i saw this in my local paper and googled it and found a link to some fat chicks blog. there may be better stuff out there, but anyway, here's the link and the article
PS i hate crap like this
fatty wrote:Bazooka Joe, who began life 53 years ago as a crewcut boy with an eye patch, has grown taller lately. His blond hair is longer and fashionably tousled. He kept the eye patch but now wears his cap backwards.
And he has new friends. Five to be exact...including an excitable German named Wolfgang Spreckels. Casey McGavin, a tomboy. DJ Change wears headphones around his neck. Cindy Lewis is an environmentalist and an all-round do-gooder. Kevin Griffin is a science geek. The only old friend Joe was allowed to keep is Mort.
ah, here's her link to the New Yorker
The New Yorker on Bazooka Joe
The New Yorker wrote:Last fall, a couple of candy men took a lunchtime stroll around South Street Seaport. The younger of the two was Paul Cherrie, a confectioner who had recently tripled the sales of Dubble Bubble and sold the company to Tootsie Roll Industries for a hundred and ninety-seven million dollars. The older man was Arthur Shorin, the chairman of Topps, which in 1947 created the iconic bubble gum Bazooka. “I am a bubble-gum maven,” Cherrie said recently. “You can’t help but be in awe of Mr. Shorin. There’s only a few of him left.”
They were wandering through the Seaport, eating hot dogs, when Shorin turned to Cherrie and said, “You know how good this thing could be.” Cherrie knew that he was talking about Bazooka. Once Topps’s prize product, the brand had lost its cachet. Cherrie responded, “Mr. Shorin, not only do I know it but I have been coveting this brand my whole career. Nobody understands the power of Bazooka better than I do.”
Shorin hired Cherrie as managing director of the Topps Company and authorized him to make over the gum’s mascot, Bazooka Joe. As Cherrie saw it, Bazooka’s chief problem was the fact that the tiny comics that come wrapped around the gum weren’t funny to anyone born after 1962. Example:
Jane says to Joe: “I made this cake myself, Joe!”
Joe: “Jane, this cake tastes awful!”
Jane: “Oh, yeah! Smarty! The cookbook says it’s delicious!”
“We had passed from being quaint, cozy humor to being your grandpa’s joke,” Cherrie, a forty-three-year-old Canadian with a penchant for bright-colored shirts, said recently in the Topps boardroom, on Whitehall Street. A big part of the problem was Joe. “He was a little dweeb,” Cherrie said.
Cherrie set out to spruce up Joe’s appearance and to surround him with a new group of friends. For inspiration, Topps sent researchers all over the country to quiz focus groups of children who were “claimed bubble-gum users,” as Cherrie put it. The kids were asked, “If Bazooka Joe was in a TV show, what would he be like?”
“The guy who came up again and again was the guy from ‘That 70’s Show,’ ” Cherrie said. “What’s his name again? Kutchermare? EDIT: IDIOTS The tall guy, dark hair.”
Ashton Kutcher? “Right. Kind of goofy but lovable. Fun. Free-spirited. That was the approach we took.”
So Joe, who began life fifty-three years ago as a crewcut boy with an eye patch, sprouted a few inches. His blond hair grew out and became fashionably tousled. He kept the eye patch but started wearing his cap backward. To keep him company, Topps artists developed five new sidekicks, including an excitable German named Wolfgang Spreckels. “We want Joe to be beyond this Americancentric guy,” Cherrie said. “We have aspirations for him to find his way across the world. What better way to accomplish that than with an exchange student?”
Another of Joe’s new pals is Casey McGavin, a tomboy. She likes bleacher seats and watching “SportsCenter.” EDIT: and Birkenstocks DJ Change, who wears headphones around his neck, is a slouchy music snob. (“You’ve gotta have somebody who’s into the tunes,” Cherrie said.) Cindy Lewis is an environmentalist. She likes to hike and volunteer (and Casey ), and she hangs out at the farmers’ market. Cherrie said, “A lot of little kids are like this.
“Approximately thirteen per cent of the American population is African-American,” he went on. “We’d be foolish to ignore it. But we didn’t want to have some stereotypical urban black kid.” So Topps created Kevin Griffin, a science geek who travels with an iguana on his shoulder. The only old friend Joe was allowed to keep was Mort, with his spiked hair and trademark turtleneck pulled up over his mouth. “Mort is Kramer for kids,” Cherrie said.
Earlier this month, the old Bazooka crew was retired, and the two-inch-high comics began chronicling the escapades of the new Joe and his retrofitted gang. Topps executives hope that the makeover, along with a retooled product line (including softer, squishier gum), will revive sales and mollify mutinous shareholders, some of whom have been pressuring the company to sell off its candy division. In one of the new comics, Joe asks Mort, “How was your date last night?”
Mort: “O.K. We went to see that new zombie movie.”
Joe: “Cool! Was it scary?”
Mort puts his hands over his turtleneck and says, “Are you kidding? Ten bucks a ticket? It was horrifying!”