Chuck E. Cheese (character)
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|Chuck E. Cheese|
|CEC Entertainment character|
|Created by||Nolan Bushnell|
John Widelock (1977-1983)
Scott Wilson (1984-1993)
Duncan Brannan (1994-2012)Jaret Reddick (2012-present)
|Aliases||The Big C|
Cheese's official backstory is that he is an orphaned mouse who does not know his own birthday. To make up for never having had a birthday party of his own, hosts parties for kids. After winning a Pong tournament, Cheese moves to New York and starts working as a singer at an Italian restaurant, where he also meets and befriends a musically inclined chef named Pasqually. Eventually, he moves to California and creates his own restaurant franchise, with Pasqually becoming his star chef and later joining his band.
Pizza Time Theater era
Chuck E. was originally found in Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre, a restaurant founded by Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari) in 1977. An animatronic Chuck E. along with other characters, known as Portrait Animatronics would perform music and shows in picture frames overhead while the customers enjoyed pizza and games.
As more restaurants opened, the amount of animatronics was expanded and the "Pizza Time Players" were formed. This group featured Chuck E. Cheese, Crusty the Cat, Jasper T. Jowls, Pasqually, Helen Henny, the Warblettes, and many other characters, most of which have been retired. In the later restaurants, cabaret shows in separate rooms were created, featuring Dolli Dimples, a blues singing hippo, Artie Antlers, The King (a lion who sang Elvis Presley tunes), The Beagles (dogs parodying the Beatles) and The Beach Bowsers (more dogs parodying the Beach Boys).
An in-house designed control system dubbed "Cyberamics" consisted of a card cage with a 6502-based control card and several types of peripheral and driver cards. The 6502 controller was later replaced by a 68HC11-based controller designed by Dave Philipsen which enhanced the operation of the system and added a number of security features.
After the 1984 acquisition by ShowBiz Pizza Place, Chuck E. appeared alongside Billy Bob (ShowBiz Pizza's mascot and a member of its animatronic band, the Rock-afire Explosion) on merchandise and occasionally in walkaround costume form. When a ShowBiz came to blows with Creative Engineering Inc (creators of the Rock-afire) over the ownership of the Rock afire in 1990, "Concept Unification" occurred. This new initiative involved converting all ShowBiz stores into Chuck E. Cheese stores, and so The Rock-afire Explosion show was converted into a new show featuring the Chuck E. Cheese characters. The post-1990 modern day incarnation of the group is called "Munch's Make Believe Band", and includes Chuck E. Cheese, Helen Henny, Mr. Munch, Jasper T. Jowls, and Pasqually. There were also prop characters such as Pizzacam (who would hide inside a speakerbox and would pop out and dance to the music and sometimes be the announcer of shows or sing backup), Munch Jr. (who would hide inside a chrome barrel and bounce up and dance to the music), Building (who would sing backup and act as the announcer on several shows), and the Moon (which would also sing backup, act as the announcer on several shows, and was the only character from the Rock-afire-Explosion to be kept intact). This show was controlled by a "Cyberstar" controller designed and produced by Triad Productions. In some restaurants a full animatronic band can be seen, either on one stage or two stages, which use animatronics known as Cyberamics (most of which are former Pizza Time Theatre animatronics). The bands that used to be Rock-afire animatronics (prior to concept unification) are known as three stage shows, which use animatronics made by Creative Engineering. But in newer restaurants (or ones that have undergone remodeling) a single Chuck E. Cheese animatronic stage is seen with the other band members in puppet form displayed on a TV screen. This is known as the "Studio C Stage", the robotics are manufactured by Garner Holt Productions and the electronic controls by Dave Philipsen. There are 4 variations of this stage, Studio C Alpha with a 32 movement animatronic, Beta with a 32 or 16 movement animatronic, Cappa with a 16 movement animatronic, and Circle of Lights (which sometimes doesn't have an animatronic) also with a 32 or 16 movement animatronic. [not in citation given] A new control system designed by Weigl was introduced for Circle of Lights.
During customer's birthday parties, the Chuck E. Cheese mascot will come out on the floor and perform a birthday show along with the other employees known as "cast members." In recent promotions, the Chuck E. mascot would come on the floor with a manager and give free tickets away to children.
- Shamsian, Jacob (June 6, 2017). "Chuck E. Cheese's full name is 'Charles Entertainment Cheese' — and the internet can't stop laughing". Business Insider. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- Shamsian, Jacob (June 9, 2017). "The surprising and horrifying backstory behind Charles Entertainment Cheese". Business Insider. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
- Garner Holt's Website Archived 2011-12-14 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved April 21, 2009