Published Thursday, October 27, 2011, 7:15 PM
Tonight, at 10 PM EST, as the Texas Rangers attempt to seal their first World Series title by defeating Albert Pujols (huh huh, I said “poo holes”) and the St. Louis Cardinals, the love-it-or-hate-it cartoon show Beavis and Butt-head will be returning to MTV after an absence of almost 14 years.
One of the two episodes that comprise tonight’s premiere of the re-launched Beavis and Butt-head is titled “Werewolves Of Highland.” Interspersed, as is customary, with the duo’s running commentary about music videos, “Werewolves” gets its starting point from the Twilight franchise.
Tonight’s other episode, “Crying,” has some pretty distinguished origins. It is written by David Javerbaum, the former executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Javerbaum, a winner of eleven Emmy Awards and two Grammy Awards, also has been the lyricist for the interestingly-titled-given-the-name-of-the-Beavis and Butt-head-episode Broadway show Cry-Baby and the author of a number of books, including the pregnancy satire What to Expect When You’re Expected: A Fetus’s Guide to the First Three Trimesters (sole author), as well as America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction (co-author) and its sequel Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race (co-author).
As for upcoming works, Javerbaum’s new humor book The Last Testament: A Memoir [by God] is scheduled for release this coming Tuesday, November 1. (From the book’s description: “For the first time, he breaks his silence on Jesus Christ, shedding light on a father-son relationship as heartwarming as Will and Jaden Smith’s. And he reveals his true feelings about his third great faith, Islam, WHICH ARE NOTHING BUT POSITIVE AND RESPECTFUL.“)
Javerbaum is also in the process of putting together the lyrics for a musical based on the life of James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under President Reagan.
During just the last seven months, Javerbaum served as head writer of the first-ever Comedy Awards, an annual awards show for achievement in comedy that aired in April. Additionally, he wrote the lyrics for the opening numbers for the most recent Tony Awards (“Broadway: It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore:) and Emmy Awards (“TV Is a Vast Wonderland”) shows.
On a considerably less distinguished note, in 1995, Javerbaum, together with New York Jewish Culture Examiner (aka yours truly, Adam Taxin) — a friend from undergraduate years at Harvard and immediate post-college years in New York City — won MTV’s Beavis and Butt-head Imitation Contest. (Javerbaum played the role of Beavis, while Taxin played Butt-head.)
Asked about the thought process behind tonight’s “Crying” episode, an episode which basically consists of Butt-head making fun of Beavis for shedding a tear while eating an onion in a sandwich (as the two just so happened to be watching a sentimental show on TV), Javerbaum said: “I just wanted to come up with an idea for a plot that had as little as possible action. [Note: Javerbaum said “possible action” huh huh.] So I came up with one little trigger at the beginning and then had nothing else come up in the whole entire episode but Butt-head making fun of Beavis.”
As for whether the episode — which raises the issue of males being free to express their emotional sides — contains any valuable lessons parents might want to share with their children, or at least whether it has moments which might inspire people, Javerbaum responded: “Uhhh, no.”
Javerbaum’s authorship of a milestone Beavis and Butt-head episode has delighted numerous friends who have known him through the years, perhaps especially those who knew him in the mid-1990s, when (prior to his achievement of major professional success) Javerbaum was given to making wisecracks in the voices of Beavis and Butt-head, as well as some of the show’s minor characters, such as hippie teacher David Van Driessen and health department official Harry Buttesker.
One such friend, New York City systems integrator Yenieneh Yesus, a friend of Javerbaum’s from undergraduate years at Harvard, said: “I love this show. I remember the first episode of Beavis and Butt-head that I ever watched. They were going to Mexico to buy fireworks, and, to get back into the country, they had to swallow a condom full of drugs. It was at that moment that I realized that this was a show for me. As for D.J. [Javerbaum], he was always funny, and I’ve of course tracked the climb of his career for years now. Now after all these years, we can finally say he did it. Huh huh I said ‘did it.'”
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