Release Date: 1995
Released On:SVHS (C&R '93+)
SVHS (R12 '93+)
SVHS (3-Stage '93+)
Laserdisc (Studio C)
Birthday Star '95 was a birthday show produced exclusively for Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza restaurants in January 1995.
It is the second edition of the long-running Birthday Star show and succeeded Birthday Star '92. The show was produced by Disney-MGM Studios, whom ShowBiz Pizza Time Inc. had outsourced showtape production to in 1994 and uses the then-current voice acting and instrumentation featured in the shows they produced. This was the first birthday show produced from the ground up to be a live show and some elements of the show reflect that.
Upon its release in January 1995, it was produced on a videocassette separate from the main showtape usually paired up with whatever live show was currently valid. The two shows would be separated by a "birthday break", a short intermission designed to give the walk-around performer(s) a rest between performances. Birthday breaks would become a standard practice and would be used for several years until the widespread adoption of DVDs as a show format rendered them obsolete. The tape would also see releases on LaserDisc and DVD + Floppy Disk shows as these formats were necessitated by new stage shows such as the Awesome Adventure Machine and Studio C respectively. The show would remain valid under several forms through December 2000 when it was succeeded by Birthday Star 2001.
Unlike Birthday Star '92 which was a straightforward song that ran from start to finish, Birthday Star '95 has a pre-show intended to excite the showroom and give the birthday stars a special moment to be recognized. Upon the sound of a trumpet fanfare, Mr. Mouth (a main screen character in January 1995 and April 1995), would appear on the video monitors and exclaim" Heeeeey, everybody! Somebody out there is celebrating a birthday today! Who is it?" At this point, the party host or hosts lined the birthday stars in front of the stage and introduced them to the audience by saying "Well Mr. Mouth, this is [insert name here] and they're celebrating their [insert age here] birthday today!" Mr. Mouth responds "Wow, let's hear it for the guest of honor!" instructing the crowd to give the birthday stars a round of applause. Following this magic moment, Mr. Mouth leads into the main birthday show as the music begins, makes a reference to the Mickey Mouse Club and exclaiming "This calls for a special celebration. Clap along, sing the song and join our jamboree 'cause here to party down with you is your friend, Chuck E. Cheese!!!" The audience gives another thunderous applause, Chuck E. Cheese makes his entrance into the showroom, the curtains fly open and the show begins.
Birthday Star '95 is radically different in style and tone compared to its predecessor. Unlike Birthday Star '92 which was an eclectic big band number with a live orchestra and chorus of back-up vocalists, Birthday Star '95 is an electronic hip-hop style number sung entirely by the band and, once again like the show before it, is reflective of the style of shows being produced at the time of its release. With that being said, two share the same lyrics and song structure and follow most of the same cues.
The show begins as the curtains fly open and the band exclaims "Haaaapppyy Birthday!" Chuck E. exclaims "Come on, let's celebrate!" with each of the band members following with their own interjections. Munch exclaims "Yeah, let's bring out that birthday cake", followed by Pasqually shouting "Now clap your hands, who is followed by Jasper shouting "Get on your feet" and finally Helen shouts "We're gonna share a special treat!". Chuck E. and the band lead the audience in a call-and-response nearly identical to the previous birthday show and that would be reused verbatim in all future birthday shows to date: "we say happy, you say birthday. Happy! *birthday* Happy! *birthday* Clap your hands, *clap clap clap* and stomp your feet! *Stomp stomp stomp*. The band sing the song's chorus followed by Chuck E. leading a reprise of the birthday chant which leads into Jasper singing the song's bridge as Chuck E. dances with the birthday stars and guests on the showroom floor. Chuck E. once again performs a reprise of the birthday chant and then leads the crowd into the traditional 'happy birthday' song exclaiming, "Alright everybody, let's sing 'happy birthday'. 1, 2, 3!" The band and the audience sing the song and right afterwards the party hosts light the birthday candles, after building up to the moment as the piano slowly crescendos note by note and the band hypes up the crowd, the birthday stars blow out their candles and everybody gives them a thunderous applause. Without missing a beat, the band breaks out in a reprise of the chorus, then again in a higher key, and finally they lead the audience in the birthday chant one last time. As the show reaches its finale, the song has another key change as the band join together and sing "Happy birthday from Chuck E., happy birthday to you!" The song ends as the band laughs and applauds, with Chuck E. emphatically shouting one final "Happy birthday" as the curtains close and he returns to his dressing room.
- Duncan Brannan - Chuck E. Cheese
- Stephanie Nadolny - Helen Henny
- Doug Teel - Mr. Munch
- Reggie Smith - Jasper T. Jowls
- Joel McCrary - Pasqually the Chef
- Ron Schneider - Mr. Mouth
Birthday Star '95 was released in January 1995 alongside the January 1995 show. It was initially released on Cyberstar SVHS tapes for the three supported stage types in stores at the time: 3-Stage, C & R (C-Stage and Rocker Stage) and R12 (Road Stage, 1-Stage and 2-Stage). It would remain this way until August 1996 when the Awesome Adventure Machine made its debut at the Dallas, TX location on Montfort Dr. Unlike all of the existing stage types in stores at the time, the AAM utilized LaserDiscs to play show data and the birthday show was released on LaserDisc alongside the three showtapes that supported it. The show would be released on LaserDisc again with the debut of Studio C at the Brookfield, WI location on December 17th, 1997, and would be rolled out to additional locations on the format as Studio C began its first wave of nationwide installations in 1998.
Beginning with the September 1998 show, Birthday Star '95 would be re-issued as Birthday Star '98 which omitted the Mr. Mouth pre-show among other minor changes. Birthday Star '95 would remain valid on Studio C until the transition from LaserDisc to DVD was completed in August 1999.
|VHS Tape - January 1995 - September 1998
|3-Stage Post-93, C&R Post 93, R12 Post-93
|Awesome Adventure Machine - August 1997 show
|Studio C Premiere - Chuck E.'s Dance Party
|Studio C LaserDisc