Coincidence? Or Were Beavis And/Or Butthead Smarter Than We Thought? They quoted Shakespeare…

I’m probably just slow on the uptake, but I just realized that there was something funny about one of my favorite Beavis and Butthead quotes.  You know the one.  It was used more than once, but I believe the first one is when Beavis and Butthead are trying to glue hair on their faces so they can have beards.  They’re trying to use some pretty industrial glue (certainly not for faces), and Butthead actually reads the directions.  He says something like (sorry, I’m not going to verify a Beavis and Butthead quote): “Words, words, words..heh heh- use on wood.”

So what’s the big deal?  It’s Hamlet!  Butthead was (intentionally or unintentionally, whether he was supposed to be aware of it or not) quoting Hamlet!  Okay, the “use on wood” part isn’t Hamlet (though it should be).  But “Words, words, words” is what Hamlet replies to Polonius (pretending to be mad) when Polonius asks him: “What do you read, my lord?”

This is crazy!  Sure, it could be a total coincidence.  I think more of Mike Judge than that, though.  I think he meant to do it.  The question is, why?

Is Butthead actually supposed to be remembering having seen Hamlet at some point?  His usage of the quote is actually kind of apt.  The words he reads aren’t relevant, he’s going to use the glue anyway.  Kind of in a mad way as well.  You’d know if you saw the beards they came up with.  Maybe he isn’t as dumb as he appears.  God knows, no one could be.

Or, is Mike Judge trying to slip a Hamlet quote into an otherwise lowbrow humor show?  I could see that as well.  Sneak in a joke for anybody smart enough to catch it.  Anybody else would just laugh at Butthead being stupid and life goes on.  If so, I guess I must not be as smart since it took me something like fifteen years to catch it.  Or, maybe it was a joke on the audience and he didn’t think anybody would catch it?

So what is the final conclusion here?  I think there is a good chance that Mike Judge slipped a Hamlet quote in here.  However, as to the reason, I can only speculate.  After all, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.  (Smacks Horatio) So piss off.”

About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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4 Responses to Coincidence? Or Were Beavis And/Or Butthead Smarter Than We Thought? They quoted Shakespeare…

  1. Stephanie says:

    I always thought Mike Judge was a pretty smart guy. He was probably just trying to be clever.

  2. will says:

    Well Judge does have a bachelor’s degree in physics. He’s also been an engineer working on the f-18 jets.

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