How Jack Kirby Inspired the New Beavis and Butt-Head Series

TV

This article contains Beavis and Butt-head spoilers.

It seems weird to put a spoiler alert on an article about Beavis and Butt-Head, but then again nothing about the pair’s success has been expected. After debuting 30 years ago in Mike Judge’s animated short Frog Baseball, the troublesome teens first found fame when that cartoon was aired on MTV’s legendary animation anthology Liquid Television. A spinoff quickly ensued, and the rest is pop culture history.

On the heels of the recent — and excellent — feature film Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe, the guys are back in a new Paramount+ series that debuts today. But there’s a twist. Continuing on from the events of the movie, the pair are now living in 2022….as are their fortysomething colleagues from the original series, still as demented as ever. (Yes friends, not even Beavis and Butt-Head are immune to the creative charms that the multiverse provides).

Furthermore the “smart” versions of the characters make a return in this revival series. Although Mike Judge himself is quick to state that “the smartest Beavis and Butt-Head are still not all that smart,” you may have noticed the aesthetic similarities between the intelligent version of Beavis and Butt-Head and The Watcher from Marvel Comics. You can chalk this up to the influence of Marvel and comics legend Jack Kirby.

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While coming up with the idea of the less moronic takes on the characters in the writers room for Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe, Judge, writer Lew Morton and company decided to differentiate the two sets of B&B’s by utilizing grandiose designs…much like those favored by Kirby.

“Google Jack Kirby hands,” said Mike Judge during his visit to the Den of Geek suite at San Diego Comic-Con, “I love these hand gestures which aren’t right for Beavis and Butt-Head, but it was really fun to put them on smart Beavis and Butt-Head, just like Roman statues.”

“I just love those poses and and I don’t do them very often because Beavis and Butt-Head aren’t those kinds of characters,” Judge explained, “but it was fun to and we’re doing more smart Beavis and Butt-Head in the series….there’s possibly even a spin-off.”

A solo show focusing exclusively on brilliant Beavis and Butt-Head? Somewhere Jack Kirby has a confused smile on his face.

Beavis and Butt-Head is now streaming on Paramount+.

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