|Voiced by||Joel Murray (1986–1997)|
Pete Stacker (1997–2000)
Chris Phillips (2000–2008)
Johnny Michaels (5 spots; early 2000s)
Christopher Murney (2006)
Adam Leadbeater (2008–2017)
Max Koch (2017–present)
|Occupation||Mascot of Cheetos|
1986–2003: Traditional animation
Cheetos' original mascot was the Cheetos Mouse, who debuted in 1971 and disappeared around 1979. In 1986, Chester Cheetah was created by Brad Morgan, who art directed the commercials and designed the character, and Stephen Kane who wrote the original scripts for television commercials. The original 24-frame animation was done by Richard Williams. After Chester's introduction, the sly, smooth voiced cheetah began starring in more commercials and eventually became Cheetos' official mascot. He used the slogans "It's not easy being cheesy" and "The cheese that goes crunch!" from 1986 to 1997", until it became "Dangerously cheesy!" from 1997 onward.
From the mid-1980s to early 2000s, television adverts often featured Chester's desperate attempts to eat other people's Cheetos. The self-described "hip kitty" would often speak in rhyme and sneak up on an unsuspecting stranger at a beach or public park. The result would always involve cartoon violence in the vein of Looney Tunes, such as Chester riding a motorcycle off a bridge, getting thrown to the top of a coliseum, or plunging miles through the air to unwittingly grab a hang-gliding bodacious babe, only to cast her aside in favor of Cheetos. These spots were first directed by Keith Van Allen and later by Cow and Chicken creator David Feiss.
In 1992, Chester's own television program called Yo! It's the Chester Cheetah Show! was under development for the Fox Kids Saturday morning fall lineup. However, an ethics debate erupted over Chester's status as an advertising character, and likely due to the protests of Action for Children's Television, the show was prevented from airing. Their petition marked the first time that the organization protested something before it actually became a program. In 2019 a petition appeared on change.org for someone to make the series happen sometime for Nickelodeon.
Chester's character underwent slight revamping in 1997. With the introduction of the "Dangerously cheesy!" slogan and Pete Stacker replacing Joel Murray as his voice actor (who would later be replaced by veteran voice actor Chris Phillips in 2000), Chester began appearing in live-action/animated hybrid advertisements where he entered the real world. During this time, the ads began portraying him in a less antagonistic manner; he went from being bumbling to suave and cool, and he actually managed to eat Cheetos unlike in the older commercials.
2003–08: Jump to CGI
In the United States in 2003, Chester was rendered as a computer generated character, but he continued to appear in his old animation style in other countries.
One particular commercial series in 2006 had Chester defeating rival Chef Pierre in a baking contest to create Baked Cheetos. This led to an advertising campaign titled Chester Goes Undercover, in which Pierre, disguised in silhouette, steals the Baked Cheetos recipe, and Chester gives chase by finding clues that lead him to Pierre's minions: Twisty McGee, Flamin' Hot Fiona, and The Cruncher. Upon confrontation with Chef Pierre, Chester signaled his agents to appear and apprehend Pierre and his minions, recovering the stolen recipe. These commercials were linked to an interactive online campaign.
2008–present: OrangeUnderground redesign
By 2008, Cheetos took aim at an adult demographic with a series of ads featuring the mascot in promotion of OrangeUnderground.com. In this incarnation, Chester (originally a puppet) is computer generated but now with photorealistic textures/detail; he speaks with a mid-Atlantic accent and encourages people to use their Cheetos in acts of revenge or to solve problems (e.g. plug the nostrils of a snoring man or dirty the cubicle of a neat freak), sometimes referring to himself as "Papa Chester". In this incarnation, Chester is voiced by Adam Leadbeater.
According to an article in The New York Times, DDB Needham Worldwide was responsible for the creation of Chester. However, an episode of Unwrapped claims that the mascot was created by Hawley Pratt, the same man behind the Pink Panther.
A promotional plush doll was produced, featuring dark sunglasses and lace-up shoes. It was 18" tall. A 10" doll is still available today.
|Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool|
Cover art (Super NES)
|Platform(s)||SNES, Sega Mega Drive|
|Release||Super NES |
|Genre(s)||2D action platformer|
Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool
The game is composed of simple side-scrolling platform levels. On each level there is a hidden "scooter" part. In game, Chester can dash and stun enemies by jumping on their heads.
The instruction manual contains a popular Engrish recognized by many gamers: "As is Chester Cheetah way, is one-person play." The Engrish spawned due to bad translations and an attempt to rhyme in anapestic tetrameter like Dr. Seuss.[original research?] No actual mention of the Cheetos snack food is made in the game, but Chester's health points are represented as Cheetos Paws.
Chester Cheetah: Wild Wild Quest
|Chester Cheetah: Wild Wild Quest|
Cover art (Genesis)
|Platform(s)||Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis|
March, 1994 (SNES)
Chester Cheetah: Wild Wild Quest is a 1993 video game by Kaneko for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. The game stars Cheetos mascot Chester Cheetah and is the sequel to Chester Cheetah: Too Cool to Fool.
The player dies in one hit unless they have a cheese puff on hand. Collecting 100 paws per level results in a new continue, and there are three difficulty levels. Some stages involve controlling vehicles, like a car or a motorcycle.
After breaking out of a zoo, Chester Cheetah is going to Hip City when Mean Eugene tears up his map into 10 pieces and scatters it across the United States. Chester Cheetah must then travel across America to recover the map. Chester visits fictional cities in states such as Nebraska, California, Florida, Arkansas, and Alaska.
The game was released only in America.
Both the Genesis and SNES versions of the game received mixed reviews. Electronic Gaming Monthly reviewed both the versions. They gave the SNES version a score of 28 out of 50, and the Genesis version 24 out of 40. The reviewers praised the graphics and animations but cited poor control as a negative.
GamePro magazine called it "High on the list of unnecessary sequels" and said "like the cheese puffs themselves, Chester might sound like a tempting idea, but you'll get no nourishment and you'll soon be hungry again".
Just Dance 4
Chester Cheetah made a cameo appearance in the background of the redeemable version of the song "You Make Me Feel..." featured on the Just Dance 4 video game. The track could be unlocked with a code found in a Cheetos bag, having exclusive traits on its background like a throne, and Chester Cheetah appearing sometimes on the back pillars and dancing along with the coach. Since the offer expired, the map it became available as a downloadable track for all consoles in all regions, however, without the special characteristics, equivalent to following games said map is featured in, such as Just Dance Now and Just Dance Unlimited. Along with the redeemable version, a commercial was released to promote it.
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