Chuck E. Cheese Calling It Quits on Beloved Animatronic Band in All But Two Locations

The beloved animatronic band will continue on at locations in Los Angeles and New York.

The final show for Munch's Make Believe Band is on the horizon. This week, pizza and arcade chain Chuck E. Cheese announced that they are calling it quits on the brand's beloved animatronic band. The mechanical animal band is being phased out from more than 400 Chuck E. Cheese locations permanently by the end of the year, save for two — one in Los Angeles and one in Nanuet, New York. The phasing out of the band is part of what the chain's CEO David McKillips described as the brand's "most aggressive transformation to date".

Chuck E. Cheese began in 1977 and was founded by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell who looked to bring the video game experience to a pizza restaurant. The animatronic band was reportedly inspired by the animatronic animal show at Disneyland's Tiki Room and was originally conceived to be centered around a coyote mascot, though after mistakenly purchasing a rat costume, that mascot became Chuck E. Cheese. The character was joined by several other characters — Mr. Munch on keyboards, Jasper T. Jowls on guitar, Helen Henry on vocals, and Pasqually on drums — to make up the band.

As for what is replacing the band, per Billboard the redesign will include giant television screens, digital dance floors, and trampoline gyms. The company has not indicated its plans for the animatronics.

"Kids are consuming entertainment differently than they were 10. 20 years ago," McKillips said. "Kids, really of all ages, are consuming their entertainment on a screen."

This Isn't The First Time Chuck E. Cheese Planned to Remove the Band

Back in 2019, Chuck E. Cheese announced that they would be removing all of their classic animatronics from all locations as part of a redesign to give the chain a more sleek and modern look. However, in 2023, the company announced that the chain would be bringing back the band, specifically at the location in Northridge, California near Los Angeles. At the time, it was announced that this was a permanent addition and an "important part of the legacy of the brand."

"As an important part of the legacy of the brand, we know that the animatronic band holds a special place for many fans in their childhood memories," David McKillips, President and CEO of Chuck E. Cheese parent company, CEC Entertainment said. "We want our fans to know that the decision to keep the band here is meant as a gesture of love and gratitude as our legacy continues to evolve in new ways."