During the heyday of MTV, the network began its “Liquid Television” lineup, full of cartoons for adults not unlike other big hits like The Simpsons. The best-remembered of these shows is definitely Beavis and Butt-Head, a show about two impossibly stupid teenagers who got into shenanigans.
The show was created by King of the Hill and Office Space director Mike Judge, and was one of the channel’s most popular shows for years. We all love it, but did you know these 12 things about it?
The two lead characters are based on real people.
Mike Judge lived near a destructive 12-year-old who went by the title “Iron Butt” due to apparently feeling no pain when being kicked there. Judge and his friends nicknamed one of this kid’s friends “Butt-head.” A few doors down there was another boy named Bobby Beavis, who is apparently nothing like the character.
So is Beavis’s laugh.
Mike Judge apparently based Beavis’s hilarious laugh on a “nerdy straight-A student” he went to school with. The kid would apparently sit in the front of class and laugh with a grunt while biting his lip.
Someone who complained about the show inspired another Mike Judge character.
A man called to complain about the show, who apparently thought it was called “Porky’s Butthole” and was talking so fast the creators couldn’t understand him. This inspired the character of Boomhauer in King of the Hill.
Even politicians couldn’t get its name right.
During a 1993 U.S. Senate hearing on violence in television, Sen. Ernest F. Hollings infamously referred to Beavis and Butt-Head as “Buffcoat and Beaver.” This was considered hilarious by fans, and was even mentioned in an episode.
It’s Sir Patrick Stewart’s favorite show. Really.
That’s right, Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself is a massive fan of the show. He’s been quoted as saying “In time Beavis and Butt-head will become defined as a very, very significant part of American culture. It’s brilliant. I’ve got all the tapes.”
Keep reading for more crazy facts…
Their school is also based on Mike Judge’s school.
Highland High School is based on the real Highland High School in New Mexico, which Mike Judge attended. Principal McVicker is based on his alcoholic band teacher.
The show ran into some legal problems.
The duo wear Metallica and AC/DC shirts in the original broadcast run, but this had to be changed in almost all the merchandise and re-releases because of copyright issues.
All of the things the opening narrator warns about actually happens to the duo.
Specifically, they get “hurt, expelled, arrested, and possibly deported,” although Beavis is the only one who gets deported.
Burger World has a real-life inspiration, and a fictional one.
The logo for the chain is very obviously the McDonald’s logo upside-down, but the name of the place actually comes from the Weird Al film UHF.
The duo actually delivered Judge’s real criticisms on music videos.
Judge said he would amp-up the duo’s intelligence for the music video scenes, and that their thoughts on them are his own. The worst review he could give a video was for the duo to stare in horror before changing the channel.
Their jokes actually rekindled the career of a metal band.
The British band Grim Reaper was featured on the show several times for their ridiculous music videos, which actually lead to a resurgence in the band’s popularity.
And one band got so offended they became a recurring joke.
The band Winger complained about their portrayal on the show, so Judge introduced the character of Stewart, who is constantly bullied and ridiculed by the entire cast, and wears a Winger shirt.