Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

Where Have You Gone, Bazooka Joe?

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

When I was growing up, every kid I knew chewed bubble gum. We were either trading Topps baseball cards and chomping on the thin slice of gum that came in every package, or peeling the paper off a chunk of Bazooka just before heading out to second base.

Now, according to the New York Times, bubble gum has fallen on hard times. But, the  gum brand of Bazooka Joe and his sidekick Mort, is planning a comeback.

Kids aren’t chewing as much gum as they used to. A marketing company told the Bazooka folks that only 7 per cent of children aged 6 to 12 were aware of Joe and Mort, the cartoon characters who starred in the sometimes corny comic inserts that hugged the bright pink squares of gum inside the outer package.

Maybe Bazooka Joe, who always wears a ball cap and eye-patch and his pal Mort — always with his turtleneck up over his mouth — could use a makeover aimed at elevating image awareness with  this current generation of gum poppers.

Instead, Joe and Mort are all but disappearing into the background in the brand revamp. Never fear, though. They’ll make occasional appearances on the new inserts, but not in comic strip mode. They’ll simply be illustrations. Instead of comics, chewers will get brain teasers and activities and codes which — you guessed it — can be entered at the brand’s website to see videos and games.

Bazooka, the chew choice of boomers, was introduced in 1947. How can any of us forget the deep pink, white, and blue color scheme and geometric design?  The new, re-imagined Bazooka will have new colors and design—fuchsia and yellow, with the splattered-paint look of graffiti.

When my dad sold it at the Goodman Candy Company in Glasgow, Ky.,  each single square piece of it cost a penny;  the new package will feature 10 pieces of gum, five each of the original flavor and a new flavor, blue raspberry. Cost? Who knows?

Good luck, Bazooka Joe, hope we’ll see you at the ballpark!

Washington Post columnist and writer George Will Guest on One to One

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Washington Post columnist and writer George Will has been one of America’s great thinkers and public intellectuals for years.

I found him to be just that in a recent visit at the State Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Summit in Louisville a few weeks ago. I always look forward to the conversations I have with guests on our One to One program.  At times the small talk before and after the interview you see on television is interesting as well.

Will arrived at the Louisville  Marriott Downtown  with little fanfare. We observed him from the mezzanine, strolling about, nodding to passers-by who recognized him from his appearances on ABC’s This Week. Will has been writing a twice-weekly column in the Post for decades, as well as a back-page piece in Newsweek. He’s the author of 12 books and has won a Pulitzer. So no matter your politics, when George speaks, people listen!

We had a few minutes to chat before we started taping. This was the day after the All-Star baseball game, which Will had attended, so I asked him if President Obama’s ceremonial first pitch had any zip to it. He said yes, and added that all any president had to do in that situation was be sure he didn’t bounce the ball to home plate. Then he offered, “I picked up the phone this afternoon and called George W. Bush to see if he had seen the game and what he thought of the president’s throw!” And I’m thinking, “He just picked up the phone and called President Bush just like that!”

Listen in as Will and I talk a little baseball, some politics, where he writes his column, and about his family on the One to One Sunday, August 16 at 1 pm EST on KET1 and Tuesday, August 18th at 7:30 pm on KET2. I hope you enjoy it!

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