Chances are if you grew up during the 90s, Beavis and Butthead were a part of your life. They were offensive, edgy, and a parent’s worse nightmare paving the path for future franchises such as South Park and basically the entire original of the Adult Swim line up of animation geared towards mature viewers. The dimwitted duo created by the legendary Mike Judge (King of the Hill), made their television debut on March 8th 1993, spawning seven seasons and a full-length feature film.
The series truly was ahead of its time, and due to this factor became the target of the media as they played off the fears of easily brainwashed parents. Quickly, allegations were made towards the show, stating that it was promoting reckless and potentially fatal behavior among impressionable young viewers, who become inspired to imamate Beavis and Butthead.
A news story surfaced about the death of a two year old that occurred due to a fire started by a five year old who’s mother claimed was emulating Beavis and his obsession with fire, in previous episodes of the series Beavis would often play with fire and chant the phrase “fire, fire, fire”, a part of his persona that was removed from future installments due to heat taken over the supposed news story. Later it would come to light that the family’s neighbors informed reporters that the family did not have cable television in the first place. Various other stories would soon surface, giving the series a reputation of being the foulest of the foul and a must watch for legions of fans, who wore their fanatic obsession of the series like a badge of honor. A perfect example of “no such thing as bad press”, a concept many today still have trouble understanding as they continue protest shows bands, films, etc. until they gain such a level of infamy they become instant cult hits.
Beavis and Butthead were a big part of my childhood growing up; it was always the hot topic each morning at school after a new episode had aired. In addition, for metal heads like me it was even better as the duo shared my taste of music and made fun of the music I hated with great precision. An entire generation of outcasts and slackers were given a pair of weird kids to relate to, we all knew Beavis and Butthead to some degree and many of us even shared some of their adolescence quirks. In an age where Metallica were still kings of metal, and Gwar were followed by only the most die hard of fans, Beavis and Butthead rose to fame by being authentically unique, speaking to a different target audience than every other television show airing at the time.
When the show aired its final original run episode in 1997, it was a sad moment in television history for many loyal fans. It had managed to spawn a album featuring some of the eras greatest metal and rock acts, numerous video games, toys, and even a shortly lived monthly comic book series before saying goodbye. It is no wonder that when Mike Judge dropped the bomb at this years Comic Con that they duo would be returning home for a new season on MTV that fans heads exploded with excitement. As soon as I heard the news, I started to process how much had changed in terms of what can be said and done on television. Comic Con also graced us with a preview mini episode to show fans what they could expect from the rebirth of the franchise. Right away it was clear, that it was exactly what everyone wanted, a polished better looking version, with the same balls out humor the original series featured. Now with far fewer restrictions, the gloves are off and the boys can go about their delinquent behavior without worry being too offensive.
14 years after the last “Huh huh” the boys are officially back, returning tonight with a brand new episode featuring stories entitled “Werewolves of Highland” poking fun at the success of the Twilight franchise, and “Crying” where Butthead thinks he has caught Beavis crying during a movie. Old school fans will spend the runtime of the premier episode having nerdgasm after nerdgasm as familiar characters quickly resurface. The opening episode felt like the show had never went away starting exactly where it left off so many years before, if you were wondering if the new season is worth checking out or worried that it may have lost its luster after so many years of being absent, rest assure this is the same show you grew up loving and holds up today just fine. I found myself laughing from the start to the very end of the first episode and beyond exited knowing that from week to week I will once again have new adventures from two of my most loved characters.