|Big discounts on
stuff you want!
Please consider a donation!
is hands down the best site on the Web for classic TV.'
Past TV Blog Entries: RESCUE KITTY GOES NUTS! /Filthy Rich / Police Squad / Christmas Blog / Lost Christmas Specials of the 50s & 60s / 1970 TV Shows / Strother Martin / Joya Sherrill / Super Circus / 1950's The Big Show / Saturday Morning TV Memories / Hilarious Outtakes / The Smothers Brothers Revisited/Thanksgiving TV Shows / Thanksgiving Day Parade TV History / Thanksgiving TV Cartoon Specials of the 1970s /
shows on DVD
At any moment now, and maybe already in some markets, the "new" Bazooka
Last November, Bazooka Candy Brands--a division of Topps (the company
Although the company stated that the characters might still appear on
Joe and the gang were, it seems, being put out to pasture, where they
I've been chewing this one over, for a while....
I can remember the first shock, growing up in Long Island, when Bazooka jumped from a penny, to two... Back in the late '70s?
The whole thing about bubble gum was that it cost you almost nothing. And, in all seriousness, as a little kid, might even help give you your first sense of fiscal empowerment, being able to walk into a candy store, and make your own purchase. (That, and 12 to 20 cents for a comic book, of course!)
Back in the 1960s, Bazooka often shared shelf space, here on the Island, anyway, with Double Bubble and Swell. Swell was--and still is--kind of
This was still in the day of CANDY STORES virtually, seemingly everywhere. You'd walk in, and often there'd be a lunch counter as well.
(My next door neighbor, Sam Picker, used to walk two blocks up almost
I can remember it being a big deal when Bazooka introduced new FLAVORS:
But that might have been after 1973, when it felt like almost all the
Had some odd, dark magician canvassed the greater Tri-State area,
A slice of Americana disappeared forever.
(Although... In the late '90s I tipped off the Eastern Indian fella I had become "Hello"-friendly with who owned the local stationary store, that another shop, about a mile away in Elmont, was available for sale.
I always loved the Bazooka Joe characters. I was a little horrified some
Why, I thought, if Bazooka had finally gone to the fun extent of
(Bazooka Joe may not be Norman Rockwell, but its place in pop culture I
I was embarassed some time later,when airing my criticism in a phone
(Cruse was first famous for his "underground" work, and his talents have
Cruse, among his many aptitudes, can replicate other illustrators, so I
Howard recently elaborated: "I was indeed charged by Topps with creating teenaged (and therefore, by definition, heretically altered) versions of the Bazooka crowd. I doubt
"If, however, it was indeed in the 1990s when you re-encountered your
"The comics that were wrapped around the gum produced by the Topps
As the book details, Topps itself is something of an American success
But the first attempts evidently didn't catch on.
Bazooka Joe was created some time between 1952 and 1954 (the character's
Gelman was a long time resident of Malverne, who passed in 1978.
"Woody was the nicest, most creative and gentlest man I ever met," says
Remarkably, Gelman should also have the gratitude of pop culture mavens
(Gelman also was among the very first in the United States to reprint
Gelman and Brown often employed comics
(Perhaps it's only fitting that so many of these cherished Topps totems
If I'm surprised at Bazooka's ending of the comic strips, it's for a few
One, it's their branding trademark!
In 2007, Topps was purchased by Michael Eisner's The Tornante Company,
Also, much of the gum's sales over the last decade or more, I would
How much could the inserts have added to that overall cost?
(And, since Topps' Autumn announcement explained that Bazooka's
A Bazooka representative says that "the product began rolling out" at
But perhaps most significantly, last week, when I spoke with several
One Cigarette/Lotto shop owner in Lynbrook used to have that famous
And no one from Topps, or an affliliate, had reminded him, for YEARS.
It's difficult to judge, of course, how any such gaps in the vendors'
Nor might it do a willing Bazooka fan any good to dial Topps' consumer
Two such phone calls resulted in my being put on hold for over thirty
(Two emails to customer support resulted in no answers. Another, sent to
The NEW slips are indeed an odd mix: black and white word games,
Again, it's difficult to perceive Topps' logic, or why they wouldn't at
Brown, who now lives in Texas (where he continues to write, and indulge
"You see marketing folks make the decisions at Topps these days as
So, say it ain't so, Bazooka Joe...
And if there are any among you who never pulled a t-shirt or turtleneck over your nose and didn't think of Joe and his pals...
I'll treat you to a Wetson's burger, a Black Cow candy pop, and a whole month of Sundays...
James H. Burns
(An earlier version of this article appeared in THE LONG ISLAND PRESS.)
(James H. (Jim) Burns, a writer/actor living in Long Island, has written for such magazines as GENTLEMAN'S QUARTERLY, ESQUIRE, TWILIGHT ZONE and HEAVY METAL. More recently, Jim has made several contributions to
Hit Shows of the Seventies: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy / Gene Roddenberry in the 1970s / 1977-1978 Superhero & Science Fiction TV Shows / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / Ken Berry Interview / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / Kathy Garver Interview / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / Bruce / Caitllyn Jenner? / Bill Cosby - WTF?!? / Ed Asner Interview / Emmy Award Multiple Winners / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson / Dawn Wells / Betty White : An Appreciation / Gavin McLeod / The Next Step Beyond / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Connors Remembered / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / Carson Tonight Show / Jackie Gleason Show / 1973 TV Shows / Thriller / Post Modern Sitcoms / Elvis in Greensboro / Remembering Dick Van Patten / TV Dating Shows / The Jacksons TV Show / Fall Previews of the 70s / Lance Link, Secret Chimp / Star Wars Holiday Special / Alias Smith and Jones / 1977 Year in Review / Top Ten 1970-76 / The Rockford Files / All in the Family / Sam Hall (Dark Shadows) Interview / Actor Ed Nelson / Death of Archie / Battlestar Galactica / Wonder Woman / Network Jingles / Class of '74 / Happy Days / Good Times / Mr. Bill / Dinah! / Maude / Doris Day Show / Pamelyn Ferdin Interview / The Bicentennial Minute / Jingles & Catch Phrases of the 1970s / Early Cable TV 1970s / TV commercials for Women / TV Moms / Red Skelton / George Lindsay / Country Music TV Shows of the 1960s & 1970s / Betty White Show / / Tom Bosley / Rodney Dangerfield / How Sanford & Son Ended / Sanford & Son Spin-Off Grady / Great Memoirs / Virginia Graham Show / The "N" Word on TV / 10 Classic Comedy Routines You Have To Laugh At Before You Die / Hollywood Squares / 1970's Teen Idols & The Hudson Brothers / TV Stars with 3 Hit Shows / The Rookies / Unsold Pilots / Jackie Cooper / The Good Guys / Match Game / Make Room For Granddaddy / Mannix & Gail Fisher / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Silent Star Marion Mack / Biff Burger / 1970s Fast Food Chains / Latin Casino / Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire / 1970's Daytime Talk Shows / The Fess Parker Show / Love, Loss & What I Watched
Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog
|TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments|