Saturday 25 May 2013

Quick Draw McGraw — Gun Shy Gal

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 Little Kid, 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 Little 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 - ZR-94 CHASE (Hormel) – Billy the Little Kid 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 - LAF6-16 Sportscope-ish (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).


  1. Tarnation! I cain't find this one on YouTube.

    1. This episode also isn't included with the classical Brazilian Portuguese dubbing on YouTube.

    2. If anything reinforces the need to have Quick Draw (and the balance of Huckleberry Hound) on legitimate DVD, it’s this series of comments.

      We shouldn’t have to rely on YouTube (and all its shades of copyright-gray) to see these! Get your act together, Warner Bros.! …Or, don’t police YouTube, if you won’t allow us to buy them from you.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. 5/25/13 Wrote:
    I Remember seeing this one as a kid on Detroit TV. Tillie looks a bit like the Typical Rancher's Daughter Who's Always Alone. They are not the same character, mind you,but they both looked like they were drawn and traced from the same model sheet,and they were both voiced by Jean Vander Pyl,with a cartoon similarity to Gail Davis, who portrayed TV's Annie Oakley the previous decade. A tribute or shout out, perhaps?

  3. granitoons (like your name, by the way) You can find the episode on It's a Romanian web channel.

    YOWP, you have to admit "Gun Gal" doesn't sound as good as "Gun Shy Gal". Jean Vander Pyl's Tillie is good Mae West, but her Quick Draw McGraw's Mom/Ma Bear are terrific Marjorie Main's. Both her and Daws Butler show some great acting in this one, the animation is equal;ly great, the plot is wonderful, all in all a cartoon deserving of an animation award.

  4. Yowp:
    I think I remember Jack Shaindlin's "Crazy Goof" playing in part when Ma washes Quick Draw's Mouth out with soap. This is one I remember a lot.

    granitoons (I like your name,too): I've seen it on YouTube. That's how I remembered the title.

    I agree on Tillie and the Rancher's Daughter looking alike.

    Good point on the cartoon with everything.

  5. wrote:
    Pokey: True, The two gals do look almost alike, but there are some differences. Tillie's a blonde, while the TRDWAA cowgirl had red hair. Tillie wears a black hat,as was portrayed stereotypically in those "Hollywood Cowboy" days, which made her an outlaw, while the TRDWAA cowgirl wore a white hat,thus making her a "good" girl. Finally, to show off her talents by singing and playing guitar (rather off-key),while Tillie didn't.The two gals are both awful cute, and could be considered distant cousins for their pony-tail hair styles & slim figures which were drawn more or less interchangebally bythe H-B staff, and were modeled after the "Wilma Flintstone" style of female modeling They would probably look different if they were modeled after Betty Rubble.The talents of Jean Vander-Pyl voiced Wilma and the two cowgirls, and were done by Jean having a particularly good western drawl for both Tillie & the TRDWAA cowgirl, even though she wasn't probably wasn't from Texas. As Yowp pointed out to me in a earlier post, Wilma would have been envious of the TRDWAA cowgirl's figure, and probably would have been envious of Tillie's figure as well. Incidentally, another cowgirl character who looks like Tillie showed up in a 1965 episode of The Flintstones which spoofed westerns, and the "Bonanza" TV series then popular at the time, but her name wasn't Tillie. She sure looked like she was modeled and traced after her from the same modeling sheets. I don't remember what her name was (if she had one at all), but she was similar to Tillie complete with blonde hair and pony-tail & a black hat. She kissed Fred Flintstone on the cheek twice while dancing with him in a western café, as Wilma jealously looked on. That's all I remember about that cartoon's scene.

  6. 2/15/16 Wrote:
    It took me a while to research, but that "Flintstones" episode with the "Bonanza like characters, and the "Tillie" lookalike was titled "Sheriff For A Day", and was from 1964, when "Bonanza was still red hot in the ratings department on NBC Television. "Flintstones" episodes from 1964-65 had the opening of Pebbles playing with building blocks in the opening sequence, and formally had the Screen Gems "Dancing Sticks" logo at the end of said episodes during the 1960's-early 1980's re-runs until the 1983 buy-out by Worldvision Enterprises, and are currently owned by Warner Brothers Animation.