Today we’ll be looking back a short from episode 15 of Cartoon Network’s Dexter’s Laboratory titled “Chubby Cheese”.
The plot has boy genius Dexter (along with his vacuous sister Dee-Dee) being taken by their parents to Chubby Cheese, an obvious parody of the Chuck E. Cheese’s family pizza restaurant chain, complete with games, pizza and cartoon mascots. Of course, the coldly logical Dexter is having none of this frivolity, but his family are all too hopped up on happy to notice this. Dexter soon afterwards sets his sights on winning tickets for a Monkey (from ‘Dial M for Monkey’) doll at a machine, where he uses a sophisticated device of his own design in order to rig the machine to obtain it.
The highlight of this short (for me, anyway) is the restaurant’s intentionally tacky stage show which is performed by a grotesque, bloated animatronic rat mascot (voiced by Rob Paulsen) with mechanical puppets telling bad jokes and singing an inane song to a wildly appreciative audience.
The show also features a veritable galaxy of Hanna-Barbera funny animal characters from the 1950s, 60s and 70s as animatrons. It takes a keen eye to spot them all.
Here are the ones that I noticed:
- Squiddly Diddly
- Hair Bear (from The Hair Bear Bunch)
- Paw Rugg (from The Hillbilly Bears)
- Breezly Bruin
- Sneezly Seal
- Peter Potamus
- Punkin’ Puss
- Mush Mouse
- The Great Grape Ape
Fun Fact: Did you know that the “E” in Chuck E. Cheese’s name stands for “Entertainment”? That the mascot’s full name is Charles Entertainment Cheese? Well now you do.