Chuck E. Cheese (character)

Charles Entertainment Cheese, or Chuck E. Cheese for short, is the mascot of CEC Entertainment Concepts L.P.'s Chuck E. Cheese chain of family entertainment centers (FECs)[1][2] From 1977 to 1992 he was an anthropomorphic rat, changing to a mouse in 1993.[3][4][5][6] In 2012, he was rebranded into a smaller and Rockstar version in response to an ongoing decrease in sales during 2011.[7]

Charles Entertainment Cheese
Chuck E. Cheese character
The design used from 1997 to 2012
First appearanceMay 17, 1977
Created byNolan Bushnell
Voiced by
  • John Widelock (1977–1984)
  • Scott Wilson (1984–1993)
  • Lonny Wilder (June 1986)
  • Jeff Cosco (sang occasionally during Brannan's tenure)
  • Jeremy Blaido (1997-1998)
  • Duncan Brannan (1994–2012)
  • Jaret Reddick (2012–present)
In-universe information
Full nameCharles Entertainment Cheese
Species
  • Rat (1977–1993)
  • Mouse (1993–present)
GenderMale
Occupation
  • Restaurateur
  • Guitarist
  • Vocalist
NationalityAmerican

Origins

edit

First appearance

edit

The character was originally created as the mascot for a restaurant proposed by Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari) in 1977.[8] Bushnell attended the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) conference in Orlando and saw walk-around character costumes for sale. Among them, Bushnell spotted a costume that appeared to be a coyote, so he bought it for his planned Coyote Pizza restaurant. When the costume arrived at Atari, it was discovered that the costume was actually a rat with a long pink tail; this costume was also much larger and furrier than the final product seen in all of the original locations. Bushnell decided to change the restaurant's name to Rick Rat's Pizza. However, Bushnell's group of planners believed that a rat for the name of a restaurant would not be appropriate. Bushnell's group of planners finally decided on the name Chuck E. Cheese for the mascot and changed the restaurant's name to Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre.[9][10] The first Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre opened in San Jose, California on 370 South Winchester Boulevard, in the same year Chuck E. Cheese was proposed – 1977.

Characterizations

edit

The rat mascot was originally given a New Jersey accent, telling jokes – sometimes holding a cigar. His voice was delivered by John Widelock for the first seven years, then by Scott Wilson. In 1993, Duncan Brannan was hired as the new voice of the mascot, with the task of transforming him from a rat to a mouse.[7] By circa 1994–1995, the mouse was given a more child-friendly makeover, with a wider cheek structure, a less pointy, shorter snout, longer eyes, smaller ears, and a slimmer physique. This version started appearing in the restaurants with the skateboarder outfit in 2001.

In July 2012, the mascot was changed into a Rockstar version of the character, who played guitar. Jaret Reddick, the frontman and guitarist for the band Bowling for Soup, replaced Brannan.[7]

References

edit
  1. ^ Shamisan, Jacob (June 9, 2017). "The surprising and horrifying backstory behind Charles Entertainment Cheese". Insider.
  2. ^ Chuck E's Middle Name, retrieved February 9, 2023
  3. ^ Mace, Scott (December 21, 1981). "Rat dishes up pizza, computerized entertainment". Infoworld. p. 8.
  4. ^ Sheff, David (1999). Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered the World. GamePress. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-9669617-0-6. Above the receptionist's desk was the smiling face of Chuck E. Cheese, the company's mascot—a rat.
  5. ^ Taub, Stephen (November 30, 1983). "A Noisy Decline". Financial World. Vol. 152. pp. 40–43. The star of the show is a feisty-looking rat named Chuck E. Cheese, who Bushnell hopes will become as big a celebrity as Mickey Mouse.
  6. ^ Kent, Steven L. (2000). The First Quarter: A 25-Year History of Video Games. BWD Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-9704755-0-3. Bushnell called his new venture Pizza Time Theaters. He named his restaurants Chuck E. Cheese after the robotic rat mascot.
  7. ^ a b c Candice Choi (July 3, 2012). "Chuck E. Cheese being replaced with hipper image". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  8. ^ Chuck E. Cheese – Chuck E. Cheese's Characters, archived from the original on September 8, 2019, retrieved September 7, 2019
  9. ^ Madrigal, Alexis C. (July 17, 2013). "Chuck E. Cheese's, Silicon Valley Startup: The Origins of the Best Pizza Chain Ever". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on December 15, 2019. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Evolution of Chuck E Cheese! | Chuck E Cheese Character History, archived from the original on October 21, 2019, retrieved December 15, 2019