Chuck E. Cheese Mascot To Be Given Younger Hipper Makeover

As the chain's sales decline, its iconic spokesmouse is getting a new look.

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Mark Schiefelbein/Wireimage for OK! Magazine/Getty Images

A Chuck E. Cheese's children's pizza restaurant in Springfield, Mo.

Anyone looking to hire a giant mouse? The company that runs the pizza-and-games restaurant has decided to send Chuck E. Cheese to the rodent retirement home at the ripe old age of 35.

CEC Entertainment Inc., which runs the Chuck E. Cheese chain, is trading in the mouse in the backward baseball cap and fingerless gloves for a younger version of their long-time mascot. The new Chuck E. Cheese will be a hip, electric-guitar-playing rock star determined to sell your youngster on the joys of pitchers of soda and skeeball. But it’s not just the often-animatronic mouse that is being retired, it’s also the man who voiced the character for nearly two decades, Duncan Brannan.

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Brannan learned of his replacement when he came across “Chuck’s Hot New Single” online, according to the AP. The new mascot will be voiced by Jaret Reddick, lead singer of the band Bowling for Soup. This isn’t the pizza chain’s first mascot revamp. In fact, Chuck E. used to be an entirely different species. When the chain opened in 1977, Chuck was a rat in a hat sporting a cane. Brannan wrote in a Facebook post that was reproduced on showbizpizza.com, a Chuck E. Cheese fansite, that when he started with the company, he was tasked with transforming Chuck E. Cheese from “a joke-telling, sometime off-color New Jersey rat” to a lovable, mainstream mouse.

AP Photo/CEC Entertainment Inc

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Now that mouse, and the restaurant it represents, are in the middle of a mid-life crisis. The chain, launched by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, faces flagging sales at its more than 500 pizza restaurants — and it’s hoping a younger, hipper image will help right the ship. It plans to launch a national ad campaign Thursday featuring the revamped image of Chuck E. Cheese, who’s new look is already peppering their Facebook page.

“Why CEC, Inc. chose to do this, or do it in this manner, one can only speculate and that is not my place,” Brannan said in a Facebook post that was picked up by the Dallas Observer. “The fact is I am grateful for the time I have had to do this, to be “Chuck E.” — grateful to God for the appointment and grateful to the people at CEC, Inc. for the opportunity.” A pretty stand-up guy, for a mouse.

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12 comments
MewManic
MewManic

The new mascot is creepy... Yep. Gonna have nightmares for weeks now. O_O

kristoporski
kristoporski

The games are great and still a great price value compared with ANY other arcade type location for this age group.  Maybe the fact that the place is filled with the dredges of society has something to do with it.  Or maybe the two beer limit for the adults that have to sit through hours of blasting music dinging bells and screaming kids has something to do with it.  but the mascot is hardly the issue.  And I despise the "everyone has to be a  popstar" (note he totes a  guitar now) ongoing assault against children.

my4crazykids
my4crazykids

I like the new mouse but it isn't going to convince me to bring my children there ever again.  I took them once and the food was disgusting!  Maybe if they put out an ad saying they're making better pizza and I may actually give it another try.  Until then they won't be receiving any business from me.

lokiii
lokiii

There's a reason the pizza taste so bad.  They routinely conducted tastings in the home office to see what the absolute bare minimum of ingredients was.  It's one of their bad traits.  At one time they tried to start a new chain called TJ Hartfords, at first the food was excellent, then they gave it the "usual" skimping treatment and the place went from busy to dead in a year. 

Mary J. McCreery
Mary J. McCreery

They'd be better off retiring their horrid pizza recipe amp; developing a new better tasting one.  Or they can try redesigning the dining areas amp; game areas to be less crowded amp; have some sound absorbing structural amenities.  Kids do notice bad pizza, overcrowding amp; overwhelming, dizzying noise levels,  and so do the parents that pay the inflated prices--especially in communities where there are better kid-friendly options close-by.  Maybe they should try re-vamping those things to boost "flagging sales in 500 restaurants"?

f_galton
f_galton

I hope the mascot being replaced sues for age discrimination.

Andie @ A.F.C
Andie @ A.F.C

The Chuck E Cheese concept is strong too bad I have seen truck stop bathrooms cleaner than their restaurants. The "pizza" is horrible and the apparent current client base makes me fear for my life. I'd work on the mouse last.