Jersey Rat Gets the Axe
Chuck E. Cheese pink slips its 35-year old New Jersey rat mascot
How many tickets will the old Chuck E. Cheese need in order to win the elusive top shelf prize of a new job?
You may have noticed while driving on Route 4 West that Chuck E. Cheese replaced its 35-year old iconic rat mascot with a younger, whiter, hipper, electric guitar slinging rock star.
For the uninitiated, Chuck E. Cheese is a family restaurant and entertainment center, as well as a favorite birthday party destination, outfitted with video arcade games that spit out tickets that kids trade for prizes. It also has amusement-type rides, climbing equipment and animatronic shows. There's lots of bells, whistles, flashing lights and children teeter-tottering on the precipice of a Sweet Tarts hangover. A major Motrin moment for parents, nirvana for kids.
However, the sagging economy has taken many in its undertow, rats not excepted. And Chuck E. is the latest victim exterminated out of job by a rotten economy.
The parent company of Chuck E. Cheese, CEC Entertainment Inc., announced that they are "retiring" (read: firing) the rat and replacing it with an electric guitar slinging, slicker (read: younger), whiter version in hopes of increasing sales. The company reported that they were lowering their outlook for the year due to a first-quarter 4.2 percent dip in revenue.
According to ShowBizPizza, a Chuck E. Cheese fan site, Duncan Brennan, the man who voiced Chuck E. Cheese in commercials since 1993, found out that he had been replaced when he heard a new Chuck E. Cheese song online "Chuck's Hot New Single" that he did not record.
The Dallas Observer reprinted a post that Duncan wrote on Facebook where he claims he was shocked that CEC executives did not communicate with him the fact that he had been replaced.
The new voice of Chuck E. Cheese is Jaret Reddick, the lead singer for the pop-punk band Bowling for Soup.
Chuck E. Cheese was created in 1977 by Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, who came up with the concept of a family fun restaurant where kids could eat pizza and play video games.