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Characters / Blazing Saddles

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Bart (Cleavon Little)

  • The Ace: Is the only one to take down Mongo, beats Lily von Schtupp at her own game, and defeats Hedley Lamarr.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: He actually manages to convert Kahn's Lili Von Schtup to the good guys purely by impressing her with his penis.
  • Biggus Dickus: As discovered by Lili von Schtupp, but the scene was originally going to be subverted when Bart told Lily that she was sucking on his elbow.
  • Black Is Bigger in Bed
    • Lili is seducing the new, black, sheriff. We hear this in the dark:
      Lili von Shtupp: Tell me, schatze, is it twue what they say about the way you people are... gifted?
      [sound of zipper opening]
      Lili von Shtupp: Oh, it's twue. It's twue. It's twue! it's twue!!
    • In the original script, this was followed by Sheriff Bart saying, "I hate to disappoint you ma'am, but you're sucking on my arm."
    • In another scene:
      Charlie: They said you was hung!• 
      Bart: And they was right!• 
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He was originally handed the job of Sheriff in order to disgust and offend the residents of Rock Ridge. Unfortunately for Hedley, Bart is far better at the job than he was expecting.
  • The Chosen Zero: He's a no-name black (in a time where being black was being seen as sub-human) railway worker deliberately pulled to sheriff duty to disgust the townsfolk into leaving. However, in a twist of fate, he's an extremely capable sheriff, much to the town's bewilderment (and then acceptance).
  • Cunning Linguist: He speaks German, which comes in handy while seducing Lili von Schtupp.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He first appears as a railroad worker being verbally abused by the white bosses. When Lyle demands they sing a "nigger work song" Bart leads his friends in singing an a capella version of "I Get a Kick Out of You" before Lyle demands they sing "Camptown Ladies". Bart feigns ignorance of the song which leads to the bosses singing the song themselves and getting in trouble with Taggart for goofing off.
  • Guile Hero: Outsmarts and outgambits all of the villains and townsfolk.
  • Magnetic Hero: He's REALLY good at getting people to join his side.
  • Only Sane Man: To an extent.
  • Salt and Pepper: With the Waco Kid.
  • Sex God: Spoofed with a line that was deleted from the film.
    I hate to disappoint you ma'am, but you're sucking on my arm.
  • The Sheriff: Which the other townsfolk aren't happy about at first.
  • Smart People Play Chess: And, he's very good at it.
  • The Trickster: Like you wouldn't believe. Word of God compares him to Bugs Bunny (as Mongo can attest).
  • The Stoner: While it's never stated whether what Bart was rolling was a cigarette or a reefer joint, the way Jim reacts to it when he takes a hit seems to imply the latter.
  • Trouser Space:
    Bart: Excuse me while I whip this out.
    (reaches into waistline as crowd gasps and screams; Bart pulls out paper, they sigh with relief or disappointment)
  • Where Da White Women At?: He's the Trope Namer, saying this line to distract some Klansmen and knock them out to steal their costumes. And then there's his one night stand with Lili von Schtupp.
  • White Male Lead: Completely averted, as Bart is the lead.

    Jim the Waco Kid 

Jim The Waco Kid (Gene Wilder)

  • Addled Addict: He starts out with a bad case of the DT's, at least on one side, although he gets over it fairly quickly.
  • The Alcoholic: One of his defining traits is his penchant to drink A LOT of booze.
  • Ambiguously Gay: He might be:
    Bart: As I am your host and you are my guest, what do you like to do?
    Jim: Oh, I dunno... Play chess... Screw...
    Bart: Well, let's play chess.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: He is, by far, the most soft-spoken character in the movie, but he's undoubtedly also the most dangerous with a gun.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In a quite impressive feat.
  • Character Tic: He licks his fingers then blows on them to signify he's about to do some gunslinging.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He makes some of the best lines in the movie.
  • Death Seeker:
    Bart: A man drinks like that and he don't eat, he is going to die.
    The Waco Kid: (appallingly hopeful) When?
  • Fastest Gun in the West: He's a ludicrously extreme version. He can draw, fire six shots, and re-holster his gun before anyone else even draws. He can even take an object in front of him without seeming to move. His backstory also parodies the "unwanted attention from every two-bit thug with something to prove" aspect; Jim describes how he lost faith in everything when he was challenged by a six-year-old; disheartened, Jim dropped his guns and turned away... and "little bastard shot me in the ass!"
  • The Gunslinger: And, a very good one.
  • He’s Back: Once he shoots the guns out of Taggart, Lyle and their goons' hands, you know the Waco Kid is back.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: He shoots the guns out of the hands about ten Mooks in two seconds.
  • The Lancer: He's Bart's sidekick and deputy.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Subverted. Jim's story about how he became an alcoholic teases that he accidentally shot a child assuming that he was another challenger. In reality, he didn't shoot the child, and the kid shot him in the ass!
  • Nice Guy: Admittedly he's a bit confused by the fact that a black man is the new sheriff at first, but he quickly gets over it and becomes a loyal friend and deputy to Bart.
  • Only Sane Man: He's moderately level-headed once he's sober.
  • The Perils of Being the Best: He's essentially this trope being Played for Laughs instead of drama.
  • Quick Draw: He pulls off shots without visibly drawing his revolvers. Not only does he draw and fire before we see him even move, he gets his guns back into their holsters as well.
  • Retired Badass: Semi-retired. While he's not a gunfighter anymore, he serves as Bart's deputy.
  • Retired Gunfighter: He has already retired and become a drunk when he's introduced, but sobers up and returns to his gunfighting ways as Bart's deputy
  • Salt and Pepper: With Bart.
  • Shot in the Ass: After being in a whole series of gunfights against a bunch of wannabe gunfighters, the Waco Kid hears a voice from behind him shout "Reach for it, mister!" and turns around with his guns drawn to see his challenger: a six year old with a set of revolvers. At this point Waco goes to throw down his guns and walk away, but the "little bastard shot me in the ass."
  • Smart People Play Chess: One of his hobbies. Though, he's not as good as Bart.
  • The Trope Kid: The Waco Kid.


Taggart (Slim Pickens)

  • Butt-Monkey: He's probably one of the most physically abused characters in the film.
  • The Dragon: To Hedley Lamarr.
  • Jerkass: As if his blatant racism and numerous crimes weren't enough of a strike against him.
  • Number Two for Brains: Quite dumb compared to his boss.

    Hedley Lamarr 

Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman)

  • Big Bad: His Real Estate Scam drives the plot.
  • Born in the Theatre: He talks to himself while facing the camera in thinking up a plan. He then says to us "Why am I talking to you?"
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He could be considered this as he has a fixation on always bathing with his toy frog and freaks out when he can't find it.
    Hedley: "Daddy love Froggy. Froggy love Daddy?"
    Froggy: *Squeek Squeek*
  • Butt-Monkey: No-one ever gets his name right!
  • Camp Straight: While he's rather flamboyant, he clearly lusts after Lilly.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Tells all the bandits he recruits to pledge allegiance to him and the evil for which he stands.
  • Catchphrase: "That's Hedley!"
  • The Chessmaster: He masterminds all of the plots in the film.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: He's State Attorney General, and he wants to drive out Rock Ridge's townsfolk so he can sell railroad land at a massive profit.
  • Covert Pervert: And sometimes, not so covert.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: During the recruitment scene, he first shoots a recruit for chewing gum and not bringing enough for everybody. Then he shoots Taggart (in the foot) for using a stupid cliche.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He may be an evil, corrupt, heartless man who hires scum of the earth. But he has no tolerance when a robber comes to sign up, whilst chewing gum, and did not bring enough for everybody.
    The Waco Kid: Boy, is he strict!
  • Evil Chancellor: To the governor,
  • Evil Laugh: When he comes up with the idea of sending a black sheriff to Rock Ridge. It becomes an Unevil Laugh when he chokes on the hard candy he's been sucking on.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: To the governor.
  • Large Ham: BIG time.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Oddly, he doesn't show as much blatant bigotry as his henchmen, Mr. Taggart and Lyle. He doesn't show as much racism as the Innocent Bystanders that the black sheriff is protecting! When hiring outlaws the Big Bad advertises himself as an Equal Opportunity Employer and specifically mentions in his famous Long List that he wants criminals of many different races and backgrounds working for him. On the other hand, he doesn't hesitate to slap Lily around and insult her German ancestry when she does a High-Heel–Face Turn. Hedley is also in charge of appropriating land in Colorado from the local Indians, justifying this by claiming "they're such children."
    • Even that could be chalked up to playing to his audience, the governor and his cabinet. Lamarr is pretty much in it for the money and power.
  • Punny Name: A play on Hedy Lamarr.
  • Purple Prose: He talks like this sometimes. For example, "My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
    Taggart: Ditto!
  • Real Estate Scam: His entire plot, which sets a lot of the story in motion.
  • Sissy Villain: He's flamboyant and relies on his goons to handle all of the physical requirements of his schemes.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Although he does like Taggart's "Number Six" plan, he more often disparages Taggart's intelligence.
  • Tempting Fate: Why did he have to mention risking an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor?
  • Thinking Out Loud: Subverted when, alone in his office, he talks through his evil plan to hire a repellent sheriff to drive away the Rock Ridge residents. Toward the end of the speech, he turns to the camera wondering, "Where would I find such a man?" After a pause, he says, "Why am I asking you?"
  • Un-Evil Laugh: He makes the mistake of starting an Evil Laugh while sucking on a candy, and almost chokes on it before spitting it out.

    Lili von Schtupp 

Lili Von Schtupp (Madeline Kahn)

  • Femme Fatale: Initially, at least.
  • Funetik Aksent: At one point, Sheriff Bart reads aloud a note from her asking him to "meet [her] in [her] Dwessing Woom," suggesting the note is written like that.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After she has sex with Bart.
  • Informed Ability: She isn't all that good a singer. Then again, men aren't necessarily paying to listen to her.
    Even better, knowing that the actress had actually sung opera professionally.
  • Large Ham: And she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
  • Meaningful Name: If you've heard anything about this movie, you'll know what "Schtupp" means in Yiddish.
  • Ms. Fanservice
    Is that a ten-gallon hat, or are you just enjoying the show?
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: She's at least partially inspired by Marlene Dietrich.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: She gets tied up in her room and interrogated by Lamarr. The next time we see her, she's with the rest of the Rock Ridge townspeople without any explanation.
  • Sex–Face Turn: She pulls this after being surprised and overjoyed at how big Bart turns out to be. "It's twue, it's twue!"
  • She's Got Legs: Another similarity to Dietrich, showing off her legs.

    Governor William J. Le Petomane 

Governor William J. Le Petomane (Mel Brooks)

  • Antagonistic Governor: He isn't exactly antagonistic, but he is incompetent and an easy mark for State Attorney General Hedley Lamarr, who acts as his Evil Chancellor. Le Petomane's assigning of a black man as sheriff (under Hedley's suggestion, as part of his plan to clear the residents of Rock Ridge) is what sets the plot in motion.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: A complete and total moron who is only interested in having sex with his secretary and playing with toys.
  • The Ditz: And Hedley exploits this to the hilt.
  • Large Ham: Well, it's Mel Brooks after all.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Half of the time he's onscreen, he's trying to nail his secretary.
  • Meaningful Name: Le Pétomane was a professional flatulist (i.e., farter) in turn-of-the-century France.
  • Puppet King: Hedly's obviously the one who's really in charge.


Mongo (Alex Karras)

  • The Dreaded: "Never mind that shit, here comes Mongo!"
  • Dumb Muscle: Subverted, he might be brighter than he lets on.
  • Gentle Giant: Once you become his friend, he's actually a pretty nice guy.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After Bart takes him down.
  • Hidden Depths: "Mongo only pawn in game of life."
  • Hulk Speak: Always uses his name to refer to himself and often skips articles as part of his Dumb Muscle image.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Jim implies this when asked by Bart who Mongo is.
    Bart: Who's Mongo?
    Jim: Well Mongo ain't exactly a who he's more of a what.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: After Sheriff Bart has defeated Mongo:
    Mongo stay with Sheriff Bart. Sheriff first man ever whip Mongo. Mongo impressed, have deep feelings for Sheriff Bart.
  • Immune to Bullets: "If you shoot him, you'll just make him mad."
  • Informed Ability: How tough he is. He's definitely strong, but Bart takes him out just a little too easily. Two cut scenes show Bart having to work a bit harder at subduing Mongo, including blasting him with a small cannon, and tricking him into climbing into a pool of water in an old diving suit, then stopping the air pump.
  • Kick the Dog: He punches a horse in the face.
  • Made of Iron: He took an explosion right in the face and only lost consciousness for a day or so. Plus Jim states he's able to take getting shot too.
  • The Philosopher: Mongo of all characters is surprisingly philosophical. When asked what "where the choo-choo go?" has to do with Rock Ridge, he responds, "Don't know. Mongo only pawn in game of life."
  • Schmuck Bait: Bart defeats him with a "Candygram!"
  • Sweet Tooth: "Mongo like candy." KABOOM!!
  • You No Take Candle: Mongo perfect example of trope.

    Reverend Johnson 

Reverend Johnson (Liam Dunn)

  • Apologetic Attacker: During the climactic brawl, he apologizes after kneeing a guy in the nuts.
  • Large Ham: Of the townsfolk, he is the most apt to chew the scenery.
  • Only Sane Man: Of the townspeople, besides Jim, he is the only one who even moderately accepts Bart at first (though begrudgingly).
  • Preacher Man: Among other things, he attempts to save Sheriff Bart from execution but desists when someone shoots a hole through his Bible.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Twice.
    • When Taggart leads the "Number Six" against Rock Ridge near the beginning of the film, the Reverend the only one to suggest leaving, though he relents when the rest of the congregation decide to stand their ground.
    • At the welcoming committee for the new sheriff, when he at least tries to be supportive of Bart, but someone shoots a hole in his Bible and he quickly steps down.
    Son, you're on your own.


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