The reboot: Beavis and Butt-Head, Funny Cide, and Tiz the Law

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Nicolle Neulist

February 5th, 2020

Have you ever been petrified about a reboot of your favorite show?

That thought weighed on me in 2011, leading into Season 8 of Beavis and Butt-Head. It had been my favorite show in the 1990s, and it still made me laugh as I neared age 30. Did I want its memory sullied if the first new episodes since 1997 fell flat?

I swallowed my fear and watched.


The plots were timely. The protagonists' simultaneously juvenile and acerbic quips worked just as well on tech-support calls and Jersey Shore clips as they had on coffeeshop Beatniks and Winger videos more than a decade before. It was what every reboot needed to be—true to what made the original good and relevant when it returned.

The most compelling story on the 2020 Derby trail so far is another reboot that does the original justice—Sackatoga Stable.

Though many faces in the winners' circle after Tiz the Law won Saturday's Holy Bull (G3) weren't on Funny Cide's school bus in 2003, there's still a clear lineage. Sackatoga Stables' heart still beats in New York. Jack Knowlton still spearheads the partnership, and Barclay Tagg still trains the horses.


Tiz the Law's résumé at this point in the year is even stronger than Funny Cide's was. By the first week of February, Funny Cide had won three times against New York-breds, but only mustered a fifth-place finish in the Holy Bull.

Tiz the Law is also three-for-four, and debuted in a New York-bred race, but wins in the Champagne (G1) and the Holy Bull have established him among the best of his class. After a Holy Bull victory that showed talent, adaptability, and maturity, Tiz the Law is the shortest-priced individual betting choice for Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

A reboot only succeeds if it maintains the same driving force that made its original incarnation a success, while also being relevant at the time of its return. Sackatoga and Tagg had a horse of a lifetime with Funny Cide in 2003. They have another with Tiz the Law in 2020, and their revival has been pitch-perfect so far.

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