TPS reports. Flair. The red Swingline stapler. That POS printer.
Did you get the memo? It’s been 20 years since writer-director Mike Judge, then best-known for creating the animated hits Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill, made his live-action debut with the wicked corporate culture satire Office Space.
The film, which told the story of fed-up Initech programmer Peter Gibbons (played by Ron Livingston) as he and his equally over-it coworkers plot to take down the company that’s sucking the life out of them, was born out of an animated short that Judge created and voiced, centered on mumbling office worker Milton and his condescending boss, that aired on Comedy Central in 1991.
“In 1996, I had an overall deal at [20th Century] Fox. [Network president] Peter Chernin had seen the short film and said, ‘This should be a movie,’ so writers pitched ideas for a Milton-focused feature,” Judge revealed to Entertainment Weekly in January. “I said, ‘It can’t be just about Milton. You don’t want to know what he does at home after work.'”
Once someone suggested something of an ensemble piece—”Like Car Wash, but in an office,” Judge recalled—the story of Peter and his quest for revenge was born. The film was not a success upon its debut, earning a disappointing $12.2 million on a $10 million budget, but its arrival on Comedy Central and home video took the well-reviewed film into full-blown cult status.
“It felt like it kind of went viral before that concept even existed,” Livingston remarked to the publication. He’s not wrong. The film, especially its infamous printer-smashing scene, has been parodied several times over in pop culture, and generated countless memes, while still remaining one of Fox’s most consistently-selling DVDs in an age when no one is really buying those anymore.
In honor of 20 years of hilariously relatable film, let’s take a look at what its key players have been up to over the last two decades!
Office Space is available to rent on iTunes and Amazon Prime Video. And for more on the cult classic, be sure to tune in to E! News tonight at 7 p.m. only on E!