Chuck this skinny Chuck-E-Cheese to the curb

While many of you feel our country has lost that “can do” spirit, I was happy to learn that at least one enterprising American has finally solved a problem that’s been on a lot of our minds lately, which is: “How can we make the Chuck-E-Cheese mascot even more annoying?”

This affects me because my kids are starting to make friends, and every single Saturday at least one of them celebrates a birthday. These parties are required, by law, to be held at Chuck-E-Cheese — otherwise child protective services will come by your home and take away the birthday child, placing him with parents who aren’t so cruel.

So the portly “Chuck-E” has been fired. His replacement is skinny — because apparently that’s what happens to your body when you spend all your time playing video games while consuming pizza and Coke. The new younger mouse also now sports an electric guitar. This should fix the problem of Chuck-E-Cheese restaurants being too quiet.

Chuck-E joins a long list of corporate mascots who have either been fired, or should be.

You don’t see “Punchy” much anymore. He was the chubby, hat-wearing Hawaiian Punch mascot with anger management issues. Commercials in the ‘70s showed Punchy going up to someone and asking, “Would you like a Hawaiian punch?” When the other character said “Yes,” Punchy would hit him in the stomach. The ads were stupid, but they worked for me. Over 30 years later, I still love Hawaiian Punch. And unprovoked physical assaults on strangers.

Speaking of someone who should be assaulted, I’ve never been a fan of Mr. Clean. He looks like he’s either going to kick the snot out of you, or ask you out. With the earring, shiny head, bushy white eyebrows and creepy smile, something’s just not right about him. I don’t wish to make disparaging assumptions; it’s just that he comes across as the kind of man who has to notify the police whenever he changes addresses.

Sort of like the Ty-D-Bowl man. It’s hard to explain the Ty-D-Bowl commercials without sounding like you’re on bath salts, but I’ll try. They featured a chipper, miniature man, who dressed up as a captain and hung out in a toilet tank. He was in a boat, of course, because if you’re going to spend all of your time in a toilet, you may as well have aquatic transportation.

Anyway, an unsuspecting housewife would come across the Ty-D-Bowl man in her tank. He’d tell her about the benefits of using blue bacterial disinfectant, as she’d just stand there, listening intently for some reason. I guess after you’ve spent all day with a barking dog, broken garbage disposal and three screaming kids, you long for some quiet, adult conversation — even if it is with a 3-inch-tall man navigating a boat in your toilet.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy has stood the test of time and remains beloved by millions — this despite the infamous incident in April of 1999 when an undercover sting operation caught him organizing a pipe bomb attack on the headquarters of the Atkins Diet.

Like Chuck-E, the Brawny paper towel man has had a makeover. A few years ago they ditched the old mascot (think of a male porn star from the ‘70s), and replaced him with a clean-cut lumberjack. They wanted to keep the Brawny guy concept because, according to a story in USA Today, “Two years of Brawny research found women love him.” This is true. Once while in the paper aisle in City Market my wife saw Brawny paper towel packaging and immediately got a very dreamy look in her eyes. Her heavy sighs could be heard as far away as the meat department.

So the lumberjack is here to stay. As is the new Chuck-E-Cheese mascot, to whom I say: Welcome, and please don’t be too annoying. I’ll see you Saturday.

Reach Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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