'Shagadelic, Baby ... Yeah !!!
Mike Myers (not to be confused with the serial killer of Halloween fame) was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada in 1963. Myers developed a knack for character comedy at a young age. His wit earned him raves in the comedy scene and also caught the attention of fellow canuck Lorne Michaels, producer of the hit sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live. Myer joined the SNL cast in 1987 and he quickly turned his comedic talents into successful sketches.
He became a fan favorite as Wayne Campbell, half of a duo of rocker dudes in the Wayne's World sketches with other characters, like Simon, the British lad who loved to sit in the bathtub and do drawings (pronounced dwawings), Dieter the host of Sprokets, and Coffee Talk hostess Linda Richman (I'm verklempt!) also all becoming hugely successful.
In 1992 Myers, along with Dana Carvey, parlayed their television success into a feature film based on Wayne's World. Myers soon left the show to concentrate on a film career, like so many SNL members before him. However, soon after leaving SNL, Myers went into a slump and was unable to duplicate the success of 'Wayne's World.' Films like 'So I Married an Axe Murderer' and 'Wayne's World 2' were met with lukewarm responses by audiences.
Then, out of nowhere, Myers was back and better than ever. He appeared in the 1997 smash hit 'Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,' a comedy which reintroduced him to his fans and made him plenty of new ones as well. Furthermore, the film spawned more catchphrases than any of his previous works combined!
But, Myers’ next choice seemed a peculiar one to many critics. He took the role of Steve Rubell, in the drama, '54', about the famed 70s disco bar. The small supporting role did not call for any laughs or crazy antics and left many people wondering. However, when the film was released audiences and critics were incredibly impressed by Mike’s unsuspected dramatic talent. Now proven to be capable of handling a variety of roles, Myers seems to be readying himself for a long and successful career. Mike reprised his Austin Powers role for the sequel, 'The Spy Who Shagged Me' and has since followed ever onwards with the latest edition to the AP family, 'Austin Powers in Goldmember.'
You've said that the "Austin Powers" films are a tribute to the memory of your late father. Has making three films helped you come to terms with his death ?"The genesis of this whole thing was my Dad, who died 11 years ago, so it was appropriate that the third film was more pointedly about Austin's father. And making it has been extremely therapeutic. Shooting this one was kind of like a two month party, we would literally play music between takes, and other movies that were shooting on our lot would play hookey, come over and hang out and stuff. We had a great time.
You share a scene with your screen Dad - played by Michael Caine - that is made up of indecipherable Cockney rhyming slang. Where did you learn that?
My Dad was from Liverpool, and he picked it up in the army. He'd often come out with this stuff. My Canadian friends would come over and say "Wow! You're going to have jockey's whips for dinner?", and hear him talk about crossing the frog, or going up the apples and pears."
Are you concerned about Austin's political incorrectness ? "It's so funny. When you're writing these things, you're in a room making each other laugh, you really have very little sense of political correctness or incorrectness. This is a question that Europe tends to ask and America doesn't."
Who are your comedic heroes ? "Oh, that's a huge list of people. Peter Sellers is on it, Alec Guinness, Python, there's a show called SCTV in America - they're Canadians. Kids in the Hall are another Canadian troupe. And I love Mel Brooks. My Dad loved his movies, too, they're awesome, the kind of thing that if you're in for ten minutes, you're in for two hours. I could give you such an exhaustive and boring list, but those are some of the tops.'
Interview by Brett Waran for Exclusive Magazine
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