‘Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe’ is Comfortingly Crude Hilarity - Knotfest
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‘Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe’ is Comfortingly Crude Hilarity

Posted by Nicolás Delgadillo in Culture on July 6, 2022

Beavis and Butt-Head return in a new movie that goes by the old mantra of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe operates on a simple concept: Take Mike Judge’s beloved idiotic teen boys from the 90s and transport them to the modern day. Predating future crude adult animation series like South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head set the gold standard for juvenile, straight white male humor in the form of endless jokes about private parts, sexual acts, and taking in the finer things in life like TV and the joys of setting things on fire. Gross and horny adolescents Beavis and his best friend Butt-Head (both voiced by Judge) are the epitome of smart “dumb” humor. Their new film proves that, even decades later, their brand of one-track-mind stupidity hasn’t exactly gone out of style, for better or worse.

In their first film, 1996’s Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, the boys take a hijinks-filled trip across the United States in search of a new TV and unknowingly wind up as the most wanted duo in the country. They leave scenes of destruction and national incidents in their wake and remain completely oblivious to it all. Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe takes that same basic structure as this time around the boys wreak havoc on a college campus, in a prison, at space camp, out in space itself and through a black hole straight into 2022. All in the name of getting a chance to score.

Beavis and Butt-Head go to space camp in their latest adventure

I didn’t grow up watching the original series. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, which I watched before jumping into the new film, was my first real introduction to these two knuckleheads. Now, I realize how much I missed out. This is the kind of humor I distinctly and fondly remember cracking up at all day every day with my friends throughout school. Pure, stupid sleaze where everything and anything can be a joke (one that’s usually about a penis or something along those lines) and euphemisms and double entendres are just part of the vocabulary. The kind of idiocy that I meant in earnest as a kid and then ironically as a young and more progressive minded adult, only to fully circle back around into earnestness. Even if I’m not the one making the joke about holes or “doing it”, you can bet I’m still laughing my ass over it. 

Judge and company follow the mantra of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” for Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe. While the series has always used the duo’s self-absorbed obliviousness to comment on the works around them, dropping them into the societal rules of today only amplifies their crude antics even more. Longtime fans may be pleased to know that modern day Beavis and Butt-Head are is less idiotic and still relentlesssly funny. Seeing the two of them try to work out a smartphone or be lectured on their white male privilege offers a new kind of wit but it still doesn’t match the simple hilarity of watching them more-than-suggestively play with a docking simulator for hours while they snicker to themselves.

Despite Do the Universe arriving at a time where anything and everything is receiving the reboot / remake / legacy sequel treatment, and the film in itself could be considered a legacy sequel to Do America, there’s nothing about that ever feels like it’s pandering for cheap nostalgia points. Beavis and Butt-Head just do what they’ve always done, and the film treats its story almost as if no time has passed at all. It doesn’t matter where you put these two teen boys, they’ll still find ways to cause confusion and destruction in search of more TV, nachos and (as they love to call them) sluts. And no matter how many enemies they make along the way, they’ll still manage to outrun and outsmart them thanks to pure dumb (emphasis on the dumb) luck. 

It’s classic cartoon comedy, where the slapstick is just as pronounced as the jokes. Do the Universe sees no reason to try to reinvent itself or change its sense of humor and is all the better for it. What Beavis and Butt-Head have to show us all these years later is that no matter how much things change, some stuff just never gets old. Even in this bleak techno dystopia of our own making, dick and fart jokes are still comfortingly hilarious.

‘Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe’ is now streaming on Paramount+.


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