Beavis and Butt-Head still sit on their sofa watching TV in 2022. Photo courtesy of Paramount+
LOS ANGELES, June 21 (UPI) — Mike Judge said Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe, premiering Thursday on Paramount+, shows how little his animated teenagers have changed.
“Beavis and Butt-head are thrust into the modern world just as themselves,” Judge told UPI in a red carpet interview. “They don’t change much.”
Do the Universe is Beavis and Butt-Head’s first appearance since a 2011 MTV revival series. The plot begins in 1998 when the destructive teenagers go to space camp.
Beavis and Butt-Head end up accompanying astronauts on a shuttle mission. In space, they go through a black hole and time travel to 2022.
Arriving in modern-day, Beavis and Butt-Head encounter new technology like smartphones, and their smarter selves from another dimension. However, neither impresses them.
“They don’t think much in general,” Judge said.
Judge, 59, calls Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe “the dumbest science fiction movie ever made.” Realizing bombs like Battlefield Earth and Howard the Duck exist, Judge clarifies that it’s the dumbest sci-fi movie made dumb on purpose.
“Those are hard to top,” Judge said. “It’s dumber than Contact.”
Beavis and Butt-Head’s libidos haven’t changed either. Their whole adventure is motivated by trying to sleep with an astronaut (Andrea Savage), and they continue pursuing women in the present.
In a post-#MeToo 2022, Judge did not worry about Beavis and Butt-Head being any more politically incorrect than they’ve always been. Since Beavis and Butt-Head are all talk, Judge assures viewers they are “no threat to anybody, just annoying.”
Beavis brings his alter ego with him to 2022. Whenever Beavis has too much sugar or caffeine, he turns into The Great Cornholio, pulling his shirt over his head and demanding TP.
In Do the Universe, Beavis gets into a stash of pills. Judge said fans now expect a Cornholio appearance.
“I guess I’ve made my bed,” Judge said. “I’ve got to sleep in it there.”
Judge first drew Beavis and Butt-Head in the 1992 short “Frog Baseball.” Judge’s animated shorts also inspired the movie Office Space.
When MTV made Beavis and Butt-Head a series in 1993, Judge got an animation staff to handle the visuals while Judge wrote, produced and voiced the characters.
Judge said Do the Universe has animators “much better than me,” but uses new technology to maintain the show’s ’90s animation look.
“It’s just sitting on tablets now,” Judge said. “The hand-drawn look is just part of it so still have to have that.”
Beavis and Butt-Head annoy the adults of 2022 just as much as they did in the ’90s. Supporting cast members in Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe said Judge directed them to use their natural voices rather than put on overly cartoonish ones.
“He sounds kind of just like me,” Nat Faxon, who plays Lt. Governor Hartson, said. “They were wanting to be more natural and specific.”
Brian Huskey plays a Governor’s campaign worker. Huskey said Judge told him just reacting naturally to Beavis and Butt-Head was enough.
“He was just like, ‘Just be a real person and react to these characters,'” Huskey said.
Beavis and Butt-Head will return in a new series on Paramount+ this fall. Judge said Do the Universe serves to explain how they got to the year 2022 without growing or maturing at all.
A hallmark of the original MTV show was that Beavis and Butt-Head would watch music videos and comment on them. They would make fun of the ones they thought sucked.
Judge said he updated the new series to have Beavis and Butt-Head watch social media videos.
“We’ve got a lot of good stuff including TikTok videos and YouTube stuff,” Judge said.
Until the new series premieres, Paramount+ will also stream all of the classic Beavis and Butt-Head episodes, including the music video segments. Music rights issues have previously kept many of the videos from appearing in home video releases.
“I don’t know what the workaround is and I’m not going to ask,” Judge said.