The new 'Chuck E. Cheese' launches this week, and will be voiced by Jaret Reddick, the lead singer of pop-punk band Bowling For Soup. The rat mascot has long been affiliated with the pizza chain, though it appears they have decided to give Chuck a radical makeover.
The Chuck E. Cheese Facebook page now shows a silhouette of a cartoon mouse playing a guitar. The company opened its first Pizza place in 1977, in San Jose, California. According to the New York Daily News, the unusual idea of having a rat represent a restaurant chain came when founder Nolan Bushnell acquired a generic mascot costume, initially considering calling the company 'Rick Rat's Pizza'. The mascot's former voice Duncan Brannan posted a Facebook message late last week, sharing his sadness at being replaced. In the post, he writes that part of his assignment when he first took the role was to transform the voice of a "joke telling, sometime off-color New Jersey rat" into a loveable family mouse. He suggests he was pushed out of the company, though the restaurant's owners say that Brannan wasn't fired but that it simply "chose to utilize new voice talent" for its ad company.
Reddick formed Bowling for Soup in 1994 in Texas. The group's name derives from a famous comedy routine by Steve Martin. The band has enjoyed success with singles 'Girl All The Bad Guys Want', which was nominated for a Grammy Award, and 'Punk Rock 101'