Beavis & Butt-Head Do Christmas (review)

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The Meanspirit of the Season

When the sticky-sweet sentiments of the season threaten to send into a diabetic coma and you’re ready to take hostages if you hear that Muzak rendition of “Jingle Bell Rock” over the mall loudspeaker system one more goddamn time, then you are ready for the twisted and profane Beavis & Butt-Head Do Christmas.

Heh heh: I said “do.”

A collection of seasonal shorts gleaned from the rude, crudely drawn animated MTV series Beavis & Butt-Head, Christmas is almost entirely without redeeming value. And thank the gods for that. Spending the holidays with the boys ensures that you are in no danger of having your heart forcibly warmed by, say, big-eyed, lisping moppets teaching seemingly nasty but really just lonely old curmudgeons the true meaning of anything. Instead, you get the satisfaction of watching the world’s two biggest losers get heaped with abuse by their own creator — Mike Judge, who also provides almost all the voices — for your demented entertainment… ya weirdo.

Judge shows neither Beavis nor Butt-Head any mercy. The Satanically Q-Tip-headed one — that would be Beavis — is up first, starring in a modern-day Christmas Carol in “Huh-Huh Humbug.” Watching a porno video (Ebenezer Screw, of course) by himself on Christmas Eve, Beavis is visited by three ghosts who try to alert the eternally clueless idiot that the reason he has no life is because he “never left the house!” They fail utterly. The adenoidal Butt-Head gets his turn in “It’s a Miserable Life,” in which the good people of their town pray for God to eliminate Beavis and Butt-Head. Charlie the guardian angel tries to show Butt-Head how much better the world would be if only he had never been born, if only it were free of his destructive influence. Would Butt-Head kindly do the proper thing and commit suicide by jumping off a bridge into the icy river below? No such luck.

At least these two nitwits have each other, and we see the depth of their affection in “Letters to Santa Butt-head,” the interlude. Butt-Head, in red Santa suit, and Beavis, in rather S&M-looking reindeer harness, read “like letters from like real people and stuff.” Santa Butt-Head attempts to fulfill the holiday wishes of his correspondents, which typically involve smacking Beavis. It’s okay, though — Butt-Head’s physical abuse of Beavis is one of the things that draw them together, along with a shared devotion to porn, television, heavy metal, and… well, that’s about the extent of their interests, actually.

Those who complain of the inanity of Beavis and Butt-Head miss the point — Judge is not celebrating their stupidity, he’s criticizing it, m’kay? We do not laugh with the boys — we laugh at them. And we laugh hard, as when Butt-Head, as the Marley ghost in “Huh-Huh Humbug,” is clad in chains weighted down by the books he never read. Moron.

Still, Beavis has a point: “The Nutcracker Suite” does sound like Ozzy, if you listen right. I dare you not to try a headbanger’s head shaking the next time you hear the piece — it works.

“Huh-Huh-Humbug” and “It’s a Miserable Life” are Season 3 Episode 5 of the Beavis & Butt-head TV show [Amazon Prime US | UK].

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