Beavis and Butt-head

MTV - Music Television (ended 2011)



User Score: 854

Beavis and Butt-head
out of 10
User Rating
2,315 votes

By Users

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.

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

Toby Huss

Toby Huss

Various Voices

Kristofor Brown

Kristofor Brown

Various Voices

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Fan Reviews (180)

  • 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
  • Only 1993-1997

    This review is only based on the 1993-1997 run.

    Beavis and Butt-Head are two idiotic troublesome teenagers from the fictional city of Highland. Their essential concerns in life are eating nachos (and other kinds of junkfood), watching TV and trying to "score" - you know, get laid or something.

    They spend their time either at home doing nothing, going out trying to get chicks (and they, like, fail and stuff), at school (getting in trouble with Vietnam veteran and Marine-turned-teacher Coach Buzzcut and Principal McVicker) or at work at the local fastfood Burger World (under the supervision of that manager dude who always, like, makes them do stuff).

    Sure, the writting is definitely not fine literature (some episodes fall flat to be honest), but the second season and the sixth and seventh ones are gold. I don't get why there aren't any season releases so far and we instead have to do with the Mike Judge Collection DVDs - supposedly, the best two thirds of the series... Yeah, some episodes from seasons 3 and 4 that go nowhere or are just unfunny sure are better than the "crappy" (according to Judge) episodes from season 1 (which have really crude animation, but have some impact like the one with the blood donation - and Family Guy even re-used the idea of the person going to a blood donation thinking they're SELLING the blood).

    Some of the most classic elements of the show include Beavis' recurring alter ego called the Great Cornholio (a state occuring whenever he consumes too much sugar and/or caffeine) and their reviews of music videos - their reactions are usually pretty funny, especially when they hate stuff. I love the first season episode Balloon mainly because they review an AC/DC video and they go talking about the band members (and I'm a big fan of AC/DC, they RULE).

    Anyway, rant's over and let's just enjoy that classic show that scored a 9. (huhuhuh... I said score)moreless
  • Just Hilarious!

    It's too bad that they stopped airing this show, but you can still find episodes on YouTube and other video hosting websites. I first watched this when I was 7. I enjoyed it. I still watch episodes of this on YouTube and I've watched Beavis and Butthead Do America which was a pretty good movie. I just love the adult and toilet humor they do here because, after all, Beavis and Butthead are supposed to dumb, right? Not stupid dumb, but funny dumb, like the older Patrick Star (Seasons 1 - 3) I also like the adult humor here (which sparked a ton of controversy and popularity)! The art design started out crude looking, but as progress went on, it started to look better, just go watch the film. My only gripe with this show is the parts where they make fun of a music video because it had nothing to do with the actual plot, making it hard to follow sometimes, they can be funny at times, though, but I felt that they weren't some necessity, and sometimes they take too long. If I find those music video parts on an episode I watch on YouTube, I just skip them. This show is just one of the funniest out there and proves the olden days of TV were great.moreless
  • Stupidly hilarious! :)

    This show is so funny because Beavis and Butt-head are so stupid. Their antics just crack me up. I also find it funny that they can't do a simple task right. I also love how they laugh. Their laughter is just like SpongeBob's because it can get stuck in your head. Speaking of him, Beavis and Butt-head make Patrick Star look like Albert Einstein. That is how stupid they are, but at the same time it is hilarious. If you are looking for something to laugh about, then watch this show.moreless
  • It has its moments, but not enough.

    The show has positive and negative stuff in it. The show has had quite a bit of controversy here and there but still, you`ll find it enjoyable at its best and feel like you have to watch it at its worst. You may also not like the intelligance level Beavis and Butthead have, but then again, even the dumbest guy in the room full of smart people says the smartest thing now and then. However, I think the show unintentionally poked fun at people with mental problems. It was pretty clear Beavis and Butthead ha a disability but none of the adults even aknowlaged this.moreless

    What's Renewed, What's Canceled, and What's Still In Between? (2012 Edition)

    We'll continue to update this story as more renewals and cancellations announced, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often for updates.


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

    Plus: TLC's Hook, Line, and Sisters and PBS's Independent Lens.

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    More Info About This Show


    Animation, Comedy


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