The boys are back: Beavis and Butthead do the 21st century

It’s juvenile. It’s rude. It’s crude. It’s not even particularly well drawn.  It’s also funny, at times surprisingly smart, and it’s just the way we like it.  Photo: Mike Judge/MTV

SAN DIEGO, October 29, 2011 – It’s juvenile. It’s rude. It’s crude. It’s not even particularly well drawn.  It’s also funny, at times surprisingly smart, and it’s just the way we like it. 

Beavis and Butthead, the hit 1990s MTV animated series featuring a hormonal pair of punky boys, is back 14 years since the last new episode aired. Happily for the many fans eagerly awaiting the debut of Beavis and Butthead 2.0 this week, nothing substantial about the boys has changed. They are the same age and though their targets have changed, their take on the absurdity of modern culture remains the same.

Creator Mike Judge (a UC San Diego graduate with a degree in physics) announced the revival at Comic Con 2011 in San Diego last July. He told fans he brought his characters back to life because “I felt like TV was getting too smart.” Whoa, dude, your standards must be awfully low. Whatever the reason, the new Season 9 of Beavis and Butthead is a welcome addition to the MTV lineup.

Beavis and Butthead creator Mike Judge (right) discusses the return of his hit series at Comic-Con 2011 with host Johnny Knoxville. Hodges


In the debut episode airing this week, Beavis and Butthead managed in a half-hour less commercials to skewer the Twilight series, Jersey Shore, the teen mom reality shows on MTV, The Bachelor, Addicted to Porn, liberal education, and a couple of truly twisted music videos from MGMT and Skrillex. Future episodes are reported to feature Lady Gaga and the return of Beavis’ alter-ego, Cornholio.

Focusing on reality TV versus music videos freshens up the show without changing it too much to turn off its longtime fans. Reality TV provides brand new hunting ground since it didn’t exist when Beavis and Butthead was first on the air. It’s apparently due to necessity. Bands now have to grant Judge permission to air their videos. MTV is perfectly OK granting access to its reality shows, and the others can be parodied which is considered fair use.

Opening the first show of the series ridiculing the feverish adulation of the Twilight Saga’s Edward and Jacob by millions of female fans was tailor-made for the boys. How did we get along without Beavis and Butthead’s take on this phenomenon? It’s incomprehensible to many adults, never mind two adolescent boys looking to score.

Rock on, boys. Mike Judge/MTV.

Happily, Beavis and Butthead are the best possible case of arrested development. They are just as un-PC, chick-obsessed, crude and dense as they were 14 years ago. They are still wearing the same metal band t-shirts, though Judge had to get permission from the bands this time. Smart move to say yes, Metallica and AC/DC.

It’s doubtful Beavis and Butthead will have the same groundbreaking influence it did in the 1990s, and its fans might primarily be nostalgic adults welcoming back old friends, although on Twitter ESPN sportscaster and Dancing With The Stars competitor Erin Andrews and her actress sister Kendra Andrews declare themselves fans.

Speaking as a reasonably intelligent grown woman, I’m right there with you, ladies. The movie Bridesmaids revealed a secret about a lot of smart women. We love crude humor when it’s clever, and that’s not an oxymoron. So bring on the keen observations disguised as adolescent wisecracks.

Perhaps original viewers who are now parents will watch with their kids, creating a new generation of fans. Eh heh heh uhh heh heh heh!

Beavis and Butthead airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m., taking over the timeslot of the network’s most popular series, Jersey Shore, whose current season just concluded.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.


Copyright © 2011 by Falcon Valley Group

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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