A while back I did an analysis of sports logos in The Benny Hill Show. I had so much fun with that, I decided to do it again, this time with my all time favorite show, Beavis and Butt-Head. This was much more difficult than I thought, for a number of reasons. First, I had to decide if I should focus on just the sports logos, or the costumes as a whole. Second, I had to decide if I should focus on both canons, or just the main episode canon. For those not familiar with the show, there are two non interconnected time lines. The first is the main episode canon, the second is the music video canon. I made the decisions to focus on the character design as well as logos, and to only focus on the main episode canon.
So first, we will look at the characters. Let’s start with the titular characters. Beavis and Butt-Head live in the fictional Highland Texas. They are 14 years old, dumb as posts, and at the bottom of the social ladder. They attend Highland High School, albeit at the bottom of the class. It is never really established if the duo are brothers or just friends, as both have different mothers. The movie has them meet their dads, though if the movie is in the same canon in the show is up for debate. The duo work at Burger World, a stereotypical fast food restaurant, but more on that later.
Butt-Head has brown hair, braces, and is usually seen wearing a gray AC/DC t-shirt(changed to a Skull shirt for merchandising and video games due to licensing issues), red shorts, white socks, and black shoes. The shorts and shoes were based on clothing Judge was wearing when he started drawing them, he specifically stated that the shoes were based on Addidas. The name Butt-Head comes from a kid Mike Judge knew nicknamed “iron butt.” Butt-Head is his full name, Butt is his first name, Head is his last name.
Beavis has blonde hair, a huge under bite, a blue Metallica t-shirt(changed to Death Rock for above-named licensing issues), blue shorts and black shoes. Named after a classmate of Judge’s named Bobby Beavis, his laugh was the result of a straight A student who would giggle while doing his work. When he ingests a large amount of sugar, caffeine, or medication, he becomes Cornholio, pulls his shirt over his head, and starts talking in a series of incomprehensible sentences
The principal is Mr. McVicker, who always wears the same gray suit with red tie. His personality comes from a band director Judge had in 9th grade. He was an alcoholic, who would come into school smelling like booze, shaking uncontrollably, and would just be constantly angry. It is shown that the reason McVicker, or McDicker as the duo love to call him, is the way he is because of the duo.
Bradley Buzzcut is one of the two main teachers the duo encounter. A former marine who lost his inside voice in Vietnam, he genuinely hates the duo, and goes out of his way to assault or humiliate them in any way he can. Originally shown wearing a tan dress shirt, black tie, and matching tan pants, his appearance was changed to a white shirt with the word Coach emblazoned on the front, and blue slacks, with black shoes. He is one of two main charters to be redesigned over the course of the show.
David Van Driessen is one of the two main teachers the duo encounter regularly. He is a long haired hippie with a scraggly beard, who typically wears a blue shirt with a yellow peace sign and blue jeans. The voice comes from an interviewer from the Santa Barbara Blues Society, who interviewed Judge and Sam Meyer when they were touring as a band. He believes that education can solve any problem. He is one of the only characters who genuinely likes the duo.
Highland High School is interesting, in that while they have a full sports program, the team name is never mentioned. The school colors are red and black, and their team name starts with a T, as evidenced by the fact that the jocks wear letter man jackets designed as such. When the duo is in gym, the gym uniform is a plain white shirt, and plain white shorts. The football obsession that is associated with Texas is not present here at all, unlike King of the Hill.
They have a number of neighbors who they encounter on a regular basis.
Tom Anderson is a neighbor of the duo who frequently encounters the boys. He usually wears a floppy hat, a white t-shirt, white shorts, pulled up white socks, and brown loafers. His early appearances feature him wearing a white t-shirt, and green overalls, making him the other main character to get a redesign. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, he has at least one Purple Heart, and is senile with failing eyesight. As much damage as Beavis and Butt-Head do to his house, he keeps hiring them to do odd jobs, usually with disastrous results. Both Tom and Hank Hill are based on the same person, a man who lived down the street from Judge when he was growing up.
Stewart Stevenson is their neighbor, and the only other character who likes the duo. A dorky kid with blonde hair, a black Winger shirt, light blue shorts, and the same sock and shoe combo as the duo wears. Stewart had some controversy, as supposedly, Winger took exception to the duo making fun of his videos.
Todd Ianuzzi is a local bully, in his 20’s, who loves to terrorize the duo, but they look up to, and aspire to be like him. He is seen with long blonde hair, somewhat unshaven, sunglasses, a sleeveless blue denim shirt with a Todd patch embroidered into it, blue jeans and black boots. His personality comes from some neighbors he had a child who loved to bully and terrorize him.
Now I mentioned that the duo work at a fast food restaurant called Burger World, and the only other employee that works there is the manager. He is the only main character who doesn’t have a name. He has brown curly hair, glasses, a white dress shirt, red tie, gray pants, and black shoes. He employs the duo despite the damage they do to the restaurant, or how much money they steal.
Burger World has an interesting logo setup. The outside signage features an obvious redesign of the traditional McDonald’s logo, with the Golden Arches turned upside down to form a W. The W can be seen on the uniforms the duo wear, a red polo, with long blue pants. The logos seen on the inside are different, featuring a logo that looks like the combination of Volkswagen, and Burger King. Interestingly, this is also used on packaging for their food. It should also be noted that the logo by the doors kept getting smaller as the series progressed.
When it comes to sports uniforms and logos, well there weren’t much on the show itself. Aside from the letter-man jacket mentioned above, the only real use is a generic red on white football jersey used on Butt Butt Hike.
But when it came to promotion, things were different. At its peak, MTV used them as a counter-program to the Super Bowl halftime show. In 1994, the first Butt Bowl was broadcast during halftime. It featured two episode reruns, and in the promo, the duo’s shirts are redone as helmets, and matching uniforms. Butt-Head wore a blue design with AC/DC printed on the front of the helmet. His uniform resembles the New York Giants. Beavis is wearing a light gray helmet with Metallica on the side, though his uniform, complete with a backwards 4 does not appear to be based on any team. Butt Bowl countered Rockin’ Country Sunday in Super Bowl XXVII.The next year, Butt Bowl II, which was called “Butt Bowl Aye Aye” by the announcers featured the same design as the previous season, but featured two brand new episodes, Party, and Wet Behind The Rears. The intro featured Butt-Head wearing a San Francisco 49ers design, and Beavis wearing a San Diego Chargers uniform. This was to counter Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye during Super Bowl XXIX
Butt Bowl III had the classic look in the promo, but the intro featured Butt-Head wearing a Dallas Cowboys uniform, and Beavis is wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform. Two new episodes, Prank Call and No Service aired. Also of note, Butt-Head can be seen holding an NFL branded football in the lead up to the halftime show, which countered Diana Ross in Super Bowl XXX.
A sports uniform makes one last appearance in Virtual Stupidity. In the game we meet Leroy, who has a gang that is in a rivalry with Todd’s gang. One of Leroy’s unnamed gang members is wearing a white basketball jersey with 33 on the front and a plain back.