Not much will have changed when Beavis and Butt-head returns to MTV in the fall after nearly 15 years off the air. But while the boys may still be clad in their AC/DC and Metallica shirts, they’ve got an whole lot of ammunition at their disposal when it comes to pop culture, including Jersey Shore and Twilight.
Writer-creator Mike Judge and executive producer Van Toffler offered a glimpse Friday at the Television Critics’ Association summer press tour at what could be expected from the animated hit.
1. Judge was nervous about including Jersey Shore in Beavis and Butt-head and watched MTV’s reality hit at Toffler’s recommendation. “It was paydirt,” Judge said, confessing that he’s now “hooked” on the Jersey crew. Toffler, meanwhile, doesn’t expect the housemates to ask for additional compensation when they appear in clips on the animated series. “I’d be scared to think of them with more money than they already have,” Toffler said, noting that he expects the gang to love being subjected to the Beavis and Butt-head treatment.
2. Time stands still. Judge said he wanted new episodes to be topical – Twilight and vampire humor is included in the new trailer – but that there won’t be a specific instance where the series acknowledges the nearly 15-year gap between new episodes. “I wanted to make it not feel too forced; to make it as seamless as I could to what it was how ever many years ago,” he noted.
3. There’s plenty of ammunition for the boys to riff on. Judge said targets in the new episodes include UFC fights, Internet stuff and … movie reviews. “We have a think where they’re kind of like Siskel & Ebert,” he said.
4. The animation process has been updated. When the original series aired from 1993 to 1997, Judge noted that Beavis and Butt-head — like The Simpsons and King of the Hill – was hand inked and painted onto cells and shot on film. That’s all been digitized now. “It still looks crappy,” Judge joked. “But I like the way it looks.” “It’s high-def, there are some differences.”
5. The boys will still be watching music videos. MGMT, Deadmau5 and Tbaby’s “It’s So Cold in the D” will be among the artists Judge noted will be getting the Beavis & Butt-head treatment.
6. Beavis, meet technology. With Beavis and Butt-head returning to a world that now features cell phones, Facebook and Twitter, Judge said he didn’t want to force “all the modern stuff on them,” but did tease to an upcoming episode where the boys work in tech support.
7. Daria might be back. MTV’s Toffler, an executive producer on the series, notes that the animated spinoff from Beavis and Butt-head that airs in reruns on MTV2 and Logo and has done well on both. “We’ve talked to the creators so there is not as long a shot as you’d think that Daria might be back on one of our channels.
Beavis and Butt-head premieres the first of its 12 new episodes on Oct. 27 at 10 p.m. on MTV.