Chuck E. Cheese has apparently lost his appeal with the children. CEC Entertainment Inc., the company that owns the popular children's pizza restaurants, is attempting to revamp the character for the modern age, a facelift that will include a new look, new attitude, and, yes, a new voice. This Thursday, a brand new campaign for the brand will roll out, featuring Chuck E. Cheese as a guitar-shredding rock star. Jaret Reddick, lead singer for the group Bowling for Soup, will lend his vocal talents to the giant pizza-slinging rat.
However, this isn't necessarily good news for all. According to the Associated Press, Duncan Brannan, the man who was hired to transform a cigar-smoking rat into a lovable restaurant mascot, found out about his replacement when he accidentally stumbled across "Chuck's Hot New Single" online. It was then that he realized the character he'd played for years was being voiced by someone else. CEC Entertainment claims that Brannan wasn't fire -- they simply hired someone else to do the job. What a way to go.
Of course, the company has had its own share of woes as of late. In addition to watching its shares fall 4.2 percent in the first quarter, CEC Entertainment has also lowered its forecast for the year, citing such factors as rent and the price ingredients. With the new Chuck E. Cheese looming on the horizon, CEC is hoping that it can draw in families with its hipper mascot.
The first location of Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre opened in California back in 1977. The company was formed by Atari and Pong founder Nolan Bushnell, who used his love of The Walt Disney Company as inspiration for the look and feel of the chain. In 1979, two employees of Chuck E. Cheese left the restaurant to form Showbiz Pizza, which would ultimately utilize the same look and feel while utilizing animatronic animals to lure in customers.
If you're curious to know what Chuck's cool new single sounds like, take a trip to the official website. It's about what you'd expect it to be. Additionally, you can sample some snarky Twitter reactions to the Cheese shake-up, none of which seem to treat the news very seriously.
Anyone familiar w/ Chuck E. Cheese's "Behind The Music" knows he spent hrs pounding cheddar in an alabaster panic room http://t.co/9UxnRHgu
So steamed that Chuck E. Cheese is getting replaced by a 'hipper' mouse mascot instead of The Rock-afire Explosion being brought back.
I don't want to oversell it, but the new Chuck E. Cheese will be bigger than 10 Super Bowls!
This one isn't so much about the change as it is flat-out funny.
For my birthday, I'm going to fucking chuck e cheese with my niggas, that dirty ass rat better sing to me too.