THIS JUST IN: Ani-matronic-pals

Ladies and Gentlemen, animatronic band overload! What a hilarious mash-up completely resurrected and re-programmed Rock-afire Explosion… 

Great submishe, Sparky 😉



  1. oh my gawwwwd

  2. Lovely song – very cute!

  3. There’s something spectacularly wrong about this…

  4. Ev's Hooman says:

    Waitaminnit – Chuck E Cheese makes it to YouTube? Hmmm….I may go back to the old teevee. Watching this makes the taste of really foul pizza come into my mouth (but then, I’m over 11 years old and DO appreciate that it’s a big hit with those who aren’t).

  5. This is from old showbiz pizza joint!

  6. That was seriously weird. Cute, but weird.

    I think the ventriloquist part was my favorite.

  7. be afraid. be very afraid…

  8. Nightmare fuel!

  9. The venquilotrist/rap part is the best…

  10. They should play this at Chuck-E-Cheese. They have those creepy animatronic things there.

  11. OMG is that Peter Piper Pizza!?!?!? Or old-school Chucky Cheez?

  12. Nvmd, I think it may be Showbiz Pizza.

  13. Woah – total flashback to my 8th b-day party at Showbiz Pizza. What a trip!

  14. This was actually from the pre-curser to Chuck E Cheese. This was from Showbiz Pizza. I remember I was always scared of the monkey…Okay I was scared of all of them. But these are characters from my childhood. Scary but thanks for posting.

  15. This clip scares the crap out of me….

  16. Is there a “Cute or Creepy” category? Because I love AAs as much as the next person, but this is a little creepy.

  17. I come to CO to get a daily pick-me-up when I have the baroos, NOT to get thoroughly disturbed. This is AWFUL. 😦

  18. Wow! I remember seeing that at “Circus, Circus” –a pizza place in West St. Paul, MN– when I was in grade school

  19. DISTURBING. this thing gave me a thorough scare. I’m gonna have nightmares.

  20. wait-a chucky cheese mutation! they SCARE THE CRAP OUTTA MEEE!GET ME OUTTA HERE!!

  21. This is not a mashup. This is not a cleverly edited video. They actually PROGRAMMED the damned things to perform this Usher song. WAAAAAy too much time on their hands. Bravo!

  22. biscuithead says:


    Sorry, but animatronics are always creepy, not cure.

  23. biscuithead says:

    *face palm*

    Not ‘cute’!
    Not CUTE.

    /That’s what I get for not previewing my post.

  24. ummm…i vote not cute. it’s just too…disturbing. like clowns.

    maybe we need a ‘cute or weird’ catagory?

  25. Aw, this reminds me of the Country Bears at Disneyland.

  26. Dustbuffalo says:

    OMG! Showbiz Pizza Place! Wooo!

  27. wait-a chucky cheese mutation! they SCARE THE CRAP OUTTA MEEE!GET ME OUTTA HERE!!

  28. lauraborealis says:

    That is absolutely Showbiz Pizza. Which eventually became Chuck E Cheese. I remember those things very vividly. And those things scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.

  29. The chicken behind the bear with the thingie on its head cracks me up

  30. ::APPLAUSE!::

  31. Gotta love Showbiz Pizza. Pretty hilarious.

    [Yeah, I remember the Rockafire Explosion, dry thin-crust pizza, and a whole mess o’ arcade console video games like Tempest and Cliff Hanger and that wireframe tank simulation. As a kid I was impressed when the robot ‘possum (I think?) answered questions from the audience, live. Pretty neat trick for Dayton, OH in the ’80s… – Ed.]

  32. Thank God I’m not the only one frightened to death by this . . . you ‘Mericans SCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARE me!

  33. the other Brenda says:

    WE Are going to let our kids at Chucky Cheese hear a song about sex??? Maybe I am really old, but this seems wrong to me. What ever happenened to innocense??? SHAME (I am not usually a nuffer)

  34. the other Brenda says:

    Shame, Meg!!

    [Brenda, if Cute Overload were a movie, it would have a PG-13 rating. – Ed.]

  35. So now I know what happened to the characters from Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland!

  36. Jeanna Marie says:


    I remember this from when I was a kid, the Rock-afire Explosion band. This is insane!!!

    There’s more on his Myspace page….

  37. Thanks for the laugh! I really needed it after the Prop 8 stuff.

  38. I made it through all of 14 seconds. *shudder*

  39. O….M…G…

  40. I’m gonna have NIGHTMARES!!

  41. Yeah, the awesome part is that they programmed it. Way, way, awesome.

  42. Seriously this brings back some SHOWBIZ memories from the past….I LOVE IT!

    And for those of you who are frightened…as a child I would sneak a look behind the curtains of this show when it was ‘off’…the big creepy gorilla was SCARY. I was afraid he would turn his head and look at me when I peeked at them… AUGH!!!

  43. hehehehehehe awesome

  44. worst nightmare says:

    disturbed. O.O

  45. Watched about 15 seconds of it, and didn’t find it cute at all.. I actually got pretty creeped out :(.

  46. Imagine all the people that are scarred for life now! Sorry, that was just too weird for my liking. And maybe I am a little slow, but what does this have to do with Chuck-E-Cheese?

  47. showbiz pizza!! oh yeah!

  48. Juniper Jupiter says:


    Pardon me while I go over to the corner and assume the futile position…

    ***starts sucking thumb***

  49. Oh wow. I think I saw this video for the first time about a month ago, actually.

    Very bizarre.

  50. This goes under the Twisted Catagory…

    To me it’s cute, but really really twisted. Whoever programmed this number must be the same sort who programs electronic Christmas tree lights…

  51. NOT CUTE! These stupid robots gave me nightmares as a child and now they are are back to haunt me!!!!!

  52. someone was inspired by MGMT. or vice versa.

  53. funniest comment stream EVAR.

    y’all are keeeeling me.

    And I’m glad several confirmed that this WAS, in fact, showbiz. I loved going to b-day parties there and I remember the parents always pretending to have fun when they actually hated it. At least they had pitchers of beer to offer the a-dults.

  54. There’s a new documentary called “The Rockafire Explosion” that’s about the inventor of those robots and Chris Thrash, the guy who re-programs the robots to sing modern songs. It’s really a great film. The trailer is at:

  55. Animatronics scare the bejeezus out of me, but I’ll get past that to say this is frickin’ hilarious.

  56. I so remember this place. showbiz, right? strange how far back in the brain things hide…

  57. OOOOOHHHH MYYYYY Gaaaaaawwwwd!!!!

    I feel like I’m in some sort of a lucid hip-hop Bear Country Jamboree dream.

  58. There needs to be an anti-cute rule. I loved ShowBiz Pizza Place (and yes – it was definitely ShowBiz) as much as the next kid, but the show made me want to cry. Please don’t ruin Cute Overload with scary things.
    Motion to add “Anti-Cute Rule #1: Animatronics are creepy as all get out, and forever banned from Cute Overload.”
    All in favor?

  59. Oh my God…
    I dunno about cute, but this was all kinds of hilarious.

  60. I gotta admit…I could only watch like 30 seconds because it was kind creepy…okay more like pretty darn creepy. Thank goodness for the doxie below!

  61. Not!!!!!!!

  62. This makes me so glad that my parents never took me to Showbiz Pizza when I was growing up.

  63. This is scary!

  64. HAHAHAHAHAH. This brings back scary Chuck E Cheese days. definitely NOT cute.

  65. Ahaha, Juniper Jupiter! It may as well be called the futile position, because it ain’t gonna get these creepy animatronics outta your head.
    Thank goodness we don’t build these awful things anymore. Now, let’s work on destroying the surviving ones.

  66. SECONDED, corrine!

  67. p.s. If someone is making these videos in their basement…..that is EXTRA creepy.

  68. Really, really boring.

  69. so scared!

  70. platedlizard says:

    Not cute. AWESOME! Absolutely 100% Pure Colombian Grade Awesome and Win.

  71. Definitely more creepy than cute. In fact, not particularly cute at all. 😦 I’m loving the mini-D in a hot-dog roll, though. Now THAT’S cute!

  72. platedlizard says:

    And this is coming from someone who HATES Usher.

  73. Holy crap… I’ve never been motivated to post on CO before, but I just had flashbacks to my 5th birthday party that I had as Showbiz Pizza. As the birthday girl, they wanted me to sit at the head of this long table for pizza and cake, which was directly in front of the gorilla. I cried my eyes out until I got someone to switch seats with me so I didn’t have be in proximity to that thing. It still creeps me out 20 years later. Thanks for the memories CO. I’ll let you know how my therapy works out… 😉

  74. Silent Meow says:

    I am thoroughly and utterly CREEPED OUT, yet I just can’t stop laughing…in a maniacal, gone-a-bit-insane, sort of way. Wow, this is WEIRD TO THE MAX! Ohhhhhhhhhh kaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy….

  75. Beth (in NC) says:

    I can’t BELIEVE how freaked out people are by this!!! I loved Showbiz when I was little. And now, I am guessing that there is some sort of magical song-sensor apparatus that makes the animatron animules go exactly in time with the music…. all you have to do is be a bored worker closing up shop and viola!!!

    Seriously I loved this post, sooo funny. Thanks for the memories, Meg!

  76. creepy.

  77. Whew. Good thing CO isn’t a democracy.

  78. Not sure this qualifies as cute, but definitely a fun blast from my past…These guys performed at Showbiz Pizza (which was later bought out by the Chuck E. Cheese franchise) and I loved the one in Irving, Texas that had a bunch of tunnels and nets to play in!

  79. Um, am I the only person who laughed hysterically throughout the whole thing? The rap interlude with the ventriloquist was all sorts of win!

  80. Billy Bob! Wow, how did I not find these guys creepy when I was 6? Oh wait, I did. I remember going to
    Showbiz, and my grandma telling me there was this really special ride I would like. It ended up being this seat that went around and around, and all I could think was what is so special about this?

  81. pookiepuff says:

    Um… worst post ever… not cute! 😦

  82. binky-mama says:

    I want my Mommy!

    *runs under the covers to rock back and forth while sucking thumb*

  83. Cute, maybe not. Hilarious, absolutely. Complete nostalgia for children of the late 80’s early 90’s… TOTALLY.

    Not entirely sure how this falls into the “farm animals” category, though!

  84. crazyweinerdoglady says:

    I’m so glad that I’m not the only one that remembers ShowbIz Pizza and Billy Bob. I personally was never “creeped out” by the show. Big time blast from the past, THANK YOU MEG!!!! oh and the pizza SUCKED but oh how I loved me some skee ball!

  85. chortlemeister says:

    It’s like the Showbiz Bear went all Chef-like from South Park. I still can’t quit laughing.

  86. Wow, I’m amazed at how many people had similar reactions to these freaky things while growing up. The gorilla scared the crap out of me when I was little too. This is definitely Scary Flashback Overload for me.

  87. I’m sorry. That’s freaking hilarious!!!

  88. AuntieMame says:

    We never went to Showbiz but once that I remember. It wasn’t my parents’ kind of place. You went out to eat to EAT, not to play. So I guess I missed the trauma. But I seem to remember a catchy jingle on their television commercials that I can’t quite hum anymore.

  89. If you’d asked me yesterday, I would have bet good money that I would never see a bear say “nigga” on Cute Overload.

    How wrong was I?

  90. Doubleclick — not all that wrong, actually. Let’s just say THIS bear doesn’t sit in the woods. (and neither does Usher)

  91. Theo, are you from Dayton, OH? That’s where I grew up and I remember the Showbiz Pizza there as well!

    [I’m sure we ate the same saltine-crust pizza, then. Remember Max & Erma’s, too? Those table phones? – Ed.]

  92. Wow, small world. Max & Erma’s is still there…so is the Red Lobster. Showbiz unfortunately became Chucky Cheese later on. Remember Joker’s Comedy Club? I still go back to Dayton often as I have family in Springboro. Yes, Showbiz was a HUGE deal for a place like Dayton! Ok- I’m done thread-jacking.

  93. Wow, on the technical/timing side, it’s nicely done. When I was a kid, I thought Chuck E. Cheese was a little disappointing. Maybe that’s why I’m not so creeped out by this. This video isn’t fluffy/adorable cute like a kitten or puppy, of course, but I thought it was still amusing to watch. Usher’s “Love in this Club” somehow works (for me, at least) with the lounge band feel. Also, I see this more on par with The Muppet Show on parental ratings.

  94. Theo – “and neither does Usher”

    Them’s betting words, but I reckon it’s a trick and you’ve already got that YouTube video cued up for tomorrow 😡

    [Tempting, but no… – Ed.]

  95. eerrk. I only lasted 30 seconds on this one. **shudder**
    Not cute. creepy yet dull.

  96. Perhaps all you traumatised folks should file a collective lawsuit against Showbiz Pizza, for the harm they’ve caused.

    [I think there’d be problems with the statute of mortification… er, limitation. As it were. – Ed.]

  97. Don´t know if I´m the only one, but I think it´s creepy rather than cute… :O

  98. Oh Dear God
    That was one of the most disturbing things I have EVER seen 😦

  99. Gail (the first one) says:

    When I saw this posting last night, I thought ‘not cute, boring’, but I figured lots of other folks would like it. I’m glad I came back to find that I’m not the only one!

    Plus, I guess I’m too old for Showbiz/Chuck-E-Cheese…..never was there except as an adult! Not my parents’ style, in any case. We used to go to an Italian restaurant in Chicago with strolling musicians.

  100. Bad touch. BAD TOUCH!

  101. They’ll program any song for $200. This is one of a few that they’ve done with these leftover robots. This guy invented Whack a Mole too!

  102. Rivershine says:

    That was farking awesome! I don’t why so many people are freaked out by this. I think the whole thing is full of win. It made my day to say the least.

  103. lurkingsmirk says:

    This is all kinds of goodness. I (fondly) recall being frightened of the animatronics when the curtain came down and they turned off. I used to think that if you stuck your head under the curtain they would come alive and become evil. Then after a while I caught on to the fact that they did the same songs and dialogue over and over and part of the magic was gone. So this injection of modernity and the absurdness resurrects some of the magic for me.

  104. vorpalbunnie says:

    This is totally an 80s Showbiz Pizza throwback. I’m in awe. I used to make a mean suicide soda there… :D.

  105. He… The bear got booze and chicks.
    Class act.

  106. Hope Gaston says:

    this is wrong on so many levels. funny, but wrong. i remember those guys asking my what my favorite food was when i was 6 or so for my birthday. *shudders*

  107. Ew.

  108. LOL that was GREAT!!!! I have always wanted to see those creepy bears sing a rap or hiphop/R&B song!!! They only part that freaked me out was the girl mouse cheerleader.. *Shivers*, but that puppet cat thing was great!!!!LOVED IT!!!

  109. i’m a-scareds.

  110. for those of you who think it’s funny, you should check out their version of “4 minutes” by madonna and justin timberlake:

    i find it pretty hilarious. i was creeped out at first, but then i got curious as to what other songs this guy has programmed. it’s crazy!

  111. Holy crapola, this is so awesome. I’d’ve peed myself for sure at this when I was six, but at four times that I’m just fascinated. There’s something a little more relatable and human about these freakish creatures performing less juvenile material.

    [The part about “less juvenile” is debatable. Wait till you find the Me So Horny version. No, I’m not kidding. – Ed.]

  112. hilarity.

    the “hips don’t lie” cover amuses the heck out of me.

    point of history: showbiz pizza and chuck e cheese were originally two different companies. showbiz bought CEC but took over its name, and eventually all showbiz’s were revamped to be CEC. that’s when they removed the Rockafire Explosion in lieu of the CEC gang.

    how do I know all this? sadly, i worked at CEC for 2.5 years in high school.

  113. Awesome to the highest degree. I remember growing up with Showbiz Pizza. I LOVED those singing animals, but the gorilla always scared the crap out of my little brother.

    Awesome vid…

  114. Oh my GODS!!!!

    Count me in with the “VISCERAL BLAST FROM THE PAST” crowd, not the “creepy” crowd. WOW. I have not thought about those guys in years, and it all came rushing back. The gorilla! The cheerleaders! The ventriloquist! OMG!

    And OLD SCHOOL SHOWBIZ, not Chuck E Cheeze. THAT blows me away.

    Does anybody else remember their commercials??? “Showbiz Pizza, where a kid can be a kid!”

  115. does this remind anyone else of the Banana Splits? or did that show really exist? i may have just imagined it.

  116. Would you believe I have a 45 record “featuring” Fatz (that’s the big gorilla’s name)from Showbiz Pizza…wow those were the days! He could really sing Sixteen Candles and make me tear up!

  117. @anner
    No, you didn’t imagine them. The Banana Splits were real. Na na na nananana, na na na nananana.

    CEC in Irving, Texas? I grew up in Irving!

  118. Holey COW. I loved Showbiz Pizza when I was little. I did pretty well with the animatronics, except the gorilla did completely freak me out. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one!

    I am thoroughly amazed by the quality of the programmed puppeteering of these things. Fan-stinking-tastic.

    I’m not sure I would call it “cute” either, but I’m super glad to see it, all the same. I’m totally checking out some of their other covers.

  119. Here’s the original guy, in the original documentary.

  120. And here’s… well, see for yourself. Holy *crap*.

  121. Very cool, but also holy crap terrifying. Were I still a kid, I’d be hiding behind my Mum right now…

  122. temperance says:

    i loved the banana splits!

    remember lidsville? h.r. puffnstuf? new zoo review?

    ah, those wacky 70’s.
    good times.

  123. Awesome! Cracked me up. Of course when I was a kid I thought it would be funny to make Teddy Ruxpin sing Bon Jovi or something.

  124. This is not cute, it is utterly terrifying. The keyboard playing gorilla looks like something from a horrible nightmare. I still have vivid memories of a friend’s Showbiz Pizza birthday party when I was 4, in which I cowered screaming under the table for the entire “performance”. Not cute. Not.

  125. Hi-Fricken-Larious!!!! That’s freakin’ awesome!