Last weekend marked 20 wonderful years since MTV aired the first episode of Beavis and Butthead. While the duo changed the way the world viewed Generation X, as well as ushered in one of the sharpest satires of the '90s, it also popularized the idea of video "riffing" to a brand-new audience. No longer were MTV videos flooding the network solely for viewer approval; now, two oft-hilarious critics were watching along with us to let us know what "kicks ass" and what "sucks." It is in salute to the two most trusted music critics of the '90s that we count down the top five Beavis and Butthead video riffs of all time.
5. Army of Lovers, "Crucified"
Beavis and Butthead were great at capturing just how we, the viewer, felt when seeing a video. Sometimes, particularly when the network dug up something obscure for the boys, that response is either "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" or "No! No! No! No!" Army of Lovers' "Crucified" is one of those stand-out bizarre videos whose visuals are as burned into the minds of viewers as were the boys' descriptions of the absurdity taking place onscreen.
4. Korn, "Blind"
Before they were international superstars, KoRN were another band that Beavis and Butthead gave their taste-making judgment on. This riffing's most memorable for perhaps Beavis' most articulate moment, passing judgment on the video's pros and cons in a way far outreaching the standard "rocks/sucks" bluntness viewers were accustomed to.
3. MC 900 Ft. Jesus, "If I Only Had a Brain"
Sometimes, it's the simplest riffings that become the funniest and most memorable. While you may not instantly remember the name MC 900 Ft. Jesus, his catchy "If I Only Had a Brain" or the Spike Jonze(!)-directed video, Beavis' own rendition of the song's signature bassline made for a gag so infectious that (SPOILER ALERT!) even Butthead joins in by the end of it. Only getting funnier with repeat viewings, it's one of the finest moments the MTV show ever produced.
2. Pantera, "This Love"
If you're a metalhead with a favorite Beavis and Butthead moment, chances are it's the boys impersonating their rendition of the father of Pantera, lead singer Phil Anselmo (who they believe is actually named "Pantera"), during the "This Love" video. For a band the boys unabashedly loved, the hilarious lengths they go to imagining a dysfunctional evening in the Pantera household is the type of magical brilliance that video riffing was made for. "You treat your step-mother with respect, Pantera!"
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1. Beastie Boys, "Sabotage"
It might not be coincidence that our all-time-favorite Beavis and Butthead video riffing is the boys' all-time-favorite video, "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. The only video they've showed enough reverence for to attempt (unsuccessfully) to suppress their comments, their unmistakable exuberance toward every second of the video is reminiscent of how much catching a favorite music video pre-YouTube meant to music fans everywhere. Beavis and Butthead always had a entertaining fondness for the Beastie Boys, something we can all enjoy thanks to every Beastie Boys video riff the boys ever did being presented in this fan-edited YouTube video.