Mike Judge with his biggest fan Richard Christy
Show business renaissance man Mike Judge stopped by this morning to tell Howard all about his brilliant show business career - including current smash hit Silicon Valley - and apparently to hear Richard Christy cry, yet again, while talking about King of the Hill.
FROM ALBUQUERQUE TO HOLLYWOOD
Mike was interested in comedy and art as kid, but his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico did not breed many show business luminaries, so he didn't consider it a viable career for him. Still, he took a cartooning class at the YMCA, but only lasted six classes. There was a sketchy-looking classmate who used to nod off in the class and Mike and his mom saw the guy hitchhiking one day and that was the end of that.
Mike went to school for physics and worked for a while at a company called Support Systems Associations Incorporated, which sounds like it has to have inspired his cult hit movie 'Office Space'.
Mike bought a 16mm camera and put together a few animated shorts called 'Milton' which centered around the stapler-obsessed character of the same name who would figure prominently in 'Office Space'. He sent the shorts to Kids in the Hall, a show he loved. They responded that they really liked the work and ended up, in Mike's words, sort of ripping him off with a character who was attached to his pen instead of his stapler.
Mike ended up doing similar shorts featuring the iconic Beavis and Butthead characters. 'I wanted it to look like it was made by a deranged person,' Mike said, and his animation skills were perfect for the task at hand.
Mike called New York's 4-1-1 and literally said 'MTV, please.' He got the run-around, but the people at MTV eventually scooped up the show.
In one of the shorts, Mike had to draw cars and monster trucks and realized that he can only really draw faces. He cut car ads out of the newspaper and traced them to fill in the scene.
— Gabriel420 (@Karloff73) May 6, 2014
The character Butthead was sort-of based on a classmate of Mike's. He was a smart guy, but their teacher – a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader – was extremely hot and the kid used to laugh at everything she said. Mike would imitate him and the impression became the Butthead character.
The show, of course, was a huge hit and gave birth to Mike's brilliant comedy career. He went on to create King of the Hill, which ran for 218 episodes on Fox and now has a new sitcom on HBO, Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley is also doing quite well, and hopefully it will continue to do well, despite an fan-favorite cast member passing away last December. Christopher Evan Welch died after a three year battle with lung cancer had weakened him, even though he was in remission. Mike said they never considered replacing him, but they changed the direction of the show and wrote around the awful situation.
Richard Christy and Mike Judge laughing on air
Speaking of sad situations, Richard Christy wobbled in wearing his faaaavorite 'Beavis and Butthead' T-shirt and his 'King of the Hill' boxers (under pants, for once). He always loves talking to Mike Judge (Mike is his faaaaavorite) but it always ends in tears for Richard. He cried when 'King of the Hill' went off the air, he cried when Hank Hill's dad Cotton Hill died on the series, he cried when Mike spoke to his dad in the Hank Hill voice and today we added a new one: he announced that he cries at the end of his favorite movie, Halloween.
Naturally, Richard warbled and teared up just mentioning these things that make him cry. That's our lovable hillbilly.
Howard threw some 'King of the Hill' trivia questions to see who could answer first and, most of the time, Richard beat the series creator.
Check out Mike's new show 'Silicon Valley' on HBO.