Internet Visionaries Beavis & Butt-head Return


This fall, MTV resurrects Beavis & Butt-head, the dominant delinquents of the nineties, that faraway decade. And (Mike) Judge-ing from the preview clip debuted at Comic-Con yesterday, the boys are in fine form: screwing action figures to Beavis’s hand, resurrecting Cornholio (thanks to some liberal dosages of pain meds), and inadvertently inspiring a Costco-clogging cult to believe the Metallica-shirted lunatic muttering about “TP” is their reborn messiah. But the best part, as always, is the slyly stupid social commentary — in the new clip the TV is showing Jersey Shore instead of videos which makes perfect sense considering that’s the same route MTV has taken in the 14 years since B&B have picked up a remote.

Some have wondered if America is actually hungering for the return of Beavis & Butt-head, as if their slackery nihilism is as irrevocably tied to the nineties as hypercolor t-shirts or that lousy song by Travis. This is nonsense, of course, not only because, really, what does relevance have to do with Butt-head asking a doctor to show him on an x-ray where a screw entered a plastic ass? But primarily because, if anything, Beavis & Butt-head were ahead of their time.

Sure, Al Gore may have invented the Internet. And pictures of kittens may have popularized it. But it was Beavis & Butt-head who taught us how to use the Internet, even back when most of us considered Hackers to be a gripping documentary. Think about it: two young, underdressed dweebs with dangerously short attention spans savagely snarking about any stray bit of culture that crossed their path — or, more often, that crossed in front of their couch. The two have no apparent qualifications to pass judgment on everything they consume — other than their youth, boredom and ability to make each other laugh. If we haven’t just described every blog ever, we’ll eat our RSS feed. And so MTV’s decision to bring back the show is both visionary and brilliant: not only for the inevitable LOLs but because we are all Beavis & Butt-head now, cracking wise — or, more accurately, cracking dumb — from the comfort of our living rooms, perpetually in need of more cultural TP for our voracious, cynical bungholes. (Gross.) Now if you’ll excuse us, there’s a video of a salsa-dancing porcupine that needs our attention.

Filed Under: Comic-Con, Mtv, Scouting Report, TV

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Andy Greenwald is a staff writer for Grantland.

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