Show Segments (Demo Voices)
Bye Bye Blackbird
Cocktails For Two
How Much is that Doggie in the Window
Introducing the Pizza Time Orchestra
PTT Theme Song (Demo Version)
The Drive In
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Andrews Sisters)
Show Segments (Main Voice Cast)
Roots in the Country (Original) Full Version
Roots in the Country (Original) Shortened Intro
Endlessly Awake, Part 1
Crusty's Impressions (Edited w/Original Artists Audio)
Flag Wavers Medley (I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy / Dixie / California Here I Come / Grand Old Flag)
Flag Wavers Medley (Raw Unedited Music Tracks)
Crusty Jukebox Skit (Rock Around the Clock)
PTT Theme (Updated)
Show Segments (Original Artists Recordings)
Early Bird (Eagles Recording)
Grandma's Feather Bed (John Denver Recording)
I Am Woman (Helen Reddy Recording)
On Top of Spaghetti (Tom Glazer Recording)
Wabash Cannonball (Lester Flatt / Earl Scruggs Recording)
It should be noted first and foremost that the tracks we have that include Crusty were obtained from the archives of Department 18. These tracks were converted to D2 Tape
sometime in the past, so determining what tracks came from what reel is made by educated guessing, based on the particular audio clues of the individual tracks, and also the shreds of documentation that are available. Special thanks to the gang at Dept 18 for sharing this rare audio!
Even without having an actual reel, this tape gives plenty of clues about the nature of what it was like at the original Pizza Time Theatre. The most notable detail is that a handful of these tracks - the ones labeled "Demo Voices" - had every character (with the exception of the Warblettes) voiced entirely by John Widelock who would later go on to become the original voice of Chuck E. Cheese. His very first attempt at Chuck E. however was much different than the one that followed immediately after these demo tracks.
Also included are a grouping of songs that have the more recognizable vocal cast, with Widelock as CEC, Scott Paulin as Jasper, and Joe Spano as Pasqually. A few of these tracks are duplicates, with the exception of some edits made to make them a slightly different, but unique show. Lastly, a grouping of recordings are included from the original artists who did them, making it virtually impossible to tell which character was supposed to be singing - some have the typical PTT "applause" attached to the end of them, others do not.
Crusty the Cat
- The original cast of characters included Chuck E. Cheese, Jasper T. Jowls, Pasqually, and Crusty
(who was replaced by Mr. Munch upon the opening of the second store in November, 1978).
- The original PTT program
lists three different showtimes with each offering an alternate setlist. Matinee (12pm-1pm) consisted of 5 different shows, Dinner Shows (5:30pm-7:00pm) consisted of 8 different shows, Supper Shows (9pm-10pm, 11pm-12am) consisted of 6 unique shows. It is not known if these were different reels, or whether or not they included exclusive shows that could only be viewed at particular times of day. There's also a mention of a special birthday show and cheer.
Clues from the Copyright Record
- Based on the public copyright records
, it can be assumed that the following shows were surely contained on this tape (originally copyrighted by Atari and transferred to PTT when it became an independant company). These include "Chuck E. Cheese's Theme" "How Will I Know?", "Roots in the Country", and "Endlessly Awake, Part 1". All of which were included in the collection of Dept 18 with the exception of "How Will I Know?".
Original Artists Recordings
- One of the most bizarre aspects of this collection of material is the inclusion of recordings by original artists. The most curious of these is the song "I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy, who we know was the inspiration for Helen Henny. The original PTT program
makes no mention of Helen, instead leaving the guest spot open for such guests as "Elkton John" and "Glen Camel" - neither of which ever materialized. There is a slight chance that this might be a clue that Helen was part of this original showtape, but considering how much focus was placed on the Warblettes in these tracks, it could likely have been sung by them.
- In this track, Chuck E. introduces the "Pizza Time Orchestra" and gives the names of all the original automated instruments that played along with the show. The Drums Section included Timmy Triangle, Woody Woodblock, and Teddy Tambourine. The Pots and Pans Section included the Skillet Sextet, Cups & Kettles, Wally Washboard, Chubby Churn, and Speedy Spoons.
- Most of the early demo tracks here include a hybrid of original artist tracks, with customized intros and outtros. In fact most of them are like that, typically using some sort of Spike Jones
samples (or in many instances complete songs of his).
Pizza Time Theatre Theme Song (Demo Version)
- This track features John Widelock as the voice of the entire cast, with the exception of a small part during the actual theme song where Scott Paulin is Jasper - making this an odd track since two different Jaspers are featured from beginning to end.
Roots in the Country
- This was one of the earliest copyrighted songs by Atari for PTT. Slightly altered versions of this song were included on subsequent showtapes. In fact there's even two versions of the initial recording - one with a full intro and an edited version which has a shorter intro. It was also included in the track "The Pizza Time Theatre Intro Show" featured on Sally I
and Foxy Colleen in Irish Stew
, and also a completely updated remake of the song was included on Around the World with Madam Oink
Endlessly Awake, Part 1
- This sounds entirely like an original artists recording, and likely was the work of one of the vocalists behind the Warblettes. We can consider it a Pizza Time Players recording since it was copyrighted under Atari as an original track for Pizza Time Theatre.
- Two version of this skit are included here - the original track which features Crusty doing some vocal impressions of famous personalities and features Pasqually in a bit part. A retooled version has Crusty "singing" along with original Elvis Presley and Tony Bennett recordings and features Jasper in a bit part. Both versions of the skit are also great examples showing Chuck E. Cheese mocking the character Muggs McGinnis, the 1940s character he was modeled after.
Flag Wavers Medley
- This track features the Warblettes singing a disco medley of songs which, coincientally, match up with the different flags featured in Pizza Time Theatre (American Flag, Confederate Flag, and California Flag). Oddly enough, there's also a "raw" version of this track included without CEC's vocal overlays, and is missing the transitional cheering between tracks - perhaps indicating that these tracks were actually dubbed from a master reel and not a store-used reel.
-4 out of 5 Tokens-
I wish we had access to the actual reel to see exactly how these tracks were originally laid out, but even without that, the tracks practically speak for themselves. Much of the music and recordings are rough around the edges, to be sure, but even in spite of that they're wonderful in their content! There's a lot of early material from the Pizza Time Theatre era (also early stuff from the ShowBiz side of things as well) that was a little bit risque or politically incorrect, but none of that holds a candle to some of the gems included within these tracks.
There's some pretty racy stuff to be honest. "The Can-Can" skit includes some great lines where Crusty's describing his great grandfather, who used to work in a "cathouse" and met his French wife, Fi-fi, who was "a dog"...not a real dog but apparently just ugly. Also that she was the "most famous pussy in Paris".
In "The Drive In", CEC is upset about his lot in life, nailed to a wall and cut in half - having lost "the better half". After explaining that he was turned down by one of the Warblettes, they break into a song parody of "Take me Out to the Ballgame"...about someone trying to have some hanky-panky with them in the backseat of a car. There's one line where the lead Warblette sings "just cause you bought me some Cracker Jack, that doesn't mean you're gonna get me in the sack!"
The track "Cocktails for Two" is even more to the point, where Pasqually and CEC are advertising for their new organic pizza made with vitamins L, O, V, and E - with CEC telling the guys that it's "guaranteed to get ya up, and keep ya up". Pasqually makes a reference to a girl who didn't eat the pizza and fell apart at the seams, causing CEC to ask "was she a loose woman?" Pasqually also tells everyone to come up to the bar for some drinks in order to get as "high as we are, up on our wall". Yeah...
Perhaps these tracks were used more for the 'adult' crowd during the later shows (since the 1977 PTT program states there were different shows playing at different times). Or maybe the demo tracks weren't even actually used. About two years prior to us obtaining the audio from this tape, correspondence with John Widelock revealed that he was the voice for all characters on the demo tracks, though he couldn't exactly remember whether they were actually used or not, but he seemed to recall that they were for a short time.
All in all, this is a very unique set of tracks here, and it's hard not to appreciate the true origins of Chuck E. Cheese, regardless of how rough around the edges much of the material is. There's a certain charm in knowing just how far Chuck E. Cheese has come, both as a character and as a restaurant concept, when you see how crude it was in the beginning. So this isn't the best showtape released during the Pizza Time Theatre era, but really, it's by far one of the most unique!
If you have the full tape or additional details about this material (reel, audio, video, whatever) please contact us