Can you remember the last time you were inside a Chuck E. Cheese’s? I know I can’t but honestly I would be down to go if there was one close to me. You might have fond memories of birthday parties there, or maybe just nightmares of the creepy animatronic band. Either way, it was a staple of childhoods by many.
Anyways check out some of these facts that I had no clue about like Steve Jobs and the creator of Chuck E. Cheese’s are super connected. We might not even have the device you are reading this on if it wasn’t for Chuck!
11. There was a full length Chuck E. Cheese movie!
According to IMDB the plot goes like this:
“A boy named Charlie Rockit needs $50,000 dollars to fix his aunt and uncle’s tractor engine, so Chuck E. and friends go to the Galaxy 5000 to win it in a race.”
If that sold you, here’s the entire movie on Youtube!
10. Chuck’s early companions didn’t survive
Before the classic animatronic band we know and love (and get a little creeped out by) today, there were different characters in the band. Before Helen Henny, Jasper T. Jowls, Mr. Munch, and Pasqually they tried out characters like Dolly Dimples and even an Elvis Impersonator. The band was supposed to be appealing to the parents while the kids played on the video games.
9. The “E” stands for “Entertainment”
Some people always thought that that his name was Chuckie Cheese. But come on, any fan knows E is his middle initial!
8. The founder also created Atari and Pong
Nolan Bushnell is an amazing dude. Not only did he invent a childhood pastime, but he first made Atari and Pong! The idea came after those two projects though, Bushnell once said:
“I started it inside Atari. My objective was to vertically integrate the market. We were selling coin-operated games at about $1500 or $2000 a pop. In their life, they’d make $15 to 20k. It didn’t take rocket science to say I’m on the wrong side of the equation.”
7. Chuck used to show up in advertisements smoking cigars
The last time this happened though was back in 1980. He’s been sober ever since!
6. Disneyland’s Tiki Room was an inspiration for the band
I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but Bushnell got the idea for the animatronic band from the Tiki Room at Disneyland. This way he wouldn’t have to pay for a real human band at every location. (this was also the source of many kids nightmare I have a feeling)
5. Bushnell even mentored Steve Jobs
Back in the 70’s a sandal wearing Jobs came to interview for a job at Atari. Bushnell saw the brilliance and gave him the gig and Jobs worked on the video game “Breakout” along with his Apple buddy Steve Wozniak. So basically Bushnell helped launch Apple.
4. Barbie and Chuck even collaborated together
Back in 1995, there was a special release Barbie that had the doll wearing a sweet looking Chuck E. Cheese shirt. Then in 2001 another one was released, I bet these go for a pretty penny on eBay!
3. Chuck was supposed to be a coyote
Bushnell originally wanted the mascot to be a coyote. He bought a coyote suit and sent it to his engineers, but they were confused when he asked what the progress was on the coyote. They had a rat, so Bushnell pivoted and figured he would call his pizza joint “Rick Rat’s Pizza.” Good thing someone came up with a better idea…
2. Bowling for Soup’s lead singer, Jaret Reddick, came up with their “Say cheese, it’s funner” punk song.
1. The majority of Chuck E. Cheese’s sell alcohol
I mean how could the deadbeat dads make it through a couple hours without this key factor? Almost 70% of the Chuck E. Cheeses serve adult beverages.