Beavis and Butt-head returning in unadulterated, un-adult form
by Ed Bark on October 26th 2011 at 9:38 pm
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The terminally horny, simple-minded, mostly couch-bound duo predated ultra-irreverent cartoons such as Comedy Central's South Park and Fox's Family Guy. A lot has changed since their four-year run from 1993 to 1997. MTV for one used to fill most of its programming hours with music videos. Now it's the network best known for Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant, both of which will be fair game for B&B when they return on Thursday, Oct. 27th with what MTV touts as "their brutally honest commentary."
Judge, who voices both characters, says the original show tried to lampoon MTV's The Real World, and "for some reason it didn't click." But Jersey Shore, on which he's now "hooked," turned out to be "pay dirt" for B&B's running commentary. So Snooki beware. You're going to be a prime target, and with MTV's blessing no less.
"MTV's been self-deprecating since its inception (in 1981), network president Van Tolfer told TV critics during a recent summer "press tour" session for Beavis and Butt-head. "We're happy that they're making fun of everybody."
Judge says he had thought about doing another B&B feature film, but missed the weekly grind. Besides that, he had more time to spare after Fox ended the long run of his King of the Hill.
"I just thought, 'Who am I to turn this down?' " he says. "I really like doing it. I've seen a lot of animated shows getting developed, and I just started thinking I had a couple of pretty good characters there already. Maybe I should just do it while I still can. I think it still works. It feels like it does to me."
The boys will still be wearing their AC/DC and Metallica t-shirts while also remaining mostly oblivious to the passing of time. Despite their oft-stated sexual intentions, they "have not scored" during the show's 14-year absence, Judge says with certainty.
"People have cell phones, people watch stuff online, and we deal with that a little bit," he adds. "But I didn't want to do a big conscious deal of forcing all this modern stuff on them. You know, only when it's funny. There's an episode where they work tech support. That came out pretty good, I think."
The original show was embraced by David Letterman, who previously had disparaged cartoons as a mostly inferior form of entertainment. But he judged Judge to be an auteur, welcoming him as a guest and praising B&B as the funniest show on television.
"He's one of my idols," Judge says of Letterman. "I just was going, 'Oh God, is he going to hate this, too (because it's a cartoon?) "But I just kept hearing that he liked it. Maybe he'll be on board with these."
Judge says he hadn't thought about asking Letterman for permission to use some Late Show clips on the new version of B&B. "But actually, that could work."
Judge notes that he already was "pushing 30" when he created Beavis and Butt-head. That was then, and now he's 49.
"If I was just starting Beavis and Butt-head now, something would probably be wrong with me," he says.
It's all the more reason to return them the way they were -- two guys with room temperature IQs and sub-crude senses of humor who are very much inclined to say "This sucks" before laughing gutturally. "Uh huh huh huh." Timeless.