Original Beavis and Butt-Head Directors Take on New Media
"They somehow fixed it without me" laughs de Seve, "It turned out just great." De Seve instead went on to do an interim directing gig on Madagascar, including on the iconic "Move It Move It" sequence, and then story consulting on Shrek 2 and 3, Over the Hedge and Shark Tale before co-penning the original story for Monsters vs. Aliens with Kung Fu Panda director Mark Osborne. Then he returned East to take Animation into new frontiers.
About the Beavis days, de Seve says. "It was a blast working with one of the funniest crews in TV."
Adds oft-time collaborator Ben Gruber, "Those were some of the nicest, some of the filthiest people I ever worked with. You worked hard, sometimes you slept at the studio, and in the morning they were nice enough to give you a toothbrush."
Gruber and other members of two writing teams de Seve formed at MTV are now breaking ground with their own Adult Swim hits: Gruber and Steve Warbrick with Superjail; Chris McCulloch with The Venture Brothers; and Matt Harrigan, with Space Ghost, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Tim and Eric Awesome Show. Adult Swim is now the highest rated programming block worldwide for adults 18-49.
And de Seve's teaming with Gruber on another new Baboon project, KikoRiki, an international co-production for which Baboon is signed to deliver the full current season of writing. KikoRiki, from Russia's Riki Group, is the #1 family show in Russia today.
Taking new chances is key, de Seve says, but most important is to make entertainment about relatable characters, like Beavis and Butt-Head did: "That means characters that want real stuff, and go after it relentlessly even if it looks like they don't have a chance in the world. Whether it's chicks and beer they really want, or to find Nemo, that drive is what people cheer for."
It's also a source of some of the biggest laughs, in any age group, he notes. It seems these Beavis alums have had plenty in his career.