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Mike Judge Interview in “Vice”

Mike Judge

Mike Judge sits down for an interview in the latest issue of Vice. Judge talks openly about the whys and hows of the Beavis and Butt-Head revival. The interviewer Rocco Castoro also asks some unconventional questions, like this memorable exchange:

I noticed that the show’s logo now says “Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head” rather than “MTV’s.” I feel like I’ve seen it this way on the DVD boxes of the old episodes, but it was surprising to see that it was going to carry over to TV. Got any good dirt on this subtle but important change?

When [my relationship with MTV] began, I had these two two-minute shorts with Beavis and Butt-Head that I licensed to Liquid Television. Then MTV wanted to buy the characters from me–they didn’t say what exactly they wanted to do with them–and so I negotiated for a while and thought, “It takes six to eight weeks to do two minutes when I do everything by myself,” and I was kind of done. I’d produced two shorts and made a few thousand off of them selling them to festivals and Liquid Television, but that was it and I was a nobody at the time. So I sold it to them outright, and then they wanted me to do the show so I ended up getting paid that way. But at some point they decided, “We’re gonna call it MTV’s Beavis and Butt-Head.” I was like, “Really? I created this in my house with pencil and paper and cels and film and… MTV’s Beavis and Butt-Head? But whatever, you own it, that’s fine.” Years later the movie came out and they wanted a sequel. I was unhappy with some stuff, and I just did a fuck-you negotiation with them [laughs]. At one point my lawyer said, “You want to ask them to call it Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head?” and I said, “Yeah, go for it.” I kind of forgot that we agreed to that, and then when we were redesigning the logo I was like “Wow, OK.” Normally I wouldn’t splash my name all over something, but if it’s between MTV’s Beavis and Butt-Head or Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head, I’ll take it.