Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus: Season 1 (2017)


Season 1
Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus

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Critic Ratings: 8


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User Ratings: 67

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Air date: Sep 22, 2017

An animated series recounting the adventures of country music's most eccentric characters begins with Johnny Paycheck ("Take This Job and Shove It"), whose career was defined by drug, alcohol and legal problems.

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Air date: Sep 29, 2017

One of the pioneers of rock'n'roll, Jerry Lee Lewis also happened to be a country music singer who liked to call himself "The Killer." He made a name for himself not just as a magnetic piano-playing singer, but also as an impulsive, gun-wielding wild man, who stoked epic rivalries with the likes of Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. The Killer also notoriously married his 13-year-old second cousin, setting off an epic worldwide scandal.

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Air date: Oct 6, 2017

He was a poor boy from a bootleggers' town in the Texas backwoods. She was a cotton-picking Mississippi girl dreaming of stardom in Nashville. Together, George Jones and Tammy Wynette became the first power couple in country music. They were perfect in the public eye, but their tumultuous relationship was punctuated by George's alcohol-fueled escapades and his paranoia over Tammy's romantic past. She tried to keep the marriage from turning toxic, singing "Stand By Your Man," her greatest hit, onstage with her husband every night.

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Air date: Oct 13, 2017

Collaborating on 33 hit songs and nine studio albums, George Jones and Tammy Wynette projected an image of marital bliss. Backstage, real life was more of a mess, highlighted by actual gunplay, an accusation of poisoning and ingenious disappearing acts in the name of alcohol. The marriage was ultimately sacrificed, but the music survived. Despite George's split personalities and Tammy's endless string of men, the two maintained an artistic partnership that stood the test of time and gave them one of their greatest hits, "Golden Rings," about love and marriage.

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Air date: Oct 20, 2017

Billy Joe Shaver gets a break writing songs in Nashville for Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley and others, and starts a recording career of his own, even though his right hand had been badly mangled in a sawmill accident when he was in his twenties.

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Air date: Oct 27, 2017

The father of "Outlaw" country music, Waylon Jennings grew up in Texas with dreams of making it to the Grand Ole Opry. Following a musical partnership with Buddy Holly that ended in his first experience cheating death, Waylon eventually made his way to Nashville, where he became roommates with Johnny Cash. The singer, like his pal Johnny, never quite fit in with the Nashville sound, although they both found the Nashville speed to their liking. It took a move back home to Texas and a reunion with Willie Nelson, his old friend and fellow outcast, for the charismatic Waylon to breathe new life into country music, and finally do things on his own terms.

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Air date: Nov 3, 2017

Fed up with Nashville's unwritten rules, Waylon Jennings put on his famous black hat, bucked the system and became one of country music's original outlaws. He recorded what he wanted and how he wanted, usually high on cocaine in a studio known as "Hillbilly Central." He also hired Hell's Angels for protection, as well as to babysit his kid. Scoring a string of hits that included "Honky Tonk Heroes" and "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)," Waylon was targeted by the feds for his coke-fueled antics. It only made his legend grow. After writing "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand," Waylon shocked Nashville by quitting drugs cold turkey, getting sober all on his own.

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Air date: Nov 10, 2017

A legend in country music circles, yet largely unknown to the general public, Blaze Foley burned bright on the Austin, Texas music scene before being silenced well before his time. He was an intimidating physical presence with a wry sense of humor and the voice of an angel, who battled his demons by writing songs about them. Blaze hated hypocrisy as much as he loved booze and duct tape. He became best friends and brothers in self-destruction with fellow singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt, and died tragically while trying to defend a friend from harm, but not before writing his greatest song, "If I Could Only Fly."

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News & Interviews for Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus Season 1

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (5)

It's funny, shocking and a great counterbalance to the perfectly manicured images some country artists present these days.

Nov 25, 2019 | Full Review…

Judge, as a storyteller himself, maximizes his potential audience by infusing sly humor into every visual inch of the show.

Sep 20, 2017 | Full Review…

Hey network execs, just don't say no to Mike Judge.

Sep 15, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Come for the comedy, stay for the singing.

Oct 20, 2017 | Full Review…

Even if you're not a country-music follower, Judge's stories of epic rural grandeur are well worth seeking out-and don't be surprised if you find yourself a fan by the time the tale is over.

Sep 22, 2017 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

On the micro level, each episode functions to highlight a different star's highs and lows. But regardless of how you see it, there's no denying that Tales From The Tour Bus comes from a place of immense love and respect for music.

Dec 19, 2017 | Full Review…

The country-music knowledge being arrayed before you in Tales From the Tour Bus is sure to both enlighten and entertain you.

Oct 8, 2017 | Full Review…

... a very clever, mostly animated method of retelling old tales, tall tales, and tales from the road.

Sep 29, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus: Season 1

  • Dec 25, 2020
    I have been a Mike Judge fan from the first episode of King of the Hill. His has a unconventional but relatable sense of humor that appeals to the everyday man. When I discovered his documentary style series Tales from the Tour Bus I had only see a short trailer and I immediately purchased both seasons. I binged watched those 16 episodes from beginning to end during a long joyous marathon weekend. Watched beginning to end TWICE! Growing up with parents that were Country music fans I appreciated and became fascinated as Judge narrated and crafted the animated caricatures that told the individual stories in a fashion that perfectly communicated the INSANE life stories of some of the biggest country music pioneers. Second season features some of my personal childhood musical hero's featuring Funk King George Clinton and the various members of the Funk-a-delics. Also features James Brown, Rick James, Prince and Morris Day! Except for James Brown I was a enthusiastic fan of them all in the late 70's-80's. To have their true behind the scene antics told first hand was pure geek nirvana. It's funny. It's crazy. It's real. It's a good watch!
  • Mar 09, 2018
    Great show. Turning me into a classic country music fan.
  • Feb 11, 2018
    If you haven't watched this, you should. When you take the utter ridiculousness and the pure outrageousness of the stories, couple them with the complete nonchalance of the interviewees, and then drop Mike Judge's dry delivery and wit on top of it all, you get a winner.
  • Jan 10, 2018
    One of Mike Judge's best pieces of work to date. LOVED IT. 10 stars. My 80 year old father even got a kick out of it.
  • Nov 17, 2017
    Please let there be a second season!
  • Nov 01, 2017
    Great to see some of these old forgotten legends with great stories revived in an incredibly well done animated series. I'm a big fan already
  • Oct 30, 2017
    Fantastic! I can't wait for each new episode!
  • Oct 27, 2017
    As an avid fan of classic country music, some of what's on display here is common knowledge, some. That said, there is much to amaze, shock and amuse. How these people survived past their forties is flabbergasting. Great storytelling.
  • Oct 25, 2017
    Great show, offering a unique insight into some of these legends that I didn't know about

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