When Mike Judge unleashed his animated bad boys Beavis and Butt-Head on an unsuspecting MTV audience in the early ‘90s, he found that some people were missing the satire and just filing the show under “lowbrow humor.” But with his 1995 hip comedy, Office Space, about slackers forced into the rat race, Judge made it known that he had more on his mind than flatulence jokes. The 43-year-old comedic auteur keeps a low profile by spending much of his time at home with his family in Texas, but a new release of Office Space — subtitled the Special Edition with Flair — and a cool Judge-picked Beavis collection got the man (who still voices Hank on King of the Hill, which, did we forget to mention, he also created) talking about two very funny cult classics.
TV Guide: Did you know Office Space had the makings of a cult classic?
Mike Judge: Well, I thought people might discover it on home video, but I never thought it would build like this. I’m very pleased when restaurant people tell me they won’t wear flair anymore.
TV Guide: What was your worst job?
Judge: Hmm.... Sorting mail for a company that I don’t even remember the name of, it was just a bunch of letters, SBTC or something. Eventually I was waking up alphabetizing in my sleep. I think I lasted about two weeks.
TV Guide: Did you really know a guy who threatened to burn down the office if they moved his desk one more time?
Judge: No. But I did know one guy who needed to have his fish tank near the window.
TV Guide: Were those his only friends?
Judge: Yeah, he loved those fish.
TV Guide: What line gets quoted to you most?
Judge: Probably Gary Cole as the boss: “So if you could go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there... that would be terrific.” I was scared that only my friends and I would think that was funny; I’m happy people caught on to that.
TV Guide: I wanted to ask about Beavis and Butt-Head and what you think of it now.
Judge: There’s a lot of it that’s really good, but a lot of it is really bad. You know, I really didn’t know what I was doing and I agreed to do some episodes that I shouldn’t have, but I was walking a very thin line because I didn’t want MTV to send me back to Texas.
TV Guide: What did you think of all the controversies surrounding the show?
Judge: There was a while there when it got pretty insane and it wasn’t too fun. Like, there was an article from Canada that got reprinted all over the place saying that Beavis and Butt-Head set a cat on fire — it never happened. I think some people didn’t get that it was a satire. It’s ridiculous anyone would think of these guys as role models. Were the Three Stooges role models?
For more on Office Space and two cast members' respective "legacies" as boss man Bill and put-upon drone Milton, check out our Insider Q&As with Gary Cole and Stephen Root. And for additional musings from Mike Judge, watch for the new issue of TV Guide!