by Chaz Kangas
|Beavis and Butthead|
This month marks twenty wonderful years since MTV aired the first episode of Beavis and Butt-head. Mike Judge's hilarious cult phenomenon originally ran from March 8, 1993, to November 28, 1997, before being retired so that Judge could focus on FOX's animated series King of the Hill. When that show came to a close, Judge returned to the dynamic duo, and much fanfare was rolled out for MTV's airing of twelve brand-new half-hour episodes, starting in October 2011 and wrapping up in December of that same year. And then, there was silence.
Though the new season of B&B was a ratings hit at first, numbers dwindled by the end of the run. Judge has said in interviews that the show doesn't fit in with MTV's demographics any more, and the network is looking to sell it. This month, a petition was started on Change.org, encouraging Comedy Central to pick it up (the network ran several reruns in December, leading one to believe this might be an actual possibility). At press time, the petition has 441 signatures.
While the duo changed the way the world viewed Generation X, as well as ushered in one of the sharpest satires of the '90s, it also popularized the idea of video "riffing" to a brand-new audience. No longer were MTV videos flooding the network solely for viewer approval; now, two oft-hilarious critics were watching along with us to let us know what "kicks ass" and what "sucks." It is in salute to the two most trusted music critics of the '90s that we count down the top five Beavis and Butt-head video riffs of all time.
5. Army of Lovers, "Crucified"
Beavis and Butt-head were great at capturing just how we, the viewer, felt when seeing a video. Sometimes, particularly when the network dug up something obscure for the boys, that response is either "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" or "No! No! No! No!" Army of Lovers' "Crucified" is one of those standout bizarre videos whose visuals are as burned into the minds of viewers as were the boys' descriptions of the absurdity taking place onscreen.
4. Korn, "Blind"
Before it was international superstars, KoRN was another band that Beavis and Butt-head passed their taste-making judgment on. This riffing is memorable for perhaps Beavis' most articulate moment, passing judgment on the video's pros and cons in a way far outreaching the standard "rocks/sucks" bluntness viewers were accustomed to.
3. MC 900 Ft. Jesus, "If I Only Had a Brain"
Sometimes, it's the simplest riffings that become the funniest and most memorable. While you may not instantly remember the name MC 900 Ft. Jesus, his catchy "If I Only Had a Brain" or the Spike Jonze(!)-directed video, Beavis' own rendition of the song's signature bassline made for a gag so infectious that (SPOILER ALERT!) even Butt-head joins in by the end of it. Only getting funnier with repeat viewings, it's one of the finest moments the MTV show ever produced.
2. Pantera, "This Love"
If you're a metalhead with a favorite Beavis and Butt-head moment, chances are it's the boys impersonating their rendition of the father of Pantera, lead singer Phil Anselmo (who they believe is actually named "Pantera"), during the "This Love" video. For a band the boys unabashedly loved, the hilarious lengths they go to imagining a dysfunctional evening in the Pantera household is the type of magical brilliance that video riffing was made for. "You treat your step-mother with respect, Pantera!"
1. Beastie Boys, "Sabotage"
It might not be coincidence that our all-time-favorite Beavis and Butt-head video riffing is the boys' all-time-favorite video, "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. The only video they've showed enough reverence for to attempt (unsuccessfully) to suppress their comments, their unmistakable exuberance toward every second of the video is reminiscent of how much catching a favorite music video pre-YouTube meant to music fans everywhere. Beavis and Butt-head always had a entertaining fondness for the Beastie Boys, something we can all enjoy thanks to every Beastie Boys video riff the boys ever did being presented in this fan-edited YouTube video.
See also: -Ten Bands You Never Would Have Thought Used to Be Good -The Ten Biggest Concert Buzzkills: An Illustrated Guide -The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever -The Ten Worst Music Tattoos Ever