Thursday, March 8, 2018

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 piƱata 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.

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