Studio C is a one character, one stage animatronic show. It made its debut in 1998 as a much cheaper alternative to the Awesome Adventure Machine
show. Studio C (Alpha version) gave the showroom a very movie-studio style look with TV's, cameras, and lights scattered about the entire room.
Chuck E’s stage has a very 'late night show' look, with a city-scape background behind the Chuck E animatronic. The stage curtains are reddish-purple. Chuck E. is surrounded by a studio desk that has 5 colored panels on the outside which blink and shine with the music. On the right is a small TV monitor with a green apple shape around it. Above the apple TV is a small shelf, where Bird is situated. Above Bird is a neon glowing clock with its hands spinning forward and backwards, but no matter what, it is always “pizza time”. The backdrop behind Chuck E, has stars that glitter, and buildings that light up. On the other side of the stage is the 'Pizza Phone' that lights up, and swings in and out. There are eight colored lights that shine on Chuck E and the stage...red, amber, blue, and green. They work in pairs. And lastly, there is a strobe light that is located in the center.
The animatronic Chuck E. made for Studio C (Alpha) is probably one of the most advanced and beautifully crafted animatronics ever used in an entertainment restaurant. This character is definitely the centerpiece of the entire Studio C concept. Chuck E has 33 movements including a foot tap, ear wiggle, eyebrows up and down, eyelids up and down, eyes left and right, head turn left and right, head tilt up, nose up, mouth down, head turn right and left, body tilt right and left, body tilt forward, body turn right and left, arms up, elbows bend, wrist turns and more.
Another stage included in Studio C is the "Blue Screen Stage". This is the furthest left area of Studio C (if you are facing the setup). The Blue Screen Stage consists of a blue screen, and a video camera. The 'live' video camera shoots people standing in front of the blue screen, and pops them up onto the overhead TV's - making you feel like you are actually in the show. In a few stores, they tested a karaoke option to go along with the blue screen area called Chuck E's Star Search.
Between Chuck E’s Stage and the Blue Screen Stage is the 'Interactive Console'. This interactive item has three TV screens, and a several buttons to press and play with. The first TV screen is actually a monitor that is hooked up to the games of the official website www.chuckecheese.com
. Using a rolling ball mouse, kids can play the games and check out different areas of the official website. Next to the rolling mouse are three buttons that make different sound effects, such as applause, boom, etc. Another TV monitor is hooked up to different play cameras (not security cameras) that are placed around the entire restaurant. By pressing buttons, kids can switch between the Blue Screen Stage camera, the video footage of the show, a camera located in the gameroom, a camera located near Kid Check, and a camera located in the showroom. Next to the buttons controlling the second monitor are three buttons that you can press to hear three different character voices. These are Chuck E, Larry, and Bird. The third TV monitor is hooked up to the roving camera in the showroom.
Adding to the Studio theme, there are many monitors and lights scattered about. Amber, green, and blue lights flash around the room. Special Floodlights are installed for LIVE performances. Both Chuck E. and his Bird companion have spotlights as well. "Roboscans" shine different lights onto the ground that move in different directions and change patterns. There is also a "Gemini", which is a double-sided disco-ball that is located in the Blue Screen Stage. A "Warp" projects different colored patterns onto Chuck E's stage. Twisted along the ceiling are Fiber Optic Tubes which change color. Also, there is an 'Applause' sign, and an 'On The Air' sign that flash accordingly.
Several monitors are included in Studio C showrooms. In the center of Studio C (above the Interactive Console) is a big screen TV which acts as the focal point of the shows. On the sides of the Blue Screen and Chuck E stages are two more monitors (slightly smaller), and they are put into shelves built into the walls. In the corners of the showroom are two small monitors. On the Blue Screen Stage itself, there are two monitors hanging from the ceiling, and one located in the camera. Finally, there are many TV's located in the center of the room, and they form a triangle pattern outward – 5 to 7 monitors depending on showroom size.
Originally, this stage ran with laserdiscs and in 1999 was upgraded to a DVD system. There are three DVD players in all to run the show: one does the video footage (like what you see on tapes). The next does the puppet footage. The 3rd player is used for LIVEs / Birthday shows. The Blue Screen footage plays from whichever player is programmed to show it at any given time. Each DVD contains the following (if not more): video footage, puppet footage, intermissions, and live shows/diagnostics. To run a new show, the store is sent a software upgrade floppy disk along with the three DVDs. The software upgrade makes the previous show invalid, and programs the movements and tells the DVDs what to do...when to play intermissions and skits, etc.
There is a touch screen panel where live shows, diagnostics, birthday shows, etc. can be programmed. When starting up Studio C in the morning, it asks the employee to type in birthday kids' names so during the birthday shows, the kids' names will flash on the screen. Diagnostics can be selected from the panel, and there is also a password feature. The cast member password allows programming of live shows, birthday breaks, and birthday shows. The manager password allows all of the above, plus diagnostics, tech term movements, and allows the show to be shut down.
The decision had been previously made to maintain a solid focus on Chuck E. and phase out the rest of the characters - thus the single character animatronic. However, when Jeremy Blaido was made the Director of Entertainment of Dept 18, it was decided that shows should include bigger roles for the rest of the characters. Since having a five-character Studio C would be way too expensive, CEC Entertainment decided to have puppet-versions of the co-stars and have them on the monitors along with the video footage.
The side character Bird was designed to act as a co-host to Chuck E, but ended up not being utilized much because of the decision to continue employing the rest of Chuck E’s friends. In fact, Bird had only two speaking roles in CEC history - a very minor part in Dance Party
(April 1999), and a major part in the Fabulous World Adventure
(August 1999). After that, he seemed to disappear from the spotlight, except for doing back-up singing. Some consider him the 'announcer' in CEC shows, as he has also been programmed to speak during the announcer's intros.
The initial costume worn by Chuck E. was a unique dressy looking vest and shirt. After that many locations upgraded their costume to the blue 'Cool Chuck' outfit. Most recently, locations are getting the newer 'Avenger' costume.
The Studio C character and elements were created by Garner-Holt