Saturday, 9 January 2010

Quick Draw McGraw — Bad Guys Disguise

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Animation – Carlo Vinci; Layout - Dick Bickenbach; Backgrounds - Art Lozzi; Story – Mike Maltese; Story Sketches - Dan Gordon; Story Direction – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson (no credits).
Cast: Quick Draw, Baba Looey – Daws Butler; Narrator, Tombstone Jones – Vance Colvig.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-002, Production J-4 (second Quick Draw in production).
Released: October 6, 1959 (BCDB unconfirmed), rerun week of April 4, 1960.
Plot: Quick Draw and Baba disguise themselves as a widow and her child to get stolen bank money from Tombstone Jones.

There’s something about Quick Draw McGraw bashing people over the head that’s funny. Probably because it’s so ludicrous. After all, who else do you know that dresses up like Zorro and yells “Ka-bong!” while bashing people on the head with an out-of-tune guitar? Just as ludicrous is Quick Draw in drag bashing a bad guy on the head with an umbrella. And that’s what you find in this enjoyable cartoon.

This is a little bit different than most Quick Draws. Normally, he fails miserably or wins and then there’s a twist at the end and things fall apart. But he’s a winner in this one. And while he’s stupid in parts, he pretty well has things under control when he’s disguised as the “poor defenceless widder woman.”

We open with a pan across a stylised map of western U.S. The narrator here is Vance Colvig who, for some reason, only voiced this one cartoon in the 1959-60 season. Despite the solo appearance, Joe Barbera must have liked him because Colvig was hired to play Chopper in the Yakky Doodle series the following year. He really isn’t all that versatile, because the narrator sounds like the bad guy, but the growly, twangy narration is perfect.

The narrator tells us “In the early days of the west, bad men swooped down towns, lootin’ and robbin’. Then they would high-tail it back to their hideouts in Bad Guys Territory.” And we can see where it is on the map. The next shot is of a walking cycle of Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Looey, who are after Tombstone Jones and his stolen bank money. A warning sign on a cactus lets them know where they are; Quick Draw even reads it for us as the camera focuses on it for six unanimated seconds.

Since it’s Bad Guys Territory, Quick Draw’s plan is to have him and Baba put on false handlebar moustaches and pretend to be bad guys. However, the disguises don’t fool an electric eye (in the early days of the west?), which signals its knowledge with a clang and a flashing sign.

Tombstone tells them to “stick ‘em up” and pulls the trigger on his gun, which merely extends the barrel a couple of yards into Quick Draw’s chest. Our hero assures Tombstone they’re “Shootin’ and Rootin’, the Tootin’ brothers. And doooon’t you forget it!” “Oh, yeah?” sceptically asks Tombstone. “How fast can you draw a gun?” And Mike Maltese draws out a gag he wrote for Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny in Hare Trigger (1945). It’s so corny it’s funny. Quick Draw whips out a sketch pad and a pencil. That brings gunfire from Tombstone. Quick Draw and Baba high-tail it away in one of those angular runs that Carlo Vinci loved to use. They slide to a stop, then both use the Vinci stretch dive out of the scene, first Baba, then Quick Draw.

Now Quick Draw comes up with a better plan. He and Baba dress up as a woman and her baby (complete with pram). The electric eye isn’t fooled again. But Quick Draw begs to Tombstone, “Please kind, sir, don’t shoot.” Daws Butler doing Quick Draw in falsetto is a real treat. Tombstone is fooled and touched. He shows his affection for the “hongry, homely youngin’” by going “kitchy, kitchy goo” under Baba’s chin. Baba shows what he thinks of that. Note the hand breaks classic animation convention as it has four fingers and a thumb.

“That youngin’s real hungry,” observes Tombstone, as he observes his throbbing finger. Quick Draw gives a lame acting job about how they have no place to stay. The enamoured villain invites them to stay at his hideout. Quick Draw and Baba settle in (Baba is in a high-chair), and Tombstone returns with a bouquet of flowers and a bag with the bank money “Oh, how sweet of you,” says Quick Draw, who even bats his eyelids for the camera. He grabs the bag and starts kissing it. “Just what I always wanted—money.” That results in gunshots from Tombstone, so Quick Draw zips out of the scene and returns with the flowers. “Just what I always wanted—uh, flowers.”

Tombstone admits he’s “shook up” by the widder’s beauty. “You remind me of my horse, you cute l’il old cactus.” Quick Draw does a stunned take for the camera. Baby Baba decides he wants to play with the bandit’s gun. “Ain’t that cute,” says Tombstone (Hmm. That read sounds awfully familiar). Look at the teeth Vinci draws here. Carlo’s having some fun with some huge mouth movements in this cartoon which adds to the silliness.

Baba shoots Tombstone in the puss. “Why you sawed off little...” The villain’s line is cut off by Quick Draw bashing him with an umbrella. “Take that, you beast!” yells the phoney widow. We get a reaction shot of the bad guy. The animation may be limited, but the take works. We know exactly what Tombstone is thinking without needing a lot of drawings. “Kiss baby and say you’re sorry,” demands the widder. “Kiss the baby?” replies the astonished Tombstone. He gets clobbered with the umbrella again and the happy sounds of Phil Green’s ‘Popcorn’ play in the background. “I’m sorry, brat,” says Tombstone before he puckers up. Baba stands on his tip-toes and the camera pulls. The burro opens wide for nine frames, puts his head back for four frames, then moves in (with one in-between frame) to bite the bad guy on the nose. The timing’s just great. After a two-drawing vibration take to emphasize the pain, Baba does a dive exit from the scene.

“Goo, goo. Money,” says infant Baba as he makes a run for the closet. Tombstone follows him inside and closes the door. We get more funny bashing. Baba’s standing on a blue crib with a baseball bat. He turns out the light and we get black on the screen for a couple of seconds. “All right, goo goo, where the money,” demands the villain. There’s a flash and Tombstone turns on the light to reveal a lump on the head. The shot cuts to Baba “sleeping” in the crib with the bag of money. “Aw, ain’t that cute,” says Chopper, I mean Tombstone, again. The bad guy turns out the light to let the infant sleep. There’s another flash. He turns on the light to reveal Baba with the baseball bat. Maltese turns it into a running gag. Baba shuts out the light and there’s another flash, then turns it back on. The woozy bandit says, “Ohh, put the saddle on the stove mother. We’re riding the range tonight.” (Was that ever used in a Warners cartoon?) Vinci uses two different drawings for the villain to get the dizzy effect, alternated on twos and threes, along with mouth movements. It kind of looks like what you see below.

Tombstone runs after Baba again and catches him. Suddenly, there’s a thwack of the umbrella again. Daws makes it even stupider by shouting “Take that, that, that, that!” to the melody of ‘Shave and a Haircut.’ “Oh, you got real spunk, m’am” compliments the lovelorn villain. “Lucky for me you cain’t draw a gun.” Quick Draw whips out his sketch pad and draws one. Suddenly, Tombstone realises they’re the phoney Tootin’ brothers. “How’d he figure that?” asks Quick Draw of the audience. But Baba grabs his gun to get the drop on him. “Now you wouldn’t shoot a ring-tailed varmint like me, would you.” A gunshot, a camera-shake and animated smoke evidently from Tombstone’s nether parts provide the answer.

So Baba has the drop on the bandit as Quick Draw pushes the money in the pram. “Honest, fellas, I’m ree-formed. I’m a good guy, honest,” insists Tombstone. But the electric eye tells a different story (with clunks on a muffled cowbell as a sound effect). Baba shoots him in the butt to keep him moving as the camera fades.

The music is a familiar mix of Phil Green and Jack Shaindlin tunes.

0:00 - Quick Draw sub main title theme (Curtin).
0:18 - EM-147 DOCUMENTARY MAIN TITLE (Green) – Pan of map, Quick Draw and Baba walking.
0:37 - tick tock/flute music (Shaindlin) – Quick Draw reads sign, Quick Draw and Baba disguise as the Tootin’ brothers, Quick Draw draws gun.
1:57 - LAF-2-12 ON THE RUN (Shaindlin) – Tombstone shoots, Quick Draw and Baba run away.
2:13 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Quick Draw and Baba dressed as mother and child, activate electric eye.
2:28 - GR-80 FRED KARNO’S ARMY (Green) – Quick Draw pleads with Tombstone; he and Baba are in house.
3:14 - GR-93 DRESSED TO KILL (Green) – Tombstone at home with flowers, Quick Draw kisses $, asks Tombstone why he’s shook up about him
3:51 - GR-74 POPCORN (Green) – Tombstone says Quick Draw reminds him of his horse, Baba shoots him, bites him.
5:04 - SIX DAY BICYCLE RACE (Shaindlin) – Baba runs into closet, Tombstone follows.
5:11 - COMEDY SUSPENSE (Shaindlin) – Closet baseball bat scene.
5:47 - SF-10 SKI(ING) GALOP (Lou DeFrancesco) – Tombstone chases Baba out of closet, hit with umbrella.
6:01 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw draws a gun, Baba shoots Tombstone.
6:31 - SF-10 SKI(ING) GALOP (DeFrancesco) – Tombstone insists he’s a good guy, Baba shoots him.
6:54 - GR-79 CUSTARD PIE CAPERS BRIDGE No 2 (Green) – “Okay, but watch it.”
7:01 - Quick Draw sub end title theme (Curtin).


  1. Good cartoon today. I was kind of expecting Quick Draw McGraw vs. Pixie and Dixie.

    Anyways, this is the 50th cartoon you posted on this blog, and to help us celebrate this momental occasion, here are the cartoons you have posted so far:

    1. Foxy Hound-Dog
    2. Little Bird-Mouse
    3. Lion Hearted-Huck
    4. Pie-Pirates
    5. Judo Jack
    6. Skeeter Trouble
    7. Slumber Party Smarty
    8. The Ghost With The Most
    9. Tricky Trapper
    10. The Stout Trout
    11. Kit Kat Kit
    12. Little Red Riding Huck
    13. The Buzzin' Bruin
    14. Cousin Tex
    15. Huckleberry Hound Meets Wee Willie
    16. Yogi Bear's Big Break
    17. Lamb Chopped
    18. Jinks' Mice Device
    19. Hookey Daze
    20. Daffy Daddy
    21. Cock-A Doodle Huck
    22. Jinks Junior
    23. Big Bad Bully
    24. Jinks' Flying Carpet
    25. Snagglepuss
    26. Postman Panic
    27. Big Brave Bear
    28. Puppet Pals
    29. Double Barrel Double
    30. Sheriff Huckleberry
    31. Tally Ho Ho Ho
    32. Puss N' Booty
    33. Jinks the Butler
    34. Rustler Hustler Huck
    35. Baffled Bear
    36. Pop's Nature Pup
    37. Scaredycat Dog
    38. Sir Huckleberry Hound
    39. Be My Guest Pest
    40. Switch Witch
    41. A Good Good Fairy
    42. Two Corny Crows
    43. Cattle Battle Rattled
    44. The Brave Little Brave
    45. Good Mouse Keeping
    46. Mouse-Nappers
    47. Prince of a Fella'
    48. The Tough Little Termite
    49. High Fly Guy
    50. Bad Guys Disguise

    I hope you enjoy reading this list, Yowp. I was going to save the list for later, but now is the time.



  2. Another great one! How I wish these were on DVD!

    Maltese appears to have borrowed his own “Lights Out and Wham with a Bat Bit” from “Baby Buggy Bunny”, where Bugs Bunny is on the uncharacteristically receiving end of the whacks, from Baby Face Finster.

  3. I remember the "dressing in drag" music as "Fred karno's Army" aka "Comedy March"[EM-3] by Phil Green,from haivng seen it on YouTube.

  4. Ryan, that's really good. Thanks. I'm sure the readers will find it interesting.

    Joe, you're right. Didn't even dawn on me. No wonder it's so funny.

    I deleted an observation in the post that besides Quick Draw being a little less dunce-like here, Baba is far more violent than in any other cartoon. And Baba carries more of the action that usual. Maltese was obviously still working on the characterisations. Baba became more observational with occasional bits of action, much like Porky in the Daffy "action" cartoons that he wrote for Jones.

    Pokey, sorry your creator died. Thanks. I missed a cue. The sound-cutting is pretty seamless in that part of the cartoon; three Green tunes don't skip much of a beat. Incidentally, the Quick Draws now posted on the net, despite having better colours, are time-compressed (thanks, US cable TV). The times on this one are from a properly-sped version.

  5. Thank you very much Yowp, but I didn't actually type the list on this blog. I actually pasted the list.

    R.I.P. Art Clokey (1921-2010)


  6. I really liked this one! The electric eye jokes lack subtlety, and I think it's very funny.

    I can't say I've heard that "Riding the range" pun in any Warner products, but it could be in something from the early 1940s that I haven't seen yet.

  7. The electric eye is the best kind of joke. It's entirely logical, except for the location.

    I keep thinking the "Riding the Range" line comes from a poem title that Falstaff Openshaw (Alan Reed) used on the Fred Allen Show but I really don't know. It sounds like it, though.

  8. The layout on this Quick Draw McGraw episode, was done by Dick Bickenbach.

  9. It would be great to have these on dvd, but until " The War of the Widows "( Playing at a theater near you...Sorry ) is settled, the music might be scrubbed and re-scored, just like what happened to a certain live action 60's sitcom recently made available on dvd. Pokey, I join with Yowp on saying it was sad hearing of Art Clokey's passing. Another big loss.

  10. Errol, they'd have to go to the trouble of re-doing them again. I gathered the cartoons were restored once already and awaiting release until the music rights started posing a problem.

    I suspect, at this point, WHV is content to release the few Quick Draws with the Curtin cues; though I don't think there were too many.

  11. FYI, there were six Curtin-scored Quick Draw and Snooper & Blabber episodes, and five with Augie. And as far as background score, BAD GUYS DISGUISE was unique in that it used "On The Run", a score very common to the originally HUCKLEBERRY HOUND SHOW trilogy. Only one other QB short, SAGEBRUSH BRUSH, used a few seconds of 'Huck' score. The Augie short PIPSQUEAK POP, used a little in a 'pirate' scene. And a couple of early Snooper & Blabber shorts- BABY RATTLED, WITCH SWITCH, used a fair amount.

    Vance Colvig seems to have done very little H-B voice work beyond Chopper. In addition to this short he guested on one of the last Huck episodes, BARS AND STRIPES as convict Fats Dynamo concurrent with the Yakky shorts. (a character name that would reappear in the first Atom Ant cartoon, but that's another story!) It's very evident in his readings: "Awww now, you're not gonna kick ME out into the cold, cruel world."

  12. I can see why Colvig wasn't used too much, if the cartoons are any indication. He doesn't appear to be all that versatile.

    Thanks for the list, Howard. My laziness has borne fruit :) I see "Cluck and Dagger" was the first Huck cartoon to use Curtin's cues (10 in all). I'd sure like to strangle whoever it was at that cable TV channel that put a huge "TV G" that masks part of the title cards. Idiots.

  13. "Yowp-Yowp" Dodsworth,

    Seeing the part where the widow-disguised Quick Draw hits Tombstone Jones with a umbrella, it reminds me of the Tweety & Sylvester shorts, at the moment in which Sylvester eats Tweety, and Granny comes to bash Sylvester, which ends releasing Tweety, as it was on the 1951 Tweety & Sylvester Christmas short, Wrapped Gifts (directed by Friz Freleng and written by Warren Foster).

  14. "Yowp-Yowp" Dodsworth,

    There's another trick seen on this Quick Draw McGraw episode which Michael Maltese mirrored on another short subject scripted by him.
    I'm refering to the drawn gun trick, which was seen on a Woody Woodpecker short, scripted by Michael Maltese: Square Shootin' Square (1955, directed by Paul J. Smith), which brings the first appearance of a Woody's nemesis: Dapper Denver Dooley.


  16. Here's the scene of the first appearance of the villain Tombstone Jones, who appears blocking the passage of Quick Draw and Baba Looey to the Bad Guys' Territory with his telescopic gun:

    Seeing the Tombstone Jones' sideface in the initial sequence of this Quick Draw McGraw episode, doesn't make reminding the initial appearance of the villain Nasty Canasta on that Daffy Duck short from 1950, directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese? Here's the snapshot: