Segment 1
"Born To Be Wild"

Intermission 1
Super Jasper
Countdown 1
Clowns Making A Sandwich
Countdown 2
Sprite Spot
Countdown 3

Segment 2
"Go To Chuck E Cheese"
"Do Ya"

Intermission 2
Drawing Chuck E
Countdown 4
Fundraising Spot
Baking With Betty
Countdown 5

Segment 3
"What A Wonderful World"

Intermission 3
Fly Ball
Countdown 6
Larry The Technician
Coke Spot
Countdown 7

Segment 4
"What Up"
"I Want My Chuck E Cheese"

Intermission 4
Singing Cowboy
Countdown 8
Super Jasper
Countdown 9

The September 2004 Show is a historic showtape, being the first to be produced by the new Department 18 team - Robert Gotcher (Director of Entertainment), Matt Schartz (Production Coordinator), and Ryan Hollingsworth (Production Specialist). As a fan, I must say I was really worried about this show. Jeremy Blaido is no longer director. The last few shows have been good (but not great) due to average intermission and segment line-ups. But what made me especially worried was the fact that the Department 18 studio in Irving, Texas was going under construction and renovation the last several months (they had to move the 3 Stage to make room for additional offices). Considering how difficult it must be to produce a show when your studio is being torn up, I figured this show would be yet another average presentation - especially after hearing how much material is being reused from previous shows. Little did I know that this September Show will be the best show I have seen in 2 years...

First of all, the show segments are unbelievably energetic, fun, and interesting... something the last few shows have been terribly lacking. Segment 1 kicks the show right off with a song that lives up to its name - "Born To Be Wild". The video footage is appropriate - featuring reused footage of Chuck E and the gang on the road. After a short exchange of dialogue, Pasqually jumps right into a funny and funky parody of "My Sharona" entitled "Pepperoni". Once again another perfect song choice for Pasqually, and a great song for a parody! But what makes this song a real winner is the hilarious video footage, featuring Jared (who was in a VJ Spot in Summer 2004 Show) and his pet, a giant pepperoni played by Jeremy Blaido. The last show he played Grandma, and in this show a giant pepperoni. What this guy wouldn't do! But the footage storyline is great, as the pepperoni is treated like a pet and is adopted from the pound. Now that's creativity at its best!

The second Segment starts off with a reused song, "Go To Chuck E Cheese". Although being reused, it works well in this show - fitting well with the other 70's and 80's song choices and parodies - plus it's a fun, energetic song! After a short conversation about love, Helen jumps right into a cover of Jump 5's "Do Ya". Helen's songs are arguably the best in the shows - and this one doesn't disappoint. Another great job by Helen's voice actress, Annagrey!

Segment 3 is probably the most interesting and unique segment I have seen in years. It starts off with a short intro letting us guests know we are flying on Chuck E Cheese Airlines. After a quick warning from Chuck E to turn off all cell phones and electronics during the flight, he sings the classic Louis Armstrong song, "What A Wonderful World". Hearing Chuck E sing reminds Munch how much his mother loves this song, and he calls her on his cell phone. This causes the show to break down - with all the monitors going out and everything shutting down! After the technical difficulties, Jasper sings the wonderful and touching original song, "Smile". With great lyrics, and the usual upbeat country style of Department 18 - this song is definitely a winner among fans!

The final Segment rocks the showroom - featuring an awesome original song "What Up", and an excellent parody of "Money For Nothin'" called "I Want My Chuck E Cheese". "What Up" has the same flavor as "CEC Chuck E Cheese" - fitting in perfectly with today's popular music. And "I Want My Chuck E Cheese" is really cool - featuring great video footage of the band rockin', and fun CEC-related song lyrics. In all, the show segments are unbelievably fun, energetic, and unique in this show - flowing very well and having a strong variety for any fan!

After a couple years of disappointing intermission line-ups, Department 18 hit the nail on the head with the in-house intermissions in this show! Although many of the intermission pieces and videos are reused from previous shows, it works extremely well in this one for a couple reasons. For one - this is a great opportunity for any fans, guests, or employees to relive the fun intermissions and videos from a few years ago. I alone forgot how unique and different Super Jasper, Baking With Betty, and intermissions in general were in it was a real treat to relive them again. And that brings us to the second reason why these intermissions work so well in this show, and that is because each intermission piece is short and sweet. With short intermissions like the Ratings and Drawing Chuck E, Department 18 can fit more goodies into the line-up. It's much more entertaining to watch several intermissions instead of one or two long ones. So in all the intermissions worked really well in this show...especially since many of the choices are from 1999 and 2000 shows instead of recent shows (for example it didn't work well when Summer 2003 Show reused many of the 2002 show intermissions). And you got to love that production / Larry segment featuring Chuck E!

The Countdowns are extremely well done in this show. Instead of the usual 3 - 7 minute countdowns at the end of the line-up, these brief 2 - 3 minute Countdowns appear between intermission pieces and spots. This way, we can get a variety of different music videos instead of a very long one. What's neat about many of the Countdowns in this show are that they are video footage directly lifted from song segments. For example, the entire video of "Chuck E Town" is used, set to the usual generic music. Several of the Countdowns are like this, and I think it's a great idea. Why not relive some of the best videos Department 18 ever shot?

What's really interesting about the Countdowns is that Department 18 reached deep into its vault and pulled out some some early 90's CEC songs to use! This includes "Twinkle, Twinkle", "Old MacDonald", and "Midnight Special"...complete with the old video footage and old character voices! This is the first time since Chuck E's Variety Show where something previous to 1998 has been reused in a modern show. Although out of place, these songs work well in this show - staying away from old character footage and Chuck E's rat voice.

In all, the entire show flows extremely well. The 10 - 12 minute intermissions are great - especially when Chuck E's curtains opens around the 5 minute part for the Fundraising Spot and the Larry segment. It's great because you get another opportunity to see Chuck E without having to wait so long. It breaks the intermissions up and gives some variety, sort of like the Stand Alone Songs in the Holiday Show and April 2003. The segments are excellent, and the intermissions are perfect - another awesome Department 18 show!

Studio C (Part 1) - Chuck E's curtains close during Jasper's "Smile".

Studio C (Part 2) - Chuck E's curtains open during the Fundraising Spot and the Larry The Technician intermission.

Studio C (Part 3) - The puppets don't have the usual colored backgrounds in this show. Instead, the footage was shot at a local church children's play area. The play area has a really cool tropical beach each of the characters have palm trees, rocks, etc behind them.

Studio C (Part 4) - The Studio C puppets only appear on screen during the dialogue between songs, just like in the April 2004 Show.

Studio C (Part 5) - Unlike the Existing Stage version, the Studio C version does not include a CEC TV I.D. (the updated classic MTV style one from the April 2004 Show) at the beginning of Intermission 1.

Existing Stages (Part 1) - Chuck E's curtains close during Jasper's "Smile".

Existing Stages (Part 2) - Chuck E's curtains open during the Fundraising Spot and the Larry The Technician intermission.

Character Songs - Every character has a song in this show! As you already know, Munch sings the reused "Go To Chuck E Cheese". Pasqually sings the fun and funky "Pepperoni", Helen beautifully sings "Do Ya", and Jasper sings the touching original, "Smile".

Parodies & Originals - "Go To Chuck E Cheese" is a parody of "Turning Japanese", "Pepperoni" is a parody of "My Sharona", & "I Want My Chuck E Cheese" is a parody of "Money For Nothin'". "What Up" & "Smile" are CEC originals, and "Born To Be Wild", "Do Ya", & "What A Wonderful World" are covers.

Go To Chuck E Cheese - Jon Bowen's show announcer intro and "Go To Chuck E Cheese" is reused from the April 2002 Show.

Intermissions - All of the intermissions in this show have been reused from previous CEC shows. Here is a list where all the intermissions come from:
-Super Jasper (Staring Contest) - April 1999
-Clowns Making A Sandwich - August 1999
-Ratings - April 1999
-Drawing Chuck E - August 1999
-Baking With Betty (first episode) - August 1999
-Fly Ball - September 2000
-Larry The Technician (including Behind The Scenes intro) - September 1998
-Singing Cowboy (including the cow ending) - April 1999
-Super Jasper (Cadillac Ranch) - April 1999

Countdowns - All of the Countdowns in this show are either footage from old CEC songs set to new music, old intermissions, or old CEC songs. Here is a list of all 9 Countdowns, whether they are reused footage or songs, and where they originated from:
-Countdown 1 - "Twinkle, Twinkle" (Song) - January 1992
-Countdown 2 - "Rockin' Robin" (Footage) - January 1999
-Countdown 3 - "Rock Around The Clock" (Footage) - September 1998
-Countdown 4 - "Chuck E Town" (Footage) - April 1999
-Countdown 5 - "Old MacDonald" (Song) - May 1992
-Countdown 6 - "Midnight Special" (Song) - March 1993
-Countdown 7 - Football (Intermission) - September 2000
-Countdown 8 - "Ease On Down The Road" (Footage) - April 2002
-Countdown 9 - "Save Us From Extinction" (Footage) - May 1992

Countdown 8 - The music in Countdown 8 is reused from the Kool Aid Promo in the Summer 2004 Show.

Sprite Spot - This is a brand new spot - which is a parody of the recent LeBron James commercials, featuring a toy figure of Chuck E at the beverage bar. He introduces his special guest, LeBron, but he wasn't able to make it. So Chuck E shows one of the real LeBron James Sprite commercials instead. Obey Your Thirst!

Fundraising Spot - Another new spot - this one has the animatronic Chuck E introduce the newest CEC event, the School Fundraising Program. Then it cuts to a CEC commercial promoting the fundraiser.

Coke Spot - Much like the Coke Grooves in previous shows, this new Coke Spot is short and simple using the "Drinkin' A Coca-Cola" video footage, and the April 2004 Show's one minute birthday break music.

Clowns Making A Sandwich - Music has been added to this intermission, which originally ran with only dialogue.

Larry The Technician - This segment starts off with Chuck E talking about producing the show. The video footage is the filming of video from the September 1998 Show (which is actually the same clowns from the Making A Sandwich intermission). The entire segment - including the programming - is reused from the September 1998 Show.

Department 18 Cameos (Part 1) - Jeremy Blaido makes a cameo as the pepperoni in "Pepperoni"! Jeremy is also the Singing Cowboy.

Department 18 Cameos (Part 2) - Robert Gotcher appears briefly as the infamous Mailman in the "Midnight Special" Countdown.

Department 18 Cameos (Part 3) - Matt Schartz makes a quick cameo in "What Up". Matt is also in the Coke Spot, and plays the voice of the Announcer in Segment 1 and 3.

CEC TV IDs - CEC TV IDs are the short animated bumpers usually found at the beginning and/or end of each intermission.
-Intermission 1 - CEC TV '93 ID
-Intermission 2 - Couch ID
-Intermission 3 - Sunrise ID
-Intermission 4 - CEC TV Jingle 2 ID

Birthday Break - The Birthday Break music and video have been reused from the April 2004 & Summertime 2004 Shows.

September 2004 Show Logo - The show logo is reused from the September 2000 Show.

-4.5 out of 5 Tokens-

I have enjoyed every show I have seen from Department 18 Productions. But in all honesty, the September 2004 Show is the best show I have seen since the September 2002 Show. Although some of the songs and intermissions in 2003 and 2004 are very fun and memorable - September 2004 has everything you can possibly want for a CEC show. With only a few minor nitpicks, I can seriously say this is the best show I have seen in 2 years.

But what makes this show a winner in my eyes? For one, this show is packed with energetic songs! That's exactly what a good show needs - songs that'll pump you up while you're having fun with family and friends. Who goes to a party or a club that plays nothing but slow songs? Well, that's an unfair comparison - but the energy found in this show is brought about by smart song and parody choices. Another reason why I enjoy the segments is the fact that I recognize each and every one of the songs (sans originals) if I enjoy the real songs, I will of course also enjoy the CEC versions! Although many of the song choices are from the 80's and earlier...I have to admit it's awesome to see CEC using recent hits again ("Do Ya"), just like in my other personal favorite shows. And the whole Chuck E Cheese Airlines segment is very unique and funny - I laughed so hard when Munch called up his mom and nearly broke the show! Also, I don't mind that "Go To Chuck E Cheese" was reused. It's another fun parody that deserves a second look, especially since it missed out on Best Of CEC TV 2003.

Also to note about the segments is the stellar new video footage and programming. The new video has a real MTV music video production value and feel to them...especially Segment 4! The "Pepperoni" video footage is also great - nothing like seeing good ol' Jeremy as man's best friend, a giant pepperoni! And the programming is very well done - the character movements are very fluid, and the lighting is great...gotta love the strobing during "Born To Be Wild"!

As mentioned above, the intermission roster for this show is the best I have seen in a very long time...especially since everything is in-house! With a variety of different spots, countdowns, and intermissions - this show's line-up is a real winner in my eyes. I even like all the reused material...I forget how clever and funny these in-house intermissions are! I believe repeating intermissions is a great idea, especially when in-house material is reused. I think in the future it will be a better idea to stretch out the reused material between several shows instead of reusing everything in one. But with Department 18's time constraints on this show - reusing the 1999 and 2000 material worked fine. Might as well reuse stuff instead of letting it rot in the vault!!!

Also, the Countdowns were really well done. Taking old song video footage and setting it to new music is a nice idea - and I thought it was very interesting reusing old CEC songs. Although I'm not a fan of early 90's CEC, I think these songs work great - especially since there is no character footage to contrast today's look and feel of the characters. I do prefer modern song material better, but I can't complain since "Twinkle, Twinkle" and the others worked well.

There is one last thing I need to say...and that is to Robert, Matt, and Ryan - awesome job guys and keep up the great work! Your talent, dedication, and trying new things has made one hell of a fun show. The Mailman delivered!