UNDER THE SUSPICIOUS GAZE of Mr. Buzzcut, the day's
designated dispenser of dining-room discipline, I unpacked
my tape recorder and notebook. The stainless-steel
caldrons of generically boiled food, the long line of
kids with haircuts that seemed to belong on somebody
else's head , the deathly pallor of human skin
under fluorescent lighting , an ancient fear in the
pit of my stomach - all bespoke two words :
high school . In this case , Highland High School,
an educational institution indistinguishable from
thousands of others across the United States, except
that this one happens to be educating America's two
most famous teen-agers, Beavis and Butt-head.
Sitting across from me at one of those long linoleum
picnic tables on wheels, Butt-head attacked a couple
of hot dogs with an appetite that indicated lunch was
the first meal of his day. Emitting his familiar chuckle,
Beavis pulled from the cooler in front of the cashier.
A lot had changed in their lives since I'd interviewed
them last summer (RS 663). In October, MTV had
moved the earlier of their two daily half-hour episodes
from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. - and Beavis had been mir-
aculously cured of pyromania. ( Despite the time
change, that still draw three times the network's average
audience.) They'd published a best-selling book, This
Book Sucks (written with the help of series writers
Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil). Their album, The
Beavis and Butt-head Experience, has gone platinum,
boosted by a Butt-head and Cher video duet on I Got
You Baby'. Series creator Mike Juje recently began
work on a screenplay for a full-length Beavis and Butt-
head movie. And the pair been denounced by liberals
and conservatives alike on talk shows, op-Ed pages
and the floor of Congress. If anything in all that
changed them by a subatomic particle, I could not
detect it. They appeared utterly unimpressed with them-
And yet, here they were: the most powerful critics
in rock & roll, able to put lesser-known bands like
White Zombie and Babes in Toyland on map with
a single word (cool) and destroy established acts with
another (sucks) .But they had never explained the
logic behind their aesthetic judgments . Until now.
Like it or not , you guys have begun authorities on
current music. Some people have even called you the
Siskel and Ebert of rock & roll.
Butt-head: That's stupid! Those guys like all those
wussy movies. They never say anything cool about
movies that kick ass, like Killdozer.
Beavis: Yeah, but they liked Backdraft. That rules.
Anyway, we're going to profile three acts you guys
like - Danzing , Joan Jett and the Beastie Boys - and
you're going to explain why they're cool.
So why are they cool?
Butt-head: Didn't you, like, ask us this stuff last
All you said was "We like bands that are cool"
and "We don't like bands that suck". That's not
Butt-head: Why not? Huh-huh.
Because Kip Winger and Warrant haven't had
careers since you dissed them on you show.They have
a right to know why.
Beavis: It's not our fault they suck. Heh-heh, heh.
Butt-head: I think those guys are trying to kill us.
Really? You think you are being followed by music-
industry hit men? Is there any evidence you can cite?
Butt-head: Uh ... well, like, one day I woke up, and
there was, like, the head of a dead squirrel next to me.
Beavis: Oh, yeah, heh-heh! I put that there, dumb
ass! Heh-heh, mm, heh-heh. That was cool.
Butt-head: Well, what about that time that some-
body mailed me a Ziploc bag with a turd in it?
OK, let's get back to the point. What I'm trying to
establish here is, why are Warrant shit, and why
are the Beastie Boys cool?
Butt-head: Just look at'em.
Beavis: Yeah, heh-heh, heh. Just look at'em,
So you just look at a band and decide whether
or not you like them? You don't even have to
hear their music?
Butt-head: Yeah, heh-heh. Sometimes we don't
even have to look at'em. You can just tell they
suck from their names.
Beavis: Yeah, heh-heh, mm. Like Blind Melon.
So do you like the Beastie Boys' music as well as
the way they look?
Could you elaborate?
Butt-head: Uh ... OK.[He farts.]
Butt-head and Beavis: Huh-huh, huh-huh, huh-huh.
Beavis: I just elaborated, too, but you couldn't hear
it. Heh-heh, mm, heh.
Now, that we've cleared the air, which Beastie
songs do you like?
Butt-head: The one where they fight for their right
Beavis: Yeah! They fight for their right to party
with chicks with big thingies!
Joan Jett doesn't have big thingies, but you still
like her. Why?
Butt-head: Uh ... Because she'd be a really good
Beavis: Yeah. Heh-heh. She'd, like, take her kids
on tour, and her kids would hang out backstage and
party with Ozzy and stuff. And then she'd, like,
teach them about doing it, and she'd , like, show
her thingies. That would be cool.
You guys weren't even born when she started out.
How much do you actually know about her?
Butt-head: Uh ... she used to be in a band with
Lita Ford called, like, the Sluts or something. But
Lita, like, went and did a song with Ozzy. And,
like, Joan got all jealous and stuff. Because she,
like, wanted Ozzy. She, like, you know, wanted to
You guys have all this influence on record sales,
and you don't even know that Joan's first band
was the Runaways. The Sluts were from England,
and they were the Slits.
Butt-head: Well, she looks like a slut. That's
Beavis: She's from England?
So that's why Joan is cool, because she looks
like a slut?
Butt-head: No ... because she acts like one.
What's your favorite Joan Jett song?
Butt-head: We like that song where she takes
off her clothes, and she's almost naked.
Beavis: Yeah, it give you a special feeling deep
Why? Is it the guitar tone? The drums? Her voice?
Butt-head: It's, like, if you turn it up really loud
and stand next to the speaker? It vibrates you 'nads.
Do you listen to a lot of her music?
Butt-head:Uh ...if she's, like taking her clothes off.
Let's talk about somebody a little close to your
generation. What's the appeal of Danzig?
Butt-head: Beavis likes his butt. Huh-huh.
Beavis: Shut up , Butt-head! I do not. I saw him
from behind that one time , and I thought he was a
Butt-head: Pretty big chick, Beavis!
Beavis: Shut up, Butt-head! I'll kick your ass!
Hey, guys, no fighting. Let's just get through the
Beavis: We heard, like, one time Danzig got in this
fight with that dude from Def Leppard. That drummer
dude with one arm. And, like, Danzing kicked his ass.
Butt-head: It'd be an easy fight, 'cause, like, the
dude has only one arm. And, liked: Did he have a bald spot?
Butt-head: See, huh-huh. Danzig is, like, really
original and stuff.
Danzig's audience is almost all male, and Glenn
Ganzig often goes shirtless at his concerts. Why
do you think that is?
Butt-head: 'Cause even there's only one chick
there, that way he'll get her. And if there aren't
any chicks, he can always get Beavis. Huh-huh, huh.
Let's talk about your album. How did you get
Primus to write a song for it? Everybody else gave
you a cut that wasn't good enough for their last
Butt-head: Shut up, ass wipe! Our album rules .
Beavis: Primus is cool. "My name is mud , m-m-
And how come Jackyl's on the record?
Butt-head: Uh ... they gave us some chain saws.
But doesn't their music suck?
Beavis: Chain saws kick ass! Rrrrrrrrrr-aaoorrr!
Butt-head: Settle down, Beavis!
Did you guys pick all the bands that appeared on
the album, or did someone else pick themfor you?
Butt-head: Uh , no.
Beavis: Yeah, heh-heh, mm, heh-heh.
Which is it? Did you pick them or not?
Butt-head: Uh, sort of. They gave us this list of
bands and told us to pick 11 of 'em, but then it
was all, like, complicated and stuff - so we didn't
Beavis: Yeah, heh-heh, it sucked! We just didn't
do it, but then we, like, thought about something
Butt-head: Yeah, then , like, some dude got all
pissed off and did it for us. Sometimes if you, like,
just don't do something, someone else does it for
you. It's cool. Huh-huh, huh-huh, huh.
I heard a strong Barry White influence in the song
"Come to Butt-head". How did you even know who
Butt-head: Uh, there's this dude? And whenever
he visits Beavis' mom, they go into her room and
turn up Barry White really loud. Then we have to
leave. Huh-huh, huh.
Beavis: Yeah, heh-heh, mm, heh, my mom is a
Butt-head: Yeah, I bet I'm gonna score now
'cause I did that song, huh-huh.
I thought you already scored with Cher. [ Cher
refused to comment on her relationship with Butt-
head. - Ed. ]
Beavis: Butt-head touched her leg . Heh-heh.
Beavis and Butt-head: Huh-huh, huh-huh, huh-
huh, huh-huh, huh-huh, huh-huh, huh-huh, huh-huh.
At the end of you video it looked like you were
dumping Beavis for Cher. What actually happend
Butt-head: I told Beavis to get his sorry ass out
of there so I could score.
Well, a lot of your fans were worried that it was
the end of your relationship.
Butt-head: We are not in a relationship, butthole.
Beavis: Yeah, fart knocker!!
Well, for all the talking you guys do about girls,
you seem to spend 99 percent of your time with
Beavis: I'll show you 99 ways to die, asswipe!
Yeah, heh-heh. Nnnnnninety-nine ways to diiiiiiiiiiiie!
You me money. Huh-huh.
MIKE JUDGE and series writers KRISTOFER BROWN,
SAM JOHNSON and CHRIS MARCIL helped with
Beavis and Butthead's dialogue.