Mike Judge brings back ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’
Now that the show is on a streaming platform, have you ever considered using more explicit language or content?
We talked about it at the beginning. On the one hand, it doesn’t look like them anymore; it seems less innocent. But also, there’s something about them saying stupid things like “butt wagon.” They are really silly and remind me of middle school. It’s not like everyone says “Oh, I can’t wait for Beavis and Butt-Head to say [expletive].”
There was a focus group they did in the 90s. The moderator says, “What would you like to see in ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’?” This guy is just mad, he says, “I’d like to see them get on the first plane to Mexico, go to a striptease, get drunk — you know, something creative.” And I’m here thinking that there’s nothing funny about it, actually. Sometimes what people think they want is probably not what they want.
We’re nearly 30 years away from a controversy where “Beavis and Butt-Head” were blamed in the death of a young child who died in a fire, and some content was removed from the show as a result. How does all this look to you now?
It seems more ridiculous now, and when I tell people about it, they kind of forgot and I’ll be like, “No, that was like a big deal.” A small group of people were very angry, but it was pretty crazy. “Beavis and Butt-Head” had landed at a time when there wasn’t much going on in the world, and things were going pretty well, and then suddenly everything turned upside down – the problem is the violence and the television. Now there’s so much worse if you’re really going to nitpick. This conversation seems to be a thing of the past.
In the same way that you are always asked to bring “Beavis and Butt-Head” back, I assume there are similar conversations on “King of the Hill”?
We are also exploring this possibility. I think we have an idea of how it could go. I get a lot of people saying they watch it before they go to bed. Maybe it puts people to sleep, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring.
My youngest daughter, about 10 years ago, was watching “Gilmore Girls,” and then I started watching it, and I was like, oh, I like this – it has a similar Zen quality to it. Nothing too horrible happens. Fox, at the time, was pressuring us, like, “We want life-changing events. You’re not going to believe what happens on ‘King of the Hill’!” It’s not for every show, you know. I don’t think everybody comes home and goes, ‘OK, I want to be shocked tonight”. Sometimes you just want a comfortable TV.