"Can't Buy Me Love"
VeggieTales: "The Hairbrush Song"
3 Minute Countdown
"Just Being Me"
3 Minute Countdown
VeggieTales: "I Love My Lips"
3 Minute Countdown
"Eight Days A Week"
"All You Need Is Love"
Baking With Betty
April 2004 Show has been a very anticipated showtape - being the last show under Jeremy Blaido's leadership at Department 18 Productions, and being the first show for Robert Gotcher to take over as Director. What many want to be the best showtape in CEC history turns out to be a very average experience - featuring slow versions of Beatles songs and four fun yet forgettable CEC originals.
The show starts out with good ol' Jeremy playing the overexaggerating show announcer - leading us into Segment One with two Beatles songs. While the video footage of dancing kids during "Help" and Helen singing on-stage during "Can't Buy Me Love" is fun to watch, the songs themselves are contemporary, slow-sounding versions of these classic Beatles songs. They aren't bad, it's just that CEC songs should have more energy and pep - especially if they are doing renditions of popular music such as the Beatles. The highlight of Segment One is Helen's continuing flirting with Chuck E, which leads into a continuing gag in this showtape about notes.
Segment Two has two country songs - Jasper's "First Impression", and Chuck E singing "Just Being Me". "First Impression" is upbeat - and the video footage is especially fun to watch because the Department 18 guys are dressed up as cowboys (with Jeremy dressed as the Singing Cowboy from Dance Party
) on a farm. But as Department 18 originals go, these songs are just not as memorable as ones such as "That's A Deal" and "CEC Chuck E Cheese".
The following segment has two more original songs with the theme of dreaming. I find this the weakest segment in the entire show - with corny video footage and okay songs. "Dreamin'" is nice, but the footage with the dreaming dude reminds me too much of the goofy showtapes from the early 90's. The whole idea behind Jasper wanting to sing a song about "Rockin' Grandma" is funny, but the song is just as bland as "Dreamin'". Like I said before, these songs are not up to par as other Department 18 originals - such as the ones from Chuck E's Rockin' Rhymes
The final segment in the April Show has two more Beatles songs - "Eight Days A Week" and "All You Need Is Love". I think "Eight Days A Week" is the best song out of the entire show - although it is a bit slower than it should be. The video footage is also great - showing Chuck E and his friends working at CEC Entertainment headquarters. The following song, "All You Need Is Love", is perfect for Pasqually - it's a weird Beatles tune. Enough said!
To sum up, the segments were a bit disappointing in this show. The mix of Beatles songs and CEC originals is different from the current trend of showtapes - but unfortunately it doesn't have that fast pace and fun punch like what September 2003
and January 2004
The intermissions in this show is a dramatic and excellent change from the last year's worth of showtapes. Finally we get brand new episodes of Super Jasper and Baking With Betty! But let's talk about the other intermissions first. Two VeggieTales intermissions are reused for this show - the funny and cute "I Love My Lips" and "Hairbrush Song". Both these intermissions were in the Dance Party. Considering how an Eddie Coker intermission from the same 1999 show was reused in Jan 04, it looks like Department 18 is reaching back in their vault to reuse material for intermissions. Although these VeggieTales shorts are great, if Dep 18 needs to find stuff to reuse they should really consider some of the funny inhouse stuff they did a few years back - like the Larry cartoons or the short spoofs like the CEC Rating System, Memories Are Forever, Singing Cowboy, Sandwich Clowns, etc. As I always say, the inhouse material is always the best because it gives the shows that special CEC personal touch.
Next, the Countdowns in this show are reused from the recent September 2003 Show. As I have said before, these countdown intermissions are kind of boring but serve an important purpose - making the intermissions longer for live show programming, and making the show less repetitive all around. I must say I definitely prefer the CEC song Countdowns over the generic video ones.
Now let's get to the good stuff! Super Jasper is probably the highlight of the entire intermission roster - featuring three of Jeremy's famous characters - Mike Manly, Wick Letterback, and Jasper. This time Jasper is arm wrestling (himself) so he can win a life time supply of Hi-C Fruit Punch (yes, another obvious promotion tie-in, but heck - it was tastefully done and at least we get a new episode of SJ!). Wick is hilarious in this intermission...and even has more screen time than Jasper himself. But it was geniunely funny...especially when Mike announced at the end that he quits and he's going to perform children's concerts (gee...Jeremy Blaido did the same thing! Go figure!).
Baking With Betty finally makes a return after an entire 2 years of repeats. This episode is dramatically different from the usual BWB formula - in fact, Pasqually gets only a second (if that) of screen time, and it is reused footage from a previous episode too. Baking expert and professional singer Joyce takes over the show as Betty is out of town at some sort of seminar for spatulas. The set-up is great, but this episode falls flat when it turns into yet another blanant promo for Hi-C Sour Blast. Betty calls up Joyce in the middle of the episode and (in good Betty fashion) goes on and on about the new sour drink - and that's about that. It wasn't as good as the Fan Mail and Mad Cow Disease episodes, but at least it was a nice in-house intermission addition to this show.
To sum up, the intermissions were very enjoyable! I always look forward to new episodes of Super Jasper and Baking With Betty - and these two Veggietales are classics. The intermissions were capped off with a bunch of D-Mac IDs and CEC TV Logos... some of which haven't been used in years - including one that is from the early 90's! The intermissions in this show is definitely a dramatic improvement over Jan 04's and Sep 03's intermissions.
Studio C (Part 1)
- Chuck E's curtains close during Helen's "Can't Buy Me Love".
Studio C (Part 2)
- The puppets' background colors are the same from January 2004 Show. The design is slightly different though - the diagonal stripe is facing the opposite direction than all the previous shows with the stripe since The Chuck E Cheese Show (September 2000
)...starting in the upper left and going down to the bottom right of the screen.
Studio C (Part 3)
- The puppets are only shown between songs. When the songs start up, the puppets footage cut to the video footage.
- There is no curtain diversity for any of the Existing Stages.
- The two VeggieTales songs, "I Love My Lips" and "The Hairbrush Song", were both in Dance Party. VeggieTales debuted five years ago at CEC - and these were the first two shorts CEC used in their show. Coincidence? Who knows!
Baking With Betty
- Baking With Betty introduces a brand new character, Joyce, in this episode - voiced by the one and only Jeremy Blaido. The set-up for this episode is quite different from the usual Baking With Betty - with Pasqually only appearing briefly and the episode strongly promoting Hi-C Sour Blast. The last new episode of Baking With Betty was way back in the April 2002 Show
- This new episode of Super Jasper features the canine wonder arm wrestling himself. More interesting and funny though is the sub-plot with Wick Letterback drinking all the Hi-C juice-boxes, and Mike Manly's comment on how he is going to quit and go perform children's concerts (just like our good friend Jeremy Blaido!) The last episode of Super Jasper was in the Summer 2003 Show
, and Wick Letterback was last seen in a Countdown intermission for September 2002 Show
- The Countdowns are reused from the September 2003 Show.
- Helen sings "Can't Buy Me Love" and Pasqually sings "All You Need Is Love". Jasper has two songs - "First Impression" and "Rockin' Grandma". Munch has no songs in this show. This makes the third show in the past year where Jasper has two songs in the same show (Summer 03, Jan 04, and now this one).
- There are four Beatles songs: "Can't Buy Me Love", "Help", "Eight Days A Week", and "All You Need Is Love". Previous Beatles songs CEC has done takes on: "Paperback Writer" (CEC version - "Paper Or Plastic"), and "Ticket To Ride" (CEC version - "Tokens To Ride"). Another interesting trend to note is that they have been using multiple songs from the same artists in these recent shows - for example, there were two Cars songs in April 03
, three Sam & Dave songs in Sep 03, two Earth Wind & Fire songs in Jan 04, and now four Beatles songs in this show!!!
- The four other songs in this show are brand new Department 18 originals - "Just Being Me", "Dreamin'", "Rockin' Grandma", and "First Impression".
Department 18 Cameos (Part 1)
- Jeremy Blaido, Robert Gotcher, and Matt Schartz all appear as cowboys (with huge mustaches) in "First Impression"! Jeremy is dressed as the Singing Cowboy.
Department 18 Cameos (Part 2)
- Matt Schartz is the singer in "Rockin' Grandma", while Jeremy Blaido actually plays the rockin' Grandma!
Department 18 Cameos (Part 3)
- Matt also appears briefly in "All You Need Is Love", which is actually reused video footage from "Love Train" (April 2002 Show). And Jeremy Blaido once again plays the show Announcer.
- This is the first show since the January 2003 Show to have brand new birthday break video (the Apr 04 Show logo) and music. The birthday breaks have been the same from January 2003 Show
through January 2004 Show.
CEC TV Logo
- A CEC TV Logo they used back in the early 90's showtapes makes a return in this show! This one I refer to as the "MTV style" bumper. It's back in this show (Intermission Two) with brand new music! This logo was last seen in the Fabulous World Adventure
April 2004 Show Logo
- The show logo pops into screen and says "Chuck E Cheese Show" in black text next to Chuck E's head. The background is yellow with spinning stars and a spiral.
-2.5 out of 5 Tokens-
The April Show is good - but is missing that "wow" factor. Everything about this show is sort of "safe" ("safe" meaning being in the middle of not pushing the envelope & not being boring). The songs are nice - the Beatles songs are great choices...but with the contemporary take they seem a bit slower than they should be. The original songs are fun, but aren't very memorable unlike the originals from Summertime 2003 and Chuck E's Rockin' Rhymes. The intermissions are cool - I found Super Jasper to be the show stealer, and the "new" Baking With Betty with Joyce is good but not the best. And the Countdowns only slow down the show because they were just used from September. The new video footage is cool, except for the corny "Dreamin'" and "Rockin' Grandma" videos in Segment Three. Finally, the show logo is neat but nothing special, although I'm glad to see they are going back to using animated logos instead of the live ones... plus it is really great this show has an actual name, "Chuck E Cheese Show", instead of the usual "CEC TV".
Every time a new showtape comes out it always seems to top the previous show. Unfortunately I can't say the same for April 2004 - the songs from Sep 03 and Jan 04 definitely top April's line-up. Plus I am extremely disappointed that they don't show the puppets sing in the Studio C version. The puppets are fun to watch... especially when the video footage isn't that exciting. That's one of the highlights of the Studio C stage.
The only thing April has better than Sep 03 and Jan 04 is the intermission roster featuring in-house intermissions - something I always push Department 18 to do more of. But as I said before, this show is very good, but not the best - it still is missing that "wow" factor the previous couple years of showtapes have had, and that's why I've decided to go with Paws Down this time. But I do applaude Department 18 for making a show that is different from the usual shows we have been seeing recently... going in new directions and trying new things is always a plus in my book!