Mike Judge, the man behind Beavis & Butt-head and Office Space, has spent his entire career "exploring the contours of American suckiness." And the New York Times commits more than 4,000 words to getting to the bottom of the man and his oeuvre in a hilarious profile. The 55-year-old Judge, who looks like a cross between an "aging surfer" and an "off-duty cop," started his professional life as an unhappy college graduate with a physics degree dreaming of dropping out of the workforce altogether (he still sometimes does). Then he got his big break with a cartoon about two idiots smacking frogs with a baseball bat—an activity he, horrifically, once overheard someone discussing.
Since then, Judge's work—with the exception of the "loving" King of the Hill—can be split into two different satirical categories: people who are nearly destroyed "in their efforts to escape the crush of immense managerial apparatuses" and "imbeciles left completely and terrifyingly to their own devices." The Time's profile includes a horrifying look at the intersection of Silicon Valley and Judge's Silicon Valley, explains why Judge now sees Idiocracy as too optimistic, and shares an amazing anecdote about the moment the founder of Groupon realized he was just a coupon salesman. Oh, and it also reveals the real-life inspirations behind beloved Office Space characters Milton and Lawrence. Read the full piece here. (Read more Mike Judge stories.)