Today, the viewer finds shows like Family Guy and South Park to be controversial – but these are just small kids when compared to Beavis and Butthead. During its first run in the ‘90’s, some of the show’s episodes needed to be cut down, only to be later completely banned. These episodes can now be found only on DVD’s, since nobody will air them.
Of course, you have certainly heard about The Great Cornholio and the burglar which was inspired (apparently) by it – a 27 years old man robbed a liquor store while wearing this peculiar disguise (which, of course, wasn’t a disguise at all).
But this isn’t the first time (and most likely not the last one either) when Beavis and Butthead inspired real people into doing, well, dumb things. And the episode I am talking about is Comedians (season 3, episode 1). In this episode, the presumed role-models take on stand-up comedy and, in the closing moments of their performance, burn down the comedy club.
It is just what you might expect from these two – juggling with fire and making a mess. But the episode was an inspiration for some. Allegedly, a 5 years old boy wanted to mimic the two cartoon teens and, as a result, burned down the trailer he was living in. The tragedy was that his sister was killed.
And it was indeed a tragedy and I don’t want to be misinterpreted when saying this. It is exactly what happens when kids choose their examples only by watching TV. Furthermore, Beavis and Butthead wasn’t exactly the show a 5 years old should watch (these are the formative years in a human being’s life, and everything that small child sees will be taken for granted).
The tragedy comes exactly from this fact and no matter how much some people may blame a cartoon (in which playing with fire is fun), the fault should be searched in an entirely different place. Granted, these are cartoons small kids won’t really understand, but even in Tom and Jerry you see the characters throwing fire-crackers at each other and whatnot.
As a result, MTV edited the episode and later on completely banned it. Of course, the fans of Beavis and Butthead edited it again, thus appearing a sort-of Frankenstein’s monster Comedians.
As it was said so many times, Beavis and Butthead shouldn’t be taken literally – they are a satire, a criticism brought to our current society, particularly concerning the younger segment which feels left without any viable life-alternatives. To them, God is in the TV.