The uncanny valley got a little quieter yesterday after children's restaurant Chuck E. Cheese's announced that they would be halting the animatronic rat musicians who either entertained or terrified children for over two decades. Announcing that the robot rodents would be replaced by live musicians going forward, Chuck E. Cheese's CEO Tom Leverton told reporters: "The kids stopped looking at the animatronics years and years ago, and they would wait for the live Chuck E. to come out."
Noted musician and avid Noisey reader Father John Misty—real name Josh Tillman—took the news particularly hard. In a lengthy Facebook post eulogizing "Charles Entertainment Cheese," Tillman touched on the hard graft of touring, the similarities between the animatronic rat and Frank Sinatra, and rise of neoliberalism. "Having been a professional musician for a few years now, I can appreciate firsthand not only the strain of trying to sustain a flow of creativity for so long but the rigorous, pretty unexotic feat of physical endurance just getting through a few hundred shows a year, plus all the travel, is," Tillman wrote. "When I consider that this motherfucker was playing up to 5 sets a night all over the country simultaneously i am reminded that, yes, it can be done, and that just by getting on that stage every night and leaving everything up there, I am part of lineage, of a collective imagination that spans the generations."
It's worth reading the whole thing below.
Follow Alex Robert Ross on Twitter.