“We’re very excited for Mike Judge to receive this long-overdue honor,” said WGA West VP David A. Goodman. “His contributions to the field of animation, among them the groundbreaking Beavis and Butt-Head and the long-running hit King of the Hill, have advanced the form of animation storytelling and continue to be a benchmark for creators everywhere.”
In a veiled reference to the fact that many animation writers also are represented by another union – IATSE’s Animation Guild Local 839 – Goodman said, “We applaud the risk he took to guarantee making King of the Hill a WGA-covered show, which to this day helps the (Writers) Guild chip away at the precedents that keep writers who work in animation from receiving the guarantees and benefits of our union.”
Judge’s career in animation was launched in 1992 when MTV picked up his animated short, Frog Baseball. A year later, MTV spun off its Beavis and Butt-Head characters into a TV series of their own, which aired from 1993-98 and briefly was revived in 2011. Judge provided the voices for both chuckling teenage slackers. His long-running Fox series King of the Hill won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program in 1999, as well as five more Emmy nominations. It ran from 1997-2010, with Judge voicing lead character Hank Hill as well as others including the mushmouthed Boomhauer.
Judge also created Silicon Valley, the live-action HBO show that has been nominated for the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy for each of its three seasons.
Founded in 1994, the WGAW’s Animation Writers Caucus represents over 600 animation writers and works to advance economic and creative conditions in the field. Its life achievement award is given to those who have advanced the literature of animation in film and television and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the animation writer.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.