Beavis and Butthead Movie

Huh Huh History

15 Things You Might Not Know About Beavis and Butt-Head

Catch Beavis and Butt-Head Do America this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Beavis and Butt-Head made spouting sarcastic comments while staring at a screen cool long before the Internet. But over the course of their eight season TV series (which was revived in 2011) and their 1996 big screen outing Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (airing this month on IFC), the giggling duo have left their mark (huh huh huh…we said “left their mark”) on pop culture. Check out a few things you might not know about this groundbreaking animated duo.

1. They hang out at Butt-Head’s house.

couch

We know that Beavis and Butt-Head live in the humble burg of Highland, Texas. But whose house are they constantly watching music videos in? Their location was never established during the series, but creator Mike Judge has gone on record to confirm that they’re watching TV in Butt-head’s house. His TV presumably has more inches. Hehe. Hehe.


2. Burger World comes from “Weird Al” Yankovic.

burgerworld2

The doofus duo “work” (we use the term loosely) part-time at “Burger World,” a generic fast food joint which first appeared in “Weird Al” Yankovic’s UHF. The fictional chain is also referenced in Al’s classic “Fat” music video.


3. Kanye West wanted to be mocked by the duo.

sucks

There are few places Kanye can’t appear, whether it’s by invitation or simply bursting onto stage. But Beavis and Butt-Head were denied the chance to rip on Kanye in the recent batch of episodes when a minor stakeholder in the song Judge and the rest of the staff wanted to use declined MTV permission to show the video.


4. Hank Hill Was Almost Tom Anderson’s Son.

anderson

In the early stages of King of the Hill‘s development, Mike Judge planned to make Hank Hill the son of Tom Anderson, the long-suffering neighbor and eternal victim to Beavis and Butt-Head’s misadventures. (They are basically the same character, right down to the voice and their dislike of wayward youth.) Ultimately, though, Hank’s father became the irascible Cotton, a character we imagine Beavis and Butt-Head would idolize.


5. An angry Beavis and Butt-Head caller inspired King of the Hill’s Boomhauer.

boomhauer2

However, there is a connection between Beavis and Butt-Head and another Arlen, TX resident. As Judge revealed to Jimmy Kimmel, an angry caller left him a voicemail during Beavis and Butt-Head‘s original run. The caller hated the show (which he thought was called “Porky’s Butthole”) and ranted about it in an incomprehensible accent. Judge found the caller hilarious and used him as the inspiration for King of the Hill‘s Boomhauer and his distinctive speech patterns.


6. The voice of Daria was in the pilot for The Real World.

daria

Daria served as the smart, snarky voice of reason in both the Beavis and Butt-Head world and in her own cult favorite MTV series. Tracy Grandstaff, the voice of Daria, was a writer at MTV and also worked as a production assistant on season one of The Real World. Due to MTV’s penchant at the time for putting staff members on-air, Grandstaff was selected to appear on the original un-aired pilot for The Real World. She eventually moved behind the scenes, but had things turned out differently, Daria might’ve been snarking on Eric Nies and his dumb ’90s hats.


7. The South Park creators met Isaac Hayes at the Beavis and Butt-Head movie premiere.

southpark

South Park owes its existence to Beavis and Butt-Head in more ways than one. In fact, Matt Stone and Trey Parker first met their future collaborator Isaac Hayes (aka Chef) at the premiere of Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. (Hayes performed a song on the film’s funky soundtrack.) We can almost imagine the characters looking down from the screen to pass on the torch. After lighting it with their own farts.


8. Chris Farley and David Spade almost played Beavis and Butt-Head on the big screen.

farleyspade

Beavis and Butt-Head were a huge phenomenon in the ’90s, so naturally a live-action film was considered. Chris Farley and David Spade were suggested as the title characters, so have fun imagining that. Spade did end up voicing several characters on the show, including Mr. Manners in the infamous etiquette episode.


9. Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando were huge fans.

depp

The show had many celebrity fans, including a couple of acting legends. Mike Judge related to Jimmy Kimmel how Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando would do the characters’ voices on the set of Don Juan DeMarco. And that is an image you will never, ever forget.


10. “Buffcoat and Beaver” came from a real life Senator.

buffcoat

Beavis and Butt-Head never invaded the Janet Reno hearings on violence in television, but only because Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings (of South Carolina) couldn’t remember their names, calling them “Buffcoat and Beavo, Beaver something.” The show paid homage to the Senator when the Rush Limbaugh-esque character Gus Baker referred to our boys by this colorful mispronunciation.


11. There’s a hidden message in the movie’s desert scene.

hallucination

Senators might say Beavis and Butt-Head are bad for society, but the movie’s only hidden message is “Everybody go to college, study hard, study hard.” This mind-expanding message can be heard in the desert hallucination scene if you reverse the audio of the background noises.


12. A scene where Beavis defaces the Declaration of Independence was cut from the film.

In a deleted scene from Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Beavis is in need of “T.P for his bunghole” and comes across a group of tourists looking at the Declaration of Independence. He proceeds to break the glass on the case and, well, you can imagine where things go from there.


13. Mike Judge animated the first Beavis and Butt-Head short “Frog Baseball.”

After a stint working in Silicon Valley, Judge created some animated shorts that caught the attention of MTV execs. One of the shorts, “Frog Baseball,” featured two dimwitted teens who would go on to massive success. Judge animated the short himself, which first aired on MTV’s Liquid Television.


14. Beavis and Butt-Head got their names from kids Mike Judge knew growing up.

Beavis and Butthead dancing

Yes, there is a real Beavis. The fire-obsessed miscreant got his name from a kid named Bobby Beavis who lived three blocks from Judge in his youth. The real Beavis, however, was an athletic kid who wasn’t a metal obsessed spaz. Judge got the idea for Butt-Head from another kid in his neighborhood who had the nickname “Iron Butt” due to claims that you could kick him in the butt as hard as you wanted and he wouldn’t feel it. The kid was supposedly a terror, and once burned down a tree. He also had a friend everyone called “Butt-Head,” and Judge used the name when he was creating the “Frog Baseball” storyboard. The name made him laugh, and the rest is history.


15. David Letterman May Be Their Dad.

David Letterman appeared in Beavis and Butt-Head Do America in an uncredited role (he is listed as “Earl Hofert”) as one of the Motley Crue roadies the duo meet in the desert. The roadie, who bears quite the resemblance to Butt-Head, brags about “scoring with two chicks” in Highland 15 years back. The Beavis-ish roadie also claims to have scored, but as usual his counterpart takes all the credit. Though Letterman has never admitted his paternity, he did have the pair on his show back in the day.

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Rocky IV Paulie Robot

Mr. Roboto

5 Reasons Rocky IV Is Too Rotten to Miss

Catch Rocky IV Friday at 8P during IFC's Rotten Fridays.

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Photo Credit: MGM/UA/YouTube

When Rocky IV was released in 1985, the critics were not kind. (While it wasn’t around back then, the film’s 39% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes speaks for itself.) Less of a movie than a jingoistic music video starring a robot and a steroid-addled, monosyllabic Russian baddie, Rocky IV is a far cry from the Italian Stallion’s humble origins.

Still, more than any movie ever made, it exemplifies the whole “so bad its good” genre. This movie was made for us, the great-unwashed masses of the 1980s, who loved the band Survivor and hated those Commie bastards. Before you catch Rocky IV on IFC’s Rotten Fridays, let’s take a look at some moments that make this flick a “too rotten to miss” classic.

5. That Opening Shot

Rocky IV
United Artists

It takes all of 30 seconds for the audience to know they’re in for one ridiculous rollercoaster ride through a Cold War conniption fit of good vs. evil. Gone is the subtle tone and grounded reality of the first Rocky. In its place we see two gloves, one emblazoned with the American flag, the other with the Soviets’, hurtling toward each other. When they collide, sparks fly, and we witness an explosion decades in the making.

In case the symbolism is too subtle for you, director/writer/star Sylvester Stallone is trying to hint that this movie will be the clash of civilizations we’d all been waiting for, but instead of nuclear bombs, a humble palooka from the streets would be duking it out in the ring with the ultimate representation of coldhearted Communism. If it were up to us, this opening shot would’ve won Best Picture all by itself.


4. So Many Montages

Rocky IV has a running time of 91 minutes and 20 seconds. Its eight montages (yes, EIGHT) run a total of 29 minutes and 10 seconds. That is one third of the movie solely dedicated to montages. (Considering Stallone’s contempt for all things Soviet, we have to wonder if he knows it was a dirty Ruskie who invented the montage.)

During one of the many, many montages, director Stallone actually flashes back to a scene that had happened a minute and half prior, creating the impression that he might actually flashback to the montage we were just watching in the same montage. Stallone clearly loves a good montage set to an inspirational ’80s song, and so do we. Which brings us to…


3. A Soundtrack Full of Pumped Up ’80s Jams

Speaking of montages, they are set to the score of some of the cheesiest hits from the mid-’80s. For once, we’re spared tracks from Frank Stallone, with Stallone replacing his rocker brother with synth-y singles from Survivor, John Cafferty and Kenny Loggins. And of course, Robert Tepper, possessor of an ’80s mullet that could topple empires, crooning “No Easy Way Out.” The music in this movie is one step away from being a parody of the music in this movie. If you ever want to know what cocaine can do to the human mind, just listen to this soundtrack.


2. Rocky Ends the Cold War

Rocky IV speech
United Artists

In one of the most misguided, self-congratulatory, and immediately dated moments in cinema history, good ol’ galoot Rocky Balboa single-handedly ended the Cold War four years before the Berlin Wall came down.

To quote the Italian Stallion himself: “In here…there were two guys… killing each other. But I guess that’s better than millions. What I’m trying to say is… if I can change… and you can change…everybody can change!” And just like that the Soviet public, generals and even the Premier himself rose to their feet in applause, realizing what fools they’d been. This guy beat Mr. T for Heaven’s sake. He knows what he’s talking about!


1. Paulie’s Robot

Okay, let’s all take a deep breath and really consider this for a moment. Rocky IV has a robot butler in it. A movie franchise that began back in 1976 exploring the gritty reality of a bum fighter trying to prove himself somehow limped along long enough to turn into a weak Short Circuit rip-off in which an alcoholic mooch with a history of domestic abuse now gets his coffee served to him by a robot. A robot that he has programmed with a “sultry” lady voice!

Stallone was inspired to include the real life robot Sico in Rocky IV because of the work it did to help autistic children like his son Seargeoh. That’s all very moving, but doesn’t explain why he decided to write a scene where Paulie dubs poor Sico “the love of my life.” It’s a testament to Rocky IV‘s “too rotten to miss” status that Paulie’s robot girlfriend/personal servant isn’t even the craziest thing that happens to Rock and the gang.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” movie Rocky IV this Friday at 8P on IFC. 

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Swimming To Cambodia Spalding Gray

Gray's Anatomy

Everything You Need to Know About the Movie That Inspired “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”

Brand new Documentary Now! airs Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom Pictures

This week Documentary Now! spotlights a master monologist with “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything.” Before you tune in at 10P this Wednesday on IFC, check out our guide to Swimming to Cambodia, the 1987 film that captured writer/performer Spalding Gray’s acclaimed one-person show.

Spalding Gray 101

Swimming to Cambodia
Cinecom Pictures

Actor and renowned monologist Spalding Gray spent two years on stage perfecting his Obie Award-winning “Swimming to Cambodia” monologue. In it, Gray tells the story of his eight weeks in Southeast Asia while shooting the 1984 Academy Award-winning movie The Killing Fields. He had a small role, but the experience gave him several anecdotes about hanging out with the film crew and experiencing the local culture, all while searching for “the perfect moment.”

Directed by the Silence of the Lambs Guy

Hannibal Lecter
Orion Pictures/Everett Collection

Acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Demme took Gray’s two-night, four hour performance and crafted it down to 85 minutes. His use of dramatic lighting, stylish camerawork and a score by performance artist Laurie Anderson was praised by critics and earned the film a cult following. No stranger to groundbreaking docs, Demme also directed the 1984 Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, which Documentary Now! pays tribute to in this season’s episode “Final Transmission.”

All about the Voices

While it may have been a one-man show, Gray created a repertoire of characters all with distinctive accents. (He portrayed conversations between himself and others just by turning his head.) Our favorite impressions are of his demanding girlfriend Renee and Ivan Strasberg, the South African director of photography on The Killing Fields who, as depicted by Gray, sounds a bit like a Jamaican surfer.

The Original Cranky New Yorker

In one memorable scene, Gray rants about how his noisy upstairs artist neighbors are driving him and Renee crazy. Even in the mid-’80s, there were New Yorkers complaining that the city wasn’t what it used to be.

Show and Tell

Swimming to Cambodia
Cinecom Pictures/YouTube

A big fan of visual aids, Gray used pull-down maps to illustrate his travels. This helped to bring Swimming to Cambodia to life, since he’s basically sitting at a desk the entire time.

Inspired One-Person Shows

Gray’s groundbreaking performances in Swimming and other documentaries like Monster in a Box and the Steven Soderbergh-directed Gray’s Anatomy (about Gray’s struggle with a rare eye condition) paved the way for future one-person shows. (We wouldn’t have everything from Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking” to Mike Birbiglia’s “Sleepwalk With Me” without him.) Even Doc Now! star Fred Armisen got into the one-person show act for his recent SNL monologue.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Spalding Gray when “Parker Gail: Location Is Everything” premieres Wednesday, September 28th at 10P on IFC. 

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Rocky IV Stallone Lundgren

Burning Heart

10 Reasons Why Rocky IV Is the Ultimate Rocky Movie

Catch an all-day Rocky movie marathon this Friday, September 30th on IFC.

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Photo Credit: United Artists/Everett Collection

Sure, most people love the first Rocky for its heart, gripping boxing scenes and the classic training montage. Or, you might love Creed for being both a return-to-form and a new exploration of the Rocky mythology. Maybe the thrill of seeing Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in the same movie makes Rocky III your top pick. Well, sorry, you’re wrong: Rocky IV is the greatest of all the “Italian Stallion”‘s movies.

Before you watch the all-day Rocky movie marathon this Friday, September 30th on IFC (with Rocky IV airing at 8P as part of Rotten Fridays), check out a few reasons to appreciate the fourth installment as the king of the series.

1. The Greatest Opening Ever

How many openings are able to sum up the entire conflict of the film in less than a minute and without a single line of dialogue? And how many of those movies have exploding boxing gloves? Just try to watch the opening sequence above and not be completely psyched for the pumped-up flick to come.


2. Montages!

We all know that the best part of any sports movie is the montage, and Rocky IV doesn’t give you one measly montage. There’s a recap of the previous films montage, a getting to Russia Montage, two training montages and an ending fight montage. That’s five montages! There’s probably a montage of montages snuck in there, too.


3. There’s a Full James Brown Musical Number

This movie is so packed with memorable moments, it’s easy to forget one of the first things that happens in the film: Apollo comes out to fight Drago dressed as a shirtless Uncle Sam, while James Brown and a full band play “Living in America.” To drive home the number’s patriotism, there are dancers in tuxedos and top hats, weird unitards and bowler caps, and bedazzled showgirls with headpieces for miles. Oh, and don’t forget the giant tentacled dragon statue on the stage. This is how every boxing match should start. Heck, this is how we always want to enter a room.


4. The Soundtrack

The Rocky IV soundtrack doesn’t just feature James Brown — it has rock anthems galore, all of which make you immediately want to hit the gym. From “Heart’s on Fire” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band to “Sweetest Victory” by Touch to multiple Survivor jams, you’ll get pumped and stay pumped. Even the instrumental score rocks! Sure, sometimes it sounds like it was made on a kids Casio, but this soundtrack never quits and — to quote Robert Tepper — never takes the easy way out.


5. Abs!

Rocky IV weights

Every Rocky movie shows off Stallone’s incredible physique, but Rocky IV really ups the game. Not only do we get Dolph Lundgren mostly shirtless looking like a man machine, but we get a wide variety of scenes of Stallone doing impossible tasks. Stallone’s crazy dragon fly crunches, aka a thing no human should be able to do, automatically take this movie to the top.


6. Two words: Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago
United Artists

Not only does Rocky IV explore the global conflict between the US and the Soviet Union, but it encapsulates all of our fears of the Cold War in one perfect villain. Ivan Drago only trains with machines and science and looks like he stepped out of an Aryan Nations recruitment poster. He also only responds in short, cold phrases like “If he dies, he dies,” or “I must break you.” There’s never been a villain who we so clearly want to get the crap beat out of than Ivan Drago.


7. Rocky Makes Chores Look Badass

Rocky saw
United Artists

Rocky doesn’t need to be hooked up to machines to become the perfect fighter. All he needs are huge tires and some outdoor chores to do. No one’s ever looked cooler chopping wood and using tractor parts. Half of his training is lifting an old wagon, probably to fix a broken axle. If anything, this film inspires us to take care of that gardening work we’ve been neglecting.


8. Rocky’s Beard

Rocky IV Beard

Stallone’s beard game is truly on point in Rocky IV. And this isn’t some “I forgot to shave, here’s a little stubble” look. No, we get full out, lumberjack-style beard action. Does any other Rocky movie have our hero looking like an old Russian aristocrat? Another point for Rocky IV.


9. There’s a robot!

Again, there’s so much to Rocky IV, you probably forgot about the robot. Well, Rocky has some money now and he’s not going to spend it on frivolous things for himself. He’s going to buy Paulie a robot! The best part of this scene is how truly disturbed Paulie is by this new technology until he gives it a sexy lady voice.


10. Rocky Ends the Cold War

If you’re still not convinced that Rocky IV is the greatest, answer this question: Does any other Rocky movie bring peace between the US and Russia?

By the end of the film, Rocky rises up to beat the seemingly undefeatable Drago. He fights so well, that even the Russians begin to appreciate his skills. Then, instead of using his victory to prove America’s superiority, he gives a rousing speech of “If I can change and you can change, everybody can change!” The whole crowd goes wild, including all of the Russian government, who we assume give up Communism immediately based solely on Rocky’s words. Stallone’s call for international reconciliation through brutal fighting and a variety of montages makes this if not one of the greatest films of all time, certainly the greatest Rocky of them all.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” movie Rocky IV this Friday at 8P on IFC. 

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