Mike Judge Talks New Beavis and Butt-Head Series and Idiocracy at SDCC
If you are a fan of Beavis and Butthead, 2022 is a great year. That’s because not only did Paramount+ release a new movie, Beavis & Butt-Head make the universethe streamer is about to launch a new series, Beavis and Butt-Head by Mike JudgeAugust 4. However, unlike the original Beavis and Butthead series, which had them talking on music videos, in the new series they also watch YouTube and TikTok. As you can see in the first clip, it looks like a match made in heaven.
Shortly before taking the stage at San Diego Comic-Con, Mike Judge stopped by the Collider studio. During the interview he talked about doing Idiocracy and the growing popularity of the movie, how he might shoot his next live-action movie next year, how all the originals Beavis and Butthead the episodes could finally be released with music videos, new series and what fans can look forward to.
Check out what he had to say in the player above, or you can read our conversation below.
COLLIDER: I’m a big fan of your work. I’m so grateful that you decided to come today to talk.
MIKE JUDGE: Thank you.
I have so many questions. And I want to start with, when did you realize you were Nostradamus with Idiocracy?
JUDGE: Oh, man.
When did you think you could predict the future?
THE JUDGE: I would say it started quite early. Here is an example. In the film, our costume designer had said… It was a bit like if you were making a film in the future, you had to invent everything. And to make things easier, she said, “Well, there’s a startup that makes these really stupid plastic shoes. They’re called Crocs.”
So we shot in 2004. And I was looking at these things, and I said, “Yeah, that would be great. But if it’s a real startup, what if they come out? What if they become popular? And then by Au when the movie comes out, people wear them, so we’re not a future movie. Or it’s set in the present.
She said, “Oh, no one will ever buy those things. Don’t worry about that.”
And the movie came out two years after I shot it and everybody’s wearing Crocs, so that was my first indication that things were going in that direction.
And then just over the years, it was kind of a slow burn. People kept texting me like, “Oh, there’s this cafe in Seattle where the girls wear lingerie, and it’s like a Hooter’s cafe or something.” And then, yes, one thing after another, and then there’s Trump. And it’s just like… And now everyone’s like, “Yeah.” I don’t know, I’m afraid to watch the movie now.
I have President Camacho coming tomorrow.
THE JUDGE: Oh, good. Oh great.
So we’re gonna talk about other stuff, but you can bet your ass I’m gonna bring up being president.
JUDGE: Yes, Terry has really made this character his own. Yeah, you should ask him about it, because he has some great stories about his inspiration.
Because originally I was thinking of something a little different, and I think I had thought of Benicio del Toro or something. And Terry came in and kind of stole the part. He had that preacher kind of thing, and it was so good.
I have to ask you. You have made a few films, some live action. Did you come close to doing anything else in live action? ‘Cause you haven’t done anything, I believe, since Extract.
JUDGE: Yes, there were several things. There’s one that comes pretty close, actually. I don’t think I’m allowed to say it right now, but I might realize something pretty soon. Early next year, maybe.
Paramount Plus, Netflix, Studio?
JUDGE: Oh, he hasn’t found a home. There’s a Picture Start company, but we don’t have… I don’t know how it works.
Let me ask you this question.
HIS HONOUR: But then it would go to a bigger…
Did you write the screenplay yourself?
JUDGE: Co-wrote the story and worked on it. Boy, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say all of this.
By the way, I love it when people come up and start saying that. I don’t want to get you in trouble, but I’ll just say I’ll let it go. And I’m just going to say, I hope you guys do a live action thing soon. So with older episodes of Beavis and Butthead, I don’t know how many are available with music videos and all that. Would you like to be able to go back in time and adjust a contract at all?
HIS HONOUR: Yeah, I mean, that’s the problem. I mean, a lot of the things I’m most proud of are the comments on the clips. I mean, there are some in the beginning where Beavis and Butt-Head barely talk. Because I thought, at first, I was like, ‘Oh, people watch MTV because they want to watch the videos. They’re not going to want these guys talking about any of this stuff.’ What I was wrong about.
Thing is, those deals were only for MTV, but apparently… I hear different things. Apparently they’re trying to get it, and maybe they could get it so they just play like they did originally with all the videos in there. It’s a bit of the rhythm and what I liked. So, I hope to get that.
Yeah, just for the people there, it’s not my… I wish they were like that. I can’t. Another thing also happened on the DVDs where they had to cut some lines because the standards and practices are different on the DVDs. And they were getting the admins cut whenever that happened. And I got all of that, just some really angry people saying, “Why Mike Judge… You shouldn’t be allowed to touch that shit.” And it wasn’t me, it was just because of… Same with the videos. I hope they can free them as they were. There’s something in the contracts, because it’s MTV, it’s an MTV company, I think they might be able to do that.
New Beavis and Butthead the series comes out next month. Are you done with everything, or are you still working on it?
JUDGE: No, I’m still working on it. We cut it pretty close.
And that’s everyone, I know.
On August 4, he begins to come out. But I think we have some very good things. Some of the episodes are going to be, they’re going to be middle-aged. We do that kind of quantum division in the movie, so that was fun to do too.
What do you want to tease about the episodes? And how it compares to the original show.
JUDGE: I think we stayed pretty true to who the characters are, but there’s a lot of fun stuff. They now watch YouTube videos and TikTok videos, which has been a lot of fun to do. We have episodes where they are middle aged. Butt-Head is just this useless big old guy. They receive all kinds of government aid. They’re a burden on society, but it’s great fun to do. And old Beavis and Butt-Head watch music videos too.
We have an episode where Butt-Head isn’t even there, where Beavis sees there’s a fire, a dumpster fire, and he starts talking to him and giving him orders. We have one where they are in a mall. They have this, they think it’s virtual reality glasses, it’s just sunglasses. And they think the mall is a game, and they try to kill themselves to go back to the beginning.
Look, I’m almost out of time with you, but my friend Mike is a huge fan of you, and a huge fan of Beavis and Butthead. And he asked me a question, and I don’t want to ask it because he’s such a fan. And I will read it. Beavis is a lovable idiot, but Butt-Head occasionally shows signs of minimal intelligence, which makes his stupidity even funnier. Was that your intention when creating the characters?
JUDGE: I think I originally thought Beavis was just that, his brain’s fried from sniffing glue, and he’s just snickering, “Heh, yeah, yeah, yeah.”
But then as the show went on, when you had to do 200 episodes, I started to think maybe Beavis had those occasional flashes of genius, but Butt-Head just knocked it out of him . So there is no hope for him. But yeah, it was a conscious thing that happened after it became a show.
I could ask you a million questions, but I think you have to go already. I’m just going to sincerely thank you for coming.
THE JUDGE: Oh, thank you.
Beavis and Butt-Head by Mike Judge begins streaming on Paramount+ on August 4.