You have to straddle two older generations to appreciate the fun fact (or be a keen observer of the 1990s) that there’s a connection between RL Stine and Bazooka Joe.
What’s the connection between RL Stine and Bazooka Joe?
For those who don’t know, Robert Lawerence (RL) Stine is often referred to as “the Stephen King of children’s literature.” He wrote the Goosebumps series of children’s scary novels (it seems a little weird to call it children’s horror, doesn’t it?). He also wrote the Fear Street series. In other words, his books have scared the bejeezus out of multiple generations of children. He says he was inspired by his own generation’s love of horror in the form of the Tales from the Crypt series.
Before he became a young adult author for the ages, Stine had many different jobs. He wrote joke books. He even made coloring books!
And he also wrote Bazooka Joe comics. You know the ones – they came inside packs of bubble gum.
Who knew that the guys responsible for so many Gen X and Millennial nightmares also write those silly comics that came inside gum wrappers?
From bubble gum to horror writer
Bazooka Joe was just one of RL Stine’s many odd jobs as a writer. He was quite prolific and worked on television shows as well (seriously, check out his Wikipedia entry!). He even holds the Guinness Book of World Records award for being the best-selling children’s book series author of all time. It turns out kids like to be scared.
According to Mental Floss (cited below), Stephen King once told Stine, “You’ve taken every single amusement park plot and haven’t left any for anyone else.”
Stine himself isn’t really scared by horror. He’s a fan of a few of King’s books (like Misery and Pet Sematary) but often finds himself laughing at horror films. — WTF fun facts