Dec. 3 – Beavis and Butt-head Do Christmas

BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD DO CHRISTMAS
Original Airdate: December 19, 1995

Two of cinema’s most wholesome classics tackled by MTV foulest duo…

BACKSTORY

Beavis and Butt-head debuted in the short film “Frog Baseball”for Spike and Mike’s Twisted Animation Festival in 1992. MTV saw the potential in the characters and got the short aired on the channel’s late-night indie animation showcase, Liquid Television, followed by a full blown series beginning on March 8, 1993.

The short that started it all

Beavis and Butt-head was an TV instant smash, spawning their own successful CD , The Beavis and Butt-head Experience, featuring previously unreleased tracks by Megadeth, Nirvana, Anthrax and chart-topping duet with Cher, as well as a positively received, record-breaking theatrical film, Beavis and Butt-head Do America, in 1996.

America Done

Unfortunately, that success was somewhat bittersweet, as Mike Judge’s duo found themselves at the center of much controversy. They were consistently held up as political scapegoats for the decline of American values, and were even blamed outright for inspiring events that led to the death of at least two children.


You probably could use a nostalgic pick-me-up right now

After an Ohio boy set his mobile home ablaze, killing his two-year-old sister, it was ordered that any instance of Beavis and Butt-head using fire, or even saying the word “fire,” be omitted from the airwaves. As a result of being under such scrutiny, many episodes have never rerun in their original form.

Doing what they do best

Worse still, other issues, such as the licensing issues to the music video interstitials, comprehensive DVD sets continue to elude the duo. Rare VHS tapes, out-of-print discs and pricey bootlegs still circulate eBay and fetch a tidy sum. Making for an even more unique circumstance, in 2010 Mike Judge took MTV up on its standing offer to return Beavis and Butt-head to the airwaves following the end of production on his highly successful King of the Hill. Almost 14 years after the episode “Beavis and Butt-head Are Dead” the eighth season of Beavis and Butt-head premiered on October 27, 2011.

BREAKDOWN

Look, I loved Beavis & Butthead just as much as any boy my age, back then on the cusp of teenagery and puberty. But I let that go a long time ago. This site’s made me good at that, letting things go. I just had assumed PG butt puns and masturbation jokes wouldn’t hold up alone wouldn’t hold up for me. That said, I’m fairly relieved to report I was wrong!

I’ve only caught a few eps of the recently reinvigorated show on MTV, so I’m also happy to say I liked it. Liked it just fine. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined these two could be elevated to “classic character” status, but there’s still something lovable about these two juvenile, oblivious dicks that refuses to die.

Better than the juvenile name implies

I’m equally happy to report that Beavis and Butthead Do Christmas is still profoundly giggle-worthy, and that’s made more impressive once you consider that it willfully commits two of my Christmas Special Cardinal Sins: Parodying A Christmas Carol or It’s a Wonderful Life. While Beavis and Butthead’s Christmas special does both, it somehow succeeds, seemingly by just not giving a shit. Or rather, refusing to acknowledge the lessons and morals conveyed in either sacred Xmas tome, as well as being far less direct in their send ups.

Get it?

Huh-Huh-Humbug, the first segment of this multi-part special kicks off with some startling Holiday imagery.

That’s a dead rat on a burger grill in case you weren’t already in the Xmas spirit

We then find Beavis and Butthead hard at work at Burger World on Christmas Eve. Both are scolded for slacking off, however, Beavis gets a more specific dressing down by the manager.

Leave him alone, mustache – he looks happy!

“What would happen if you actually applied yourself?” he’s asked by a man with really no no right to give anyone else shit about life decisions.

 Imaginary role reversal

Beavis lets his imagination take flight and envisions himself as the manager of Burger World. But with great power, comes great responsibility, so Beavis commands his workforce to stay late, now consisting of Butthead and their principal Mr. McVicker so he can go home and masturbate. Ah, the simple pleasures…

Winner of six Tonys!

Unfortunately, Beavis’ screening of “Ebenezer Screw” is interrupted by a ghostly apparition. And it’s some one all too familiar…

I know that pose

Enter Butthead Marley, a spirit clad in chains and VHS tapes, sent to warn Beavis of an impending visit of three ghosts. What’s great is how neither of them seem to care at all about the sacrosancnt roles they’ve been cast in.

Technically, he was alive five minutes ago

Even Butthead wants to check out the Holiday porn, and I don’t know about you but I for one can wholly relate to Beavis’ plight, that of simply wanting to get back to his rudely interrupted jerk session. But it is not to be…

Right when the adult thespian is about to unveil her goodies, The Ghost of Christmas Past emerges, played by none other than Hank Hill- I mean, neighbor Tom Andersen.

 “That boy ain’t right.”

He takes Beavis on a soul-searching look his previous Christmases throughout the years. Thankfully, I can show you the whole joke.

lol

And that’s it. Andersen tries to convey the importance of helping people, over say, doing anything  but watching TV. But hey, we all (all men) know what it’s like to be nursing an erection. You don’t have all the blood in your brain and can be less than receptive to new ideas, thus Christmas Past’s advice falls on deaf, blueballed ears.

 Descending like a lesbian seagull

Back to the porn! But only briefly, for it is time for everyone’s hippy-dippy educationalist, Mr. Van Driessen, as The Ghost of Christmas present! What I realized here is that Beavis and Butthead don’t have a whole lot of characters in their universe to cast. I’d initially wondered why Principal McVicker was shoehorned into being a Burger World employ earlier. Now I get it:  He’s Bob Cratchit – DURR!

More disturbing than the kids, his wife looks exaclty like him

Who were they going to use, Daria? (Fear not, she appears later.) Despite looking to be in his late 60s, it turns the McVickcers are a bunch of preteen little Vivkers out there, and they’re all starving and missing their pops this Christmas Eve. The man of the house sneaks home on his break to deliver Christmas tidings: Day old burger and temporary tattoos. Van Driessen reasons that this pitiful situation is Beavis’ fault, but all he can see is an employee stealing and vows to fire him next chance he gets.

Hope you like Lisa Frank and diabetes

Exit another ghost with zero lessons earned. Maybe it’s time for someone a little more stern, shall we say?

“What is your major malfunction, numb nuts?!”

Hooray, it’s my favorite character from the show, the Phys Ed. coach! Whom I only just learned is actually named Bradley Buzzcut… Seriously?

He trained the ghost who then trained Patrick Swayze

Before we move on, It’s worth pointing out that Mike Judge has been the voice of EVERY character so far. The coach smacks Beavis around and fully letting him know that his life is headed nowhere, but it’s to no avail. Beavis has his own vision of the future and it’s considerably more awesome.

 Robo-manager

Please notice that this here’s a dream sequence within a dream sequence! You may call it sloppy storytelling, I call it the precursor to Inception. Anyway, Beavis imagines himself as a managerial cyborg who kills complaining Burger World patrons. Quite touchingly, it ends with him shooting Butthead in the dick.

 Not the future we want, but the one we deserve

Clearly, Beavis is failing to conceptualize what’s happening here, but if there’s anyone who can make the tough decisions, it’s the goddamned Coach! Warning Boys: This is brutal

 “Show me no more, spirit!”

Just when Beavis is arriving at his vaginaless epiphany, he’s awoken at midnight in Burger World by Butthead. Beavis regales Butthead with the details, learning only that in the future he’ll probably be the boss. In true Dickensian fashion, the episode ends with, the boys both come to the conclusion that “working on Christmas Eve is cool.”

 G’night everybody!

The two segments in Beavis and Butt-head Do Christmas are bridged together with a “Letters to Santa Butthead” segment. Rather than bore you with the details, why don’t I just show it to you until MTV has it removed. Wanna get to the next segment because it’s my favorite of the two.

The It’s a Wonderful Life parody kicks off with the voices of Highland praying to the Gods to “get rid of,” okay, “kill” Beavis and Butthead. The pleas are so numerous and heartfelt, Heaven has no choice but to act while the duo flips through several Holiday staples of 90s television.

 RoboClaus, a B & B Holiday tradition

Charlie, the boys’ guardian angel, tries to get their attention through their prefered deity of television, but they ignore him after realizing Christmas probably isn’t best spent watching TV anyway… and they’re far better off going on a quest for chicks.

Or chick magazines

 Sadly, Wet Hooters ceased publication in 2008

On a dilapidated bridge, Beavis and Butthead meet Charlie and acknowledge him for the first time. He informs them he’s here to kill them, however, he’s new at this whole “murder thing” and it would make things it much easier if they just killed themselves.

 Reckless horseplay

Obviously, the assume a world without them as totally sucking, so Charlie opts to take Butthead on a journey to see what the world would look like without him in it.

Without Butt-head, Burger World is no longer devoid of customers

First, they come upon Tom Andersen’s house. With Butthead no longer around to destroy his yard, the entire neighborhood can enjoy an ornate Holiday presentation. This disagrees with Butthead, so he destroys it anyway.

 Still very much not Hank Hill

Next we see gang at Highland High. Not only has Principal McVikers managed to keep his hair…

Note that frown, upside down

Daria has found a nice boy to date, now that her taste in men is no longer corrupted by these Men of Farts and Fire. To Butthead, this scenario is also filled with suck.

La-La-La-La-Laa

Lastly, we come upon a soup kitchen where Stewart is working. However, in this alternate reality, everyone’s favorite Winger/Unicorn lover (he’s wearing an equally atrocious Poison t-shirt) is a bit of a dick, actually, and he now bosses around a subservient Beavis.

Who wears the Winger shirt now?

To make matters worse, Butthead learns that, without his influence, Beavis has never once heard, nor used, the word “bunghole” in his life! The horror.

Hobo sanity

This now unacquainted duo breaks out into a fight that is put out by nearby homeless men who end up punching Butthead. Once warped back to the bridge, they both agree the world sucks without them in it.

The world has been reBeavised

Charlie begs to differ, but in one last maniacal attempt to convince the two to commit suicide, he ends up killing himself by falling of the rickety, icey bridge.

Good luck, Chuck

How’s that for a spin on a time-honored classic? Huh-Huh

Beavis and Butt-head were no strangers to controversey hot button topics, however, Christ was still a subject too thorny to broach.

Butt-head plays the part deftly, and we can even see a street Santa in one scene as well. Alas, the real deal is a total no show here.

Honestly, this is a difficult one to write about here. I genuinely approach each special looking for warmth, some mild Holiday tradition, and a little Christmas spirit. Beavis and Butt-head Do Christmas works primarily because it proudly lacks all of that. Despite my preconceived notions about the characters, I loved it, and that should really count for something. But should I really recommend it to people looking looking to heat the cockles of their Holiday hearts?! Fuck it, how many of you pay attention to these ratings anyway?

PRODUCT INFORMATION (Support the Site!)

Beavis and Butt-head have been pretty tough for both fans and MTV to nail down on DVD. For one, the music video portion of the show makes the full, uncut and chronological a licensing nightmare. Secondly, two companies have released B&B DVDs, and it seems smaller single-disc sets released by Time-Life (seriously?!) are much less altered than the episodes found in all three Mike Judge Collections released by MTV that purport “Director’s Cuts” inside. You can find Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas on three different DVDs, although each presents its own problems, the single disc version is long out-of-print and Vol. 3 of the Mike Judge Collection Vol. 3 presents the special out of order. Examine your own levels of nerdiness and sort it out for yourself, won’t you?

Yesterday’s Christmas Special
SNOWY, XMAS IMAGERY FROM DISNEY MOVIES

 

2010’s Dec. 3 Christmas Special
GIFT WRAPPED

 

2009’s Dec. 3 Christmas Special
A WISH FOR WINGS THAT WORKED

6 thoughts on “Dec. 3 – Beavis and Butt-head Do Christmas

  1. The VHS tape of “Do Christmas” is still pretty much the way to go, since it retains all/most of its Music Videos, interstitials and so on.

    An another note, will you be doing a South Park episode this year? There’s no going wrong since they’ve had so many good Christmas eps.

  2. Thank you totally legitimate internet distribution mechanisms. The ‘wonderful life’ segment was killer funny.

    Incidentally, the sound of the bit on Beavis’ teeth curled my toes a little.

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