This week we’re taking a look at the curious history of one Charles Entertainment Cheese, a robot who claims to be “America’s favorite rat” and built a cardboard-flavored pizza empire which heralded the cybernetic colonization of our childhoods and traumatized generations with animatronic animals dug straight out of the uncanny valley. We look at the history of Charles Cheese and the various personas he’s inhabited, from rude cigar smoking gangster rat, to rockstar orphan mouse, the rivalry between Chuck E. Cheese and Showbiz Pizza, the incredibly odd persistent fandom and the ill-advised Chuck E. Cheese live action sci-fi film. We also look at the history of animatronics, from their inception to their role in keeping asses in pizza parlor seats, and how pizza and animatronics collided in 1970’s California and gave birth to the eldritch terror that is Chuck E. Cheese.
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