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Beavis and Butt-Head do Blog into Mystery – Beavis and Butt-Head #11

March 6, 2011

I don’t know what it says about my generation, but Beavis and Butt-Head spoke to us. Some might take that as one more milepost on the decadent decline highway. Not me. I always found them quite hilarious. I was a big fan of theirs (and other MTV cartoons) back in my late-teen years in the mid-90s (anyone else remember The Head?), and I remain so to this day. I can recall coming back to school one fall and finding all the numbnut classmates of mine proclaiming “Fire! FIRE!” and “I am Cornholio!” — I wasn’t so much a fan of that mindless aping, but the original? That I could always get behind. It was just so full of colorful secondary characters that can make me laugh simply by thinking about them: tremory Principal McVicker, Mr. van Driessen, the Hank Hill prototype Tom Anderson, tough guy Todd, wimpy Stewart, and icy Daria, who was spun off into her own series like the Jeffersons.

The show still gets the occasional bouts of criticism, mostly from people that haven’t seen a drop of it. Was it mindless? Yeah, it was, but it was smart mindless. There’s a big difference, and Mike Judge’s later career, with a cult classic like Office Space and the long-running, stout-heartedly funny King of the Hill, have confirmed his comedy bona fides.

But two morons on a couch was what started it all for him. I defy anyone to watch “Beard Boys,” which chronicles Beavis and Butt-Head’s attempts to pick up chicks with glued-on hair, and not chortle merrily:

“Wanna, like, stroke my beard?” is still quoted by me in appropriate (and inappropriate) situations. Despite my current lack of a beard.

I also really loved the way that they’d take a page from Mystery Science Theater 3000 and comment on music videos, rambling in tangents, sometimes endorsing the videos’ coolness and at other times cutting them down to size. Here they are riffing on a few from my all-time favorite band, R.E.M.:

Oh, how I loved it when Butt-Head would slap Beavis.

Considering the enormous popularity that this pair enjoyed, it’s no surprise that they had a comic book. If you get big enough, you get one. That’s the law. Look it up.

Adapted comics never seem to live up to the original properties, a failing I’ve chronicled here on this blog. This attempt is no exception, though it does a much better job of mimicry than others. Writer Guy Maxtone-Graham did a passable job emulating the Judge dialogue, while artist Rick Parker (who tackled the art throughout the comic’s run) did his damnedest to capture the humor of the crude animation in still, regular panels.

Let’s have a quick gander.

Here’s the duo are wearing out their welcome at their “friend” Stewart’s house during Thanksgiving dinner:

And here they are at a fashion show figuring out a rather ingenious place to put discarded press passes:

Notice that they aren’t wearing their usual AC/DC and Metallica t-shirts? Some rights issue perhaps? Lars Ulrich augmenting his usual douchebaggery (Wonder A-Hole powers, activate!) by blocking their use? Inquiring minds want to know!

And, just for a reminder that this comic bears the Marvel imprint, here’s the morons doing to the Black Widow and a couple of her superhero gal pals what they always did with rock stars:

Finally we have the rather unique letters page(s) — most of the missives have the look of hastily written ransom notes:

While this comic is no substitute for the show, reading it definitely rocketed me down memory lane. The MTV connection meant there were more video game and music ads than usual, and seeing promos for Mortal Kombat II and the Woodstock ’94 album took me right back to my last years in high school, for good or for ill. I could almost remember my old locker combinations.

Beavis and Butt-Head are making a comeback this summer, and I for one shall welcome their return. I applauded Judge when he decided to pull the plug on them in the late 90s when they were still quite popular — it’s always nice to see something end at its peak — but the new crop of pretentious pop and rock stars richly deserve the skewering that only these dolts can offer. It takes one to know one, and it takes idiots to adequately ridicule idiots.

Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, beware.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mauro permalink
    March 10, 2011 5:45 am

    Thanks for this big enticing review, “that was cool!”

    I have the whole mid 90s comic collection and I’m proud I bought once and ever treasured since.
    I am excited to watch the rerun as well as sure the sequel will catch on again since Beavis’n’Butthead acted as a springboard for current outrageous satirical shows that have followed.

    New teen generations are barely aware of this show but once it’s being broadcasted again they will start wondering why they let it slip between the cracks.

    Beavis and Butthead is the only show that sucks while it’s cool.

  2. March 10, 2011 9:37 pm

    Thanks for this post. I just spent an hour on YouTube reliving my high school and college years. One of my favorite moments is the NIN – March of the Pigs where they say that NIN “needs to practice.”

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