Created and voiced by Mike Judge, the cartoon is about two delinquent teenagers, Beavis and Butt-Head, who spend most of their time watching MTV. Originally the boys made fun of music videos, an MTV staple. When the cartoon returned in 2011, the boys made fun of the latest MTV shows, such as Jersey Shore and Teen Mom.
Beavis and Butt-Head are teenage boys who are famous for their breathy, annoying and continuous laughter. They laugh at the expense of who they see on TV, as well as their schoolmates, teachers and customers at Burger World, where they work.
Beavis is blonde, with a nasal voice. He tends to be more hyper than Butt-Head. If he has too much caffeine or sugar, he will hike up his Metallica shirt over his head and become his alter ego, Cornholio.
Butt-Head is taller with dark hair. He wears an AC/DC t-shirt and usually is the idea man of the two main characters.
The boys live next to Tom Anderson, an older neighbor who has little patience for the boys and their antics. Tom Anderson is the prototype character from which Hank Hill was based for Mike Judge's King of the Hill.
David Van Driessen is their high school teacher. Though they torture him endlessly, he remains calm and never stops trying to help the boys at school.
Daria Morgendorffer is the only female Beavis and Butt-Head ever hang out with, perhaps because she is cynical and sarcastic. She also earned her own cartoon, Daria, though it was produced by someone other than Mike Judge.
Coach Buzzcut and Principal McVicker round out the high school staff on Beavis and Butt-Head.
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America was released in theaters in 1996. The boys discover their beloved television is missing and go across the country to retrieve. Along the way they meet a wide variety of characters and, of course, Cornholio makes an appearance.
Celebrities seemed to flock to add their voices to this feature film: Bruce Willis (The Sixth Sense) and Demi Moore (Ghost) (married at the time) as Muddy and Dallas Grimes, respectively; Cloris Leachman (Raising Hope) as an old lady; Robert Stack (Airplane!) as Agent Flemming; David Letterman as a Motley Crue roadie; and Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine) as Agent Bork.
Beavis and Butt-Head officially premiered on MTV in March of 1993, after appearing in an animated short titled Frog Baseball as part of MTV's Liquid Television series in 1992. The cartoon ran until its finale in 1997, only to return to MTV in 2011.
Originally, Beavis and Butt-Head aired during primetime. After a 5 year-old boy in Ohio started a fire that killed his 2 year-old sister, the mother claimed the boy had been inspired by Beavis and Butt-Head. In response, MTV moved the cartoon to late-night.
MTV aired Beavis and Butt-Head specials in its heyday, for the Super Bowl, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.