Mike Judge Interview BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD; New Episodes Take on TWILIGHT and Maybe Lady Gaga

     July 31, 2011

In 1993, show creator Mike Judge and MTV launched Beavis and Butt-Head, an animated series about a couple of idiots that quickly became a pop culture phenomenon. While they spent most of their time sitting on a couch and making fun of MTV’s music videos, fans of the series totally ate it up. Now, the boys are making their triumphant return, unleashing their hilarious and biting commentary on today’s society, music and pop culture, and giving a whole new audience the chance to experience this duo of lunkheads.At the MTV portion of the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, Mike Judge (who also voices both characters) talked about why he decided to bring back Beavis and Butt-Head, and here are the most interesting points of the interview:

  • Mike Judge felt like now was the right time to bring the series back to MTV because he enjoys doing it so much, he’s a better director now than he was then, and the resources to do the series are better
  • Any talk of how much time has passed will be avoided on the series, but current technology was taken into account
  • There will be an episode where Beavis and Butt-Head work tech support, and an episode where they see Twilight and try to become undead
  • Even though the animation process has changed, Mike Judge is still using the same model sheets for the show
  • Along with reality shows, Beavis and Butt-Head will still be critiquing music videos, which will now have clearance for future DVD releases as well

Check out what he had to say after the jump:

Question: Why bring Beavis and Butt-Head back now?

MIKE JUDGE: Well, I like doing it. We’d been talking about doing another movie, over the years, and as ideas would come, I’d write them down. King of the Hill was done, and I just thought, “Who am I to turn this down?” I’ve been through development on animated shows. I just thought that maybe I should just do it while I still could. I think it still works. It feels like it does, to me. I also feel like I’m a better director now than I was back then. We have better resources and I’ve met a lot of really great writers that I’ve worked with. It just felt right. A number of factors came together.

Will be there any mention made of how long it’s been since we’ve last seen Beavis and Butt-Head?

JUDGE: We’ll try not to talk about how long it’s been. They never mentioned much time passing, back in the day either. The world is different now. People have cell phones and people watch stuff online, and we dealt with that a little bit. I didn’t want to force all this modern stuff on them. Only when it’s funny. There’s an episode where they work tech support, based on a lot of my phone calls with tech support. There’s an episode where they see Twilight, and all these girls are into vampires and vampires are sexy, so they try to become undead. We have stuff like that, that’s a little bit topical, but I didn’t want to make it too forced or anything. I wanted to make it still feel as seamless as I could, to what it was however many years ago.

In the time since viewers have seen them, have they scored?

JUDGE: They have not scored.

Beavis and Butt-Head were originally a product of a specific era, with their Metallica and AC/DC t-shirts. Do you feel like these characters would be any different, if you created them today?

beavis_and_buttheadJUDGE: They really weren’t all that much of their time, to begin with. I even remember people saying, “AC/DC and Metallica? Shouldn’t it be Pearl Jam?” Their hairdos aren’t really of a particular time. If I started Beavis and Butt-Head at my age, something would probably be wrong with me. I was already pushing 30. But, I think they’d still probably be similar. They weren’t really saying any hip lingo, at the time. It wasn’t really like that. So, I think they’d probably be similar, but maybe not exactly the same. I’ve got teenaged daughters, and I still see those AC/DC and Metallica t-shirts on kids in their teens.

Has the animation process changed much for you, since the late ‘90s?

JUDGE: Yeah, the animation process has changed. Without getting into the boring details, back in the day, Beavis and Butt-Head was done all hand-inked, painted onto cells, and shot on film. Actually, The Simpsons and King of the Hill stayed that way longer than people think — all the way to 2002, maybe. But now, you can’t do it that way anymore. I think the digital process has gotten a lot better. I think it looks good now. I like the way it looks, actually. When we did the Beavis and Butt-Head movie, we had the process down really well. So, we wanted to get it like that, but maybe even make it a little better. Beavis and Butt-Head does still look crappy and like them. I’m using basically the same model sheets, but I’m just trying to make it look better. I’m actually really happy with the way it looks. It’s Hi-Def. There are a lot of differences, but to me, it still feels like them.

Are Beavis and Butt-Head going to be watching any music videos at all?

JUDGE: Yeah, they are watching music videos. They watch Deadmau5. We don’t know about Lady Gaga yet. We still have some time. But yeah, they’re going to be watching some music videos. We’re working on that part of it. The stuff we’ve done so far is Deadmau5 and MGMT.

Since you couldn’t have the videos on the DVDs before, are the DVD rights worked out this time?

JUDGE: Yes, that’s the other thing. With the original run, the videos were only cleared for MTV, so it was very hard to get those on the DVD. But now, they’re going to be cleared for everything.