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Extract, by Mike Judge (Hour Magazine, cover)

This American Life: Mike Judge’s Extract is another wry social satire for the masses-maybe

When Mike Judge walks into our interview in Los Angeles last week, all I see at first is a mild-looking bald man in a peach dress shirt greeting me in a shy, halting, almost-Midwestern mutter. But then, as I look closer and maybe squint my eyes a little, I see Mike Judge – or rather, an amalgam of every Mike Judge character I know. As he clears his throat, there’s Beavis, and his nervous chuckle is Butt-head, though with a Hank Hill inflection.

“I think maybe I’m starting to sound more like Hank Hill as I get older,” he says.

Judge’s chin? Vintage Dale Gribble. His pate is Dale too with a bit of Bill Dauterive pathos thrown in. And the peach shirt is definitely “Boomhauer Goes to Hollywood,” if that existed.

Of course, none of this means anything if you’re not a Mike Judge fan – if you’re not part of the Beavis and Butt-head generation, or haven’t seen his recently cancelled Fox animated sitcom, King of the Hill, in endless reruns. Will Judge’s latest film, Extract, a human-scale comedy with a handpicked Mike Judge-friendly cast and Judge himself in a pivotal cameo intended for Tom Petty, finally make him a household name? The jury’s still out on that, but I doubt it. Read article