Mike Judge Prepares to Heap Fresh Ridicule on "Silicon Valley"

Mother Jones

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Judge and the Pied Piper crew talk “tip to tip efficiency.” Kyle Platts

Mike Judge is dog tired. It’s 7:30 p.m. in Los Angeles, and he’s headed home after a 13-hour shift directing the second season of his delightfully snide HBO comedy Silicon Valley. He knows the turf well enough. After earning a physics degree from the University of California-San Diego in 1985, Judge, now 52, worked a few tech jobs himself, including a miserable gig as a test engineer for a Silicon Valley hardware maker.

But Judge loved to draw and tinker. On a whim, in 1989, he bought a vintage Bolex camera and used it to make Office Space, an animated short that got picked up by Comedy Central. A subsequent short, Frog Baseball, introduced the world to a pair of depraved young losers, and the rest is history: Beavis and Butt-head became an MTV staple and Judge went on to create, among other hits, King of the Hill and the 1999 feature film Office Space, now a cult classic. Silicon Valley, whose second season premieres Sunday, April 12, follows a crew of misfit hackers whose file-compression algorithm, Pied Piper, sparks a bidding war. The series, packed with hilarious dialogue, makes a mockery of the tech world’s hippie-capitalist hubris, smarmy lawyers, eccentric CEOs, and glaring deficit of X chromosomes.

Check out the original trailer, and then we’ll chat with the director:

Mother Jones: With apps like Titstare, protesters vomiting on Yahoo buses, and tech-libertarian island havens, a satirist hardly needs to exaggerate. Silicon Valley must seem like one big fat target.

Mike Judge: It’s definitely a wealth of material. Titstare actually happened after we had written and shot the Nip Alert episode, but hadn’t aired yet, so sometimes things almost happen simultaneously.

MJ: You make fun of how these companies all claim to be making the world a better place. Do you think they actually believe that?

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Mike Judge Prepares to Heap Fresh Ridicule on "Silicon Valley"

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