Beavis and Butt-head

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Beavis and Butt-head
Beavis and Butt-head titlecard.png
Title card as of 2011, featuring Beavis (left) and Butt-head (right).
Genre Animation
Created by Mike Judge[1]
Written by Mike Judge
Morris P Johanson
Joe Stillman
Tracy Grandstaff
Greg Grabianski
Don London
Josef McStein
Directed by Mike Judge
Yvette Kaplan
Voices of Mike Judge
Tracy Grandstaff
Theme music composer Mike Judge
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 222 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Mike Judge
Abby Terkuhle
Producer(s) Michael Blakey
Running time 6–15 minutes (without music videos)
5–11 minutes (music videos)
12–21 minutes (specials)
Production company(s) J. J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc. (season 1/launch) Tenth Annual Industries (season 2–7/launch)
Ternion Pictures (season 8/launch)
MTV Animation (seasons 1–8/launch)
Inbred Jed's Homemade Cartoons (pilot only)
Paramount Television (seasons 1–7/launch)
Film Roman (season 8/launch)
Judgemental Films
MTV Production Development
Distributor Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation (pilot only)
MTV Networks
Broadcast
Original channel MTV[2]
Picture format 4:3 SDTV (1992–1997)
1080i (4:3 HDTV) (2011)
Audio format Stereo (1993–95)
Dolby Surround (1995–97)
Dolby Digital 5.1 (2011)
Original airing Original run:
March 8, 1993 (1993-03-08)
November 28, 1997 (1997-11-28)
Second run:
October 27, 2011 (2011-10-27) – December 29, 2011 (2011-12-29)
Chronology
Followed by Daria
Related shows King of the Hill
External links
Website

Beavis and Butt-head is an American animation series created and designed by Mike Judge. The series originated from "Frog Baseball", a 1992 short film by Judge originally aired on Liquid Television. After seeing the short, MTV signed Judge to develop the concept.[3][4] The Beavis and Butt-Head television show first ran from March 8, 1993 to November 28, 1997. It was revived in 2011 and new episodes began airing on MTV from October 27, 2011 to December 29, 2011.[5] Later, reruns aired on other Viacom properties, including MTV2, Comedy Central and UPN. In 1996, the series was adapted into the animated feature film Beavis and Butt-head Do America.

Synopsis[edit]

The show focuses on two socially incompetent, rock-loving teenage wanna-be delinquents, Beavis and Butt-head (both voiced by Judge), who live in the fictional town of Highland, Texas. They have no apparent adult supervision at home, and in one episode ("Scientific Stuff") they say that they are not sure if they have the same father. They are dim-witted, under-educated and barely literate, and both lack any empathy or moral scruples, even regarding each other. Their most common shared activity is watching music videos, which they tend to judge by deeming them "cool", or by exclaiming, "This sucks!" They also apply these judgments to other things that they encounter, and will usually deem something "cool" if it is associated with violence, sex or the macabre. Despite having no experience with women, their other signature traits are a shared obsession with sex, and their tendency to chuckle and giggle whenever they hear words or phrases that can even remotely be interpreted as sexual or scatological.

Themes[edit]

Each episode features frequent interstitial scenes in which they critique videos using commentary improvised by Judge, while the remainder of the episode depicts them embarking on some scheme or adventure.[6][7] They attend Highland High School, where their teachers are often at a loss as to how to deal with them. In many episodes they skip school altogether. Their actions sometimes have strict consequences, but often for others, for which they themselves show no remorse whatsoever.

Critiques of music videos[edit]

One of the best-known aspects of the series was the inclusion of music videos, which occurred between animated segments. The duo would watch and make humorous observations (about the band, a song's lyrics, or a video's visuals), or simply engage in nonsensical dialogue. Mike Judge always improvised the video comments. Almost all the animations of Beavis and Butt-Head during the videos were re-used from earlier episodes.[8] Even the new episodes that aired in 2011 used the old animation of the duo on the couch.

Characters[edit]

  • Beavis (Mike Judge) — Beavis has an underbite and a fixed countenance, which is almost always shown in 3/4 view. Like Butt-head, Beavis compulsively laughs and grunts. He also has a habit of picking his nose. He is the more excitable of the two; despite his obliviousness to what should be obvious, he is prone to moments of insight. Beavis has a tendency to consume large amounts of sugar when upset or fed up, in which he starts acting out his other personality "Cornholio". When Beavis is Cornholio, he wears the back of his shirt over the top of his head and speaks in an accent composed of Spanish and Hindi. Cornholio proceeds to commit mindless and dangerous acts. On the other hand, Beavis is more polite and more optimistic than Butt-Head. He often suffers physically in the show, either at the hands of Butt-Head or numerous other characters or situations. He usually takes the beating and screams in pain before quickly reverting to his trademark laugh. Before controversy erupted (see below), he smoked and he exhibited an obsession with fire and his trademark phrase was "FIRE! FIRE!", which he would utter with a maniacal gaze in his eye. One episode depicted him as having voices in his head, which told him to engage in destructive activities; however, generally he has a passive demeanor in contrast to Butt-head's more dominant personality. Beavis wears a blue Metallica shirt with gray shorts. Beavis's shirt in trademark posters, T-shirts and other merchandise reads "Death Rock". Beavis' laugh was based on a straight A classmate of creator Mike Judge who had a guttural laugh.[9]
  • Butt-head (Mike Judge) — Butt-head has squinty eyes and a drooping nose with prominent nostrils. He has a prominent overbite, speaks nasally with a deep voice and wears braces, giving him a slight lisp. He begins almost every statement with "Uhhhhhh..." and ends with his short trademark laugh, "Uh huh huh huh". Calmer, though cockier, older and marginally more intelligent than Beavis, Butt-Head is oblivious to subtlety of any sort and is usually completely confident in everything he says and does, no matter how ridiculous or frivolous it is—unless it has to do with girls, in which case he either wavers or comes on too strongly. His trademark phrase when approaching women is "Hey, baby". As the more dominant personality of the duo, he seems to derive pleasure from regularly abusing Beavis. Butt-head rarely gets perceptibly angry about anything, his usual expression of dissatisfaction being a resigned "This sucks! Huh huh huh". He also frequently has to try to calm the more mercurial Beavis down, either telling him to "settle down, Beavis! Huh huh huh", or in more drastic cases, slaps him. Butt-head also wears a gray AC/DC shirt with red shorts. (Butt-Head's shirt in other media reads "Skull".) Judge has stated he got the idea for the name "Butt-head" from two people he knew during his childhood called "Iron Butt" (who encouraged people to kick him in the butt to demonstrate his strength) and "Head-Butt".[8]
  • Tom Anderson (Mike Judge) — The nearsighted, elderly neighbor of Beavis and Butt-head. He often hires them to do chores which involve both of them destroying his yard, home or personal belongings. Due to his poor eyesight and mild senility, he never seems to recognize either of them and he never remembers their names. In one episode the two wore horn-rimmed glasses in an absurd disguise which Anderson did not notice. He served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. His character is similar in look and voice to Hank Hill from Judge's subsequent series King of the Hill. Both were based on the same collection of elderly men from Judge's youth.
  • David Van Driessen (Mike Judge) — A teacher at Highland High School and arguably the only person who cares about Beavis and Butt-head. Ever the idealist, he never gives up on educating and enlightening the duo no matter how disastrous his attempts to do so turn out. But not only are his efforts with the two always total failures, they laugh at him and are completely oblivious to his genuine concern for them. Van Driessen is a devoted hippie with a forgiving nature and gentle demeanor. His repeated attempts to teach the duo useful life lessons typically end in disaster as they almost always deduce the wrong message. He often plays songs on his acoustic guitar which typically end in him being severely hurt and in some cases almost killed. He has been shown teaching classes on biology, art, animation, economics, health, history, math and literature, among others. Van Driessen is fired from his job in School Test by Principal McVicker, who blames him for Beavis and Butt-head being "so damn stupid". He also owns a substantial 8-track tape collection, which is ruined by Beavis and Butt-Head in Cleaning House. His voice and personality are similar to and may serve as a basis of sort for the character of Gerald Goode in Judge's latest animated series The Goode Family. Mike Judge has stated Van Driessen was his favorite character, after Beavis, to voice. He based it on an interviewer he overheard during his time in a band.[9]
  • Coach Bradley Buzzcut (Mike Judge) — Another of the duo's high school teachers and the antithesis of Van Driessen. Angry, impatient and short-tempered, Buzzcut is a Vietnam War veteran who served in the Marine Corps as a drill instructor and, with the possible exception of Principal McVicker, hates the duo more than any other character. He is shown substitute-teaching regular classes, but usually teaches physical education. In Buff 'N Stuff he talks about his time on the Ho Chi Minh Trail with the 1st Infantry Division, US Army. It is implied that he has on occasion committed assault and battery against the duo. Coach Buzzcut drives a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Although Buzzcut's first name is never given in the series, it was revealed in This Book Sucks.
  • Principal McVicker (Mike Judge) — the principal of Highland High School and hates the duo. The two have unintentionally ruined his life. Many episodes begin with Beavis and Butt-Head in his office. They refer to him as "McDicker." He is an ill-tempered man who is frequently stressed out from having to deal with Beavis and Butt-Head. He shakes when he speaks, and is frequently rummaging through his desk for prescription medications, and in No Laughing he is shown guzzling a bottle of Old Crow bourbon whiskey. In the original series finale, when McVicker thinks that Beavis and Butt-Head are dead, he immediately stops shaking and he becomes calmer and more cheerful. It is revealed in Dumb Design that he survived his heart attack. The spelling of his name was altered after the beginning of the series. His nameplate and office door spells his surname as "McVicar" in early episodes. His voice and mannerisms are based upon a band director Mike Judge had in ninth grade. He stated that he was always wound up, angry, and smelled like liquor in the morning. He also stuttered and made the noises that McVicker makes when talking.[10]
  • Daria Morgendorffer (Tracy Grandstaff) — a sarcastic, vaguely alt-rockerish, nerdy girl who attends Highland High with Beavis and Butt-Head and she is one of the few people who sees the two for what they truly are. While not above taking jabs at them for their lack of intelligence, she also offers occasional help and advice. The duo nicknamed her "Diarrhea" but once said she was cool after she asked President Clinton a pointed and pertinent question during a school assembly (Citizen Butt-head). She eventually starred in her own spin-off series, Daria. Daria is not featured in the newer episodes, but made a cameo of sorts, according to an August 2011 Rolling Stone interview with Mike Judge. In Drones, while watching a deadmau5 video, Butt-Head asks Beavis if he remembers "that kid at school who died" and Beavis says "I know Daria killed herself". Butt-head then incredulously tells him that Daria did not die but merely moved to a different city. She was the only character created at the request of MTV, who wanted a female character who could tolerate and handle the duo. Judge agreed with the idea, and worked on her with series writer David Felton.[9]
  • Todd Ianuzzi (Mike Judge in The Crush, later by Rottilio Michieli, and Toby Huss in 2011) — a trashy deadbeat and a violent criminal. Although Beavis and Butt-Head greatly admire him and aspire to join his "gang," Todd despises the two and frequently beats them up and he takes advantage of them when he needs something, such as money, food or a place to hide from other gangs or the police. However, in A Great Day Todd thanks the duo for giving him some gas money, and he allows them to watch him beat up someone who bumped into his car. In Cornholio: Lord of the Harvest Todd refrains from beating up Beavis as Cornholio, citing him as being "messed up," showing that even he has some standards. Beavis and Butt-head seem to be to Todd what Stewart is to them. In Steamroller it is said that Todd dropped out of school two years before. Though Todd's last name has never been mentioned in the series, it was revealed in This Book Sucks. Though he gets away with most of his physical and verbal abuse on the duo, Virtual Stupidity sees him get his just desserts by getting caught and hauled off by the police to prison. Writers Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil suggested the idea of a character that the lads idolize even though he beats them up. Judge based Todd on a teenaged bully who lived near him and terrified him as a kid.[9]
  • Stewart Stevenson (Adam Welsh from 1993 to 1997 and Mike Judge in 2011) — A nerdy, wimpy, obese boy who admires Beavis and Butt-Head and mistakenly thinks of them as his best friends. Beavis and Butt-Head relate to him mostly in the same manner as Todd relates to them. They bully Stewart and take advantage of his attempts to befriend them, which usually results in him getting in trouble for something actually done by Beavis and Butt-Head. Stewart wears a black Winger t-shirt as a not-so-subtle reinforcement of his wimpiness (as opposed to the "coolness" of Beavis and Butt-Head wearing Metallica and AC/DC t-shirts). It is implied he lost his virginity in Holy Cornholio, as Beavis, who was being worshipped by a group of fanatics at the time, passed on his followers to Stewart, who took him to have sex with the women of the cult, much to Stewart's delight.

Episodes[edit]

Holiday specials[edit]

Four holiday specials were produced—one for Halloween, two for Christmas and one for Thanksgiving.

  • The Halloween special, titled Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest (Butt-O-Ween), involved them attempting to trick-or-treat in ridiculous costumes—i.e. Beavis dressed up as a giant "'nad" by wearing underpants on his head and Butt-Head becoming nachos by pouring hot cheese sauce over his head, although at one point he said he was dressed up as a dumbass. When Beavis eats all of Tom Anderson's candy, his Cornholio persona emerges and he embarks on a rampage to acquire more TP from other trick-or-treaters, while Butt-Head is taken on a ride to the countryside in Todd's trunk, where he encounters a strangely pale old farmer. When Beavis finally comes down from his sugar high, he is hanging on a meathook in the farmer's barn, where the old man and a similarly pale Butt-Head seemingly attack him with chainsaws as the episode fades to blood red. (The duo, of course, both re-appear unharmed in future episodes.)
  • The first Christmas special featured the pair sitting in front of the television providing crude commentary on various aspects of Christmas, and commenting on Christmas-themed music videos from various artists.
  • The second Christmas special was simply titled "Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas Special," or alternately "Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas." It consisted of two segments that parodied A Christmas Carol directed by Tony Kluck and It's a Wonderful Life (inverting it where life would have actually been "better" for everyone had Butt-head not been born) directed by former DreamWorks Animation director Mike deSeve, as well as Christmas-themed music videos (taken from the first Christmas special) and several segments in which Butt-Head answered fan mail dressed as Santa Claus while whipping a reindeer-costumed Beavis.
  • The MTV Thanksgiving Special Beavis and Butt-Head Do Thanksgiving aired on November 27, 1997, the day before the series finale Beavis and Butt-Head Are Dead written by Andy Rheingold and Scott Sonneborn. The bit featured Kurt Loder as the show's host, half-reluctantly and half-resigned, trying to teach the two characters the meaning of Thanksgiving as they report live from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, where they take more interest in people's butts and porn-shops than anything else. Among others, the special featured appearances by Adam Sandler, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, R.E.M., Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Tori Amos, and the Beastie Boys. Also featured were two music videos ("Long Hard Road Out of Hell" by Marilyn Manson and "Criminal" by Fiona Apple) not included in any of the show's regular episodes. The Thanksgiving special only aired once, and its inclusion in the Mike Judge Collection DVD set shows it in a heavily edited format without the music videos or the celebrity appearances.

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Over its run, Beavis and Butt-Head drew a notable amount of both positive and negative reaction from the public with its combination of lewd humor and implied criticism of society.[11] It became the focus of criticism from social conservatives, such as Michael Medved, while others, such as David Letterman, and the conservative magazine National Review, defended it as a cleverly subversive vehicle for social criticism and a particularly creative and intelligent comedy. Either way, the show captured the attention of many young television viewers in the United States and abroad and is often considered a classic piece of 1990s youth culture and Generation X. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park, cite the show as an influence and compared it to the blues. They met Mike Judge before the show aired.[12]

In 1997, Dan Tobin of The Boston Phoenix commented on the series' humor, stating that it transformed "stupidity into a crusade, forcing us to acknowledge how little it really takes to make us laugh."[13] In 1997 Ted Drozdowski of The Boston Phoenix described the 1997 Beavis and Butt-Head state as "reduced to self-parody of their self-parody."[14] In December 2006, TV Guide even ranked the duo's distinct laughing at #66 on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Quotes and Catchphrases.[15] In 2013, TV Guide ranked Beavis and Butt-head as one of the top 60 Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time. [16]

Mike Judge himself is highly critical of the animation and quality of earlier episodes, in particular the first two - Blood Drive/Give Blood and Door to Door — which he described as "awful, I don't know why anybody liked it... I was burying my head in the sand."[9]

Allegations of promoting dangerous behavior[edit]

Early installments gave them a juvenile obsession with fire and dangerous behavior, summed up with Beavis' chant of "Fire! Fire!" The show was blamed for the death of a two-year-old in Moraine, Ohio in October 1993. The girl's five-year-old brother set fire to his mother's mobile home, killing her.[17] The mother later claimed that her son watched one of the fire-related segments shortly before he burned down the home.[17] However, according to an article in the March 24, 1994 issue of Rolling Stone, neighbors claimed that the family did not have cable television.

As a result, references to fire were removed from subsequent airings. The creators found a censorship loophole and took delight in sometimes making Beavis scream things that sounded very similar to his previous "Fire! Fire!" (such as "Fryer! Fryer!" when he and Butt-Head are working the late shift at Burger World) and also having him almost say the forbidden word (such as one time when he sang "Liar, liar, pants on..." and pausing before "fire" (Liar! Liar!). There was also a music video where a man runs on fire in slow motion ("California" by Wax). Beavis is hypnotized by it and can barely say "fire". References to fire were cut from earlier episodes — even the original tapes were altered permanently.[18] Other episodes MTV opted not to rerun included Stewart's House and Way Down Mexico Way. Copies of early episodes with the controversial content intact are rare. The ones that exist are made from home video recordings of the original broadcasts. In an interview included with the recent Mike Judge Collection DVD set, Judge said he is uncertain if some of the earlier episodes still exist in their uncensored form.

When new episodes returned in 2011, MTV allowed Beavis to use the word "fire" once again uncensored.[19] During the first video segment during "Werewolves of Highland", the first new episode of the revival, Beavis utters the word "fire" a total of 7 times within 28 seconds, with Butt-head saying it once as well.[20]

The show has also been blamed for animal cruelty and the murder of a cat with fireworks. In the summer of 1993, Dick Zimmerman, a 44-year-old retired broadcasting executive from Larkspur, California, happened to see the episode in which Butt-head joked, "Hey, Beavis, let's go over to Stewart's house and light [a firecracker] in his cat's butt." Five days later, a cat was found killed by a firecracker in nearby Santa Cruz. Zimmerman, winner of a $10 million state lottery in 1988, immediately put up a $5,000 reward for the perpetrators, told the press that Beavis and Butt-Head was responsible for the death, and started a letter-writing campaign against the show. By the fall, 4,000 people from around the country had joined his campaign.[21]

In February 1994, watchdog group Morality in Media claimed that the death of eight-month-old Natalia Rivera, struck by a bowling ball thrown from an overpass onto a Jersey City, New Jersey highway near the Holland Tunnel by 18-year-old Calvin J. Settle, was partially inspired by Beavis and Butt-Head.[22] The group said that Settle was influenced by Ball Breakers, in which Beavis and Butt-Head loaded a bowling ball with explosives and dropped it from a rooftop.[22] While Morality in Media claimed that the show inspired Settle's actions, the case's prosecutors did not. Later it was revealed by both prosecutors and the defendant as well, that Settle did not have cable TV and did not watch the show.

Responses by writers and MTV[edit]

In Lightning Strikes, the show parodies blaming actions on youth culture. When asked by a reporter why they were flying a kite in a thunderstorm, the duo explained that they were inspired by a documentary about Benjamin Franklin, who Butt-head describes as "some old dude with long hair and glasses". The reporter asks if it was Howard Stern, and when Butt-head answers "no", she asks if he has ever listened to Stern's radio program. The reporter continues asking them leading questions until they mention that they had watched rock music videos earlier in the day. The reporter then concludes on the air that the music videos are to blame for the duo's actions.

MTV also responded by broadcasting the program after 11:00 P.M., and included a disclaimer, reminding viewers:

Beavis and Butt-Head are not real. They are stupid cartoon people completely made up by this Texas guy whom we hardly even know. Beavis and Butt-Head are dumb, crude, thoughtless, ugly, sexist, self destructive fools. But for some reason, the little wienerheads make us laugh.

This was later changed to:

Beavis and Butt-Head are not role models. They're not even human. They're cartoons. Some of the things they do could cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested, possibly deported. To put it another way: Don't try this at home.

This disclaimer also appears before the opening of their Sega Genesis and Super NES game as well as their Windows game Beavis and Butt-head in Virtual Stupidity.

They were famously lambasted by Democratic senator Fritz Hollings as "Buffcoat and Beaver."[23] This subsequently became a running gag on the show where adults mispronounced their names, Tom Anderson originally calling them "Butthole" and "Joe", and believing the two to be of Asian ethnicity (describing them to the police as "Oriental"). In later episodes, Tom Anderson uses the Hollings mispronunciation once, and on at least one occasion refers to them as "Penis and Butt-Munch." President Clinton called them "Beavis and Bum-head" in Citizen Butt-head, as well as in the movie, where an old lady (voiced by Cloris Leachman) consistently calls them "Travis" and "Bob-head". In Incognito, when another student threatens to kill them, the duo uses this to their advantage, pretending to be exchange students named "Crevis and Bung-Head". Also, in Right On!, when the duo appear on the Gus Baker Show, host Gus Baker, who is an obvious caricature of Rush Limbaugh, introduces them as "Beavis and Buffcoat".

Beavis and Butt-Head have been compared to idiot savants because of their creative and subversively intelligent observations of music videos. This part of the show was mostly improvised by Mike Judge. With regard to criticisms of the two as "idiots", Judge responded that a show about straight-A students would not be funny.

Film[edit]

In 1996, a full-length movie featuring the duo titled Beavis and Butt-Head Do America was released in theaters. The movie features the voices of Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Cloris Leachman, Robert Stack, Eric Bogosian, Richard Linklater, Greg Kinnear (in an uncredited role), and David Letterman (credited as Earl Hofert). It gained mostly positive reviews from film critics and a "two thumbs up" from Siskel and Ebert. The film earned over $60 million at the domestic box office, a strong return for a film that cost only $12 million to produce.

Revival[edit]

On July 14, 2010, a spokesperson for MTV Networks informed a New York Post reporter that Mike Judge was creating a new Beavis and Butt-Head series, that Judge would reprise his voice-acting roles for the show, and that the animation would be hand-drawn. According to TMZ, MTV had not asked Tracy Grandstaff to reprise her role as Daria Morgendorffer.[24] Later, in a Rolling Stone interview, Judge was asked if Daria was coming back and he said, "No. There's sort of a cameo in one episode. That'll be a surprise."[19]

As in the old series, Beavis and Butt-head are high school students who, among other things, criticize contemporary music videos.[25] In an interview with Rolling Stone, MTV president Van Toffler said that the duo will also watch Jersey Shore, Ultimate Fighting Championship matches, and amateur videos from YouTube, as well as give movie reviews. "The biggest change is obviously the references are updated, it's set in modern day, and there's going to be a movie review segment," Linn said. "Otherwise they're still true to their prior passions."[26]

John Altschuler, formerly a writer for King of the Hill, told a Rolling Stone reporter that he saw signs that Mike Judge was thinking of reviving Beavis and Butt-head. On more than one occasion, Judge told the writers that one of their ideas for an episode of King of the Hill would work well for Beavis and Butt-head; eventually he concluded, "Maybe we should just actually make some good Beavis and Butt-head episodes." Later, a Lady Gaga video convinced Van Toffler of the tenability of a Beavis and Butt-head revival: "I felt like there was a whole crop of new artists—and what the world sorely missed was the point-of-view that only Beavis and Butt-Head could bring."[26]

As part of a promotional campaign for the new series, cinemas screening Jackass 3D opened the feature film with a 3-D Beavis and Butt-head short subject. Months later, in a media presentation on February 2, 2011, MTV announced that the series would premiere in mid-2011. On July 21, 2011 Mike Judge spoke and fielded questions on a panel at Comic-Con International. A preview of the episode "Holy Cornholio" was also shown.[27] Judge told Rolling Stone that at least 24 episodes (12 half-hour programs) will definitely air.[19] It was initially rumored that Judge was working on 30 new episodes for the network.[28]

The new episodes debuted in the United States and Canada on October 27, 2011. The premiere was dubbed a ratings hit, with an audience of 3.3 million total viewers.[29] This number eventually dwindled to 900,000 by the season's end, mainly due to its challenging time slot pitted against regular prime time shows on other networks.[30] From April 24, 2012 to May 1, 2013, the show remained on the bubble for renewal. No official decision had been made.[31] According to Mike Judge, MTV's modern demographic are females 12–14 years old, and the network is looking for other networks to ship the show to.[32]

The new shows aired in mainland Europe in April 2012.[33] The main title card displays the title as Mike Judge's Beavis and Butt-head with Judge's name replacing the MTV logo.

On November 14, 2011, Stussy launched a series of limited edition Beavis & Butt-head T-shirts to coincide with the revival of the show.[34]

Comedy Central announced that they would be airing the show's "debut" as part of their animation block over Christmas (despite being shown before in 2005/2006).[35]

Future[edit]

On January 10, 2014, Mike Judge announced that, while he is busy working on Silicon Valley, there is a chance of him pitching Beavis and Butt-Head to another network and that he wouldn't mind making more episodes.[36] While giving an interview to Howard Stern on May 6, 2014, Judge mentioned that MTV's demographics, rather than the show's ratings (which he said were second only to Jersey Shore) were the reason the revived series hasn't been brought back on MTV. He also said that MTV was close to selling it to another network, "but it got wrapped up in deal stuff and eventually I stopped asking them about it," and that "it may still come back" on MTV or another network.

Also, in recent interviews, Judge claims that he is interested in producing a live-action movie, along with Johnny Depp expressing interest for the role of Beavis.[37] He said that previously he despised the idea, but now he thinks "maybe there's something there."[38] During an interview for Collider on August 25, 2009, Judge told them, "I like to keep the door open on Beavis and Butt-Head, because it's my favorite thing that I've ever done. It's the thing I'm most proud of." However, he also added, "Another movie... the problem is it takes a year and half, two years, two and a half years—maybe—to do that right. And that's a pretty strong level of commitment. I'm going to look at that again. That comes up every three years." One of his ideas is bringing back the characters as old men, instead of teenagers. "I kind of think of them as being either 15 or in their 60s," he said. "I wouldn't mind doing something with them as these two dirty old men sitting on the couch." Judge added that he wouldn't completely ignore the time that has passed in between. "At one point I thought Butt-Head might do okay on some really low-level sales job".

Related media[edit]

  • A CD, The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience, was released featuring many hard rock and heavy metal bands such as Megadeth, Primus, Nirvana and White Zombie. Moreover, Beavis and Butt-Head do a duet with Cher on "I Got You Babe"[39] and a track by themselves called "Come to Butt-Head". The track with Cher also resulted in a music video directed by Tamra Davis and Yvette Kaplan.
  • In 1995 Beavis and Butt-head in Virtual Stupidity, an adventure game based on the series, was released for the PC,[40] with a PlayStation port being released in Japan.
  • Many video games,[41] including Beavis and Butt-Head, Beavis and Butt-head in Virtual Stupidity, Beavis and Butt-Head: Bunghole in One, Calling All Dorks, Little Thingies, Wiener Takes All, and Beavis and Butt-Head Do U.[42]
  • In 2010, Beavis and Butt-Head apps for iOS were released by MTV.
  • In the The Simpsons episode "D'oh-in' in the Wind", Grampa and Jasper are drinking the juice filled with drugs and imitate Beavis and Butt-Head while they sit on a bench in the park.
  • In the Arthur episode "Buster and the Daredevils", supporting characters are seen reading a comic book entitled "Pea-Brain and Nut-Head", the title characters of which are shown on the front cover laughing in the familiar manner of the real show's characters. In the episode "The Contest", Muffy imagines her life as a TV show by modeling for fall fashion trends. Arthur and Buster are imitating Beavis and Butt-Head when they take their seats in the audience.

Marvel Comics[edit]

From 1994 to 1996, Marvel Comics published a monthly Beavis and Butt-Head comic[43] under the Marvel Absurd imprint by a variety of writers, but with each issue drawn by artist Rick Parker. It was also reprinted by Marvel UK, which created new editorial material.

The letters page was answered by Beavis and Butt-Head or one of their supporting characters. Instead of reviewing music videos, they reviewed (custom-made) pages from other Marvel Comics—in one with Ghost Rider, Beavis tries to avoid using the word "fire" to describe the character's fiery skull.

In the comic, minor characters like Earl, Billy Bob, Clark Cobb, and Mistress Cora Anthrax would get repeated appearances; Earl was quite regular, and Anthrax was in two issues and got to answer a letter's page.

Other appearances[edit]

The characters have made cameo appearances (either visually or only voices) and have been referenced in numerous television shows, such as The Simpsons, Friends, Full House, Two and a Half Men, Step by Step, Celebrity Deathmatch, Robot Chicken, The Head, Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Saturday Night Live (TV Funhouse), in films such as Airheads, Clueless, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Jackass 3D, and even parodied in cartoons such as Tiny Toon Adventures, Regular Show and Arthur.

Daria spin-off[edit]

Main article: Daria

In 1997, a spin-off show based on their classmate Daria Morgendorffer, Daria, was created. Mike Judge was not credited as a producer of this series and has said he was not involved with it at all, except to give permission for the use of the character. The Daria character had been created for Beavis and Butt-Head by Glenn Eichler and originally designed by Bill Peckmann of J.J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc. Eichler then became a producer for Daria.[44] In the first episode of Daria, she and her family move from Beavis and Butt-Head's hometown of Highland to Lawndale—the only references to the original show is a single mention of Highland in the first episode, with Daria saying Lawndale can't be a second Highland "unless there's uranium in the drinking water here too".

Home video[edit]

The first official home video releases of Beavis and Butt-Head were two VHS tapes titled There Goes the Neighborhood and Work Sucks!, distributed by Sony Music Video and MTV Home Video in 1996 in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Each tape contained approximately eight episodes, each selected from the first four seasons. Although most of the episodes were presented in complete form, minus the music video segments, a handful of episodes were edited for content. Eight more VHS compilations were released between 1996 and 1999 in the U.S., before the final volume, Butt-O-Ween, was issued in October 1999. However, the series continued in Australia and U.K., with a further ten volumes being issued between 1999 and 2001. When the series ended in the U.K., a further seven volumes were issued exclusively in Australia, meaning that over 28 volumes, all 200 episodes were released on VHS.

Prior to the release of the VHS Volumes, a laserdisc titled Beavis and Butt-Head: The Essential Collection was issued in 1994, containing sixteen episodes from the second and third seasons. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America was also issued on Laserdisc in 1997.

All of the U.S. VHS Volumes were later issued on DVD in five two-disc sets through the Time–Life organisation. The DVD releases were titled The Best of Beavis and Butt-Head. A two-disc DVD set titled The History of Beavis and Butt-Head was scheduled for release in September 2002 in the United States. However, its release was cancelled at the last moment at the demand of Judge, who owned approval rights for video releases of the series. Many copies were mistakenly put on store shelves on the scheduled release date, only to be immediately recalled. The set started selling on eBay at very high prices, sometimes over $300 USD, as well as fetching over $1000 USD in new condition on websites such as "Amazon.com". According to Judge, the History set was made up of episodes that he had previously rejected for home video release and had been prepared without his knowledge or consent.[45] In all, half of the 32 episodes on The History of Beavis and Butt-head weren't included on later releases of the series, including all but two episodes on the first disc.

On November 8, 2005, MTV and Paramount Home Entertainment released a three-disc DVD compilation titled Beavis and Butt-head: The Mike Judge Collection, Volume 1. The DVD set includes 40 episodes and 11 music video segments from the original shows. The set was followed by Volume 2 and Volume 3. On January 26, 2009, MTV and Apple made all three collections available on the iTunes Store.

A Blu-ray and DVD release of Season 8, titled Beavis and Butt-head – Volume 4, was released on February 14, 2012 in the U.S.[46]

Video games[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Brown, Kristofor (1997). Dave Stern, ed. MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head: Travel Log. MTV Books, Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-01533-8. 
  • Brown, Kristofor (1997). MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head: Big Book of Important Stuff to Make Life Cool. Boston America Corp. ISBN 1-889647-15-2. 
  • Doyle, Larry (1995). Glenn Eichler, ed. MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head: This Sucks, Change It!. MTV Books, Pocket Books, Melcher Media. ISBN 0-671-53633-8. 
  • Doyle, Larry (1996). Glenn Eichler, ed. MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head: Huh Huh For Hollywood. MTV Books, Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-00655-X. 
  • Grabianski, Greg; Aimee Keillor (1997). Kristofor Brown, ed. MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head: The Butt-Files. MTV Books, Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-01426-9. 
  • Johnson, Sam; Chris Marcil (1993). Glenn Eichler, ed. MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head: This Book Sucks. MTV Books, Callaway, Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-89034-4. 
  • Johnson, Sam; Chris Marcil, Guy Maxtone-Graham, Kristofor Brown, David Felton, Glenn Eichler, Mike Judge (1994). Glenn Eichler, ed. MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head: Ensucklopedia. MTV Books, Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-52149-7. 
  • Judge, Mike; Joe Stillman (1997). MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: The Official Script Book. MTV Books, Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-00658-4. 
  • Rheingold, Andy; Scott Sonneborn (1998). Kristofor Brown, ed. MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head: Chicken Soup for the Butt. MTV Books, Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-02598-8. 
  • Kristofor Brown, ed. (1996). MTV'S Beavis and Butt-Head: Doodle (doodie) Book. Boston America Corp. ISBN 1-889647-00-4. 
  • MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: 3-D Poster Book. Boston America Corp. 1997. 
  • MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: Doodle (doodie) Book #2. Boston America Corp. 1997. ISBN 1-889647-28-4. 
  • MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: Sticky Things. Boston America Corp. 1997. ISBN 1-889647-16-0. 
  • Reading Sucks: The Collected Works of Beavis and Butt-Head. MTV. 2005. ISBN 978-1-4165-2436-6.  (NOTE: This book is a bundle of four previous books 'Ensucklopedia,' 'Huh Huh for Hollywood,' 'The Butt-Files,' and 'Chicken Soup for the Butt' which are no longer in print separately).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strauss, Robert (22 November 1994). "That's Mr. Beavis and Butt-head to You". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  2. ^ "MTV moves 'Beavis' series to 10:30 p.m.". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  3. ^ Cerone, Daniel (16 March 1993). "MTV Toon Dudes Are Slow on Two Counts Television". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  4. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (1997-11-26). "Butt-head, We Hardly Knew Ye". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  5. ^ "MTV Presents Full Slate At Their Summer TCA Presentation; New ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ & ‘Good Vibes’ to Premiere October 27". Tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  6. ^ "Goodbye, cool world TV: Beavis and Butt-head, nasty, dumb, hysterical little boogers, are going off the air. For one 'chick,' it's been a guilty pleasure.". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  7. ^ "Made their mark Television: Those uncouth youth mouth a certain '90s-era truth.". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  8. ^ a b "Mike Judge Interviewed by John Kricfalusi". Wild Cartoon Kingdom. 1994. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Taint of Greatness: The Story of Beavis and Butt-Head Part 1", in The Mike Judge Collection Volume 1
  10. ^ Beavis and Butt-Head, The Mike Judge Collection. Special "A Taint of Greatness part 1".
  11. ^ Kolbert, Elizabeth (October 17, 1993). "TELEVISION; Keeping Beavis and Butt-Head Just Stupid Enough". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  12. ^ "Taint of Greatness: The Journey of Beavis and Butt-Head Part 2," in The Mike Judge Collection Volume 2
  13. ^ "Butting out," The Boston Phoenix
  14. ^ "Eye pleasers," The Boston Phoenix.
  15. ^ The 100 Greatest TV Quotes and Catchphrases[dead link], TV Guide. Retrieved on 2008-04-02. In 2010, it was ranked No. 8 by TV Guide in their list of "TV's Top 25 Animated Shows."
  16. ^ http://www.tvguide.com/News/Greatest-Cartoons-TV-Guide-Magazine-1071203.aspx
  17. ^ a b "Cartoon On Mtv Blamed For Fire". New York Times. 1993-10-10. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  18. ^ "Mike Judge interview". Goblin Magazine. 
  19. ^ a b c Greene, Andy (3 August 2011). "Exclusive: Mike Judge on the Return of 'Beavis and Butt-Head'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  20. ^ "Werewolves of Highland". Beavis and Butt-head. Season 8. Episode 1. October 27, 2011. MTV.
  21. ^ John Leland, "Battle For Your Brain", Newsweek, October 11, 1993, p. 51
  22. ^ a b Youth Is Held in Death from Bowling Ball
  23. ^ "Dude... This Sucks– We mourn the loss of fresh Beavis and Butt-Head episodes". EW.com Television News. August 15, 1997. 
  24. ^ "Daria Left Out of 'Beavis and Butt-Head' Reboot". TMZ. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  25. ^ Starr, Michael (2010-07-14). "They're back!". New York Post. Archived from the original on 16 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-14. 
  26. ^ a b Greene, Andy (16 February 2011). "Exclusive: New 'Beavis and Butt-Head' Will Tackle 'Jersey Shore' and More". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  27. ^ Sitterson, Aubrey. "Comic-Con 2011: Beavis and Butthead Coverage and Panel". UGO. 21 July 2011.
  28. ^ Pingback: This Is The Story Of… (2010-07-07). "Is Mike Judge Working On 30 New Episodes Of ‘Beavis And Butt-Head’?". Geeks of Doom. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  29. ^ "'Beavis and Butt-Head' revival a ratings hit". New York Post. 2011-10-28. 
  30. ^ "Film Thrasher: THE NEWS BUNDLE: Future of 'Beavis & Butthead' Now In Jeopardy?". CamArruda. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  31. ^ "What's Renewed, What's Canceled, and What's Still In Between? (2012 Edition)". TV.com Staff. Retrieved Apr 24, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Will Beavis And Butt-Head Continue UPDATE!". EatBlogAnddie. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  33. ^ Braxton, Greg (11 September 2011). "'Beavis and Butt-Head' on MTV: Fall TV". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  34. ^ Beavis & Butthead at stussy.com
  35. ^ "Gary Gulman Special Among Comedy Central's December Highlights". TVBroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  36. ^ "Mike Judge: ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ Trapped in Limbo". CraveOnline. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  37. ^ "Slashfilm". 
  38. ^ "'Beavis And Butthead' To Make A Big Screen Return—Starpulse Entertainment News Blog". Starpulse.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  39. ^ St. Petersburg Times[dead link]
  40. ^ "MTV's Beavis and Butt-head in Virtual Stupidity for Windows". Mobygames.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  41. ^ "Beavis and Butthead licensees". Mobygames.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  42. ^ "MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: Do U. for Windows". Mobygames.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  43. ^ "Beavis and Butthead Central". Hotextra.com. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  44. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (March 3, 1997). "Brainy 'Beavis' Pal 'Daria' Spins Off". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  45. ^ Robinson, Tasha. "Mike Judge". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  46. ^ Beavis and Butt-head - Volume 4 at TV Shows on DVD

External links[edit]