Over on Unfair Park earlier this week, we told you about Duncan Brannan, the God-fearing voice actor behind the Chuck E. Cheese mascot, who was let go after close to 20 years of service to the Irving-based chain. How did he find out? He heard "Chuck's Hot New Single," which featured the voice of someone who was not him. That's ice world, CEC. Ice world.
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Still, it's sort of surprising it's taken them this long to update their brand. That's the mouse I remember from my childhood, much of which was spent in the bacteria-laden ballpit of a Jacksonville Chuck E. Cheese. (I think my parents wanted to strengthen my immune system.) In the process of making over their rodent mascot and updating it as an edgier, more "rock and roll" personality, they snagged Bowling For Soup frontman Jaret Reddick, who'd done voice work in the past, as their new cheerleader.
"The character was something we developed," Reddick says. "He just sounds like an excited me, at a Bowling For Soup show. Friends call it my 'people voice,' like when I see someone I know, and my voice goes up a few octaves. So Chuck is my Bowling For Soup voice and my people voice."
As the father of a six and nine-year-old, Reddick's got his work cut out for him, but he also has fond memories of the chain. "One of the reasons I was so exited was I grew up in Wichita Falls, and we had Showbiz Pizza, which then turned into a Chuck E. Cheese," he says. "I was literally in there five, six, seven times a year. If you know me or my band, you know I'm very much a kid.
"It's a freaking dream come true," he continues. "I was actually doing a session yesterday, and the Chuck E. Cheese big wigs are sitting there, watching, and I had to take a moment and say, "I'm a 40-year-old man and I'm Chuck E. Cheese."