Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The 8 Best and 4 Worst Adventures of B&B (According to IMDB)

We couldn't locate any official fan-conducted polls of the best or least favorite episodes, so we figured the rankings on IMDB were a decent alternative. The results seem reasonably close to what hardcore fans might have chosen.

So how did Beavis score on IMDB? The top 8 all scored between 8.5 and 8.7. IMDB breaks their 1-decimal ties alphabetically by episode title, but we chose chronology to break ties because of our personal preference for earlier episodes. The bottom 4 all received a respectable score of 7.0.


#8 "Werewolves of Highland" b/w "Crying" (2011)

Contrary to popular opinion, Season 8 and its noncanonical 2011 premiere episode did NOT pick up where the show left off 14 years prior. Instead, it functions to fill in the gaps. Had the show continued endlessly like The Simpsons or South Park, this is how it would have progressed:

  • Scoring is still their primary motivation, although Beavis and Butthead no longer exclusively think with their dicks or react only to their baser impulses. They’re slightly more adept at quick inferences than in 1997.
  • For some reason, they’re paying attention in class and not goofing off as much as before.
  • ‘90s B&B writer David Felton once described his process as “Go back to the place where thinking begins and stay there.” Now controlled by a different creative crew, B&B generally seem less stupid than they used to be.
  • Butthead’s jokey demeanor drops into his mellow, alluring tone more frequently than ever before. It seems like half of his dialogue is delivered with the same tone he used for the line “Let’s get a little mellow” when they were watching “Fake Plastic Trees,” which is not the same way he used to speak. Many fans noted that Beavis’s voice sounds more grunty.
  • This was the first episode animated with digital ink and paint and not entirely hand drawn.
  • The 2 stories are permanently packaged as an unbroken 30-minute experience instead of the old school methods where MTV would re-air previously aired B&B shorts during the show’s second half.

    We’re unsure why this placed as the eighth best episode ever over classics like “Pipe of Doom” or fan favorites like “Tired.” The jokes aren’t as funny as they used to be, and the stories throughout the 2011 season felt overall conceptually overreaching.

    Fans were initially skeptical of the commentary segments switching to half-videos/half-MTV shows, although the very first Jersey Shore clip from this episode is not bad. In "Werewolves Of Highland," Beavis adds spiciness to a few lines like "Soon, they will do our bidding!" in the same way that he used to deliver his horribly classic Mr. Sulu impression. Moments like those were the ones we were waiting for.

    “Crying” is the stronger of the two stories in this episode, but mostly for its ending when we finally get to see what might have been Butthead’s death scene at age 95, directly beside geriatric Beavis who gives equally as less of a fuck about his friend’s death as Butthead expressed in “The Final Judgement of Beavis.”

    Also, this is the only episode from the top 8 current streaming at MTV.Com:

    #7 "Butt Flambé" (1997)

    Throughout October and November '97, MTV held an extended Beavis and Butthead celebration re-airing what they advertised as "every episode" in chronological order (2-4 episodes per night). It was not every episode, but they probably showed about 170 of them, which they had never attempted before. They re-aired a handful that were previously banned and a few that lifted some of the censored moments. (This was a big deal in the era before binge-marathons and DVR.) Casual viewers were reminded of the minimal, crude non-stories of 1993. The journey from "Frog Baseball" to "Butt Flambé" felt like an eternity.

    "Butt Flambé" was the third-to-last episode, premiering mid-way through the "every episode" celebration. It's as maximal and high-concept as the show ever got, including a B- and C- story, plus a mysteriously open-ended intro and closing scene. It's also (possibly) part of a loose story arc within the show's floating timeline that connects to "Beavis and Butthead Are Dead" and "Prank Call." (These connections will be explored later in this list. *spoiler*)

    Similar to '50s Looney Toons shorts, the simplicity of B&B's universe crafted itself around what the writers chose NOT to include (a tip Simpsons writers could have used from Season 14 onward). The potential scope of B&B's adventures were purposely limited, enabling the writers to get more wild and creative as the show progressed. After showing the "money shots" part of the story 197 times, the adventure that sent Beavis to the E.R. was decidedly less interesting than what happened afterwards.

    From Meeseeks and Destroy:
    Rick: (sarcastically) "Yeah, Morty, this is the part of the story evvvvv'rybody loves - scaling down 650,000 oversized steps."
    Morty: "All right, okay, you know, if this was a story, this part wouldn't be included, stupid."

    Yes, but "the parts that shouldn't be included" are essentially the basis of reality television. It was only a matter of time before TV cartoons ultimately led in this direction.

    #6 "Candy Sale" (1996)

    "Candy Sale" is a good example of a classically stupid narrative in the style of Larry Fine & Curly Howard or Jed Clampett & Jethro Bodine who probably expressed a similarly boneheaded grasp of basic sales exchange at some point.

    Mr. Candy (voiced by David Spade), formerly known as Mr. Manners, got what he deserved. He doesn't exactly say that Butthead is wrong after getting called out for holding his nads while speaking in front of Mr. Buzzcut's class. He later places his hands on Beavis and hyper-defensively loses his cool after they call him a pocket fisherman and a pervert. All signs point to B&B seeming very correct in their insight. "Ohhh no. You're not gonna pull that again. It took me six months to get another job!"

    The B&B Wikia page sheds some insight: They theorize Mr. Manners & Mr. Candy are the same character as Kelly, the doorman in the episode "Babes R Us," who calls on Thor (the security guard "gorilla boy" from "At The Sideshow") to throw their heads into sidewalk pavement multiple times. When they see Mr. Buzzcut finally kicking his ass 3 years later, it's karmic revenge.

    Video stuff: During the Coolio video, Beavis does a impression of Redd Foxx in Sanford & Son and they admit to loving the show because there's lots of garbage everywhere.

    #5 "The Great Cornholio" (1994)

    The Beavis and Butthead Wikia resource claims the original title "Breakfast Burritos" was quickly changed to "The Great Cornholio" during future airings thanks to Cornholio's instant popularity. We've found no other evidence to back up this claim. But if true, this adds some insight to Cornholio's genesis. The show creators had no intention of devising a catchphrase-heavy recurring motif easily exploitable by MTV in the coming years.

    From Taint Of Greatness...

    Mike Judge: "One night sometime right after the L.A. earthquake – maybe it locked a screw loose in my brain. I had an image of Beavis with a shirt over his head pulled up with his head sticking through, like I’d seen kids do when I was a little kid."

    Kristophor Brown (writer/producer): "I had just heard a news report that said 'A medical study says sugar does not cause hyperactivity in children.' My initial thought was, 'why don’t we just call bullshit on this medical study and have him load up on sugar and caffeine?'"

    Mike Judge: "Kris and I wrote a beginning where they go to Stewart’s house. We kinda made it up on the spot, and the rest was really just improvised. I would tell people, 'Maybe no one’s gonna like this. Maybe people will think it’s too out there.' But it ended up being THE favorite episode probably of all time. I didn’t want to do too many [more Cornholio episodes] because the magic of the first time wouldn’t be there – if you wanna call that magic."

    #4 "No Laughing" (1993)

    Many of the '93 episodes have such uneventful narratives, although those episodes did the best job of establishing the inherent boredom of dead-end Highland (a town whose home-state is never established, although we are 99% certain it's a fictional town in Mike's home state of Texas) and dreadfully miserable 7-hour high school days. The shitty animation style from that era adds so much character, establishing a Gummo-esq dichotomy uncovering beauty in the ugliness, liveliness in the boredom, thoughtfulness in the stupidity.

    We get the feeling "No Laughing" would not have been expanded to a 30-minute 2-parter had it premiered in 1994 or later. That said, it has most engaging and most memorable narrative of anything from the first 3 seasons. (The only other 1993 episode to crack IMDB's top 50 was "Closing Time," the one where a health inspector closes down Burger World after B&B spend their graveyard shift throwing fast food into the ceiling fan.)

    Early in the episode, a sharpened pencil flies into Beavis's eye socket. He initially screams, but then laughs it off moments later. The laughs are more than just punchline indicators; they're a natural defense mechanism deflecting certain death. Will their lives forever change after the staff of Highland High removes their privilege?

    It's one of Principal McVicker's first appearances, and his voice sounds uncharacteristically less quavery and more confident. In "Burger World" (a few episodes prior), his character design was not yet designated as the high school principal, but his drive-thru order (to which Butthead replies "shut up") sounds more similar to what happened after "No Laughing." We see him maniacally laughing while knocking back guzzles of bourbon hidden in his desk drawer. It's possible the quavers are a consequence of the alcoholism and drug addiction that B&B allegedly enabled.

    #3 "Beavis and Butthead Are Dead" (1997)

    When the title of the last episode leaked weeks before its premiere, rumors spread that B&B would be among the few TV shows in history daring enough to kill off its titular characters once and for all. The show creators strongly considered the idea. Either way, the title promised an exciting banger of a finale on par with the scene from Beavis and Butthead Do America when the FBI and secret service take aim at deliriously oblivious Cornholio.

    B&B did not go out with a bang. The last episode was instead a friendly wave goodbye to the hardcore fans. In its final scene, Beavis and Butthead walk slowly into the sunset with their laughter (not unlike the final scene from Do America). Instead of Mike Judge's self-recorded B&B theme song, Liberace's version of "I'll Be Seeing You" plays over the final credit scroll (alongside a once-shown "greatest hits" series of still shots). A final message is shown: "Thank you to all the talented artists, writers and highly intelligent people who worked so hard to make Beavis and Butt-head look so dumb." The last 10 seconds are silent. A blank screen shows "(c) 1997 MTV Networks" with the B&B logo one last time. Along with the majority of Season 7, the episode wasn't re-run as often as previous ones.

    There were no explosions. This was not the fabled episode when Beavis finally scored. Rather, it was the only time Beavis and Butthead opted to throw together a clip show in lieu of video commentary. It's not one of the funniest episodes, so it's a strange choice for the top 3, although its historical significance alone should be enough for canonization. Plus, it's packed with notable moments:

    - Before the show reveals that they're not actually dead, Van Driessen and McVicker discuss the whereabouts of their parents. For a moment, it seemed like the final episode might have uncovered more insight or included prominent show appearances from their moms. (It's assumed their dads are the two former Mötley Crüe roadies who cross their path in the desert segment of Do America.)
    - McVicker's drug addiction and shaky nerves immediately subside after he believes the news of their death.
    - It's never explained how they acquired three weeks worth of nachos, which is the reason why they haven't left the house in so long.
    - We're having trouble figuring out whether Tom Anderson was present throughout Season 7. His last appearance might have been in Beavis and Butthead Do America, and he is probably the character we miss the most who we wish had been present in the final episode.
    - The TV parodies were among the show's most underrated moments, and we're happy the old clips included 8 or 9 of these. "Do these buttwipes actually think we’re gonna sit here and watch the same crap over and over?” Mike was exhausted, but the viewers were not. MTV viewers proved they really could watch the same crap over and over. (This sequence was foreshadowed in Butt Flambé a few episodes prior. In the operating room, the Benny Hill parody clip with the line "I got me finga stuck in me bum" was recycled from the episode when Butthead chokes on chicken.)
    - This was Daria's final show appearance. (She's not in the 2011 season, and her own series premiered earlier that year.) Daria and Stewart seem like the only Highland students even marginally affected. Daria's memories are objective and accurate. Butthead and Stewart's memories are inaccurate, while Beavis is incapable of remembering anything.

    #2 "Prank Call" (1996)

    Harry Sachz first appears deep in Season 6 within the series' last 50 episodes. Along with the Crazy Farmer from "Bungholio: Lord Of The Harvest," he is one of the show's more mysterious recurring characters.

    The story of Harry Sachz begins in "Prank Call." He's a larger dude who drinks beer alone while watching The People's Court. The timeline implies that B&B push Harry Sachz into a maniacal rage with several months of prank call harassment. By the time of "Nothing Happened" (roughly a year later), he's involved in a high speed police chase after stealing a car and is shot by police. In "Butt Flambé" (roughly six months after "Nothing Happened"), he's in the emergency room with bullet wounds in his chest and is later pronounced dead on an operating table. Are all of these events related? So many missing puzzle pieces.

    At the time, he was one of the show's only dead recurring characters. However, between 1997 and 2011, Harry somehow recovers from gunshot death and prominently appears in the 2011 episode "Doomsday."

    A few notable moments from "Prank Call":
    - B&B's phone number is 555-2868 (which appears on Harry Sachz' caller-ID unit, recently purchased out of frustration. "Somebody gawna die."
    - Mr. Stevenson no longer teaches at Highland High School by the time of this episode. "Can somebody get that? That might be the office."

    All three vids are great examples of how video critique could miraculously uncover areas of their intelligence rarely heard outside of their living room.
    - Bucketheads "The Bomb" - Butthead invents a tongue-twister, "Her butt looks better in pants than most chicks butts look naked."
    - Bon Jovi "Something For The Pain" - Beavis defends his love for Jovi.
    - Del Amitri "Roll To Me" - Butthead says the chicks in this video give him a special feeling in his seminiferous tubules.

    #1 "Bus Trip" (1995)

    David Van Driessen should probably stop singing in public. As early as his first appearance in the Peace Love and Understanding short, the first of his nine lives ends abruptly while singing a song about Earth Day at a monster truck rally. "I'd just like to remind everybody that today is Earth Day, and everyday is Earth Day. So I'd like to ask everybody to sort of just mellow out, and if we could all just join hands and help me sing this song, that would be really great! Mm-kay? *Plant a treeeee... Save a treee...*" Around this point, the monster truck lands on his head and crushes his entire body into fragments of flesh, bone and blood. B&B respond "YES!" and headbang.

    Mike Judge has admitted that, aside from Beavis, Mr. Van Driessen was his favorite of all his voices, although he always felt uncomfortable whenever he got stuck singing one of Van Driessen's incredibly shitty folk songs like "Men (Have Feelings Too)" or "Lesbian Seagull." It seems like every time he sings in public, he's interrupted by a violently traumatic near-death experience. To B&B's credit, it's usually not their fault, although in "Bus Trip" it's partially their fault that Van Driessen was standing a little too close to the front of the bus.

    Is this the single greatest moment in B&B history?

    It's a moment when we are definitely NOT reminded that they are cartoon characters portrayed as gloriously tragic humans. His crash through the school bus window is amazing enough to get shown three times from three different angles. He warns the class earlier that the descent down "Mount Pierrdido" (huh-huh, mount) will be "quite a work out," but the MTV equivalent of a Wile E. Coyote moment is probably not what he had in mind.

    By '95, the character designs, voices, animation style, stories and jokes were as close as they would ever get to what Mike Judge had in his head when he first started. By '97, the animation had grown slightly too slick, the stories were just barely too polished, and they were no longer pacing the episodes with video commentary. So it's possible that this moment from "Bus Trip" might the culmination of their best season. It's one of those episodes that has at least one joke (sometimes more than one) within pretty much every line of dialogue.

    The show's pacing shouldn't be underestimated here. Following the bus accident, the A.D.D. nature of the show abruptly pivots to commentary for a forgotten '90s band called The Rake's Progress that focuses on milk delivery. An old guy with a long white beard is shown drinking milk from a carton. Butthead responds, "Hh-hh. I like it when old people let their mouths hang open? 'Cuz they don't remember to close it? Hh-hh." The timing of this one-liner occurs just when viewers might be cooling down from Van Driessen's gut-busting moment about 45 seconds prior. It's a 1-2 punch that just about leaves us dying in laughter, helpless against B&B's powers.



    #4 "Car Wash" (1993)

    When a new set of animators were commissioned to work on Season 3, Mike Judge felt unsatisfied with the Hanna-Barbara style subtlety in the characters' movements and gestures. "Comedians" b/w "Car Wash" is a great example. It's kind of strange seeing the way the audience applauds at the juggler in "Comedians." In Taint Of Greatness, Mike specifically notes Butthead's gestures in "Car Wash." He's shown shrugging, moving his eyebrows in an unusual manner and waving his hands while describing a plan to Beavis. The creators understood the nuances of classic animation well enough to know that it wasn't appropriate for this show.

    Either way, "Car Wash" is a strange choice for the 4 least favorite episodes. We always thought of "My liver! My liver!" as one of the show's more memorable early moments.

    #3 "Yogurt's Cool" (1993)

    This episode from late in Season 2 was frequently run during Summer '93's weekend Moronathons. The story starts out okay with B&B watching a girl licking a froyo cone in a TV commercial, and it might be the only time Butthead says "Whoa. Huhuh. I'm getting a boner." The rest of the story is pretty bad. They buy yogurt cones at a mall and immediately hate the taste. Instead of returning their money, the store manager pushes the cones in their faces and laughs. B&B get revenge by smearing the yogurt on the walls of the mall. After they run into a mall security guard, the story abruptly switches to a meeting with a high school guidance councilor. This final scene feels like it was pulled from an entirely different episode, and it doesn't refer to the mall sequence at all.

    In the video commentary, Rick James' "Superfreak" and T'Pau's "Heart and Soul" (two of the greatest songs of all time) are both stamped with the official "this sucks" tag. Their assessment of "Heart and Soul" resembling a phone sex commercial seems ok, but the writers might have expanded that concept into more bizarre and sillier areas in a future episode.

    #1 & #2 "Sign Here" b/w "Give Blood" a.k.a. "Blood Drive" (1993)

    Is this episode actually that bad? As mentioned earlier, Mike Judge hates both parts, and was "burying [his] head in the sand" after its premiere. But it was a success anyway. Both parts of the episode start with the TV parodies and fake commercials that became often used throughout the series. There's something to be said when the strength of the characters and the freshness of the format can still generate over a million new fans within 5 days even though it's probably the series' poorest animation quality and includes two of its weakest stories. (To be fair, "Yogurt's Cool" looks worse and has NO story.) The strength of the format itself is noteworthy since it hadn't been attempted on MTV before, and it was the perfect point in history to show cartoon metal fans' negative reactions to Hall & Oates and Huey Lewis. (P.S. We're fans of both artists.)

  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    "Who Is The #1 Artist In B&B History?" and other fun stats

    B&B's notoriety for controversy and remaining consistently funny often unfairly overshadowed its musical canonization. The show deserves more credit for rescuing at least 100 bands from complete obscurity. Mike Judge's perfectionism enabled him to dig past the hits, not only for unexpectedly odd low-hanging clips that were easy to shit on but also visually memorable videos that he personally dug. The show was also re-run very often, while 120 Minutes and Headbangers Ball were not (and had far less viewers).

    The #1 Artist In B&B History
    The musician who has appeared on the most episodes of Beavis and Butthead might be Flea, who appeared in RHCP videos 4 times. B&B also enthusiastically reacted to Flea's cameo in Butthole Surfers' "Who Was In My Room Last Night?" The 1996 line-up of RHCP charted with their cover of "Love Rollercoaster," from Beavis and Butthead Do America. They also submitted an excellent cover of The Stooges' "Search and Destroy" for The Beavis and Butthead Experience LP.

    It's possible that Red Hot Chili Peppers deserve the award for the #1 Beavis and Butthead artist of all time.

    White Zombie notably express gratitude to B&B who they claim hugely contributed to their success after the show's enthusiastically positive reaction to "Thunder Kiss '65," "Black Sunshine" and "Welcome to Planet Motherfucker" throughout 1993. They returned the favor contributing "I Am Hell" to The Beavis and Butthead Experience comp and "Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls" to the Beavis and Butthead Do America soundtrack.

    Along with RHCP, other artists who appeared four times include Beastie Boys (whose "Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun" was covered by Anthrax on The Beavis and Butthead Experience comp), Biohazard, Danzig (whose "Mother" is the only song to receive commentary twice for both studio and live versions), David Lee Roth (solo only, never appearing on B&B in a Van Halen video), Faith No More, Pantera, R.E.M., Soundgarden, The Ramones and U2.

    Motley Crue appeared three times, including once without Vince Neil, who also had a solo video in one episode.

    Les Claypool appeared on the show in two Primus videos and also once in the band Sausage, who Butthead referred to as The Seminifreous Tubloidial Buttnoids. Primus recorded "Poetry and Prose" (a song literally about watching Beavis and Butthead) as their contribution to The Beavis and Butthead Experience comp.

    Dave Grohl appeared in two Nirvana videos and one Foo Fighters clip.

    Along with White Zombie, other artists to appear three times include AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Alice In Chains, Bjork, GWAR (who are prominently featured in MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head: The Game for Sega Genesis and SNES), Madonna, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey, Rollins Band, Salt-n-Pepa and Ween.

    1994: The Year B&B Broke Bands
    Not everyone had the Columbia House catalogs, which was probably the OTHER major reason (besides B&B) why average high school kids might have been familiar with Matador band names like Helium, Pavement, Chavez, Pizzicato Five or Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. For a certain MTV viewer, Helium is immortalized as the band whose lead singer was dragging a hoe through a garden, while Pizzacato Five is remembered as having a band member who looks like Eddie from My Three Sons. (Hugely underrated Butthead impression: "Hhhhhey Uncle Charlie. Seems like a lotta work to me.")

    Multiple show appearance from King Missile, Babes In Toyland or Quicksand arguably gave those bands a larger promotional push than a one-time appearance on Letterman.

    In either case, Seaweed might have been remembered as that band whose video began with the disclaimer "Over 5 Zillion Bikes Are Stolen Every Year," but re-runs on Beavis and Butthead continued to air the "Kid Candy" video long after its shelf-life on 120 Minutes had ended.

    Ween were a grower band. Butthead's initial reaction to "Push Th' Little Daisies" was "These guys got no future." A year later, their reaction to "I Can't Put My Finger On It" mostly focused on gyro restaurants until its outro when Beavis says, "But yaknow, it IS kind of a good song. If you listen to it, it is pretty cool." They upgraded Ween's status again a year later while catching the "Freedom Of '76" video, singing along to "Freedommmm" and calling them out by name: "Check it out. It's Dean and Gene Ween. Ween kicks ass."

    Despite their fandom of hard metal, they did not enjoy deathmetal bands like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel or King Diamond nearly as much as early '90s hardcore metal like Pantera or Crowbar or the louder end of the grunge spectrum like Soundgarden or Alice In Chains. They notoriously hated late '80s pop metal and were unjustly blamed for ending the short-term careers of bands like Winger and Poison whose popularity had already been disintegrating by 1993.

    Three Times B&B Watched The Entire Video
    The structures were left untouched since they're all pretty short songs. Even if Beavis wanted to shout "change it!" he simply didn't have enough time.

    1. Gary Young "Plant Man" (July 1995)
    We suspect that Beavis's "heyyyyyy Butthead" might have been a vague reference to You Can't Do That On Television.

    2. Elastica "Connection" (September 1995)

    3. Del Amitri "Roll To Me" (January 1996)

    (bonus) Nine Inch Nails "March Of The Pigs" (May 1994) also came close. A short section from verse 2 was cut.

    (bonus) Not available on Youtube, their two commentaries from the Thanksgiving special in November 1997 unusually allowed commentary to continue past the 2:30 mark. Almost all of Marilyn Manson's “Long Hard Road Out of Hell” and Fiona Apple's “Criminal” were shown.

    Videos We Wrongly Assumed Were On B&B
    Our B&B trivia was not a sharp as we originally thought.

    1. Van Halen "Hot For Teacher"
    We're surprised to discover David Lee Roth's solo videos were shown four times and yet the only Van Halen video shown was "Can't Stop Loving You" from 1995's Balance (a Hagar video which they correctly assess as resembling one of those really horrible early '90s country videos from TNN).

    2. Gilby Clarke - any video
    Gilby Clarke had no solo videos on B&B. We probably got this confused with Izzy Stradlin and Slash's Snakepit, both shown once each, while GNR's two videos were "Garden Of Eden" and "Paradise City."

    3. Snow "Informer"
    Huge during Spring 1993. Low-hanging pop. Many 9-year-old fans. But somehow, Mike never threw it into the rotation.

    4. Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
    5. Alanis Morissette "Hand In My Pocket"
    6. Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know"
    Video commentary quietly ended by the time these videos blew up in September '95. We'll discuss this more in a future post.

    Three Videos B&B Shockingly Enjoyed
    1. Bee Gees "Jive Talking"
    "Is this The Black Crowes?" "No way! These guys are cool." (P.S. It also seems odd that they never watched a Black Crowes video.)

    2. Wilco "Box Full Of Letters"
    Not on Youtube. Butthead has trouble understanding his enjoyment: "Uhh. Something about this sounds different."

    3. Bon Jovi "Something For The Pain"
    While they were watching "In These Arms" in late '93, Beavis asks, "Remember when these guys were cool?" alluding to some secret guilty-pleasure Jovi fandom. Butthead laughs and responds, "You probably like these guys, wuss." It took over two years for Beavis to finally stand up for himself during the "Something For the Pain" video in January 1996, hinting that Mike Judge felt guilty whenever fans would misinterpret B&B's in-character criticism as a serious taste-making alternative. Granted, they usually had pretty great taste in bands, although Beavis was kinda wrong in this case; "Something For The Pain" is terrible.

    We'd like to think Mike Judge didn't actually pronounce Nirvana's name incorrectly IRL. His bit for "Heart Shaped Box" was recorded pre-death but eerily first aired post-death in May 1994. It wasn't until "I'll Stick Around" in November 1995 that NirvaRna was acknowledged one last time.

    Beavis's "channeling of a rock critic" sequence was pretty amazing, and we wish Mike Judge had tried this more often.

    Friday, March 9, 2018

    Beavis and Butthead's Greatest Hits

    A few other similar "Best music videos" listicles popped up over the past few days.

    Some are surprisingly well packaged, and you can tell the blogger actually did some research, such as "Beavis and Butthead's Top 40 One-Liners" from Ultimate Classic Rock:

    Others seemed poorly thrown together, such as Consequence Of Sound's "The 10 Greatest Music Videos of All Time According to Beavis and Butt-head," a listicle described as "videos that don't suck nads," as if "suck nads" was a phrase ever once written into the dialogue of a single B&B episode. The Ramones' clip from B&B's 1st episode is a bizarre #1, especially since they barely express anything beyond headbanging, laughing and "this rules".

    It wouldn't be easy to pick their favorite video. They got excited enough about GWAR's "The Road Behind" that the commentary was almost entirely the word "GWAR" repeated over and over.

    Butthead's repeated "YES! YES! YES! YES!" throughout the intro of Pantera's "I'm Broken" might have been the closest he ever got to reaching Beavis's excitability. They were headbanging far less often after Season 3 as Mike Judge forced them to watch mostly videos that they largely detested or might have enjoyed if the song or visual cliches didn't seem derivative. "I'm Broken" felt like a moment of euphoria. If we were forced to pick their favorite video of all time, this might be it.

    And now, here's our completely subjective choices for their 10 greatest video commentaries...

    10. Rollins Band "Liar"

    9. Crowbar "Existence Is Punishment"

    Pig out.

    8. Soundgarden "Black Hole Sun"

    Juan Valdez.

    7. Danzig "Cantspeak"

    Toilets of the future.

    6. Mercyful Fate "The Bell Witch"

    Beavis finally locates the turdburglar.

    5. Annie Lennox "No More I Love Yous"


    4. Live "I Alone"

    3. Slim Whitman "Paloma Blanca"

    Season 1, 45 seconds long. A rarity.

    2. Pantera "This Love"

    1. Yanni "Reflections Of Passion"

    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    MTVZ: March 2018

    We'll have more B&B posts throughout this weekend.

    Beavis & Butthead dominate this month's MTVZ with mad video commentary.

    The Banned B&B Episodes Of 1993

    We'd like to think that many '90s teens have fond nostalgia for drifting off to sleep while B&B was shown on MTV. Throughout the majority of its run, it was often programmed after The State on Saturdays at 11:30. On Sundays, it aired at 11PM before Liquid Television and 120 Minutes.

    From March until mid-October 1993, B&B was also shown during prime-time once or twice between 7-8PM. Within seven months, the show's popularity with young people exploded to the point where B&B's world was incessantly adored and annoyingly imitated. As Season 2 continued, it generated intense polarization on both ends.

    The show was blamed for an October 8th incident when a 5-year-old was influenced by the show to purposely ignite his family's trailer home killing his 2-year-old sister. No other copycat incidents were reported; however, the show was unjustly blamed for a Jersey City teen releasing a bowling ball from an overpass bouncing through the window of a car driving under the Holland Tunnel and killing an infant.

    Within days after the Ohio incident, MTV publicly stated that the show would no longer air prior to 10PM. Disclaimers were added. The word "fire" and any references to fire were infamously deleted from subsequent airings of Season 1, 2 or 3 episodes. Less infamously, the phrase "choad smoker" was also removed. Beavis used to be seen occasionally lighting a cigarette, but no more. Certain episodes no longer exist in their original form after MTV made permanent cuts. The documentary Taint Of Greatness claims that four episodes were forever banned, although a 2013 article from L.A. Weekly lists at least six.

    Here's what we could find.

    #1 "Way Down Mexico Way, Part 2" (May 26, 1993)

    This episode is fucking insane. They hitchhike to Mexico, feed hot sauce to a dog, and smack a firecracker-obsessed boy unconscious with a piñata stick. In one scene, B&B swallow condoms filled with pills to help a drug smuggler sneak them past the Mexican border. And of course, the condoms open up while in their stomachs.
    Status: Permanently banned since summer 1993.

    #2 "At The Movies" (May 31, 1993)
    B&B blow up toilets with explosives at a drive-in movie.
    Status: Banned from MTV until 1997.

    #3 "Stewart’s House" (June 14, 1993)

    Stewart's first appearance. Along with No Laughing and any adventures with Tom Anderson, this is the funniest episode of Season 2. B&B are shown inhaling gas fumes from a stove (with a disclaimer) and blowing up Stewart’s kitchen.
    Status: Permanently banned since the Ohio incident.

    #4 "Heroes" (June 30, 1993)
    Butthead fires a shotgun multiple times and shoots down a passenger airplane.
    Status: Permanently banned since the Ohio incident.
    NOTE: Surprisingly, "Heroes" has not yet been yanked from Youtube, possibly because it has never appeared on any home video release.

    #5 "Washing The Dog" (July 8, 1993)
    Offending moments include washing a dog in a washing machine and riding in the laundromat dryer.
    Status: Banned until 1997.

    #6 "Be All You Can Be" (July 15, 1993)
    Questioned for “unserious themes directed toward the military.”
    Status: Banned until 1997.

    #7 "Comedians" (September 6, 1993)

    A noticeable upgrade in both jokes and animation quality, "Comedians" b/w "Car Wash." kicked off Season 3's "All New Episodes" premiere week. Pristine uncensored 1st generation copies of "Comedians" are considered rare. It was shown unaltered only once. The scene where Beavis juggles burning newspapers was permanently cut from the master tapes. This edited version was shown during subsequent broadcasts until 4 weeks later.
    Status: Permanently banned since the Ohio incident.

    #8 "Couch Fishing" (September 7, 1993)
    Unconfirmed reports of teenagers copycatting similar couch fishing stunts raised concerns.
    Status: Banned until 1997.

    #9 "Incognito" (September 8, 1993)

    The character Earl is not prominently featured in future episodes. He carries a concealed hand gun, using it to threaten B&B and shoots out of the class window after a bullet flies in from outdoors.
    Status: Permanently banned.
    NOTE: Despite MTV banning the episodes, still images from "Comedians," "Couch Fishing" and "Incognito" were shown during the show's closing credits throughout 1994. (The screen caps shown here with the mid-2000s VH1 logo were DVR'd from European broadcasts.)

    #10 "Sperm Bank" (October 7, 1993)
    Includes sexual themes.
    Status: Banned until 1997.

    #11 "Ball Breakers" (October 25, 1993)
    Deemed questionable for re-airing after the bowling ball incident.
    Status: Banned until 1997.

    Censored Episodes
    Christmas season was just around the corner, and high demand for B&B merchandise (including the November release of The Beavis and Butthead Experience comp CD) along with pressure from fans, advertisers and investors meant MTV had to make a quick decision. They chose to continue airing altered versions of re-runs. The show creators were unhappy that many of the cuts disrupted comedic rhythm. "Fire!" was removed from almost all of these, but here are some other notable censored moments:

  • "Peace, Love and Understanding" - Glue-sniffing images were removed. (Mike Judge hated this episode anyway.)
  • "Give Blood" - The shot where Butthead breaks his giant bag of blood over Beavis' head was cut.
  • "Good Credit" - “Chode smoker” and Beavis's suggestion to light a credit card on fire were cut. Beavis’ attempt to light a parrot on fire was cut. Mr. Anderson’s repeated “Damnit! Damnit! Damnit!” was cut down to one “Damnit!”
  • "Burger World" - “Chode smoker” was removed.
  • "No Laughing" - Some of Mr. Buzzcut’s dialogue was cut, including the words “clitoris” and “scrotum” (the anatomically correct versions of these words). These cuts were restored in 1997 and appear uncensored when the clip reappeared in “Beavis and Butthead Are Dead.”
  • "For Better Or Verse" - “Light first, then spray” followed by the aerosol lighting Beavis’s face on fire was removed.
  • "Kidnapped" - The parody scene of Urkel on “Family Matters” (showing Urkel pointing to a house fire and asking “Did I do that???”) was removed.
  • "Tornado"- A parody of Barney the Dinosaur catching fire while pulling a cake from an oven was altered. Barney’s original dialogue was longer and accompanied by Beavis chanting “Fire! Fire!” but it was later shortened to Barney yelling “Help! This sucks!”
  • "Scratch N Win" - Permanent cuts were made before the episode premiered. It abruptly ends after B&B mow the anarchy symbol into the front lawn of Highland High School with a lawnmower. The rest of the episode would have shown B&B crashing the lawnmower into the car of Gina (a classmate they were hitting on earlier in the episode).
  • "Sporting Goods" - A scene where B&B light grasshoppers on fire was replaced with a scene of B&B with dueling grasshoppers.
  • "Citizen Butthead" - The Bill Clinton episode was one of the first to air after the Ohio incident. Beavis’s “Fire! Fire!” and other fire references were permanently cut prior to airing.

    And finally, from the episode "Scared Straight..."

    The Plasmatics' "The Damned" features a sequence where Wendy O. Williams crashes a schoolbus through a wall of televisions resulting in an explosion, delighting Beavis. After its first week of airing, subsequent broadcasts permanently replaced this with U2’s “Lemon,” pulled from a previous episode. The Plasmatics video was never shown again.