320 REALLY TRYING MINUTES IN THE ANIMATED LIFE OF BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD CREATOR MIKE JUDGE
12:15 Synch Sound Studio, New York ”We’re just talking about mucous,” says Mike Judge, 30, creator of MTV’s animated video reviewers, Beavis and Butt- head-a rash act that has now earned him the invidious title the Voice of a New Generation. At the moment, the oracle is sitting in front of a TV monitor, watching an actor in Ugly Kid Joe’s ”Neighbor” pick his nose, providing ample fodder for Judge and David Felton, one of the show’s half-dozen writers. Egging them on is Suzie Lynn, a freelance video segment producer who will edit the clip once the dialogue has been recorded by Judge. Lynn selects dozens of videos for the show, ranging from the hip to the obscure to the just plain weird. ”If there’s fire, that’s great. If there’s girls, that’s great,” says Lynn. 12:29 Once a joke or two is pretty solid, Judge-in his uniform of black jeans and T-shirt-enters a glass-walled recording booth to turn his notes into appropriately moronic Beavis and Butt-head speak. As if possessed, he becomes the voices of the pair. Butt-head: ”That guy eats so many boogers he’s fat.” Beavis: ”Huh-huh, huh-huh. How can you gain weight by eating boogers?” Butt- head: ”Well, lotsa of people blow their nose, but not everyone’s fat.”
12:50 Frank Zappa’s peculiar ”You Are What You Is” video rolls. ”This is horrible,” says Lynn. ”We could watch it again and again until we come up with ideas,” suggests Judge, in a weak attempt at being a taskmaster. ”We’ll just switch out of it,” Lynn decides, meaning B and B will hit the remote with little comment.
1:27 Wrapping up the recording, Judge nixes an offer to take a dig at Gloria Estefan’s ”Mi Tierra” video, citing his appreciation of salsa music. ”I sort of got addicted to Ray Barretto’s ‘Que Viva La Musica.’ It’s cool.” ”We could do the Pantera video. It’s only a minute,” Lynn suggests, but Judge and Felton have been at this for 31 2 hours and are drained of ideas. Considering that B and B’s world is divided into ”that’s cool” and ”that sucks,” you’d think coming up with dialogue would be simple, but no. ”It’s not just thinking,” says Felton, explaining the technique. ”It’s thinking stupid.”
1:45 Fourth Floor, MTV Headquarters Judge is always late for something these days. It’s the price he pays for having the final say on everything to do with B and B, from the color of a log on a background panel to the designs on the show’s T-shirts. Right now he’s more than 15 minutes late for a directors’ meeting. As he speeds through the sparsely furnished, pale green and purple offices, he’s ambushed by his assistant, Sara Duffy. She’s got a handful of phone messages, most of which Judge won’t have time to return. ”Cameron called you,” Duffy says. ”Who’s he?” asks Judge. Duffy explains that James Cameron, the guy who directed Terminator 2, wants to use Beavis and Butt-head in the new Arnold Schwarzenegger film, True Lies. ”And Gwen really needs to speak to you and so does Tina and I have one more question: Is it okay if People magazine comes to your house tomorrow?” Judge: ”Yeah, I guess we’ve got to do this sometime.” Duffy: ”All right, then you have to tell me where you live.”