What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
This movie is not on my list of essential films.
NOTE: This installment of Sports Analogies Hidden In Classic Movies is not being done as part of a blog-a-thon. Instead, this is a monthly event hosted by MovieRob called Genre Grandeur. The way it works is every month MovieRob chooses a film blogger to pick a topic and a movie to write about, then also picks a movie for MovieRob to review. At the end of the month, MovieRob posts the reviews of all the participants.
For December of 2021, the honor of being the “guest picker” went to Emily Slade of Why This Film Podcast. The topic is “Non-Disney Animated Films of the 1990s.”
If you’re familiar with the MTV cartoon which led to this film, you know Beavis and Butt-Head (both voiced by Mike Judge) basically live to watch television. One day, their prized TV set turns up missing, and their search to recover it serves as this backbone for the plot.
At first, they make several unsuccessful attempts to acquire another set, their journey takes them to a motel which proudly boasts it has a television in every room. This is where they meet Muddy Grimes (voiced by Bruce Willis), who for some reason mistakes these two dim-wits for professional hitmen. As a result, Muddy offers them $10,000 to “do” his wife Dallas (voiced by Demi Moore) in Las Vegas. Naturally, since Beavis and Butt-Head are the prototypical low-wattage bulbs, they take Muddy’s “do” in the sexual connotation when it’s obvious he wants his wife killed. Butt-Head convinces Beavis that they can buy a new TV after they “score.”
Muddy puts them on a plane to Las Vegas. But when Beavis and Butt-Head get to their hotel room, Dallas spots them eavesdropping on her and holds them at gunpoint. She offers them $20,000 to “do” Muddy, which again they misunderstand and subsequently turn down. Once Dallas hears the two idiots arguing over who gets to “do” her first, she understand the level of their misunderstanding. She also knows she can use these two dupes.
This is when we are introduced to the real source of all the intrigue; a mysterious device known as the “X-5 Unit.” It turns out the X-5 is a dangerous biological weapon which Dallas has illicitly come to possess and she has nefarious plans for it. But since everyone on Earth is looking for it and thinks she has it, Dallas hides the X-5 in Beavis’ shorts, then tells the boys to meet her at the Capitol building in Washington D.C. To ensure they will show up, she promises them sex.
Of course, she’s using them to smuggle it…and of course, they have no idea. Our duo of dim-bulbs board a tour bus, which takes them to Hoover Dam. After they inadvertently almost destroy the dam, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Agent Flemming (voiced by Robert Stack) becomes convinced Beavis and Butt-Head are criminal masterminds and places them on the Most-Wanted list.
After several stops, our “master criminals” get on the wrong bus after a visit to Yellowstone Park. Instead of elderly tourists, they are now with a busload of nuns. It takes no time at all for our protagonists to wear out their welcome, the nuns leave them in Petrified Forest National Park. They wander through the desert until they encounter two ex-roadies for Mötley Crüe (one of whom is voiced by David Letterman billed as “Earl Hofert“). During their time with the drifters, it becomes clear they are Beavis and Butt-Head’s biological fathers. As usual, they don’t see it.
But before all of this, the plot lines merge when Muddy returns to the motel where the real hitmen (who also happen to be the ones whole stole Beavis and Butt-Head’s television) are waiting for him. Feeling that he’s been duped, Muddy vows to catch up with Beavis and Butt-Head in order to kill them. As the hitmen leave the motel with Muddy, they abandon the boys’ TV. Meanwhile, Beavis and Butt-Head wake up in the desert to find the drifters have left. Again, they find themselves wandering in the desert, and they become dehydrated and weak. Out of desperation, Beavis takes a bite out of a peyote cactus, and he finds out the hard way that peyote is a powerful hallucinogen. As the cliche goes…hilarity ensues.
After learning that Dallas intends to meet Beavis and Butt-Head at the Capitol building, Muddy gets to them first and stuffs them into the trunk of his car and heads for Washington D.C. However, the boys mange to escape, but they cause a massive pile-up as they jump from Muddy’s trunk on to the highway. They stroll casually past the carnage and manage to find their way back on to the original tour bus…which is headed to Washington D.C.
At the same time, Agent Flemming deduces Beavis and Butt-Head are headed for Washington D.C. to either sell or detonate the X-5. Fleming sends the ATF to the White House with orders to shoot to kill. Beavis becomes his alter-ego “Cornholio” after overloading on caffeine and sugar. As Cornholio, he manages to wander into the Oval Office where he picks up the “Red Phone” and nearly starts World War III. Meanwhile, Butt-Head makes a play for Chelsea Clinton but gets thrown out of her bedroom window, after which he is held by the ATF.
Beavis goes to Tom Anderson’s camper, where Anderson catches him “whacking off” and throws him out, But when he opens the camper door to throw our Beavis’ shorts, the X-5 gets tossed into the air…right into Butt-Head’s hands, who hands it to Agent Flemming.
The movie ends with Dallas and Muddy under arrest, Tom Anderson and his wife accused of trying to frame Beavis and Butt-Head…who Agent Flemming proclaims as “heroes.” As a result Beavis and Butt-Head get to meet President Bill Clinton, who makes them honorary ATF agents.
Once they get back to Highland, Beavis and Butt-Head lament the fact they never scored or got any money. But they are re-united with their TV set, and together they walk off into the sunset with it.
The Hidden Sports Analogy:
A while back, I used Bob Hope and Bing Crosby to draw parallels to a legendary spouts broadcasting duo. Today, I’m revisiting that theme…although not exactly for the same sort of “legendary.” If you aren’t familiar with the mastery that was Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola, give yourself a treat and follow that link.
Today’s sports analogy is the proverbial “other side of the coin.” If you’re a fan of the National Football League, and you’ve suffered through three hours on a Sunday listening to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, you already know where I’m headed. If you’ve never had the “pleasure”…that’s what I’m here to explain.
Quite simply, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are the “Beavis and Butt-Head” of sports broadcasting. What gives them that distinction goes beyond their penchant for saying legendarily stupid things. Like our animated “heroes,” they are so perfectly matched…the “Yin and Yang” of limited cognitive function. The only mystery is how does it work?
Here’s what I mean by that. We know the story with Beavis and Butt-Head; your chances of not being a moron aren’t great when you are sired by ex-roadies for Mötley Crüe. Understanding Troy Aikman is just as easy; during his time becoming A Hall-of-Fame quarterback, he was concussed so many times there are bits of brain left on every playing field in the NFL.
What I can’t figure out is why Joe Buck is so brain-numbingly bad as being a broadcaster. He’s insufferable when he covers baseball, which speaks to the perfection of his football pairing with Aikman. Buck is also the antithesis of Beavis and Butt-Head in terms of his lineage; his father was the legendary Jack Buck. I just can’t figure it out.
The bottom line: If you got a theory as to why Joe Buck is such a dolt, I’m all ears.
The Moral of The Story:
Stupid is as stupid does.~Forrest Gump
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