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?
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”).
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).