Splitsider

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Checking In…with the Creators of MTV's Animated Comedies

In t-minus six days, the guys who once called Pavement out on not trying hard enough will be back cornholio’ing our hearts all over again. I am, of course, talking about Beavis and Butt-head, the fire-and-boob loving stars of Beavis and Butt-head Do America. Oh yeah, and they also had that TV show, which ran on MTV from 1993-1997. It’ll be a welcome return not only for fans of the show, but also those who loved MTV’s slate of animated programming in the 1990s and 2000s. Let’s take a look at what the creators of Beavis and Butt-head, Daria, Celebrity Deathmatch, and 3 South are up to today.

Mike Judge, Beavis and Butt-head
Even though everyone knows Mike Judge, doesn’t it feel like he’s kind of underrated? Not only did he create Beavis and Butt-head, which originated from the Liquid Television short “Frog Baseball,” he’s also the comedy genius behind Idiocracy, a movie that everyone either loves or hates with no in-between, and the-show-that-ran-for-13-seasons-without-ever-telling-an-actual-joke King of the Hill, both of which are criminally underappreciated. (Or maybe they’re so underappreciated that they’re actually overappreciated? Either way, they’re great.) He also directed and wrote Extract and Office Space (which is actually overrated) and created the short-lived The Goode Family. Outside of the Beavis and Butt-head revival, Judge has no future projects lined up, although I’d like to pitch an idea for a show, about Dale Gribble traveling the country in his Bugabago.

Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis, Daria
Here’s another fun bar trivia game: name the connection between Rugrats, Beavis and Butt-head, Daria, and Married…with Children. If you answered “they all had episodes written by Glenn Eichler," then either you’re brilliant or checked IMDb on your phone. Eichler got his start at National Lampoon Magazine, before connecting with Mike Judge while he was working at MTV. After writing and becoming a storyboard editor on Beavis, he, along with Susie Lewis, spun-off one of the show’s characters, Daria Morgendorffer, and the rest is angsty 1990s history. He’s now a writer and executive producer on The Colbert Report. In the post-Daria years, Lewis has produced the CMT Music Awards and MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamérica. The whereabouts of Splendora, who sang the show’s theme song “You’re Standing on My Neck,” is unknown.

Eric Fogel, Celebrity Deathmatch
In 1994, Eric Fogel created MTV’s The Head, about a man whose head rapidly expands, only to birth a purple alien. It’s weird…and kind of wonderful, so wonderful, in fact, that it convinced MTV to allow him to create another show: Celebrity Deathmatch, the only TV series bold enough to pit Tim Allen against Jerry Seinfeld (even if they both fought like wimps). It ran for four seasons, from 1998-2002, but four years later, in 2006, Deathmatch was revitalized on MTV2. Fogel, though, let Jack Fletcher and Dave Thomas take over, so he could work on his claymation follow-up, Starveillance, which honestly, wasn’t very good and was cancelled by E! after six episodes. Next up was Anton and Crapbag, and now, Nick at Nite’s Glenn Martin DDS, featuring the voices of Kevin Nealon (who takes his family on a cross-country road trip) and Judy Greer.

Mark Hentemann and Steve Callaghan, 3 South
Not only was 3 South, about a group of lovable idiots in their freshman year at Barder College (with voice actor work from Brian Posehn), the show that introduced me to a Flaming Lips song that wasn’t “She Doesn’t Use Jelly” (its theme was “Fight Test,” and I was clearly culturally oblivious to the charms of The Soft Bulletin), it also was one of the series that I got pissed off at when it was cancelled (I was 16 at the time…). Maybe not upset at the show, but that MTV wouldn’t give more of a chance to Mark Hentemann and Steve Callaghan’s hilarious, awkwardly-drawn baby. If those names sound familiar, that’s because Hentemann and Callaghan are the current Family Guy showrunners, and they have also written many episodes of the series. Hentemann also voices Opie, and Callaghan wrote the tie-in book Family Guy: Stewie's Guide to World Domination.

Josh Kurp invites you to check out this website, which lists every song played on Daria

  • Evan Whom@twitter

    Where's Clone High??

    • grovberg

      @Evan Whom

      Those guys went on to create the absolutely spectacular Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movie (which is entirely unrelated to the book other than the title) which did very well at the box office. They are now working on the 21 Jumpstreet movie of all things. Those guys have earned the benefit of the doubt, but I really don't know how to process that information.

      Unrelated: Daria was better than B&B.

  • iamjustryingtolive

    i think Mike Judge has got to be the most versatile comedian/comedy-content-maker around. All of his stuff is so different stylistically. You'd never guess that Office Space, Idiocracy and Beavis & Butthead were that one guy. Most of use have a sense of humor, some of us have a great sense of humor, but how many people have great senses of humor?

  • Jonathan Good@twitter

    3 south was the greatest.

  • http://www.twitter.com/pablogoldstein Pablo Goldstein

    King of the Hill was a better show than The Simpsons. TRUTH.

  • http://www.twitter.com/becca_oneal Rebecca O'Neal

    Daria was my favorite show as a kid. And I started watching it again recently because of the reruns on Logo – it absolutely holds up. If anything, it's actually BETTER now.

    • Joshua Kurp

      @Rebecca O'Neal I love that reruns are on Logo. Daria-Undressed-Buffy marathon, anyone?