Saturday, 17 August 2013

Quick Draw McGraw — Two Too Much

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: none. Animation – Ed Love, Layout – Walt Clinton, Backgrounds – Fernando Montealegre?, Story – Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Narrator, Billy the Kidder – Don Messick, Horse Face Harry – Doug Young; Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Warden – Daws Butler.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Hoyt Curtin.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-029, Production J-85.
First aired: week of January 30, 1961.
Plot: Horse Face Harry, the unspeakable outlaw, looks exactly like the heroic mainstay of law and order, Quick Draw, and the lawman discovers a way to turn this to his advantage (LA Times summary).

One of my favourite bits of Quick Draw dialogue is in this cartoon:

Warden: Can you do it, Quick Draw?
Quick Draw: Can a swim duck?

Actually, there are a few other pieces of fun, silly dialogue sprinkled throughout the cartoon. A shame it ended on a weak pun. Mike Maltese seems to have set up a Quick Draw template whereby Baba Looey had to have the last word of the cartoon while looking at the camera. It was simply up to Maltese to fill in the blank with whatever he could think of.

This is the third and final appearance of Horse Face Harry. Too bad, because he was a good character. There’s a bit of confusion about his name. A ‘Wanted’ poster in this cartoon calls him “Hoss-Face.” The voice actors use both “hoss” and “horse.” I’ve never seen the dialogue sheets, so I’m going with “horse.”

There are no credits on the versions of this cartoon I have but it’s easy to pick out the animator. Ed Love likes little weird mouth shapes in dialogue. And Horse Face’s evil, toothy grin reminds me of what Ed did with Buzz Buzzard as the end of the Woody Woodpecker cartoon “Drooler’s Delight” about 10 years earlier.



Walt Clinton is the layout artist. You can tell with the collar-height ears of the incidental characters.



I won’t try to identify the background artist. I like the toned clouds; several H-B artists seem to have used this effect. I also like the idea of Billy the Kidder’s hideout being labelled “Hide Out.”



But a pretty basic background drawing of the Western State Penitentiary opens the cartoon.



Maltese gets into the silly dialogue right away. The narrator explains the notorious bank robber Billy the Kidder has been captured and is being grilled by the prison warden about the location of stolen money.




Warden: Tell ya what. Talk, and you’ll get barbecued prairie dog every Sunday. Oh, joy!
Billy: With sagebrush dumplin’s?
Warden: Yes!
Billy: And tumbleweed pie?
Warden: Yes, yes!
Billy: No, thanks. I’m not hungry.

Yeah, it’s not as ridiculous as Maltese’s “Rabbit au gratin de gelatin under tooled leather” from the Warner’s cartoon Rabbit Fire, but it’s suitably Western.

Warden Lock N. Keys locks away Billy for 99 years but gets an idea to con Billy into divulging the location of the stolen money, upon seeing a wanted poster for Billy’s partner, Horse Face Harry, and noticing the resemblance to Quick Draw McGraw (“I get it. You want me to impersonate this handsome fellow,” says Quick Draw). As an added touch, the warden sings the Quick Draw McGraw theme song while on the phone trying to reach our hero. Quick Draw’s main concern about being in the same cells as Billy: “I hope he doesn’t snore.” What about Baba Looey? “I don’t look like Horse Face Harry,” he protests. “I look like my grandmother.”


So off to jail goes Quick Draw as Horse Face who’s “meaner than a barrel of angry wildcats.” Quick Draw gives us a wildcat snarl for good measure. Typical Ed Love mouth drawing; unfortunately Ed’s stuff got toned down as Hanna-Barbera cartoons got toned down. Baba Looey breaks the two out of jail and they make a run for the hideout. “Hello, there, Hide Out,” says Quick Draw when Billy introduces him to the shack. Quick Draw asks Billy to get him “some hot bank money...Over easy.”

“As fickle fate would have it,” the narrator begins, the real Horse Face shows up at the hideout. So the rest of the cartoon involves no one being able to tell Horse Face and Quick Draw apart. Billy hands the bag of stolen money to Horse Face and then runs back and forth between the two in different rooms of the hideout. “Must be that cactus cough medicine I’ve been takin’,” says the confused Billy, who decides to go back to jail and runs through the shack’s wall to get there. Then Baba thinks Horse Face is Quick Draw, thinking the heat is responsible for the change in voice (Horse Face is voiced by Doug Young). Baba grabs the cash (“Hey! He stole my stolen money!” yells Horse Face) and more identity confusion follows with Horse Face finally walking away with the money head to “San Francisco and a good time” (reminiscent of the bad guy in Quick Draw’s “Riverboat Shuffled” who announces he heading “to New Orleans, the Mardi Gras and some jolly fun”).



Quick Draw skids into the scene. “Where’s the money?” he asks Baba. “You just took it,” he replies, “And there you go, Quickstraw.” “Hold on thar, Quick Draw McGraw!” shouts our hero. “Drat! It’s the good-lookin’ buttinsky Quick Draw McGraw,” opines Horse Face. Now the Warden appears and there’s still more confusion, which carries on to the end of the cartoon with Quick Draw and Horse Face both yelling “I’m Quick Draw McGraw” at each other. Maltese may have been tempted to finish the gag with a “rabbit season/duck season” turnabout like he wrote at Warner Bros. but Quick Draw simply isn’t a bright enough character to carry it off. Instead, he prefers to let them argue with Baba adding a weak pun gag line: “You know something? I think I am quickly withdrawing. Adios!” And the cartoon ends.

I mentioned the Quick Draw theme on the piano making a quick appearance on the soundtrack. The rest of the music is pretty familiar.


0:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:15 - GR-348 EARLY MORNING (Green) – Opening narration.
0:33 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Warden grills Billy the Kidder, dials phone.
1:15 - (THAT’S) QUICK DRAW McGRAW (Curtin) – Warden sings Quick Draw theme.
1:21 - GR-357 DR QUACK SHORT BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – “Why none other than Quick Draw McGraw.”
1:26 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw-Baba-Warden scene.
2:22 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Quick Draw walks to cell.
2:35 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Quick Draw put in cell, Baba saws window bars.
2:59 - LFU-117-1 MAD RUSH No 1 (Shaindlin) – Quick Draw, Baba and Billy run.
3:07 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Quick Draw outside hideout, Billy goes to get money.
3:28 - CAPERS (Shaindlin) – Horse Face walks, shoots at Billy.
3:51 - ‘FIREMAN’ (Shaindlin) – Billy skids into room with Quick Draw, Billy goes back and forth, runs through wall.
4:26 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Horse Face has money, talks to Baba, Baba grabs money and runs.
4:50 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – “Hey!” Horse Face falls in cellar, Baba walks out of room.
5:06 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Baba and Quick Draw talk about money, Baba runs out.
5:29 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Horse Face grabs money, Baba realises who it is, Warden shoots at Quick Draw.
6:24 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – (Shaindlin) – “Hold on thar, Warden!” Quick Draw and Horse Face argue.
6:36 - GR-79 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS BRIDGE No 2 (Green) – Baba talks to camera.
6:44 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub End Title theme (Curtin).

11 comments:

  1. One of the things that made the “Can a swim duck?” line so good was that is occurred nicely at an act break, punctuated by a perfect scene-ending stock music cue. At least that’s how I remember it.

    Also, in that “swim duck” vein, one of Maltese’s 1960s Daffy Duck comic book stories was titled “A Bird Can Fly, but Can a Fly Bird?” He was so good with words, puns, etc.!

    …And, I kinda liked the “withdrawing” end gag. It capitalized on the amount of times we heard the sound of the word “draw”.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jesus Christ, "Yowp-Yowp" Dodsworth!

    I remember very well of this Quick Draw McGraw episode!
    It's on it where we have the third appearance of the Quick Draw's evil duplicate, Horse-Face Harry.
    John Kricfalusi, on his blog (http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com), included some references of this episode in one of the topics which he made about the Walter Clinton's artwork in the Quick Draw McGraw episodes. Do you remember of these topics?
    We cannot forget that Ed Love (animation) and Walter Clinton (layout and design) were involved, at this same season, in The Flintstones. More exactly, in two episodes of the 1st season of this series: The Baby-Sitters and The Drive-In.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only a little rectification: about the topics which Johnny K. did, referent to the Walter Clinton's designs on the Hanna-Barbera cartoons from the 50s and 60s, he included the references from this Quick Draw McGraw episode in the two topics refering to the Walter Clinton's designs at the Quick Draw McGraw episodes.

      Delete
  3. A bit of Bill & Joe's "Timid Tabby" in the plot line here, when Jerry is driven insane dealing with Tom and his cousin with Bill Thompson's Droopy voice.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Some of the “1960s kid New Yorkers” (like me) reading this might also recall that Quick Draw was shown weekly (in fall 1966?) on WNEW (Today FOX-5) as three stand-alone Quick Draw cartoons each Monday at 5PM. The same approach was taken with Augie Doggie on Tuesday, and Snooper and Blabber on Thursday. Bugs Bunny had this slot on Friday – and maybe Wednesday too. I can’t exactly recall if they did Bugs twice, or if it was something else.

    The odd and unfortunate thing about this was that, for an opening theme sequence, they took a single cartoon, CUT IT UP, and showed various action sequences of it over a “jazzy background score”. That, alas, meant that the particular cartoon in question was NOT SEEN as part of this program, presumably because WNEW’s print of it was cut up for that purpose.

    In Quick Draw’s case it was “Two Too Much”. For Augie, it was the one with the skunk, and for Snooper it was the one with an Australian bandit and his kangaroo.

    So, there’s just another bit of oddball history concerning this cartoon. Anyone else remember this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't remember it exactly -- I do remember when they mashed up Yogi and Porky into a half-hour show using a sped-up version of Al Hirt's 'Java' as the title music over the clips -- but WNEW did do a lot of cutting and slicing on its cartoon prints over the years, far more than WPIX (Ch. 5 was also Patient Zero for editing cartoons for political correctness reasons, hacking segments well before Action for Children's Television and other 'responsible TV' groups came on the scene).

      Delete
    2. Yes, it was 1976's PORKY, HUCK AND YOGI SHOW, one of many syndicated mashups of old theatrical and TV characters that a station may have had rights do. The 'Java' opening alternated clips of LOVE BUGGED BEAR, CAVEMAN HUCK and the Porky Pig WWII theatrical BROTHER BRAT.

      While most of the pre-1962 H-B shorts lost their entire opening credit sequences by the late 1960s, at least the Quick Draw trilogy kept theirs well into the 1970s. The Quick Draw shorts were bought up by Turner with the 1992 arrival of Cartoon Network, and they had a truncated version of his opening; the 'bridge' containing the slide of the specific episode credits was cut out. The Snooper/Blab and Doggie episodes were still owned by Worldvision and aired on the Family Channel WITH their entire credit sequences. Fortunately this was retained when CN picked them up in 1994.

      Delete
  5. It was very unusual for a pre-1961 short to have THREE male voices in it. In the case of the Huck, Quick Draw and Snooper/Blab shorts, there'd be one male 'guest voice'- usually Messick, Smith, or Young. If Jean VanderPyl was needed, she'd be the third voice. A few Doggie shorts had Messick as a guest voice. But this is the only Quick Draw short with two male guest voices.

    Didn't Horse Face Harry appear in one short voiced by Don Messick?

    Of course it's quite amusing in an ironic way that, in cartoons where a regular character's lookalike speaks in a different voice and/or wears different clothes, people STILL don't make the distinction. This happened in at least three FLINTSTONES episodes involving dopplegangers for Fred.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Howard, 'Bull-Leave Me' has all three. It's the only other one. And Messick is Horse Face in the one where Horse Face pretends to be El Kabong.

      Delete
  6. I've found in the Johnny K.'s blog (http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com), by the least, one of the scenes from this Quick Draw McGraw episode.
    It's exactly in the beginning of this episode, where we see a jailer conducting Billy the Kidder to the state prison, before the confession.
    This scene is located in the following link: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_mJ4lc_Q9Q6k/TRAkyeePsSI/AAAAAAAAuF0/_Nmn7bP6JdY/s250/jailer.jpg.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Baba Looey: "I look like my grandmother." A lot of funny lines in this cartoon.

    ReplyDelete