Bevis and Butthead cartoon (Photo by gerbzk20/flickr CC BY-ND 2.0)
Yes it’s back: the wonderful, the glorious, Beavis and Butt-Head. Probably an overstatement but they do have their fans.
I don’t count myself as one of them because it was before my time, but I have come to respect the genre of adult oriented cartoons that Beavis and Butt-Head helped create.
First premiering in 1993 on cable TV station, MTV, Beavis and Butt-Head have showed the world that cartoons don’t have to have the story quality of Disney classics or artistic ingenuity as anime from Japan to be popular.
Beavis and Butt-Head had some of the crudest, laziest animation in a TV show with even cruder humor.
It was this kind of crude humor about sex, drugs, and general popular culture of the time that appealed to young adults and not so young adult in its four-year run.
However, many people protested the show and labeled it as the cause of many death related accidents such as the case in 1994 when a mother blamed the show for influencing her son to light his trailer home on fire, killing his younger sister.
It has eventually come out that the family didn’t even get cable though.
This didn’t stop many people from labeling the show as offensive and eventually having the show be moved to an even later time slot and have jokes and scenes cut because MTV’s parent company Viacom was too afraid of a class-action lawsuit. Eventually Beavis and Butt-Head was canceled in 1997.
Beavis and Butt-Head may have been gone but its influence can be seen in many of the adult cartoons of today.
South Park, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, Metalocalypse, and Family Guy have used the tried and true combination of crude animation with popular culture comedy to influence a new generation which I am proud to be a part of.
South Park, which critics claimed was purely about fart jokes and toilet humor has become a cultural icon of pure cleverness and political and cultural commentary.
Having insulted Islam, Christianity, Mormonism, Scientology, and just about anything that a reader can think of, South Park has already dedicated an episode to make fun of it.
The biggest difference between then and today is that these TV shows are on later time slots, being on stations that advertise as being adult oriented and not for little kids. These kind of stations can be found like Comedy Central, Fox TV, and even Cartoon Network’s late night shift to Adult Swim.
Adult Swim is popular for showing the previously mentioned cartoons, and broadcasting them really late at night during or after prime time, to an eager audience who want to have their fix of clever writing and jokes disguised as crude humor to the rest of the masses.
In the end that is probably the funniest part of it all is that the average person is just blaming and pointing fingers, when the rest of us are just enjoying a good show.