December 12, 2012

Speaking of bubbles, Bazooka Bubble Gum is ending its Bazooka Joe comics.

"New inserts will feature brainteasers, like a challenge to list 10 comic book heroes named after animals, or activities, like instructions on folding the insert into an airplane."

Here's a brainteaser: What was the name of Bazooka Joe's sidekick and what distinctive clothing did he wear?
Mort, the character with a red turtleneck forever pulled up under his nose — he was a boy with voice but no mouth. He always seemed to me to represent a central duality of man: We wish to be heard, but we fear being misunderstood. Have I nailed it? Duality?
So asks WaPo columnist Gene Weingarten, interviewing Jay Lynch, the main Bazooka Joe jokewriter, who says his literary influences are Henry James and Thomas Aquinas. Lynch answers:
Jay: Sure. Why not? There’s a question, though, because in 1980, they pulled his turtleneck down, and showed his entire face, and changed his name to Red. That lasted a year or so, then they pulled it back up, and he became Mort again.

Me: Wow. What was that about?

Jay: No idea.

Me: Why did Bazooka Joe have an eye patch?

Jay: I never asked. I always assumed it was a terrible bubble gum accident.

15 comments:

Mitchell the Bat said...

The Bazooka Joe comics were something of a consolation to those of us who warmed the bench in little league.

YoungHegelian said...

I remembered the red sweater over the face but not the name. "Mort", as in French for Death?

Bazooka Bubble Gum --- the Memento Mori chew!

"As quickly and as easily as this bubble pops, so goes our lives...."

EDH said...

Rock my world. And for all these years I thought "Mort" with the turtleneck was Bazooka Joe.

And it looks like they got rid of the crease that used to run lengthwise up the middle of each splendid pink piece of unmitigated tooth decay.

WTF?

Palladian said...

I remembered the red sweater over the face but not the name. "Mort", as in French for Death?

Bazooka Bubble Gum --- the Memento Mori chew!

"As quickly and as easily as this bubble pops, so goes our lives...."


Bubbles were a common motif in 17th century "vanitas" paintings.

Come to think of it, bubble gum is a perfect memento mori in and of itself. Chew and chew, without sustenance, the essence and sweetness fading with each bite.

Ann Althouse said...

"Bazooka Bubble Gum --- the Memento Mori chew!"

Check out the interview. The jokewriter's favorite joke (from his comics) is about death.

By the way, the guy's name is Lynch and a joke is a gag.

Ann Althouse said...

"Bubbles were a common motif in 17th century "vanitas" paintings."

Hard to paint bubbles, and even harder back before photography.

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe it's easy to paint bubbles once you have a photograph.

Ann Althouse said...

Easy to impress people with bubble paintings.

Broomhandle said...

Where is the America I knew as a child?

Palladian said...

Maybe it's easy to paint bubbles once you have a photograph.

Glass spheres were the models, which is why most of the bubbles in those paintings look like fish bowls.

Some people got it right.

edutcher said...

They had names?

Kensington said...

Bazooka has too many violent connotations, anyway. Bob Costas will probably be very happy with this news.

ndspinelli said...

Bazooka is twice as good as Double Bubble. Short bus kids bought Double Bubble.

Saint Croix said...

Batman
Spider-Man
Batwoman
Spider-Woman
Wolverine
Hawkman
Antman
The Blue Falcon

you know I'm struggling when I name the Blue Falcon

Hawk
Dove

That was a super-hero team of two brothers. Kind of a Vietnam gag. Hawk was always fighting mad. Dove was kind of a pussy.

Robin
Batgirl
Catwoman
Hawkgirl

Saint Croix said...

Mighty Mouse