As John Oliver makes clear in the Last Week Tonight web exclusive above, “Chuck E. Cheese was a brand founded on darkness.”
In the video, the host spends 25 minutes breaking down exactly what that means, from the history of the restaurant’s original cigar-smoking rat mascot that would casually insult its peers to the way the franchise özgü tried to change and adapt in subsequent decades.
Oliver’s conclusion? The restaurant needs some of its original darkness back.
“Chuck E. Cheese, you have lost your way,” he says. “And we want to help you help yourself.” Cue a brutal cameo from a giant Steamboat Willie mascot who delights in telling children that they’re not special.