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Burns, Bob (a.k.a. “Bazooka Bob” or “The Arkansas Traveler”, 1893-1956)

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on January 30, 2004

    Burns was a homespun comedian of the 1930s, best known for playing a bazooka, a sort of combination kazoo and trombone (which lent its name to the World War II antitank rocket launcher, named by Major Zeb Hastings in 1943). Burns often spoke of his Uncle Fud in Van Beuren, Arkansas -- his home state -- hence his title “the Arkansas Traveler”. Burns was the host of the 1938 Academy Awards ceremony.

    A caricature of Burns is seen at the beginning of Speaking of the Weather (Tashlin, 1937) playing “Plenty of Money and You” on the bazooka. Uncle Fud is referred to in the map being read by the title character in The Major Lied Till Dawn (Tashlin, 1938). A hillbilly-type character is seen playing the bazooka on the cover of the sheet music for “Arkansas Traveler” in Book Revue (Clampett, 1946).

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