Beavis and Butt-Head Returning

One of the staple cartoons for teens and adults in the 1990s was Beavis and Butt-Head on MTV. Created by and starring Office Space and Idiocracy writer/director Mike Judge, the series focused on two dimwitted, aimless losers as they clumsily made their way through school, their fast food jobs, and life. Now the series is making a comeback with Comedy Central ordering two new seasons with an option to create new spin-offs and specials with the show’s characters.

Variety has news on Beavis and Butt-Head returning, this time on Comedy Central instead of MTV, though the animated series still falls under the same parent company since the two cable networks are part of the ViacomCBS corporation. This revival comes as TV production is still halted in the United States, making it difficult for cable and broadcast networks to get new shows off the ground. But animated shows can easily be produced remotely with much of the work being done through computers and not requiring cast and crew to be shooting on set.

Mike Judge is returning to write, produce and star in the series, voicing both the titular characters as well as several recurring supporting characters like agitated neighbor Tom Anderson, hippie teacher Mr. Van Driessen, and the perpetually angry Principal McVicker. The series creator succinctly said, “It seemed like the time was right to get stupid again.”

When Beavis and Butt-Head was on MTV, one of the traditional bits was having the two characters sitting on their couch to watch music videos, providing commentary not unlike the characters of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Unfortunately music rights issues made it difficult for those segments to be included on reruns and home video releases of the series. Since the revival is heading to Comedy Central, I’m betting that part of the show won’t be brought back, which is a shame. But maybe the show can provide commentary about Comedy Central’s own shows and stand-up specials. That would be a nice substitute!

The possibility of spin-offs is an intriguing one too. After all, the MTV animated series Daria sparked from the character being introduced on Beavis and Butt-Head. I’m not sure there are any other characters in the original series run that deserve their own show, but new characters could easily be introduced as a way of testing the waters for new shows. Funnily enough, there’s a Daria spin-off focusing on the show’s character Jodie that’s heading to Comedy Central after being developed at MTV. Maybe we will get a whole animated universe with these characters over there.

For their part, Comedy Central is happy to bring back the animated series. Chris McCarthy, president of Entertainment & Youth Group at ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, said in a statement:

“We are thrilled to be working with Mike Judge and the great team at 3 Arts again as we double down on Adult Animation at Comedy Central. Beavis and Butt-Head were a defining voice of a generation, and we can’t wait to watch as they navigate the treacherous waters of a world light-years from their own.”

This is the first time Mike Judge has returned to animation since Beavis and Butt-Head was revived the first time with a single season order back in 2011, and that was after his series King of the Hill came to an end in 2010. Since then, Judge has been busy with Silicon Valley at HBO, where he has a first-look deal. But that deal doesn’t include animation, and now that Silicon Valley has come to an end, he has time to wear multiple hats for Beavis and Butt-Head again. Hopefully he still has that immature touch to bring these idiots back properly, though it could be a little more challenging since times have changed since the last time they were around.

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