Before Mike Judge, The Creator Of King Of The Hill, Was A Cartoonist He?
Answer: Programmed Fighter Jets
Mike Judge is best known as the creator of iconic cartoon shows Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill as well as writing and directing films like Office Space and Idiocracy. Long before he was famous with the MTV generation and writing movies about the existentialist crises endured by office workers, he was a young college graduate with a degree in physics and a knack for programming.
Judge’s first job out of college was working for Support Systems Associates, Inc. working on the computer code necessary to run the F-18 Hornet fighter jet. He later worked at Parallax Graphics, a startup video card company, before returning to grad school while simultaneously touring with a blues band. All of this begs the question, of course, as to how he got into producing TV shows and movies in the first place. In 1989 he was inspired, after seeing some animation cells in the lobby of a movie theater, to create his own short animations.
He showed his original animations, a collection of short clips collectively called “Office Space” (a.k.a. the Milton series of shorts) at a film festival in Dallas, Texas. Comedy Central scouts were impressed with it and picked up the series of shorts which opened the door to producing other animations which in turn led to MTV picking up Beavis and Butt-head.
Image courtesy of the USMC.