Michael Craig "Mike" Judge (born October 17, 1962) is an American animator, film director and voice actor, best known as the creator and star of the popular animated television series Beavis and Butt-head (1993–1997), King of the Hill (1997–2009), and The Goode Family (2009).
He also wrote and directed the films Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996), Office Space (1999), Idiocracy (2006) and Extract (2009). Judge is also known for his role in the Spy Kids movie franchise.
Early life and education
Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Judge was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he attended St. Pius X High School. He is the son of anthropologist Jim Judge and Margaret Blue, a librarian. Judge graduated with a Bachelor of Science in physics in 1985 from the University of California, San Diego.
In 1992, he developed Frog Baseball, a short film featuring the characters Beavis and Butt-head, to be featured on Liquid Television, a 1990s animation showcase that appeared on MTV, another cable- and satellite-television channel. The short led to the creation of the Beavis and Butt-head series on MTV, in which Judge voiced both title characters as well as the majority of supporting characters. Beavis and Butt-head visited Wilson Middle School and attended Highland High School in their series, which are the names of schools in Albuquerque, Judge's hometown. The series ran from 1993 to 1997 and spawned the feature-length film, Beavis and Butt-head Do America (1996).
In 1997, Judge created King of the Hill for the Fox broadcast-television network. Many of the show's characters were based on people he had known while living in Texas. Judge continued his voice acting, playing both Hank Hill and Boomhauer.
In 1999, he wrote and directed the live-action comedy film Office Space, which was based in part on the Milton series of cartoons he had created for the NBC broadcast-television network's Saturday Night Live. In the film, he made a cameo appearance as Stan (complete with hairpiece and fake mustache), the manager of Chotchkie's, a fictionalized parody of chain restaurants like Applebee's and TGI Friday's. The film, for which the budget was approximately US$10 million, grossed only $10.8 million in initial release. However, as of mid-2006, Office Space had sold nearly six million home-video copies.
Since fall 2003, Judge and fellow animator Don Hertzfeldt have run a very successful animation festival, "The Animation Show". Judge created an appearance for Beavis and Butt-headScript error featured in The Animation Show 2007. "The Animation Show" tours the country every year, screening animated shorts from mostly independent animators.
In 2005, Mike Judge was presented with the Austin Film Festival's Outstanding Television Writer Award by Johnny Hardwick.
Judge's film, Idiocracy (2006), a dystopian comedy starring Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph, was given a limited release theatrically by 20th Century Fox in September 2006, two years after production. The film was released without a trailer or substantial marketing campaign. In the U.S., the film was released to DVD in January 2007 and later aired on premium-television, multiplex channels: Cinemax in September 2007 and HBO in January 2008. Since then, it has gained a cult following.
He has made cameo appearances in numerous films, including the comedy Jackass Number Two (2006), in which he can be seen during the closing credits. An extended version can be seen in Jackass 2.5 (2007) which was a direct-to-video release. Judge also created a video clip of Beavis and Butt-Head ripping into Steve-O for his video Poke the Puss, where the two try imagining if they would like the video better if they were black. The clip aired as a part of Jackassworld.com: 24-Hour Takeover, a February 23, 2008, television special on MTV to coincide with the official launch of jackassworld.com.
His newest animated series, The Goode Family, debuted on ABC and was canceled after one season. It was confirmed on The Goode Family Facebook page that Comedy Central had picked up the reruns of the series, and was to be evaluated for a chance of being renewed for a second season. Comedy Central first aired the series on January 4, 2010. However, the series was pulled off of the schedule shortly thereafter. It was officially confirmed by the production team on The Goode Family Facebook page that the show would not continue on Comedy Central. It was later announced that Judge had begun outlining new episodes of Beavis and Butt-head for MTV's revival of the show.
Despite his King of the Hill protagonist Hank Hill being identifiable as a conservative and his The Goode Family being essentially a satire of many liberal precepts, Judge's political leanings are unknown. It has been speculated that he has an ideologically-based conservative following. The Goode Family has been called a conservative show, and it has been suggested by the conservative site Newsbusters that the show's negative reviews were a consequence of liberal institutions having a poor sense of humor.
In reviewing Idiocracy, Salon stated, "Judge's gimlet eye is so ruthless that at times his politics seem to border on South Park libertarianism." The libertarian Reason seems to agree, comparing King of the Hill to South Park and The Simpsons' anti-authoritarian point-of-view, though it calls the show more populist, noting the criticism King of the Hill seems to have for Big-box chains.
|“||I try to not let the show get too political. To me, it's more social than political I guess you'd say, because that's funnier. I don't really like political reference humor that much. Although I liked the episode where Hank's talking to the mailman and he says, 'Why would anyone want to lick a stamp that has Bill Clinton on it?' To me that's just like more of a character thing about Hank than it is a political joke or anything. I don't want to do a bunch of stuff about the war, particularly.||”|
- Office Space (Milton/SNL shorts) (director, actor, producer, animator, Music) (1991)
- The Honky Problem (director, actor, producer, animator, music) (1991)
- Frog Baseball (director, writer, producer, animator) (1992)
- Peace, Love and Understanding (director, writer, producer, animator) (1992)
- Beavis and Butt-head (creator, director, writer, actor, executive producer, character designer, creative consultant, creative supervisor, musical theme) (1993-1997, 2011-)
- Airheads (the voices of Beavis and Butthead on the radio) (1994)
- Beavis and Butt-head Do America (director, writer, actor) (1996)
- The Simpsons ("Bart Star" episode) (1997)
- King of the Hill (creator, actor, executive producer) (1997–2009)
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast (Himself) (1997)
- Office Space (director, writer, actor) (1999)
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (played 'Kenny's Goodbye' as is credited) (1999)
- Serving Sara Motel manager
- Spy Kids (played 'Donnagon/Donnamight') (2001)
- Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (played 'Donnagon Giggles') (2002)
- Frasier (played 'Sexual harassment facilitator') (2003)
- Spy Kids 3D: Game Over (played 'Donnagon Giggles') (2003)
- Idiocracy (director, writer, story, producer) (2006)
- Jackass Number Two (cameo) (2006)
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2006) (one episode)
- The Animation Show - Beavis and Butt-head Introduction (animator) (2007)
- The Goode Family (creator, actor, executive producer) (2009)
- Extract (writer, actor, director, producer) (2009)
- Mike Judge at the Internet Movie Database
- Gladstone, Neil (December 19–26, 1996). "Mike Judge" (interview). Philadelphia City Paper. Accessed December 30, 2009.