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All hail the feathered Cribbins!When Bernard Cribbins, the voice of Buzby – a straggly, phone pole-dwelling cartoon canary in personalised vest – phoned his mum to tell her she was on telly, a nationalised industry dipped its toe into the heady world of merchandise. plush toys, stickers, combs, necklaces and badges sprang up. Buses and Commer vans carried his image everywhere. Buzby’s adventures appeared in TV Comic and picture books detailing his laddish antics (‘Buzby’s Rock Group‘, ‘Buzby’s Girlfriend’). There was even an abortive attempt to privatise the company with the issue of ‘Buzby Bonds’. It all got a bit much, and he was eventually replaced with the less omnipresent (though more annoying) ‘It’s for you-hoo!’ campaign.


8 responses to “Buzby”

  1. Matthew Rudd says:

    Ah, Buzby. When I was six and it was my turn to supply my form’s reading book for the end of the day, I took in the Buzby book which features him learning how to skateboard, and phoning his mother from hospital with injuries after he went on his new toy without “a helmet and some elbow and knee pads”. So the phone was in the story – I assume it was in all of them – and his mother got to say, in proper context, “Oh Buzby, you are a naughty boy”.


  2. I had the Buzby annual, and most of it appeared to be the work of a solitary cartoonist who was doubtless Buzbied out by the end of the project. Also had loads of guff about the history of telephones, unsurprisingly.

  3. Richard Davies says:

    I had a Busby pencil case which hung around at home for years until we had a clearout.

  4. If anyone cares, the Buzby annual was drawn by Bill Mevin, who later took over the Perishers strip in its later years.

  5. Sam Dutton says:

    Buzby was a ginger. Our gang’s token ginger kid is still known by that name to this very day.

  6. wilberforce says:

    in the early 80’s i remember once hanging around in the less-than-cosy DHSS offices waiting to see someone about getting my rent paid, when a guy sitting next to me started ranting about the apparently inept desk clerk, referring to him as “Buzby” – when i asked why, he replied “because he’s always on the f*cking phone!”

  7. Paul Bovey says:

    Referred to in the 1982 ‘Only Fools’ episode called ‘A Losing Streak’, when Del retrieves a wad of cash hidden in the mouthpiece of his phone to spend in a poker game. Rodney: “Where did all that cash come from?” Del: “Buzby sent it down the line, didn’t he?”

  8. RL says:

    I have a vague recollection of having a hand me down toy from my cousin probably at my grandma’s house of a red telephone talking buzby. Would love to see one of these again or even a video to hear what buzby was saying.

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