What, exactly, is the Internet? Basically it is a global network exchanging digitized data in such a way that any computer, anywhere, that is equipped with a device called a “modem” can make a noise like a duck choking on a kazoo.  – Dave Barry

Well, that’s one description for a kazoo.  It’s about the most creative one I’ve ever heard.

If you don’t think you can play a musical instrument, I have news for you!  You can play a kazoo!  No, I’m not kidding, you really can.  Today is NATIONAL KAZOO DAY!!!  Just give it a try.  A kazoo is a very inexpensive but addictive instrument.  Oh, but make sure you hum into it – don’t blow air in it or it won’t work.  And you have to hum into the big end, not the little end.

A kazoo is not the same thing as a vuvuzela.  They are not even kissing cousins.  Some folks think a kazoo is just a child’s toy, but it is really a musical instrument in the mirliton or membranophone family.

The kazoo was first seen in 1852 at the Georgia State Fair.  It was called the “Down South Submarine” because it looks very much like a submarine.  It was mass-produced and sold by Emil Sorg and Michael McIntyre, a tool and die maker.  Production began in Buffalo, New York but moved to Eden, New York where the factory museum remains today as a working museum.

I had a metal kazoo when I was a kid.  It was bright yellow with red and blue design on it.  I drove my folks crazy with it.  Daddy used to tell me, “You put the ZOO in kazoo!”  I suppose that meant that I was making him nuts.  I remember thinking, “Well, YOU gave it to me!”  LOL – funny what you remember sometimes, isn’t it?

The kazoo was played often in popular music back in the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s.  They can be made of metal like mine, or plastic or other materials.  Each has unique sound qualities.  The tone is determined by the quality of the membrane or resonator.

LOL – you don’t tune a kazoo – that was just for fun.  If you hum off-tune, guess what???  Yeah – you’ll be off-tune!  But if you’re having fun, WHO CARES???  Wink!  😉