Bazooka (chewing gum)
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Bazooka bubble gum was first marketed shortly after World War II in the U.S. by the Topps Company of Brooklyn, New York. The gum was packaged in a red, white, and blue color scheme. Beginning in 1953, Topps changed the packaging to include small comic strips with the gum, featuring the character "Bazooka Joe". There are 75 different "Bazooka Joe" comic-strip wrappers to collect. Also on the comic strip is an offer for a premium and a fortune. Older Bazooka comic strips were larger in size and are no longer available.
In addition to "Original", Topps eventually included the flavors "Strawberry Shake," "Cherry Berry," "Watermelon Whirl," and "Grape Rage." Bazooka gum also makes sugar-free flavors such as "Original" and a "Flavor Blasts" variety, claimed to have a longer-lasting, more intense taste. Bazooka gum comes in two different sizes.
Bazooka bubblegum is sold in many countries, often with Bazooka Joe comic strips translated to the local language. Bazooka gum is sold in Canada with cartoons in both English and French, depending upon the city. In Israel, it is manufactured under license by Elite; the cartoons are written in Hebrew.
In November 2011, Bazooka Candy Brands announced they would no longer include comics, instead using brain-teasing puzzle wrappers in an attempt to modernize the brand.
In Argentina sales continue with the comics in Spanish using the name "Yo amo Bazooka" (I love Bazooka).
In popular culture
Bazooka Joe was referenced in the Seinfeld episode "The Cafe."
Bazooka Joe gum was lampooned on 30 Rock, with Alec Baldwin's character telling a fictional story of the founder inheriting a "useless pink rock quarry" and turning it into gum by baking it. Later, a "softer version of their gum was used to make armor-piercing bullets." A fictional advertisement for the gum, starring Stacy Keach, encouraged viewers to chew Bazooka Joe gum "because life is hard," and "it's like chewing a mountain that someone shot a freeze ray into."
It was also referenced in a November 2013 episode of How I Met Your Mother when Marshall made a joke that was not submitted to be part of the Bazooka jokes.
- Newman, Andrew Adam (November 29, 2012). "Change Comes to Playground Funny Papers". New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- 1950s Topps Bazooka Bubble Gum Salesman's Sample Archives (with 112 uncut Bazooka Comic Sample Proof Sheets!) – © 2007 Robert Edward Auctions, LLC.
- Semigran, Aly. "'30 Rock' Recap: We Need To Talk About Kevins". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- Chompsky. "Bazooka Joe Gum: Because Life Is Hard". Broadsheet. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
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