Wednesday, 18 March 2020

The Psychology of Huck and Quick Draw

Did Quick Draw McGraw give me a psychological release at age 5?

At that age, I don’t know what I’d want to have been released from, but Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera thought so. At least, that’s what they told the Valley Times from North Hollywood in its issue of May 26, 1960.

Their article (if, indeed, they wrote it themselves) talks about the appeal of the Quick Draw McGraw Show, which is my favourite of all the Hanna-Barbera series. Better still, it gives credit not only to the great writing staff at the time but even some of the animators who worked on the series. George Nicholas and Carlo Vinci are among my favourite early H-B animators along with Mike Lah; Don Patterson is up there, too, for some fine expressions in the earliest Flintstones seasons.

Hanna and Barbera liked to talk about “no time clock” in their earliest interviews. At this point, they weren’t in the building everyone associates with them. They were in much smaller confines which forced some people to work at home. Naturally, there’d be no time clock. I’ll bet you Hanna was watching the footage count, though.

At the risk of being repetitive over the years here, it’d sure be nice if the Quick Draw show—even just the individual cartoons—would be released on a home video format.

Enjoy this bonus post.


Television viewers are darn smart. And, what's more, they're selective as well.
No longer can a television producer foist a tired and trite story with a one-dimensional hero, whose vocabulary consists solely of "Yep" and "Nope" on viewers and hope to capture a large audience for any length of time.
We think the popularity of our shows "Huckleberry Hound," and "Quick Draw McGraw" lies in providing a psychological release for all human beings of all ages. No one ever gets hurt despite clobberings and binding situations our characters encounter. We try to give the audience characters that they can identify with, then follow up with wild antics impossible to duplicate in real life. The adults have all taken to the satire, while the children watch the programs for the face value of the action-packed story.
Quick Draw McGraw, our newest series, appearing on KTTV-TV Channel 11, Tuesdays, at 7:00 p.m., is the combined efforts of our whole staff.
We drew up rough sketches of characters based on three of the most standard TV shows—the western, the private eye, and the family situation comedy.
These sketches were turned over to our writer, Mike Maltese. Mike developed and named the characters and started writing.
Maltese made Quick Draw, the hero of the Western segment, the fastest drawing critter west of Peoria. He is aided by his faithful sidekick. Baba Looey, a fearless little burro with a Cuban accent.
Current Trends Vital
Being in the cartoon field for many years, we know that current trends are vital. The TV private eye show inspired the "Snooper and Blabber" segment of the show. Since most detective shows are a cat and mouse affair, we made Snooper a cat with a voice reminiscent of Archie in Duffy's Tavern, and Blabber, a mouse with undying admiration for his leader, Snooper.
We watched many situation comedy shows and came up with "Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy," a father and son canine pair, who encounter all the problems of fathers and sons everywhere.
But the big reason for our success, we feel, is our talented staff who brings our shows to life. We have the two most gifted writers in the business, Warren Foster and Mike Maltese, along with the two best story directors in the industry, Alex Lovy and Dan Gordon.
Ken Muse, Lew Marshall, Carlo Vinci, Dick Lundy, Don Patterson and George Nicholas are a few of our great animators who gave life to our characters. Coordination, which can be difficult with so large a staff, is actually a simple matter; there are no vague memos, no closed doors, no time clock. Everyone knows his job and does it.
TV animation is much more than pen and ink. It's a lot of talent—organized and hard working.


  1. Me thinks these aforementioned tidbits of cartoon entertainment were highly amusing.

  2. Bill and Joe saying, "We watched many situation comedy shows and came up with 'Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy,' a father and son canine pair, who encounter all the problems of fathers and sons everywhere," probably sounded better for the adult-themed point of the story than "We watched our own 1950s Tom & Jerry cartoons and decided to take the 'Spike & Tyke' concept and let Mike tweak it slightly for TV, in giving Augie a voice and making him the smart one here." (Daddy's failure in front of his son being similar to Bob McKimson's Sylvester Jr. cartoons likely also wasn't going to get a mention here, but at least only Warren Foster ever worked on those stories).

    1. Yeah, kind of like you didn't hear, "well, Tex Avery had this Southern wolf and the voice was great, so..."

  3. 3/19/20
    RobGems68 Wrote:
    Nice to have you return after a long hiatus,Yowp. Your observations about "Quick Draw McGraw" were interesting; I always thought that this was one of the best series of H-B's TV career. I first saw them on local Detroit TV on Channel 50(WKBD-UHF) in the early 1970's, and later USA Cable Network in the 1980's.My favorite "Quick Draw" episodes are the one with "Texas Tillie" in "Gun Shy Gal" and The one with "El Ka-Bong" in the episode with "The Rancher's Daughter who's always alone" (no-named, for some reason.) The most memorable thing about "Snooper and Bllabber" was a tie-in album from 1965 on HBR Records about "The Monster's Shindig" with a song from pre-Three Dog Night's Danny Hutton. A favorite "Augie Doggie" episode involved Augie wanting a horse, and driving poor Daddy Doggie up the wall about it (typical spoiled child storyline; what kid wouldn't want an expensive horse or pony?)As for any psychology experiences at age 5, it wasn't anty on the cartoons themselves, but for me personally, it was the Screen Gems Dancing Sticks logo that appeared on many of the early 60's H-B syndicated packages. Somehow, I felt that those jumpy sticks,possibly inspired from some National Film Board Of Canada animated shorts from Norman McLaren involving a seemingly ordinary, but lively cartoon about vertical lines and on another one, vertical lines, squiggles, and blobs to the background of an electric piano (on the first one ) and a ragtime piano (on the second one.) These experimental cartoons were made in 1958 and 1960, and Screen Gems unveiled the dancing sticks logo on September 15, 1963 were traumatizing at the time along with Frank DeVol's music and Colin Male's announcing. 51 years later, it's one of my favorite closing logos, ever. The "S From Hell" logo that followed on September 13, 1965, wasn't so scary; it was just a abstract, stylistic letter "S" to me. Carlo Vinci and George Nicholas was excellent on the animation as well. I just wish that whenever Warner Brothers re-issues this show on Boomerang or DVD, they would include the opening and closing title segments as well; removing Screen Gems name from the products to me is really no excuse; I feel they should make a negotiating deal with Columbia/Sony for a proper future re-packaging plan for die-hard fans like you and me. Oh well, it's only wishful thinking.

  4. Hans Christian Brando19 March 2020 at 18:23

    Pity that these very worthy characters got overshadowed by Yogi, Huck, and Pixie and Dixie. And I don't suppose posterity will be any kinder to them, since Baba Louie ("Queeks-draw") undoubtedly is politically incorrect.

  5. Thank you for the post. I have a DVD of the complete Quick Draw McGraw Show that someone compiled from Boomerang. I got it from ebay several years ago, and will have to suffice for now.

  6. Glad to see this blog kept alive..last time it was someone, Erroll I believe, who advised to keep this around by occasionally posting.:-)

    1. Wonderful seeing an occasional, new entry on this blog.

  7. I wasn't the only one who was surprised to see new content still being posted on this blog!

  8. I guess we'll never see an official release of the complete Quick Draw McGraw series. There is one episode available on one of the Saturday Morning Cartoons compilations. Didn't Quick Draw air for a season or two on CBS after it's syndication run? BTW, great to see you again, Yowp!