – Dick Thomas; Written by Mike Maltese; Story Director – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: – Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Candy Store Clerk, Billy the Kidder, Horsie, Wild Bill Hiccup, Sheriff, Townsmen – Daws Butler; Narrator, Townsmen, Man With Hat – Doug Young; Texas Tillie, Ma McGraw – Jean Vander Pyl.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Geordie Hormel, Emil Cadkin-Harry Bluestone, unknown.
First Aired: 1960?, week of March 6, 1961.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-038, Production J-100.
Plot: Quick Draw tries to bring in Texas Tillie.
I’ve always liked the ending of this cartoon. Here you have a bunch of men completely in fear and helpless against the evil badwoman, but a little old lady can take care of her just by walking in, grabbing her ear and pulling her off to jail. And the capper is she takes care of the fibbing Quick Draw McGraw, too.
About the only confusing thing about the cartoon is its title. Who’s the “Gun Shy Gal”? Texas Tillie isn’t shy of guns. It doesn’t appear Ma McGraw is either.
Writer Mike Maltese takes a bit of time to set up the main action in the cartoon, and he turns it into a running gag. “Many stories have been written about the colourful characters of the old West,” our narrator tells us to open the cartoon. Quick Draw keeps butting in, thinking he’s the one the narrator is talking about. And, no, it’s not Baba Looey, who eventually butts in, too. This gives Maltese a chance to fit in puns about some of the colourful characters, such as Billy the Kidder (a jellybean-stealing boy on a stick-horse that inexplicably neighs) and Wild Bill Hiccup (you know the joke). Note that Wild Bill has little pipe-stem legs; Tony Rivera has been designing characters again.
Finally, the narrator gets around to introducing Texas Tillie, who has Jean Vander Pyl’s Mae West voice. She shoots the hat off a man in a saloon because “a gentleman always removes his hat in the presence of a lady.” Cut to the sheriff complaining Tillie got away with all the town’s money. The dialogue lacks Maltese’s real outrageousness in his Warners Bros. dialogue.
Narrator: Well, you’re the sheriff. Why don’t you go after her?
Sheriff: Well, I need a haircut and shave, and I’m married, and besides—she’s dangerous.
With that, the sheriff supposedly zips away. Paul Sommer is the animator. While Carlo Vinci would stretch the character in a bunch of different shapes between the pose and the exit, and Ken Muse would simply eliminate the stretch drawing, Sommer provide a weak in-between, a far too solid drawing. This, by the way, was the only cartoon Sommer seems to have animated upon his arrival at Hanna-Barbera; he was moved into layout and then story direction a year or so later. Sommer had come from the east in 1937 with Fred Quimby’s first hirings at the new MGM studio. He worked at Columbia in the 1940s until the studio closed and then moved back across the country to Terrytoons (thanks to Howard Beckerman for the information). He spent some time with former Columbia director Howard Swift at Swift-Chaplin Productions in Hollywood before taking over at Song Ads in mid-1957. About the same time, he headed a unit at TV Spots run by Sam Nicholson.
The narrator then talks to the townsfolk. In unison, they repeat how dangerous Tillie is. That brings about a “Hold on thar!” and a pan over to Quick Draw who declares he’s “not afraid of a mere frail sensitive female-type bandit.” So now we get some routines of various lengths (like Maltese’s gag-writing for Wile E. Coyote) as Quick Draw fails to arrest her. First, he pretends to be Cane Clobber bearing jewelled brace-e-lets for her. She locks his legs in the handcuffs (off camera, of course). Next, Quick Draw (wearing a sombrero with pom-poms) parks himself outside her window to serenade her to jail in a stupid, off-key song, accompanied by a one-note guitar. Tillie’s atop the house and shoves the chimney on him. Quick Draw then sneaks up behind her in a rocking chair and tries to scare her. Tillie doesn’t even look. She pulls out a gun, aims it behind her and fires. “Ooo. That smarts.”
Finally, Quick Draw decides to “fights fire with fire, and females with females.” That’s when he calls for his Ma and complains “There’s a weak, sensitive, female-type bandit who won’t me arrest her, ma.” And with a “Hold on thar, female bandit,” Ma drags her by the ear to justice. But when Quick Draw tells the sheriff he arrested Tillie “all by myself, too,” Ma washes his mouth out with soap. Baba tagline: “I like that Quickstraw. He’s good to his mother—if he knows what’s good for him. Iris out on Quick Draw sucking on a bubbling bar of soap.
Jean Vander Pyl recycled her Ma McGraw voice (Ma’s only appearance) into Ma Rugg of The Hillbilly Bears a few years later.
This is one cartoon where Quick Draw doesn’t say “I’ll do the thinnin’ around here.”
There’s wisely no stock music behind Quick Draw’s atrocious guitar serenade, and there’s another brief portion of the cartoon where music would distract. Otherwise, there are lots of snippets of cues as some scenes are short. What I think is Clarence Wheeler’s “Woodwind Capers” shows up toward the end, and we get almost a full rendition of the Jack Shaindlin medium march that ends very similar to his cue “Sportscope.”
0:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:15 - ZR-39A WESTERN SONG (Hormel) – Narration over desert, shots fired from candy store.
0:27 - related to Excitement Under Dialogue (Shaindlin) – Billy the Kidder scene.
0:47 - GR-347 GATHERING THE PRODUCE (Green) – Narrator over desert, Wild Bill Hiccup scene.
1:11 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Narrator over desert, shot of men in saloon.
1:35 - GR-348 EARLY MORNING (Green) – Men shout “Texas Tillie!”, Tillie tells them to stick ‘em up.
1:41 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Hat lifting scene, sheriff, Quick Draw vows to capture Tillie.
2:38 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw and Baba talk while walking.
3:02 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Shot of Tillie’s house, Quick Draw offers “bracelets,” guns in face.
3:54 - ‘FIREMAN’ (Shaindlin) – “I have a pair of six-shooters,” Quick Draw in handcuffs.
4:14 - La Cucaracha (?) – Quick Draw says he’ll serenade Tillie.
4:32 - off key singing, Tillie drops chimney on Quick Draw.
4:46 - CB-83A MR TIPPY TOES (Cadkin-Bluestone) – Chimney crash, Quick Draw in chimney.
5:08 - Tillie rocks in chair.
5:14 - WOODWIND CAPERS? (Wheeler) – Quick Draw peers around side of wall, Tillie shoots him.
5:30 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw gets his ma, “We’ll see about that.”
5:52 - related to Sportscope (Shaindlin) – Ma races off camera, pulls Tillie by ear, pulls Quick Draw by ear, Quick Draw with soap in mouth.
6:42 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub End Title theme (Curtin).