Bazooka bubble gum consisted of fairly large pink wodges of really not that tasty gum. I don’t know what flavour it was supposed to be, it was just, well, odd. But you never really bought Bazooka for the sweet anyway. Most kids bought it because of the Bazooka Joe comic that was wrapped around each piece of gum.
Bazooka Joe was the mascot for Bazooka bubble gum. He was a baseball cap wearing boy who for some reason wore an eye patch. Whether he actually had a problem with his eye, or he was just wearing the eye patch to be cool I’m not sure, but wear it he did. The comic in each piece of gum usually consisted of a comic strip depicting a particularly lame joke, possibly a lucky fortune for the day (a bit like a chinese fortune cookie), and the real reason for collecting the comics, the free gift offer!
The free gifts were not really free though as they required you to send in a number of comics to claim them. This would have been fine if it was an achievable number like 5 or 10, but usually it was more like 200. That’s an awful lot of gum to get through! The other option was to swap a smaller number of comics and some cash.
The gifts always sounded brilliant, but I’m sure if anybody ever did save up enough comics to exchange for a gift they would probably be left disappointed. Take the pictured comic for example. A telescope that extends to 7 inches to allow you to get a close up view of planes, buildings etc. Sounds pretty good, but given that it could be yours for 5 comics and 40 US cents, I don’t think it’s really going to be that amazing, do you?