(Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images)

Depriving future children of years’ worth of nightmares about dead-eyed animatronics trying to play the blues, Pitchfork reports that Chuck E. Cheese is phasing out its robot bands in a number of select locations, with an eye toward ending the program entirely in favor of live performers. “It’s the biggest thing we’ve done for the look and feel of Chuck E. Cheese for two decades,” the company’s CEO told reporters this week. “The kids stopped looking at the animatronics years and years ago, and they would wait for the live Chuck E. to come out.”

And, rather than take the natural course of action—i.e., fix the damn children, in whatever way it takes to refill them with wonder at the sight of a bunch of spastically jerking robot musicians, toiling away for their amusement—the company has decided to get rid of the ‘bots, in favor of some poor schlubs in mascot costumes. The only consolation to this news is that the robots will have to go somewhere, which will presumably be a big boon to neighborhood weirdos doing their weird duties in neighborhoods all over America.