I've met Jaret Reddick, the flame-haired, tattooed lead singer for Bowling for Soup, several times over the last 10 years and he never struck me as a guy bent on world domination.
But he is well on his way with news that the author of such classics as My Wena and Drunk Enough to Dance will become the new voice of Chuck E. Cheese. The rodent is getting a rockin' makeover, so Irving-based CEC Entertainment called in a professional.
Reddick and his pop-punk rocker friends have been banging out catchy tunes for nearly 20 years. They formed in 1994 in Wichita Falls and have called Denton home for much of their career, which includes 11 albums and a 2003 Grammy nomination for Girl All the Bad Guys Want. (They went to the ceremony in powder blue tuxes, ruffles and short pants. Awesome!)
Reddick and his Denton bandmates (Chris Burney, Erik Chandler and Gary Wiseman) can also be heard a few zillion times a week singing the theme song to Phineas and Ferb, the most popular animated show on Disney for the last few years. Now all Reddick needs to do is bag a bigger Mouse -- paging Mickey -- and he'll be the king of all kids.
But Reddick's ascension to the voice of Chuck E. is not coming without controversy. Apparently the guy who voiced Sir Cheese for 19 years, Duncan Brannan, found out he'd been replaced as he was listening to the mouse's new single and didn't recognize his voice.
Brannan told the Hollywood Reporter that he felt blindsided, but says his faith will see him through this difficult time.
With Reddick, who is a funny and foul-mouthed ringleader onstage, Chuck E. Cheese corporate is clearly going in a different direction from Brannan. Should be interesting. We should also learn more as Chuck's new look and sound are made official Thursday. We'll also try to reach Reddick for his take, which we be will be hilarious.
Congrats, Jaret. We hope you're making a pile of money. And we hope you'll remember your friends with kids. We've just got two words for you: unlimited tokens.
UPDATE: DFW.com music critic Preston Jones reached out to Reddick, who had this to say about his new gig: "Honestly, when the Chuck E Cheese role was first presented to me, I just thought it was another one of those 'too good to be true' things that would seem like it was going to happen and then fade away," he writes via email. "Within weeks, I was in a studio singing and talking the voice of a character I have known and loved all my life. Chuck E. was a huge part of my childhood. Both the town I grew up in, and the town my grandparents lived in didn't have a lot for little ones to do, but both had a Chuck E Cheese -- and that was fine by me! It is hard to put into words how excited I am to be Chuck E. The entire CEC team, the Richards Group and everyone associated with the campaign have been amazing! I am simply stoked to be a part of it all!"