The giant mouse known to kids everywhere is being rebranded as a cool, guitar-playing rodent who doubles as a rock star. Chuck E. Cheese's new image was rolled out Thursday by CEC Entertainment Inc. and couldn't be further from the mouse that's adorned plazas all over the country.
CEC Entertainement, based in Irving, Texas, announced in May that sales for the first quarter had dropped 4.2 percent. The chain has 500 stores and has cited rising cheddar cheese prices and higher rent for slipping profits, according to the Associated Press.
Now, to stimulate sales, the company is replacing the rat beloved by pizza-loving children as well as the voice behind it. Duncan Brannan can now write ex-Chuck E. Cheese on his resume, a role that included shifting the brand from a joke-telling, some off-color New Jersey rat to the one we know today, he wrote in a long post on Showbizpizza.com, a fansite for people who simply can't get enough of the animatronic mouse.
Brannan realized he'd been replaced after hearing the new music single from Chuck E. Cheese himself, and it wasn't him singing. Instead, it was the lead singer Jaret Reddick from the pop punk band Bowling For Soup, who are perhaps best known for their song 1985. Instead of being an amusement park figure, Chuck E. Cheese is now represented as a silhouette of a skinny mouse holding an electric guitar.
The pizza executives who replaced Brannan don't seem to be getting him down, though, as he used his moment in the public eye to say he hopes his time as the giant, creepy mouse benefited others.
I am a Christian, and that is all that matters, Brannan wrote in his statement on Show Biz Pizza. I am one who believes that salvation (from sin, God's judgement, and hell) is found in no other name under heaven but the risen Lord and Savior and returning King, Jesus Christ. And, if being the voice of Chuck E. Cheese for any length of time has meant anything to me... What it was about, what my sincere hope is that you...experienced Jesus Christ in and through my life in some way.