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October 9, 2015

Mike Judge: The TV Squad Interview

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jul 29th 2009 11:02AM
Mike Judge admits that ABC might not have been the best home for The Goode Family.Mike Judge doesn't strike anyone as the kind of guy who's created a legendary animated duo and a cult hit movie. And, you certainly wouldn't size him up as a creative mind with two active series on first-run network TV.

The native-Texan is just too unassuming, soft-spoken and self-deprecating to show up at Comic-Con International last week to discuss TV's The Goode Family and King of the Hill alongside his new feature film, Extract.

But there he was in Press Room 28e, preparing for his panel and eyeing the Mythbusters Comic-Con bag I'd just picked up on the convention floor.

"I've got to get me one of those bags before I go out there," Judge said.

On behalf of a grateful TV Squad nation, I offered him mine. He accepted the bag graciously. Then we begin the interview.

All of this started with Beavis & Butthead. Do fans ever ask you to revisit those characters?
It's the first question I get from anyone. And, there's been talk of a second Beavis & Butthead movie. I'd be open to it. It's just a question of finding the time. I still enjoy those characters as much as the fans do. It was the credit that show brought me that allowed me to do King of the Hill.

King of the Hill has been on TV in one form or another since 1997. Was it meant to be more mainstream than Beavis & Butthead?
It wasn't meant to be more toned down than Beavis & Butthead, but there were things we couldn't do on Fox that we could get away with on MTV. It's two different worlds. But both grew out of my experiences growing up in Texas.

You rolled the success of Beavis & Butthead and King of the Hill into your first live-action feature, Office Space. Did you have to fight to control the making of that movie?
I had to battle for everything in that movie. It was such an uphill fight, and I had everyone telling me why it wouldn't work. Then, when it bombed, I heard all kinds of "I told you so." It's been good to see it find its audience since.

It's buried in a bad time-slot, so The Goode Family is also struggling to find an audience. Would that show have fared better at Fox or Adult Swim?
Maybe. It doesn't feel like ABC was the best home for it. But the people who get it really seem to like it and are finding ways to watch it. When the show premiered, the reviews were either positive or "this isn't the time to be making fun of (politically correct issues)." We didn't expect the press to come after the show as though these topics were off-limits. In a sense, those reviewers were the people we're making fun of on the show.

But, The Goode Family is still on the air, as is King of the Hill. Now, your new movie (Extract) is coming to theaters. How do you manage your time between all of those productions?
Both King of the Hill and The Goode Family are in good hands (with their production staffs), so after they're up and running for a season, I just need to come in to do the voices. That leaves me the time to work on the movies.

Now that Extract is headed to theaters, what's next on the movie front?
Like I said, people are still asking for another Beavis & Butthead. And, those same people who didn't think Office Space would work are asking me to do Office Space 2. I wouldn't do either one unless we had a good idea, but you never know.

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LOVE the Goode Family!

I love how King of the Hill and The Goodes both connect to Beavis and Butthead. Hank= Anderson, Gerald Goode= Van Driessen.

I'm really excited for a new beavis and butthead movie!!!!

July 30 2009 at 12:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoy Mike Judge's balance between characterization and comedy.

Of course the Goode Family has an obvious political angle, but the show works because you can sympathize with the characters. They are trying to live to a certain moral code and their faults and humor show when they ignore common sense to live to a sometimes ridiculous standard.

In fact, the show would have worked just as well if the family was conservative. The formula for the show is that it makes fun of how they live to their liberal standards -- not just why they live their lives to those standards.

The "Good/Bad" marquee in the grocery store sums up that show best.

July 29 2009 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was skeptical when the Goode Family was first advertised, but after watching it a few times, it's one of my favorite shows on TV.

I suppose one's views on politics might matter on one's opinion of the show, however.

July 29 2009 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hasn't King of the Hill been canceled (which in animation terms means that they still have a good number of eps to show, but not making any more?)

Goode Family is mildly entertaining, but it spens a bit too much time being (seeming?) preachy and not enough time doing the absurdist, fish out of water thing that King did so well. It has a broad appeal because it was just about being funny with situations that a lot of us have seen.

I like King and don't hate Goode because they are the closest things to sitcoms we have these days.

July 29 2009 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a HUGE King of the Hill fan, but what I've seen of the Goode Family has been god-awful. Even so, Mike Judge = King of Comedy.

July 29 2009 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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