Saturday, 1 February 2014

Quick Draw McGraw — Extra-Special Extra

Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: None. Animation – Hicks Lokey, Story – Mike Maltese, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Quick Draw McGraw, Baba Looey, Lollypop Boy, Newspaper Boy, Teacher, Girl – Daws Butler; Narrator, Editor, Bat Belfry, Boy – Don Messick.
Music: Phil Green, Jack Shaindlin, Harry Blustone-Emil Cadkin, Hoyt Curtin, Louis De Francesco?
First Aired: week of February 6, 1961.
Episode: Quick Draw McGraw Show M-035, Production J-112.
Plot: Quick Draw takes on Bat Belfry, scourge of a crusading newspaper publisher.

In the late ‘50s, there was a TV western called “Jefferson Drum.” The short-lived series was based around the idea of a crusading newspaperman in the Old West. Perhaps that noted TV western parodist, Mike Maltese, had that show in mind when he came up with the story for “Extra-Special Extra.” Coincidentally, both “Jefferson Drum” and “Quick Draw McGraw” were distributed by Screen Gems.

Well, it’s a little hard to say how “crusading” the unidentified newspaper editor is in this cartoon. He seems more gleeful about making fun of the bad guy than anything else. Looking at a freshly-printed newspaper, he reads to himself the headline: “Bat Belfry is a thievin’ polecat,” then breaks out into wild laughter. “He’ll flip when he reads this.” Regardless, he’s a fast editor. When Bat robs the local bank, there’s already a newspaper on a stand outside the bank reporting the hold-up.

Maltese uses a running gag to tie the story together. The newspaper is called The Daily Blunder but through the cartoon, nobody can spell the word “Daily.” Finally a kid (who looks like a little man) fixes the name on the newspaper office window. The youthful intelligence scares Bat Belfry right out of the cartoon. That sets up a final scene in a classroom where Quick Draw can’t correctly guess the letter that comes after “A” and “B.” The only reason for the scene is because Maltese decided each Quick Draw cartoon should end with Baba Looey making a crack about Quick Draw’s attributes/failings. Why is Quick Draw in school anyway? Who put him there? Why isn’t the newspaper editor there? He was just as inept at spelling the name of his own paper.

(For the record, Baba’s tag line is: “I like that Quickstraw. He may be too old for school but his brain is still in kindergarten.”)

The Quick Draw McGraw theme song makes an appearance in the middle of the cartoon and it’s already the subject of parody. While Quick Draw is in silhouette rocking on a porch, the narrator begins singing “The high-falutin’-est, fastest-shootin’-est, Quick Draw…” then pauses to intone “who was vacationing on his beautiful ranch” then resumes singing “McGraw!”

As for catchphrases, Quick Draw skips “I’ll do the thinnin’ around here” or “Hold on thar!” He comes up with “Oooo, that smarts” when he’s socked in the nose with a flying newspaper.

Sample dialogue:

Quick Draw: You’re Bats-in-the-Befrey, key-rect?
Bat: No, I’m Bat Belfry. And don’t think I didn’t have trouble with that name in school.

Bat: It’s sundown, McGraw. Come out, come out, wherever you are.
Quick Draw: Your watch must be fast. I got a quarter till.

We’ve posted screen grabs from this cartoon before. Here’s the opening background. There are no credits on the versions of cartoon I’ve seen. The rocks on top of the mesas were something Art Lozzi used in “Mine Your Manners” but I won’t try to identify a background or layout artist here.

I suspect Hicks Lokey was the animator here (I will gladly accept a correction). Hicks used a wavy mouth and a pointed end at the bottom of the mouth.

There are a couple of pieces of cycle animation. A running cycle of Bat is used twice, and so is a four-drawing newspaper crumple on twos.

Hanna-Barbera cartoons are noted for characters just standing there and blinking. Some animators only draw a top eyelid coming down. Lokey uses both eye lids in certain situations.

And this is Bat zipping out of the frame. He has two drawings of brush strokes on twos. This is one of them.

The music in this cartoon consists mainly of a lot of short pieces. One cue is only three seconds long before it gets cut off.

0:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:19 - Oh Susannah (trad.) – Editor arrives.
0:29 - SF-11 LIGHT MOVEMENT (De Francesco?) – “Daley Blunder” scene.
1:00 - GR-457 DR QUACK SHORT BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – Newspaper headline scene.
1:14 - GR-98 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO BRIDGE No 2 (Green) – Belfry reads paper.
1:24 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Belfry runs into office, camera shake.
1:32 - CB-83A MR TIPPY TOES (Cadkin-Bluestone) – Wrecked press, “Dalee” scene.
1:55 - GR-348 EARLY MORNING (Green) – Narrator over bank background.
2:01 - fast circus chase music (Shaindlin) – Belfry runs from bank, destroys press.
2:21 - GR-454 THE ARTFUL DODGER BRIDGE No 1 (Green) – “You still don’t know…” editor looks at press.
2:29 - PG-161G LIGHT COMEDY MOVEMENT (Green) – Quick Draw in silhouette.
2:32 - (That’s) Quick Draw McGraw (Curtin) – camera pulls in on Quick Draw.
2:39 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – Quick Draw rocks, paper in snout, decides to apply for job.
3:26 - jaunty bassoon and skippy strings (Shaindlin) – Quick Draw in office, “Daighly” scene.
3:49 - GR-99 THE DIDDLECOMB HUNT (Green) – Hunt for news, Quick Draw interviews Bat, Bat shoots.
4:44 - PG-181F MECHANICAL BRIDGE (Green) – Quick Draw stares at pencil, runs away.
4:49 - GR-472 HICKSVILLE (Green) – Quick Draw looks at paper, Baba selling papers, papers crumpled.
5:34 - GR-96 BY JIMINY! IT’S JUMBO (Green) – Quick Draw thinks, fight outside, Quick Draw falls backward.
6:16 - CRAZY GOOF (Shaindlin) – “Any more bright ideas…” sign fixed, Bat runs away.
6:39 - ‘FIREMAN’ (Shaindlin) – Classroom scene.
7:00 - Quick Draw McGraw Sub-End Title theme (Curtin).


  1. Malrese may also have had another contemporary TV show in mind, Bat Masterson, both for the first name of the villain of the moment, and the newspaper connection, since the real Bat ended up in Mike's hometown, working as a sportswriter for the New York Morning Telegraph about the time Maltese was born.

    It really didn't seem fair that Quick Draw was the only one sent back to school for his spelling problems (which is the biggest thing I remember taking from this cartoon as a kid.)

  2. The Bat Masterson name spoofing went on through the 1960s "Punkin Puss/Mushmouse" cartoon as part of the Magilla Gorilla show at HB, "Bat Mousterson", which I also believe was the cartoon title itself! Steve

  3. One..Of...The Best...Quick Draw McGraws... episodes...ever!!! Everything in this made me LOL. Have in mind that this is a some time before Jon Stewart show came on the air. Truth be told I never wonder why Quick Draw was sent to school.......maaaaaaybe sheriffs who can't write get automatically sent back to school.

  4. I was watching Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960's Vol. 1 w/ Quick Draw McGraw and then searched & noticed Quick Draw doesn't have his own DVD. Yogi Bear, Magilla Gorilla, Huckleberry Hound they even have Roman Holiday and no Quick Draw McGraw!!!