Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Beavis & Butthead's Favorite Videos 1995-2018


Over the weekend, another buttmunch blogger for the dumbass NME theorized (with predictably weak evidence) how a 2018 Beavis and Butthead revival would be unnecessary and dull "in the Youtube era." Congrats to the writer and NME for monetizing yet another shitty, meaningless opinion (right alongside "Liam and Noel are objectively good musicians"). We hope the exchanged 75 quid was spent on something the writer actually enjoys.

We'd hereby like to predict with 100% certainty that a Youtube series comprised only of updated B&B music video commentary would be nothing short of a smash success. Any musician should consider it an honor to have them say their band sucks. Avi Buffalo and Earl Greyhound thought so back in 2011, and it's probably the widest exposure either band has ever received.

Along the past three weeks of our extensive B&B journey, we noticed a few surprising details:

#1 As mentioned earlier, there is no episode where they watched "Bullet With Butterfly Wings," a video from October 1995 which was smack in the center of the show's peak in quality. If this had been the 12th question on HQ anytime before March 1st, we would have lost our fraction of $2500. (We thought maybe we got this confused with SP's cameo on The Simpsons, but they played "Zero" on that show.)

The only Pumpkins video they ever watched was "Today."

#2 The most recent time we dug this far down into B&B lore was back in 2010-2011. This was the first time we noticed that Season 7 (every episode from 1997) included videos recycled from older episodes. So this meant that B&B never got to comment on '97-era VH1-alt-rock like Matchbox 20 or Tonic or The Wallflowers. They never saw "Sunny Came Home." They missed out on the electronica hype, so Prodigy, Fatboy Slim or any eligible videos from MTV's AMP block never received commentary. They completely missed the roots of the TRL-era pop explosion, so we still haven't heard their take on Spice Girls, Hanson, Backstreet Boys, Savage Garden or Robyn. (The Manson & Fiona videos from the live action Beavis and Butthead Do Thanksgiving special were obvious glaring exceptions.)

#3 A very recent discovery: The audio for the Season 6 videos must have been finished around the 2nd or 3rd week of September 1995. Their canon of roughly 600 videos from Spring '93 through Summer '95 felt so varied and forward-thinking, enough to keep those segments from seeming dated, even as the re-runs continued into the late '90s.

We're surprised that the cut-off happened so early though. "Gangsta's Paradise" was August '95 and quickly blew up over the next few months. They also watched a random Paula Abdul video that premiered in late August '95. Foo Fighters' "I'll Stick Around" and Jovi's "Something For The Pain" both debuted during the first week of Sept '95. These were the most current videos from the original series.

A few late summer '95 hits like Alanis' "You Oughta Know" or TLC's "Waterfalls" or Goo Goo Dolls "Name" were barely eligible. Their next shot for the canon would have been a hypothetical season from the 2nd half of 1996 that never existed because the show creators were busy working on Beavis and Butthead Do America. As mentioned earlier, Mike felt like the video commentary had grown stale by that point, and they opted to dig out classic videos from the B&B vaults for all of the 1997 episodes.

Mike Judge purposely made Beavis and Butthead sound smarter during the video segments, and the setting often seemed to bring out the best in their personalities. In one episode, Butthead tells their high school guidance councilor that one of his skills involves watching videos. Mike's foresight for the potential of human stupidity (a decently scary amount coming straight from his 2006 film Idiocracy) strangely left the door open for B&B to potentially turn their critique into a profit. It helps to have a personality as memorable as Beavis or Butthead, but we think an IRL version of these two could have used "music criticism through Youtube" as a cash flow generator (not unlike The Needle Drop guy).

This leads us to the final post of our B&B feature: Our hypothetical "What If" canon.

What if Mike Judge decided to dig out the old couch transparencies as a means to cheaply re-launch B&B video commentary (via Youtube or through some other streaming medium)? Or what if the show had just never ended? What videos would generate the strongest reactions?

So we wrote up a fanfic list starting with September 1995. They might have loved hating some of these. They might have genuinely enjoyed some of them. They might have simply reacting by smacking each other upside the head. Or it's possible any of these might have sparked some uncharacteristically astute or witty observations.

Fall 1995
Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
Radiohead "Just"
No Doubt "Just A Girl"
Raekwon "Ice Cream"

Were B&B feeling the Wu? We think "Ice Cream" would have been a great choice. // The show could have used another 1 or 2 of the tripper Bends era videos after "Fake Plastic Trees."

1996
311 "Down"
Busta Rhymes featuring ODB "Woo-Haa (Remix)"
Wesley Willis "Alanis Morissette"
The Presidents Of The USA "Mach 5"
Cibo Matto "Know Your Chicken"

It wasn't until the 2011 episode where they watched T-Baby's "It's So Cold In The D" that we realized how we missed B&B's occasional outsider artist videos (like Gary Young's "Plant Man"). On a hunch, we just checked the 120 Minutes Archive, and it looks like they never once played Wesley Willis' video for "Alanis Morissette!" We assumed it was aired on MTV at least once.

1997
Chumbawamba "Tubthumping"
Yo La Tengo "Sugarcube"
Hanson "Where's The Love"
Squirrel Nut Zippers "Hell"
Missy Elliott "Supa Dupa Fly"
The Jesus Twins "Feel My Ubiquity"
Wu-Tang Clan "Triumph"

For some reason, we've maintained a shred of hope that they'd catch "Tubthumping" at some point, even when the series came back in 2011. // 1997-1999 was an especially amazing era for videos - arguably the medium's pinnacle in quality. It's a shame that Mike Judge had to put the video segments on hold for their last year. The trippy '97 videos from Hype Williams (like "Supa Dupa Fly" or "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See") definitely would have fit. // There were a few Howard Stern crossovers throughout the series' history. During one video, Beavis pretends to read a stolen People Magazine with a caricature of Howard drawn on the cover. Keeping in the spirit of outsider rock, we'd love to hear B&B's take on The Jesus Twins, a band heavily associated with '97-era Stern.

1998
Puff Daddy "It's All About The Benjamins (Rock Remix)"
Marilyn Manson "The Dope Show"
Rammstein "Du Hast"
Alanis Morrisette "Thank U"
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion "Talk About The Blues"
Barenaked Ladies "One Week"

The first time we saw "Talk About The Blues," we assumed Jon Spencer was made up to look like Winona Ryder. About 20 seconds later, something clicked on our brain after realizing the guitar player was played by Giovanni Ribisi, at which point we turned to our friend and said "Oh wait. That IS Winona Ryder. Huh-huh." This shit writes itself.

1999
Fiona Apple "Fast As You Can"
Stone Temple Pilots "Sour Girl"
Aphex Twin "Windowlicker"
Blur "Coffee + TV"
Britney Spears "Sometimes"
Limp Bizkit "Nookie"
Kid Rock "Bawitdaba"

We thought of "Fast As You Can" because we'd like to see them try talking without their mouths matching the words. We thought of "Sour Girl" because who wouldn't want to hear B&B joke about teletubbies?

We thought of "Windowlicker" and "Coffee + TV" not only because they're still two of the greatest videos ever, but also because in late-'99 we recall MTV made other attempts to get comedians to riff over music videos. We recall catching a pilot episode for a show that was never picked up, where people tried to do voices over "Coffee + TV" and one of them says "Help! This band needs their lactose!" which is about as un-funny as anything we'd expect from failed copycat shows.

The Britney, Limp and Kid Rock videos would rule just so we can finally feel like we weren't the only ones who spotted the girl with a hand over her crotch or these other moments.

2000
Mr Oizo "Flat Beat"
Kool Keith "Livin' Astro"
Aaron Carter "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)"
Air "Playground Love"
Ludacris "Southern Hospitality"

"Livin' Astro" is one of the most underrated funny/weirdo videos of this era, and it could have used a promo boost, plus commentary about Lonnie Hendricks, Light Blue Cop or The Kid In The Commercial. // "Playground Love" was the video with a singing wad of chewing gum, which kinda reminds us of the singing pills from this commercial. Perhaps B&B would make a similar observation. // It would be cool to hear their take on upside-down rappers, like Ludacris in "Southern Hospitality."

2001
Outkast "The Whole World"
Elton John "I Want Love"
Madonna "What It Feels Like For A Girl"
P.O.D. "Alive"

We're guessing they wouldn't have figured out that Robert Downey Jr was only lip-synching in "I Want Love." // We'd like to hear them crack up at the slow motion car crash from "Alive" or any of the reckless driving moments from "What It Feels Like For A Girl" (plus, a censored version might have helped the video receive some airplay since it was banned from MTV after its premiere).

2002
Creed "One Last Breath"
Andrew WK "Party Hard"
Avril Lavigne "Sk8r Boi"
The Strokes "Someday"

Are we the only ones who LOL at Scott Stapp's thud (after he lands)? We're guessing their reaction to Linkin Park or blink-182 would have been neutral. Also, we'd love to hear their take on The Strokes vs Guided By Voices on Family Feud.

2003
Audioslave "Show Me How To Live"
Ludacris "Stand Up"
50 Cent "21 Questions"

This is around the point where we think they would have started getting into huge violent arguments over the merits of emo. As mentioned in a previous post, we think Beavis would have dug Rival Schools, At The Drive-In or Converge and would marginally have accepted stuff like "Bleed American" by Jimmy Eat World. Butthead would have considered it all wuss music. // The ending of "Show Me How To Live" is still one of the all-time unintentionally funniest moments from any video. // Ludacris' hair in "Stand Up" deserves a shout out. We think they would have generally dug Ludacris videos.

2004
The Darkness "Growing On Me"
Jay-Z "99 Problems"
Eminem "Ass Like That"
Dresden Dolls "Girl Anachronism"

"I Believe In A Thing Called Love" seems like an obvious magnet for silly criticism; however "Growing On Me" one-up's the potential for STD-related double entendres. // We want them to shit on Dresden Dolls because that band is horrible.

2005
The Bloodhound Gang "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo"
Korn "Twisted Transistor"
Black Label Society "In This River"
Weezer "We Are All On Drugs"

"Fire Water Burn" and "The Bad Touch" probably would have made the cut in either case, but "Foxtrot Uniform" feels too perfect for this show. // "In This River" is funny enough on its own, but just hearing them laugh at Zakk Wylde's garbled vocal style would be pretty dope. // We'd also like to hear them point out the horrible edit MTV forced into "We Are All On [censored]." [EDIT: Perhaps MTV would have allowed Beavis to sing "We Are All On FIRE!"]

2006
James Blunt "You're Beautiful"
Fergie "London Bridge"
The Pack "Vans"
C.S.S. "Alala"
DragonForce "Through The Fire and the Flames"

They would probably hate DragonForce; beyond "this sucks," we've always been curious to know where the conversation would lead.

2007
Pissed Jeans "I've Still Got You"
Rich Boy "Throw Some D's"
UGK "Int'l Players Anthem"
Nickleback "Rockstar"
My Chemical Romance "Teenagers"

Years ago, the ILX board correctly assessed how B&B would love every Pissed Jeans video. How much though? Would they headbang?

2008
No Age "Eraser"
M.I.A. "Paper Planes"
Flobots "Handlebars"
Snoop Dogg "Sexual Eruption"

When the show re-launched in 2011, we had our fingers crossed that Mike would be hip to No Age and possibly throw "Eraser" in the queue for some B&B jokes. No such luck.

2009
Miley Cyrus "Party In The USA"
Attack Attack "Stick Stickly"
Brokencyde "Freaxxx"
Dinosaur Jr "Over It"

The 2011 re-launch sadly neglected crab-core and BrokenCyde; however, they shit all over 3Oh!3, which is still probably our favorite moment from that season. There should have been more of this! And we think they were far too kind to Katy Perry.

2010
Pissed Jeans "False Jesii Part 2"
Lady Gaga f/ Beyonce "Telephone"
Die Antwoord "Enter The Ninja"
Willow "Whip My Hair"
Mary Kate & Ashley Olson "Gimme Pizza Slow"

If viral videos were considered fair game for the 2011 season, "Gimme Pizza Slow" might have been a home run. We know ICP's "Miracles" came out this year, but wouldn't it have been far more exciting to hear them riff on Die Antwoord?

2011
Tyler The Creator "Yonkers"
Underground Railroad To Candyland "We Aren't The World"
Rebecca Black "Friday"
Ringo Deathstarr "So High"
Yuck "Get Away"

Kanye West has made it pretty obvious over the years that he's a huge fan of mainstream comedy. And we recently learned that he really wanted B&B to riff over one of his videos in Fall 2011. Mike Judge allegedly had some ideas in mind for what they could say, but one of the song's co-writers refused to release the rights. We're guessing the song in question was "Runaway," since we don't know what other recent videos would have been eligible at this point.

We were among those who lost our shit over Odd Future in the first few months of 2011; we had our hopes up for "Yonkers" appearing in the 2011 season, but sadly it wasn't included.

2012
Big Sean f/ Nicki Minaj "Dance (A$$)"
Rihanna "We Found Love"
Mac Demarco "Ode To Viceroy"
Ariel Pink "Only In My Dreams"
YN Rich Kids "Hot Cheetos & Takis"

Who wouldn't want to hear B&B sing "Ass Ass Ass" along with Big Sean? The possibilities are endless.

2013
Trinidad James "All Gold Everything"
Beach House "Wishes"
Yuck "Middle Sea"
Jeff The Brotherhood "Six Pack"
Ghost B.C. "Secular Haze"
Joey Bada$$ "Waves"

We thought of "Middle Sea" because Beavis has admitted that he enjoys watching tennis.

2014
Indiana "Solo Dancing"
Lil B "I Love You"
Tony Molina "Don't Come Back"

"Solo Dancing" has lots of visual metaphors alluding to masturbation, so obviously...

2015
Nicki Minaj f/ Beyonce "Feeling Myself"
Oneohtrix Point Never "Sticky Drama"
Cyriak "Malfunction"
Fetty Wap "Trap Queen"
Rihanna "Bitch Better Have My Money"
Kendrick Lamar "For Free? (Interlude)"

If "Feeling Myself" is the one where they scarf Boca Burgers, then yes, obviously...

2016
Maren Morris "80s Mercedes"
Melkbelly "Elk Mountain"
Joey Purp f/ Chance The Rapper "Girls @"

Options have been running lower in the past few years as videos have been getting progressively less and less exciting. Not sure what to say here.

2017
Pissed Jeans "The Bar Is Low"
Run The Jewels "Love Again"
Young Thug "Wyclef Jean"
Lil Yachty "Bring It Back"
Cloakroom "The Sun Won't Let Us Go"
Winter "Jaded"

They probably would not have thought "Wyclef Jean" was as great as it is since the video entails lots of reading. "Bring It Back" tho...

2018
Bruno Mars f/ Cardi B "Finesse"
Wrong "Zero Cool"

2018 could use a few more of these. We'll continue to update this list sporadically as others come to mind.

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