Beavis and Butt-Head

"They say great art is difficult to understand but easy to enjoy."
— Mr. Van Driessen

— Van Driessen

David Van Driessen is a recurring character in Beavis and Butt-Head. He is Beavis and Butt-Head's hippie teacher at Highland High School, often trying to reach out to them, to no avail. He is voiced by Mike Judge.


A kind, peace-loving pacifist, and unlike the other staff at Highland High (and other characters in the series, to another extent), Mr. Van Driessen is very lenient and he expresses eternal optimism in Beavis and Butt-Head's potential, consistently forgiving them for their misbehavior, no matter how fatal it is to him. 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 the duo, being haunted by their laughter, and considers changing jobs to sell menswear in a mall to get away from them.

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. Needless to say, they don't listen. The duo don't respect Van Driessen very much, and laugh at him for being a hippie. However, on very rare occasions, they do show him a modicum of respect, and have called him cool once.

Van Driessen also encourages his students to get in touch with their feelings and to "wow" him with their creativity towards their assignments. He believes in non-violent methods, co-operation, and expressing one's feelings. As a result, he and Coach Buzzcut, the brutal gym/health teacher, clash in their methods of dealing with Beavis and Butt-Head and their students. Van Driessen has once threatened to send Buzzcut in to deal with his rowdy class, implying that he relies on him for major discipline.

Van Driessen is perhaps the only character on the show (besides Stewart and Cassandra) who actually likes the duo for who they are. He is not the violent although he sticks up for Beavis and Butt-Head when they are threatened by others, (e.g., Mr. Manners in the episode "Manners Suck") when he attacks Mr. Manners after the boys falsely accuse him of assaulting and threatening them. He also expresses sadness (while the other teachers feel relief and joy) at the news of the duo's "death" in "Beavis and Butt-Head Are Dead". Despite this, there was the aforementioned 8-track collection incident, and he is notably one of the characters praying to God against the duo in "It's a Miserable Life", expressing his fear of them potentially breeding.

In addition to being a teacher, the episode "Blackout!" shows Van Driessen to be a Highland Civil Defense volunteer.

In the 2022 revival, he is shown to still be working as a teacher at Highland High. He also seems to welcome the duo back after they were supposedly dead for 24 years and doesn't seem to be freaked out by how they are still teenagers, considering he is unaware of the black hole incident.

Physical appearances[]


Mr. Van Driessen's appearance in the original series.

Van Driessen has long reddish blond hair, upward-arching eyebrows, glasses, and a neatly trimmed beard. He has prominent forehead wrinkles.

His outfit for most of the original series consists of a purple T-shirt with a yellow peace sign on the front, jeans, and sandals with white socks. In Peace, Love and Understanding, his first appearance, he wears a tie-dyed t-shirt.

In the 2022 revival Van Driessen is drawn older, with more wrinkles on his face and throat and darker hair. He now usually sports a baja hoodie/drug rug with a white shirt underneath, along with tan cargo shorts. In "Beekeepers" he wears a purple tank top.


List of Van Driessen's appearances in the franchise:


2011 Revival (Season 8)[]

2022 Revival (Season 9-present)[]


Video Games[]

  • Van Driessen appears in the Beavis and Butt-head (video 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 appears in Beavis and Butt-head: Virtual Stupidity, where he plays his guitar at the Veteran's Hall and tells the duo about the sperm whale fundraiser event at the coffee house, unlocking that place on the map. He later appears there and can be talked to.
  • Van Driessen appears in Beavis and Butt-head: Bunghole in One as a playable character and a cutout.
  • Van Driessen appears in Beavis and Butt-head: Do U, where he takes the class on a field trip to Highland State College; he beckons the duo out of the dean's lecture after they disrupt it, and encourages them to get the eight sign-offs needed for the party later to feel a sense of accomplishment. He gives the boys the sign-off sheet and tells them that he'll be at the Student Union if they need him. He can later be found there playing his guitar, and can be talked to. He is important for completing many tasks for the sign-offs; the duo have to set up a scam to make him look like a "blind" guitarist so they can get money for the laundromat and vending machine, the former needed to wash the girl's skirt and the latter needed to make Beavis go Cornholio for the long jump. The boys also have to give him the sheet music to "Row Your Boat" for him to play, and broadcast it to trick the music teacher into thinking Beavis was playing it. Once all sign-offs are complete, he appears at the party to give Beavis and Butt-Head their certificates for completing them. The duo need to blast music to get him onstage and away from the bleachers to help them escape, and Beavis accidentally knocks him out with the basketball board trying to escape. He isn't seen again until the post-credits scene, unharmed and hoping everyone had a positive experience, prompting the boys to tell him to shut up.


  • Mike Judge stated that Van Driessen was inspired by a reporter he encountered while playing in a band with Sam Myers.
  • Van Driessen's appearance, voice and mannerisms would later be used for Gerald Goode from Judge's later-released short-lived series The Goode Family, in a similar vein to Tom Anderson for Hank Hill from Judge's other later-released, long-lived series King of the Hill.
  • Van Driessen was fired by Principal McVicker in "School Test" for threatening to report him for cheating, with McVicker blaming Van Driessen for the boys' stupidity. However, due to the events of Do The Universe, Season 8 is non-canon.
  • 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, or something else bad happens to him. 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 appears on the track "Handle with Care" on the 2015 Kid Cudi album Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven, in which he encourages Beavis and Butt-Head to take hallucinogens and meditate.
  • In the Genesis/Mega Drive version of the first game, his shirt is colored teal instead of purple.
  • Van Driessen doesn't like to carry money around with him as it makes him feel "materialistic", as mentioned in Do U.
  • Van Driessen sometimes ends his sentences with "m'kay", like Mr. Mackey from Comedy Central series South Park. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have confirmed this was a tribute to Mr. Van Driessen, whose tendency to say "m'kay" directly inspired and lead to Mr. Mackey's now famous catchphrase.
  • Van Driessen and Tom Anderson are so far the only recurring characters to return in the 2022 revival (a grown-up Stewart only appears in one episode as of now).