Beavis and Butt-head

MTV - Music Television (ended 2011)



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Show Summary

Beavis and Butt-head was first aired on the U.S. cable network MTV in March 1993. This show, which combined animation and music videos, was an example of the unique programming that MTV has consistently provided for its youthful demographics. The half-hour program alternated between a simple narrative, which focused on the exploits of two low-life adolescents, and clips from music videos, which the two teens commented on. Creator Mike Judge had penned the aimless duo for a festival of animation when Abby Turkuhle, MTV's senior vice president picked up an episode for the network's animated compendium Liquid Television. MTV immediately contracted for 65 episodes from Judge, with Turkuhle as producer, and placed Beavis and Butt-head in the 7:00 and 11:00 P.M. week-day time slots. The characters, Beavis and Butt-head, are rude, crude, and stupid, and can be placed in the "dumb comedy" tradition, which includes Abbott and Costello, The Three Stooges, Cheech and Chong, Saturday Night Live's Wayne and Garth, and FOX's The Simpsons. When the show debuted, television critics differed in their opinions, with some praising the show for daring to present the stupidity of male "metalheads" who watch too much television (effectively satirizing the core MTV audience), and others categorizing Beavis and Butt-head as another example of television's declining quality. Beavis and Butt-head did find an audience and began pulling in MTV's highest ratings. But the show was also quite controversial, instigating heated public debate on the interconnected issues of representations of violence in the media and generational politics surrounding youth subcultures. Beavis and Butt-head they found, was especially popular with those in their twenties. It turned out to be bothersome to many that young people enjoyed the show and laughed at its two imbecilic boys, even if these fans were much more intelligent and much less grating than Beavis and Butt-head. In this sense, Beavis and Butt-head raised the issue of generational taste cultures. Definitions of "taste," Pierre Bourdieu notes, "unite and separate, uniting those who are the product of similar conditions but only by distinguishing them from all others. And taste distinguishes in an essential way, since it is the basis of all that one has--people and things--and of all that one is for others, whereby one classifies oneself and is classified by others." To the degree that taste cultures agree, they are brought together into a subcultural formation; but to this degree they are also separated from those with whom they differ. It was the "bad taste" of Beavis and Butt-head's audience which bothered many, and this brings to the surface another one of the reasons why Beavis and Butt-head was so controversial. Cultural critics, educators, and concerned parents gathered skeptically, sternly, and anxiously in front of the television set and passed judgment upon the "tasteless" Beavis and Butt-head show. And in an ironic reversal, Beavis and Butt-head countered by ascending the cultural hierarchy. The two youths channel-surfed, looking for videos that didn't suck (i.e. those with heavy metal or hardcore rap, those that contained violence, or encouraged genital response.) In becoming the self-proclaimed Siskel and Ebert of music video, they served to evaluate pop culture with an unencumbered bottom line--does a music video "suck" or is it "cool?" Beavis and Butt-head as a television show, was certainly towards the lower end of traditional scales of cultural "quality." But these two animated "slackers" evaluated other media, and so pronounced their own critical opinions and erected their own taste hierarchies. Beavis and Butt-head had their own particular brand of "taste:" they determined acceptability and unacceptability, invoking, while simultaneously upending, notions of "high" and "low" culture. In this, they entered that hallowed sphere of criticism, where they competed with others in overseeing the public good and preserving the place and status of artistic evaluation. They disregarded other accepted forms of authority, refusing to acknowledge their own limited perspectives. But like other critics, this was an important part of their appeal. After all, critics are sought out for straightforward opinion, not muddled oscillation. In this recuperation of the critical discourse, Beavis and Butt-head joined with their audience, approximating the contradictory impulses of contemporary cynical youth, who mixed their self-delusion with self-awareness. In the case of fans of Beavis and Butt-head, these lines of demarcation indicated both a generational unity and the generation-based barriers between the baby boomers and the "baby busters." The reputed cynicism of the "twentynothings" was on view as Beavis and Butt-head evoked both a stunted adolescence which was long past and an unsure and seemingly inaccessible future.



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    What to Watch Tonight: Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, Beavis and Butt-head, and the New Syfy Series Three Inches

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  • Adam Welsh

    Adam Welsh


    Guy Maxtone-Graham

    Guy Maxtone-Graham

    Various Voices

    Mike Judge

    Mike Judge

    Beavis/Butt-head/Principal McVicker/Tom Anderson/David Van Driessen/Bradley Buzzcut/Additional Characters (voice)

    Chris Phillips

    Chris Phillips

    Various Voices

    Kristofor Brown

    Kristofor Brown

    Various Voices

    Toby Huss

    Toby Huss

    Various Voices

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    Fan Reviews (183)

    • I love this series

      one classic series from mtv
    • Classic MTV cartoon

      Too bad it's ended, I liked Beavis and Butthead, it was great. That's it!
    • The Clever and Amazing life of Beavis and Butthead

      Beavis and Butthead

      The greatest Cartoon to ever hit the TV Screen?

      There have been so many amazing cartoon shows that left an impression on childrens' minds especially from 1980 to the late 1990's. I think during this time period Cartoons had reached there peak.

      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Muppet Babies and Simpsons just to name a few but the one that is the most unique and I think speaks out more to children who were born from 1984 until around 1989 where Beavis and Butthead since the age demographic seemed to be kids from 5-10 who really took a huge like to the show when it came out however, I have heard people even older teenagers and even young adults at the time loved this show.

      What are Beavis and Butthead?

      Simply put they are two lazy boys who sit on the couch all day eating Nachos and commentating on either Kick-Ass music videos or Crappy Music Videos at the time since MTV normally in the 90s all they did was play Music Videos.

      Beavis and Butthead to me could easily be role models for all people as they are not successful people but simply do not care, they do both have jobs but do not stress over rude customers they just have this idea that the world is not as hard as everyone makes it out to be so just chill out. There is so much drama in most peoples lives, Beavis and Butthead really do not know the meaning of the word unless you include when Beavis turns into his Alter-ego.

      Now, I am not saying they are role models for kids themselves because they are not, Beavis and Butthead are bums but once those kids get out in the work place I would say Beavis and Butthead are perfect examples of not letting life or people stress you out, just let people around you have there fits, take a few years off their lives while you are happy with your stress free happy life.

      I love Beavis and Butthead and always will they are an amazing cartoon made by an amazing man named Mike Judge who also followed it up by another amazing cartoon named King of the Hill.

      I always thought Hank Hill from King of the Hill was just Beavis and Buttheads next door stressed out neighbor but 20 years younger, so King of the Hill always made me happy with the thought that in 20 years Hank Hill would really stress out when Beavis and Butthead moved in.

      God Bless Mike Judge and Beavis and Butthead.moreless
    • Reasons Beavis and Butt-head are bad

      1. The boys always talk about scoring (having s*x), which is basically one of the only things they think about.

      2. They always are attempting to impress girls (none of the tries succeed).

      3. They also have to laugh each time a bad word comes up (they also do it randomly).

      4. Also, they rarely ever pay any attention in school, cause mischief, and everything of the sort.

      5. They also give critic on clips from other MTV shows and suggestive music videos (they give extremely vile and inappropriate comments).

      6. They also attempt to get one of their friends to look up nudity online.

      7. The language is just plain awful (cr*p, d*mn, d*ng, and many more of them), and sometimes you might here the f bomb (in the music videos and tv clips, but only tv clips are censored).

      8. The boys know nothing at all and many people take advantage of it. For instance, 2 girls say they want to score with the boys at a theatre, but they only take their tickets and money to get their boyfriends in the movie. At the end, they discover they were tricked.

      9. Also, one man who is a criminal (very threatening gangster) always hides in their house to evade the cops, and says if they snitched, he would kill them.moreless
    • Giving my first review to one of the best cartoons of all time.

      Beavis & Butt-Head is one of those shows that will always live on in my heart, even being a show that bit the dust on MTV. The show is about two teenagers, respectively named Beavis & Butt-Head, two losers that sit in a pigsty all day watching TV and eating nachos, who go on crazy adventures on their journey laid. They do everything they can to "score" and they fail miserably every time, giving the viewers so many laughs, including myself. They also work at Burger World, where they usually constantly piss off their manager by screwing up all the time. After that short sypnosis on the show, here are my thoughts on it: I started watching this show when I was five years old, yeah, I'm completely aware that I was very very young watching it, and back then, the show would leave me in tears, I was laughing so hard at the toilet humor, the music video gags, and their desperate attempts to "score", even though I didn't know what meant when I was five. But eleven years later, being 16 now, I watch the show today, and it still gives me the same laughs and tears that I got when I was five. The show has so many classic moments, moments that I still have locked in my mind today, and even the revival was amazing, fourteen years after the show's presumed finale, they managed to come back and hold the same sense of humor they had when they ran strong back then, it is undoubtedly one of, if not, my favorite TV show of all time. If you like toilet humor, or just watching two teenagers fail at life completely, then watch this show, I highly recommend it.

      10 out of 10.moreless

    More Info About This Show


    Animation, Comedy


    issues with authority, for cynics, 90s, dumb friends, frat guy humor