|Big discounts on
stuff you want!
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 / Funniest SNL Skit Ever! / Prisoner: Cell Block H / Why John Amos Left Good Times / Reviving Match Game / How Betty White's 'Happy Hommaker' Came About / TV Dads Talk Sex & Fatherhood / Angie Dickinson Blows Off This Is Your Life / Orson Welles' Last Interview / Bruce Vilanch on Writing for Donny & Marie / Writing For Fernwood 2 Night / Best Columbo Episodes / One of the Most Controversial Episodes of All In The Family / Outside Chance / Norman Mailer & Muhammad Ali / Charles Nelson Reilly Flops on Broadway / Chuck Norris vs Eva Gabor / Dirty Sally / The Protectors / Chevy Chase Talks Hollywood Cocaine Parties / 1977 Season Show Openings / Love Boat's Oscar Winning Guest Stars / Tom Snyder Interviews Star Trek Cast & Harlan Ellison / Tim Conway's 'The Dentist' Sketch / Henry Winkler on His Happy Days Audition / Patrick Duffy of Dallas Interview / Time Express / Wonder Woman Leaves Paradise Island / 1972-73 TV Season / George Burns on the Carson Tonight Show in 1989 / Best Season of Dallas Ever? / Cloris Leachman Remembered / Ken Berry Interview / Why Barney Miller Ended / Vivian Vance Almost Joined the Cast of Rhoda / Marilu Henner Talks About Andy Kaufman / Cher on Mike Douglas 1979 / TV Show Book Tie-Ins / 1972 Jackie Robinson Interview / Dr. Strange 1978 TV Movie / Kathy Garver Interview / Space: 1999 / Paint Along with Nancy Kominsky / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / The Supremes - Mary Wilson vs Diana Ross / When Bruce Dern Killed John Wayne / 1974 Tom Snyder Our Gang Special / Remembering Ken Berry / Bruce / Caitllyn Jenner? / Billy Crash Craddock Interview / Melissa McCarthy Almost Quit Acting Days Before Landing Gilmore Girls / Bar Rescue's Wildest Customers! / How The Golden Girls and Elvis Got Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs Made / TV HITS - By the Numbers / Alex Baldwin On His TV and Film Roles / Top Ten Sitcoms of the 1970s / Fashion on TV / James Cameron Made No Money for Titanic / John Goodman Breaks Down His Iconic Roles / Growing Up In The Playboy Mansion / Ed McMahon Drunk on the Air! / Lucy Interviewed by Barbara Walters / Valerie Harper Cancer / Jeff Bridges Breaks Down His Iconic Roles / Dallas vs Eight is Enough / 1974 MAD Magazine TV Special - Never Aired! / Iconic M*A*S*H Restaurant Coming To Kroger? / When Lucy Got Fired / Partridge Family and Brady Bunch at Kings Island theme park 1972-73 / Awkward Talk Show Moments / Allan Blye Interview / Jack Benny's Last Tonight Show 1974 / Patricia Heaton's Audition for Everybody Loves Raymond / Luke Perry's Last Role / Johnny Cash's Last Interview / Judy Garland's Last Film / Who Was Bob Gordon? / Richard Dreyfuss vs Bill Murray / Jeff Ross vs Everybody / Tennessee Williams 1972 Interview / Ed Asner Interview / Norm Macdonald vs OJ Simpson / Tony Kornheiser Interview / Freddy's Nightmares TV Series / Emmy Award Multiple Winners / Nathaniel Taylor aka Rollo Lawson / Mary Kay Place Albums of the 1970s / That Girl & TV's Single Working Women / Can You Identify These Stars? / Betty White vs Joan Rivers / Paul Lynde's Greatest Hollywood Squares Zingers / Sonny Comedy Revue / Star Trek Animated / Dark Shadows / Hal Linden Interview / Dark Shadows Movies / Dark Shadows Novels / The Night Stalker / One of the Funniest Carol Burnett Show Skits Ever / Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson / Johnny Carson interviews Lucille Ball / Dawn Wells / Betty White : An Appreciation / Bette Davis' 2 Best Interviews 1971 / Barbara Eden Interview / Gavin McLeod / Spider-Man 77 / The Next Step Beyond / The Music Dark Shadows / 1970 TV Shows / Mike Connors Remembered / Mike Wallace, Virginia Graham & Jim Longworth / Dick Clark / Woody Allen Hosts Tonight Show 1971 / Carson Tonight Show / Alan Alda Interview / 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 / Brady Bunch Sex Dungeon? / 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|