A tiny piece of America’s soul was ripped to shreds earlier this year when Chuck E. Cheese’s announced plans to phase out the animatronic singing critters that entertained children and their parents at the pizzeria/arcade for decades. When news of their obsolescence broke, bearded indie rock gadfly Father John Misty even wrote a eulogy to Chuck and his band, noting: “This man introduced me to music.” And now, the world is learning what happens to the musical rat and his pals once the final curtain drops: they get bludgeoned by sledgehammers in the alley behind the family entertainment center until their cartoonish grins turn into warped, furry frowns.
Patch sheds light on this bizarre company policy in a story about the closure of a location of the restaurant/funplex in Oak Park, IL. A Facebook video shows employees taking turns bashing Chuck’s head with a giant hammer as various pieces of the arcade are wheeled out of the space. One staff member told Patch reporter Lorraine Swanson that destroying Chuck’s head was part of the company’s closing protocol. But if any of the Pizza Time Players are lucky enough to escape the mallet, there’s always the possibility of finding a second life in the home of an eBay buyer.
• Chuck E. Cheese Closes In Oak Lawn [Patch]
• Nothing says "Party's over, kids!" like smashing Chuck E. Cheese's head in with a sledgehammer [AV Club]
• Why Chuck E. Cheese’s Is Getting Rid of Those Creepy Robots [E]