David Van Driessen is a hippie teacher at Highland High School.
A kind, peace-loving sort, and unlike the other staff at Highland High, Mr. Van Driessen is very lenient and he expresses eternal optimism in Beavis and Butt-head's potential and consistently forgives them for their misbehavior. Only rarely does he lose his temper or punish them. The episode Cleaning House shows one of his only instances of pure anger at the duo after they destroy his beloved 8-track collection by washing it in the sink. A song from the book This Book Sucks, "The Ballad of Beavis and Butt-head," hints that he is actually frustrated with Beavis and Butt-head and that he is haunted by their laughter.
Van Driessen usually expresses his disapproval with the duo's inattention and crude humor, often coupled with a mild lecture, urging the boys to "be more open to life's experiences" and to be less crude and more sensitive towards women.
Van Driessen also encourages his students to get in touch with their feelings and to "wow" him with their creativity towards their assignments. He has a tendency to end his sentences with "mkay?". He believes in non-violence, cooperation, and expressing one's feelings. He and Coach Buzzcut, the gym/health teacher, clash in their methods of dealing with Beavis and Butt-head.
Van Driessen is perhaps the only character on the show (besides Daria and Stewart) who does not hate the duo. He sticks up for them when they are threatened by others, e.g., Mr. Manners in the episode Manners Suck. He also expresses sadness (while the other teachers feel relief) at the news of the duo's "death" in Beavis and Butt-head Are Dead.
Van Driessen's appearance consists of a purple T-shirt with a peace sign on the front, jeans, and sandals with white socks. He also has long reddish blond hair and a neatly trimmed beard.
- Mike Judge stated that Van Driessen was inspired by a reporter he encountered while playing in a band with Sam Myers. His voice and personality are similar to that of Gerald Goode from Judge's later-released short-lived series The Goode Family.
- Van Driessen was fired by Principal McVicker in "School Test," which is, to date, his final appearance on the show.
- Van Driessen appears in the Sega Genesis game to give the duo cryptic hints for finding three of their ticket pieces. He also appears during the game's end credits, playing his guitar for a band of woodland creatures.
- Van Driessen also appears in the game Beavis and Butt-head Virtual Stupidity.
- Van Driessen is a skilled guitarist and singer/songwriter. His songs featured on the show include "Men" and "Touch a mountain." Every time he tries to play a song, however, he is severely injured. This was a running gag on the show, continued in Beavis and Butt-head Do America when he sings "Lesbian Seagull" to his students and is then arrested by ATF agents.
- In his song "Chopping Wood with My Father" from the book This Book Sucks, Van Driessen reveals that he had a difficult relationship with his conservative father, who was dying from Alzheimer's at the time. He also had a brother named Tom, who died serving in the Gulf War.
- Van Driessen most recently appears on the track "Handle with Care" on the Kid Cudi album Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, in which he encourages Beavis and Butt-head to take hallucinogens and meditate.
- Van Driessen never appears to become angry or upset with Beavis and Butt-head when ever they discuss using marijuana at school in his classroom, he merely corrects them when that wasn't what he was talking about, despite the fact cannabis is illegal in the state of Texas and against the school rules. This is likely because of Van Driessen's views and personal experiences with marijuana and psychedelic culture that come with being a hippie.
- Van Driessen sometimes ends his sentences with "m'kay", like Mr. Mackey from Comedy Central series South Park. The two creators of South Park have confirmed this was a tribute to Mr. Van Driessen, who's tendency to say "m'kay" directly inspired and lead to Mr. Mackey's now famous catchphrase.
Minor Characters: Hamid · Clark Cobb · Dave · Harry Sachz · Homeless Man · Madame Blavatsky · Redneck Lady · Crazy Farmer · Billy Bob · Principal Brown · President Bill Clinton · Biker Lady · Marcy Anderson · School Nurse · Sterculius, the Roman God of Feces · St. Peter · Unnamed Police Officers · Mr. Manners · Frog · Harry Buddisker · Hiro · Mistress Cora Anthrax · Biker Lady · Fork Injury Guy · Peter Small