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Welcome Back (Maybe?) Liquid Television!

Holy cow. So lately MTV seems to be trying to reconnect with the Gen X audience they’ve been gradually alienating for the past 20 years or so. Later this month, brand spanking’ new episodes of Beavis and Butthead premiere on the network. And though it’s not the same as a broadcast return (though one might argue that makes it easier not to sully our memories) – Liquid Television is back! Well… kinda?

The just-launched features a spiffy, minimalist new logo for the brand as well as some excellent quality streaming video of the bananas short films and animations that comprised the late-night 90’s MTV favorite. Some might even argue it was the most interesting half-hour of programming they ever produced; I sure know that it was a highlight of my week all through high-school, sneaking up late Sunday nights to watch it before I forced myself to bed and let the VCR kick in to record 120 Minutes. (There’s also a blog on the site that seems to be Tumblr-driven as well as at least several months old.)

It’s unclear exactly what the full plans are for restoring the Liquid TV franchise (High Snobriety says they will be “releasing” all the episodes in the coming months, but on the web only? What about DVD?! The original Aeon Flux shorts are on that show’s box set, true, but… more please?) Anyway, for the time being, grok five of the very best shorts the show had to offer below. (It’s interesting to note that I distinctly remember a couple of these also turning up on Night Flight, too. Man, TV used to be great for insomniacs…)

Grinning Evil Death (Parts 1 & 2)

Captain Sarcastic: The biggest douchebag ever to put on a cape. Go, little guy, squash that bug!

Lea Press-On Limbs

“Red, blue, yellow, green, purple, olive, aquamarine, burnt sienna, Payne’s gray, brick, slate, granite, suede, plaid, jade, chrome and PAAAAISLEY!… chocolate, vanilla, Neopolitan and fudge royale!”

Elvis Meets the Spider People From Hell

Yeah, I still have no idea. First time, though, I giggle-snorted for about five solid minutes.

The Thing That Lurked In the Tub

It’s creepy, it’s slimy, it’s disgusting.. and it’s no match for this disgusting dude.

The Running Man

In all honesty, still probably the finest 10 minutes of animation I’ve ever seen on broadcast TV. Stunning, evocative, puzzling, and impossible to forget. Blew my mind back then and still kinda does now.

The Science of

The Science of "Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board"

TRUE DETECTIVE Season 2 Episode 1 Recap

TRUE DETECTIVE Season 2 Episode 1 Recap





  1. GenXer says:

    I really wish mtv would put out a box set of the complete 3 seasons. I guess they have all the shorts on the site but they cut all the credits so the original artists that created these cutting edge works of art do not get their just dues. plus its a pain in the ass if you just wanted to chill and watch the series to have to click on each short one at a time and wait for them to buffer.

  2. -Di. says:

    ZOMG. I really loved Liquid Television. That was back in the day when I was into cartoons.

    Stick Figure Theater was the best!!!

  3. Amizombi says:

    OMFG Yes and thank you! I miss Winter Steele and Stick Figure Theater!

  4. Jared Kilbourne says:

    so if MTV is going back to all of it’s original programming does this mean music videos are coming back?

  5. MeliBee says:

    Pop Up Video coming back to VH1 has been good fun. MTV should bring back more of its classics as well.

  6. Anna says:

    Dammit, that’s cool! The words Night Flight made my head spin – you have no idea what a haven it was in the 80’s for a teenager like me in the sticks with 4 channels and the internet not even a glimmer on the horizon. Seemed like it was a lot weirder than Liquid Television, which was awesome. Should be fun to see what they bring.

  7. Gary Bravender says:

    Aeon flux,stick figure theater Dear Mum,Lydia …..La la Lydia’s make over to the stars so cool so long ago hope the new version holds up

  8. Josh S. Williams says:

    Liquid TV was a god-send back then. And, yeah… I too was reliant upon the good ol’ VHS to catch what I couldn’t stay up for.

  9. Bill T. says:

    I loved Liquid TV and, my knee-jerk reaction was “Bring it back, NOW!” However, now that I think about it, isn’t Adult Swim providing a lot of similar content on Cartoon Network (albeit in a longer form)? At that time, Liquid TV was “cutting-edge” as it were. These days, I wonder if it would just be considered “run of the mill” and irrelevant?

  10. Mike says:

    Thankfully you included The Running Man! I didn’t like the show then as, it felt like to me, anyway, that there was too much complete garbage to sift through to find the good stuff. I definitely won’t be watching the return of this (or Beavis and Butthead which I realize i totally outgrew).

    I AM encouraged, however, that MTV is looking at bringing back classic shows that were fan favorites. Maybe they’ll hit my note eventually. Heck if VH1 brought back Pop-Up Video (which I oddly like) maybe the sister channel can do something right too.

  11. Nick says:

    I’m 31, which means when this originally aired I was an impressionable youth who would run next door to my sister’s house to watch this every week. Combined with all-night Zelda gaming and mucking about on the Amiga my brother in law had, good times.

  12. Jason S. says:

    More than anything else I ever saw on MTV, The Running Man has stuck with me. I was completely blown away by it.

  13. Bill T. says:

    Oh the time I would waste watching this show in lieu of studying for my college courses, heh.

    Wasn’t there a recurring short with a couple of rockabilly redneck brothers who were always fighting over a girl and ridiculously crashing their souped-up hillbilly hot rods?

  14. Samantha Fay says:

    YES! MTV, I’ve wanted this for so long.

  15. gms says:

    Hmph. Bring back Sifl ‘n Olly and then maybe we’ll talk…

  16. Dr. A/Vsian says:

    Oh man, Liquid Television…its run coincided with my last years of high school and first years of college. What a ground-breaking and truly mind-fucking show that was. I picked up the Aeon Flux DVD set a few years ago and was psyched to see that the original LTv shorts were included. I concur that MTV needs to put all of LTv on DVD.

  17. Bill T. says:

    Please and thank you!

  18. TonyW says:

    And Singled Out returns when?