Study Guide

Blazing Saddles Taggart (Slim Pickens)

Taggart (Slim Pickens)

Second In Command… And Dead Last In IQ Points

Taggart is pretty much your typical dumb henchman—think of him as a wild west Igor, or the Waylon Smithers of the frontier.

But he's pretty good at following orders and treating the people beneath him like garbage, which is pretty much what you want in a henchman if you're Hedley Lamarr. When asked if he wants to send horses to check out a patch of quicksand, Taggart instantly shouts,

"Horses? Why, we can't afford to lose no horses, you dummy! Send over a couple of n*****s."

In other words, Taggart values the lives of his horses much more than the lives of his black workers, which means that he's both insanely money-conscious and racist—what a winning combo.

Even after two of his black workers fall into quicksand, Taggart's main priority is saving the handcart that they were driving, as he says,

"Dang, that was lucky. Dog-gone near lost a $400 hand cart."

Yeah, he's that bad.

The most hypocritical thing about Taggart is the fact that he's shocked and depressed when one of his black workers knocks him out with a shovel. As he says to Hedley Lamarr,

"Oh, that uppity n***** went'n hit me on the head with a shovel. I'd sure appreciate it, sir, if you could find it in your heart to hang him up by his neck until he was dead."

Apart from wanting Bart killed, Taggart also recommends that Hedley Lamarr terrorize the people of Rock Ridge to get them to leave, saying,

"That's where we go riding into town and a-whapping and a-whooping every living thing that moves within an inch of its life!"

It's clear that the guy loves causing mayhem and destruction for their own sake, which makes him pretty easy to hate as a villain.