Beavis and Butt-head Creator Mike Judge and Winger Creator Kip Winger Kiss and Make-Up
At this point, I think it’s pretty much universally acknowledged that Beavis and Butt-head launched White Zombie’s career… but did they also ruin Winger’s? Frontman/namesake Kip Winger has long maintained that the show did serious damage to the band’s career, on account of the fact that the character of Stewart — y’know, the wet blanket who was pretty much always getting tortured by the title characters — always wore a Winger shirt, which was obviously meant as a contrast with Beavis and Butt-head’s respective Metallica and AC/DC merch. The message was basically, “Winger is for pussies.” I don’t think Beavis and Butt-head single-handedly made Winger uncool — keep in mind that the show debuted in early 90s, when grunge was in and hair metal was out, so chances are, Winger would have suffered the same fate as Warrant, Cinderella, Enuff Z’Nuff, etc. no matter what (and Metallica, for their part, were throwing darts at Kip’s face long before the animated sensation swept the nation). But I don’t doubt that Beavis and Butt-head was the nail in Winger’s coffin, at least insofar as being a big-time, mainstream band went.
But looks like Winger have finally made their peace with the program’s creator, Mike Judge (who, of course, went on to create King of the Hill, Office Space, and the hilarious new HBO series Silicon Valley). Metal Injection has reported that Kip Winger has reported the following to some radio DJ:
Some Radio DJ: I heard you recently made peace with Mike Judge and put some water under the bridge.
Kip Winger: Totally true. When they did the Beavis & Butthead remake I found Mike and told him I wanted to clear the air. I never tried to sue MTV or Mike, I never had a problem with the cartoon. I mean, it was David and Goliath, really. There was nothing you could do but take it like a man. It certainly didn’t help us, I’ll tell you that. But it was a funny show and Mike’s a funny guy.
SRDJ: I read somewhere that it was nothing personal — they just couldn’t find other logos for Stewart that worked.
KW: Winger was a band that was popular for some of the wrong reasons, man. So we ended up on the show. I don’t believe there was any malicious intent. We exchanged some emails; Mike is a very nice guy, no hard feelings. I was hoping maybe he’d give me a voice-over role in the new cartoon though.
Unfortunately, it would appear as though Beavis and Butt-head might finally be gone for good, so we’ll probably never get that Winger cameo on the show. Fortunately, Winger’s new album, Better Days Comin’, is really good — even cool d00ds like Liam Wilson from The Dillinger Escape Plan like it! — so while I doubt Winger will be topping the charts again anytime soon, hopefully they can at least redeem their name within the metal community.
Side note: how fucked up is it that we all took Beavis and Butt-head for role models and dismissed the kind, responsible Stewart as a weenie? I mean, he was a weenie, but if you ever knew anyone like Beavis and Butt-head in real life, you’d probably spend as little time with them as possible. And yet they had the ability to make a band appear to be cool or uncool. So weird.