Although the instrument has been used by such greats as Jimi Hendrix on "Crosstown Traffic," the ease with which any amateur can toot on the buzz-worthy instrument has led to it being unfairly maligned.
As one old joke goes: "What do you call a kazoo player with a union card?"
How about this one: "What's the difference between a banjo and a kazoo?"
"A kazoo burns faster."
That's unfair, according to professional kazoo player Rick Hubbard, who on one hand enjoys the corny jokes, but on the other feels obligated to defend the instrument's honor.
Hubbard considers himself America's only full-time kazoo player, performing nearly 250 shows a year. He's also chief executive officer of Kazoobie Inc., a Beaufort, S.C., company that sells a million kazoos annually.
With Jan. 28 being National Kazoo Day, Hubbard figures now is as good a time as any to get Congress to hum along with his plan to get the kazoo named "America's official musical instrument."
This minor calendar event has been around since the early 1980s, and Hubbard claims it's held on the fourth Thursday of January each year because "not much else is going on."
Still, for all its lack of pretension, you can see a nice slice of American history in the kazoo's origins.
The kazoo is based on several African wind instruments, principally the mirliton, a device that modifies the sound of a person's voice by way of a vibrating membrane.
In 1850, former slave Alabama Vest of Macon, Ga., devised plans for the first kazoo. It was manufactured by clockmaker Thaddeus von Clegg, a German immigrant, and introduced two years later at the 1852 Georgia State Fair.
The kazoo soon became a popular accompanying instrument in jug bands, minstrel shows and even on early jazz records.
The fact that no training is needed helped the kazoo become popular, but some performers, such as classically trained singer Barbara Stewart, have demonstrated what the instrument is capable of doing.
"Anyone can play the kazoo, but a good singer can breathe longer and hum the pitches better," Kazoobie spokeswoman Teresa Howey says.
Stewart, who has performed at Carnegie Hall, in addition to "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," has formed a "Kazoophony" quartet.
Although a simple kazoo costs as little as $1.49, newer electrified models, those featuring a microphone on the resonator and top-of-the-line silver kazoos cost as much as $165.
This year, National Kazoo Day comes just one day after President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address.
Coincidentally, Kazoobie is based in the same district that elected Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., who infamously shouted "You lie!" when the president was addressing a joint session of Congress.
Hubbard says Wilson has a rep for being very vocal and wouldn't mind if he stepped out and said, "Everybody play kazoo!"