Saturday, November 9, 2013
Quick Draw McGraw — Twin Troubles
Credits: none. Animation – Ken Muse, Layout – Walt Clinton, Story – Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Narrator, Good N. Meany, Mr. Briefcase, Judge – Doug Young; Quick Draw, Baba Looey, Durn Meany, Bailiff – Daws Butler. Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Emil Cadkin-Harry Bluestone, unknown.
First Aired: week of November 21, 1960 (rerun, week of August 28, 1961).
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-030, Production J-91.
Plot: Baba Looey has to testify in a bank robbery case against Durn Meany.
Timing is everything in comedy, and “Twin Troubles” features a little gag that couldn’t be timed better.
Sure, it’s a corny old bit of business. But the timing is perfect. Exactly two frames elapse from the time Quick Draw finishes ordering to when he’s bashed. Add catchphrase. Scene done. It all takes less than nine seconds. You’re not left time to analyse it. The ridiculousness sets in and then it’s back to the chase. “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In” used to do the same kind of thing with quick, unrelated, blackout gags inserted between routines. And it was always funny if the gag wasn’t allowed to linger.
This cartoon uses the basic idea of a western courtroom drama without really parodying it. Instead, it’s a hook to hang the usual things you find in a Quick Draw cartoon. In fact, the courtroom aspect turns out to be completely irrelevant; Baba Looey quells the bad guys at the end of the cartoon by improbably launching a cast-iron stove at them.
The original premise of the cartoon is Quick Draw has ten minutes to produce his star witness (Baba) in court, or Good N. Meany gets off on a bank robbery charge. Meany’s brother Durn is holding off Quick Draw in a gun battle. But the promise of a cartoon with “High Noon”-style deadline suspense is cut off pretty quickly. Quick Draw uses a rubber tire tube attached to the window to shoot him and Baba over the bad guy and through the wall of the courthouse “in the St. Nicholas of time.” So now there’s four more minutes of cartoon to fill. All the catchphrases get a workout during the first part of the cartoon—“Hold on, thar!” “I’ll do the thinnin’ around here, Baba-boy. And dooon’t you forget it.” And the Baba dialogue switch routine: “You’re a bully, Quickstraw.” “What’s that?” “I said ‘Bully for you, Quickstraw’.”
There’s a camera error, too. Durn Meany’s mouth animation is, as normal in an H-B cartoon, on separate cels than the rest of the drawing. Durn’s mouth slides off part of his face for a couple of seconds.
Now that the cartoon’s in the courthouse, Maltese tosses in some puns. “Good N. Meany, take the stand, please,” says the bailiff. So he walks away with the stand. The best one is helped by Daws Butler’s goofy voice he gives Quick Draw. “I object!” shouts the oily defence lawyer. “The question is entirely irrelevant, immaterial and, furthermore, calls for a conclusion on the part of this witness.” But when the Meanys pull guns on star witness Baba, prosecutor Quick Draw shouts: “I object! The question is an elephant, a cereal and calls for a concussion on the part of the witness.” And then Quick Draw’s completely taken in by Durn Meany in disguise as the old Meany mother, who socks, kicks and jumps on Quick Draw as she outlines what the sheriff did to her “golden-haired boy” (who is bald). Judge: “Any more questions, Quick Draw?” Quick Draw (looking woozy): “No, your highness. She’s suffered enough.”
No surprises in the music department. I don’t know the source of the version of “Red River Valley” used in the Quick Draw cartoons.
0:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:15 - Red River Valley (?) – Pan of street over opening narration.
0:32 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Shot of judge, courtroom scene.
1:07 - related to Excitement Under Dialogue (Shaindlin) – shooting, “Oh, Quick Draw.”
1:18 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw/Durn dialogue, Quick Draw/Baba dialogue.
1:57 - GR-87 SKELETON IN THE CUPBOARD (Green) – “You only got a minute,” Quick Draw launches.
2:22 - ‘FIREMAN’ (Shaindlin) – Quick Draw flies through air.
2:31 - GR-98 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO BRIDGE No. 2 (Green) – “Time’s up,” Quick Draw and Baba crash through wall.
2:39 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – “The star witness,” take the stand, Good N. Meany on stand, “That’s my cue.”
3:25 - sad trombone music (?) – “Mom” shouts, judge tells “her” to proceed.
3:43 - PG-160G LIGHT MOVEMENT (Green) – “Mom” on stand, socks Quick Draw.
4:00 - fast circus chase music (?) – “And then with two lefts,” Quick Draw beaten up, “Any more questions?”
4:23 - GR-454 THE ARTFUL DODGER BRIDGE No. 1 (Green) – Quick Draw wearing chair.
4:28 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Baba on stand.
5:09 - CB-86A HIDE AND SEEK (Bluestone-Cadkin) – Meanys with guns, Baba runs out.
5:24 - GR-437 GATHERING THE PRODUCE (Green) – Meanys run.
5:30 - GR-455 THE ARTFUL DODGER BRIDGE No. 1 (Green) – Order in the court scene.
5:39 - rising scale music (Shaindlin) – Meanys run, flying stove, crash.
6:16 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Courtroom wrap-up scene.
6:43 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub End Title theme (Curtin).