Beavis and Butt-head

Beavis and Butt-head

Perhaps no cartoon has ever demonstrated a generation gap quite as forcefully as Beavis and Butt-head – two anti-social, anti-intellectual juvenile delinquents that won the hearts of real-world teens everywhere. Parents weren’t quite as enamored, some even tried to have the show removed from MTV, but it didn’t do much good. Beavis and Butt-head had already built a loyal legion of young fans, who mimicked the duo’s mannerisms and speech patterns endlessly and subsequently drove their parents crazy.

It all started when Mike Judge, creator of King of the Hill, and writer of such films as Office Space and Idiocracy, created a little gory cartoon called Frog Baseball. The cartoon was a smash hit at underground animation festivals like The Sick and Twisted Film Festival and fans soon demanded to see more of the two antisocial stars, Beavis and Butt-head.

Their own series debuted on MTV in 1993 and enjoyed a popular four-year run on the network. Most episodes involved the naïve teen duo eating junk food, fantasizing about sex and engaging in destructive behavior. One of their favorite pastimes, of course, was watching music videos on MTV and offering their own brand of comical commentary. They were particularly ruthless in their attitude towards “wuss bands” and new wave music. While watching Michael Bolton on one occasion, Beavis proclaimed that the video made him soil his pants. Milli Vanilli and Vanilla Ice actually left them speechless, with their jaws dangling (huh-huh, he said “dangle”) in the wind, a look of sheer horror on their face.

Such was the world of Beavis and Butthead, two teens misunderstood by the adult world and worshipped by kids everywhere. They would eventually appear on the big screen in 1996. With a collection of A-list celebrities lending their voices, the film was not only a box-office success, but it even managed a coveted “two thumbs up” from Siskel and Ebert. The series itself received a long-awaited reboot in 2011, with a handful of new episodes that were received positively by their loyal fan base. Mike Judge has hinted that more episodes may be on the horizon still, as well as a potential live-action film. Reportedly, Johnny Depp has expressed great interest in playing the role of Beavis. Time will tell.

Beavis and Butt-head might not have exactly made the world a better place, but they sure made it a funnier one – at least from the perspective of their young impressionable viewers. Parents, on the other hand, just didn’t get it.

If you and your friends gathered faithfully around the television to watch this pair of animated misfits critique and skewer music videos on a regular basis, we’d love to hear your Beavis and Butt-head memories in our comments section below, as we tip the hat to one of the more entertaining shows ever to appear on MTV.

One Response to “Beavis and Butt-head”

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  1. Lisa Hundley says:

    I love this show! I was a faithful watcher, and now own the box set. Unfortunately, like my Daria box set, the music videos are not included:-( still, a great set, and I wish they would come back to t.v.!

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