What the Hell Happened to Mike Myers?

Mike Myers successfully made the transition from Not Ready for Prime Time Player to movie star.  His characters and catch-phrases were inescapable.  Myers wasn’t just a comedian, he was shaping pop culture.  And then, he stopped.

What the hell happened?

Myers’ first acting job was on a TV commercial when he was 10 years old.  The commercial co-starred Gilda Radner, who was about to become a star on Saturday Night Live.  In 1989, Myers would follow in Radner’s footsteps as a cast member of SNL.

Myers - King of Kensington

In 1975, a young Myers appeared on the Canadian sitcom, King of Kensington.

Many years later, Myers named the character played by Elizabeth Hurley in Austin Powers “Vanessa Kensington” in tribute to the TV show that gave him his start.

Myers - Little Hobo

In 1979, Myers appeared on another Canadian TV show, The Littlest Hobo.  The show is about a stray German shepherd named London who wanders from town to town helping people in need.  Sort of Lassie meets The Incredible Hulk.  In the episode Myers appeared on, London encourages a child in a wheelchair to participate in a freisbee competition.

To date, no characters have been named after The Littlest Hobo.

In 1982, Myers joined the Canadian touring company for Second City immediately out of high school.  From there, he moved to the United Kingdom.  In 1985,  Myers was one of the founding members of The Comedy Store Players, an improvisational group based in London.

Myers also played a delivery boy in the TV movie, John and Yoko: a Love Story.  Here’s a clip with both of his lines.

In 1986, Myers starred in the British children’s TV program Wide Awake Club.  Myers satirized the show’s typical energy with his own bit, the  “Sound Asleep Club”.

myers - wide awake

Here’s a retrospective about The Wide Awake Club which includes some footage of Myers doing his bit on the show.

Next: Wayne, Dieter and SNL

Posted on October 3, 2012, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 173 Comments.

  1. Danielle Charney

    I for one, have never like MM- ever- never liked his brand of humor- so I can’t add much- good post though, as always- plus I have this flu and it’s effecting my ability to a thing

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  2. What a great article. Been waiting for Myers. I must say, though, that without the wonderful world of Shrek, he’d be broke. The ONLY live movie of his that I liked was Ax Murderer. And Love Guru is so bad it doesn’t even qualify as a film…yes, it is that bad.

    I have a personal theory. (besides Myers pissing everyone off)

    There are just certain comics and script writers that were funny to mainstream audiences in the 90s that just aren’t funny anymore. Our tastes have moved on. I think good examples would be Myers and the Farrelly brothers.

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    • One reason I haven’t done a lot of comedians is that I think they have an expiration date. Comedians usually can’t stay on top of their game for very long.

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    • Also, it can be argued that part of Mike Myers’ problem as time went on is that went from being a clever guy to someone who banks on his star power assume people will “just laugh”. To put it in another way, Mike Myers is the type of guy who seemingly prefers to make himself laugh first, rather than his audience.

      Another argument that I’ve heard is that Mike Myers seems to only make movies when he can think up enough jokes to try to turn into forced memes to fill up an hour and a half (and then throw a loose story around them).

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  3. You forgot one of his most memorable TV appearances—standing stunned next to Kanye West at the Karina-a-thon when he declared that George Bush hates black people. =)

    I always get excited when the next installment of WTHHTx shows up in my inbox. Keep it up!

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    • I’m glad to hear you enjoy the articles. I’ll keep ‘em coming.

      The Katrina telethon was classic! Part of what made it so great is that Myers is Canadian. He just looked like a deer in headlights. A Canadian caught in awkward American politics. I never laughed so hard at a hurricane relief event.

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  4. Yep. As I read your first two paragraphs it was immediately clear WTHH to him. He’s a jerk and nobody can stand him. I remember some of these stories too now that I think back on it. How difficult he was/is and his prima donna attitudes. Gotta admit the Austin Powers flicks cracked me up and so did Waynes World. I have them all in my dvd collection. Also gotta admit they don’t hold up well over time. I have rewatched a few of them this past year and the laughs weren’t as good. AP 1 and 2 are still pretty darn funny though.

    I think it’s already been said; his humor is so 90’s and we’ve moved on. Plus he’s Canadian so how seriously can we really take his plights?!? (jk to any of our Canadian brethren who might be checking in ;) )

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    • Yeah, we love Canada! (Le Blog is quite popular there. Must be the faux French name.)

      I’m with you. Myers has always cracked me up. Even in a stinker like View From the Top, he still gets some laughs from me. I will always have a soft spot for the first Austin Powers. And the second one is still fun if not nearly as original.

      I will actually surprised if Myers doesn’t have a comeback eventually. I don’t think he’ll ever recapture his A-list status from the peak of Austin Powers-mania. But I think he’ll come back with a hit comedy eventually.

      Either way, dude has some issues! And that always makes for a great read.

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      • What is the story with the French name?

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        • Prepare to be underwhelmed. Lebeau was one of my high school nicknames. When it came time to pick a screen name, it was available. Then when I needed a name for my blog, I started playing around with things. A lot of my early movie-related choices weren’t available. Since I hadn’t fully decided on the content of my blog, I just started kicking aroun really generic names. Since my screen name was “Lebeau” I came up with “Lebeau’s Le Blog” and liked the sound of it. It made me chuckle. And not surprisingly, it was available. So I snatched it up.

          I figure it’s somewhat appropriate. Part of the genesis of the nickname was that I was the only boy in my senior French class. (“Le beau” means “the boy”.) It also comes from the character in “Hogan’s Heroes” who was French. But mostly, it was just a silly play on my name. I was also called Labes and Lebowski alot. Or pretty much anything silly that contained an L and a B. I had goofy friends in high school.

          Short answer: It sounded silly.

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          • I totally get that. My real last name is synonymous with serious drinking, which I hate. After enjoying an English character named Nathaniel Drinkwater, I chose Shortwinter as my writer/artist name.

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            • The problem with Lebeau (especially when I was writing comic book reviews) is that it is also the name of the X-Men character, Gambit, who sucks. So, I get that a lot. Less now that I am not writing about comic books.

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                • Combination of things. Lack of time. Lack of money. Comics are ridiculously expensive. And frankly, lack of interest. There are still books I enjoy, but they are farther and fewer between than they used to be. Comics moved in the direction of being “edgy” for the sake of it. I don’t mind dark material, but I don’t want to read about rape in every other Justice League comic. It has gotten to the point where you just expect supporting characters (usually minorities) to be killed off or dismembered in every story. But, I guess that’s what sells these days.

                  At the end of the day, I decided my time and entertainment dollar were better spent elsewhere. Which frees me up to spend my blogging time writing about washed up celebs instead of complaining about the latest issue of Aquaman.

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                  • The only comic I buy is Heavy Metal, since 1981. Do you know it?

                    BTW, I don’t write posts about military vehicles (which I love and restore regularly) because nobody cares.

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                    • I have flipped through a couple issues of Heavy Metal. Never actually bought a copy. It looks interesting. And of course I have seen the animated movie a few times.

                      There are people who care about comics. We’ve had a pretty good following over at read/RANT, the comics site I wrote for. But I have a lot more fun here.

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      • as a sports fan, “Lebeau” first reminds me of Steelers/Lions Hall of Fame defensive back/defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau.

        Gambit was ok by me until he became so popular and they failed to actually develop his personality while still featuring him a lot. just >yawn< after that. And what was with his costume? Either have a super hero costume and lose the trench coat, or don't have a super hero costume. Trying to split the difference was just dumb.

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        • I am sports illiterate. But I know the name. That is it though. No idea who he is.

          As for Gambit, I was just never an X-Man fan. As one of the lamer X-Men, I just never got his appeal. I assume it was coolness factor rubbing off on him because he got to mack on Rogue. You’re absolutely right about the costume. Jim Lee is a great artist, but his character design is god awful. Which makes you wonder who let him redesign the entire DC universe!

          Back before I read comics, my younger brother used to compare me to Cyclops and himself to Wolverine. I used to think that was cool because the only two things he told me about Cyclops were that 1. He was the team leader and 2. He had a hot red-head girl friend. What I didn’t realize was that Cyclops was and still is a massive tool and Wolverine is awesome.

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  5. I know this may sound cruel, but I really hope a comeback is not in the cards for Myers, because, on top of the fact that he has a crappy sense of humor & is even less collaborative than George Lucas, if his idea of a ‘labor of love’ is a godawful flick like ‘Love Guru,’ then the only kind of thing he could do for an encore is a movie in which everyone communicates by farting.

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  6. At one point on imdb.com, Myers was listed to portray the late Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, in a biopic to be produced by Who lead singer, Roger Daltrey. (Myers was already 10 years older than Moon was at the time he died.) You know Myers’ star had fallen when there were hundreds of petitions from Who fans going around against Myers playing the lead role. Now Myers name is no longer associated with the project.

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  7. In some ways, I think Myers was lucky to have gotten a career beyond SNL, where he shone (even then I thought Carvey was more talented) but the first AP movie is one of my all time favorites. So much so that I never watched 2 and 3. Why, why why do I love International Man of Mystery so much, with so much sophomoric humor in it? Because.. it’s one of those movies where everything all together in the finished product, just kind of works. The actors/script/visuals/soundtrack all just kind of blended together seamlessly into something that became part of my “Buy DVD/Watch 50 times” collection.

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    • On this one, we agree 100%. If I had been placing bets in 1992, I would have bet against Myers having a film career. I also would have bet on Carvey having more success than he did – although that was largely due to health problems.

      The first Austin Powers really is wonderful. The sequels have tarnished it a little in my mind. But if you can separate the original from the sequels, there’s a lot of originality and joy in that first movie.

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      • You can make the argument that a large part of appeal in the first “Austin Powers” film (and what made it so great in the first place) was the simple concept of having a man completely out of the loop be revived. He in the process, has to adjust to having 30+ years of change happen in an instant by his timeline. It therefore made for not just some of the best bits, but best plot points as well. That whole charm and element was gone for the second and third films since the first film ended with him more or less “getting it”; even if he went back in time in the next two films, Austin really didn’t need to adjust to that at all.

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        • That is it exactly. The first film was a loving look at the 60s from the point of view of the 90s. It was a great fish out of water story that couldn’t be duplicated. It had a sweetness that came from Myers’ genuine affection for the psychadellic spy flicks of the era and the music of Burt Bacharach.

          The sequels just replayed the best jokes of the series over and over.

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          • You can make the argument that Mike’s best films (e.g. the first “Wayne’s World” and “Austin Powers” respectively) clearly had a message to get across (and it wasn’t Mike simply cashing in or trying to be as weird and outrageous as possible). For example, “Wayne’s World” (at least the first one) wasn’t simply a “Saturday Night Live” skit turned into a feature length movie, it satirized the music and television industry and mentality of the time.

            This is an interesting observation of how “The Love Guru” could’ve actually been salvageable had Mike been more able to address certain points/themes in a more coherent and intelligent way:

            http://forum.earwolf.com/topic/3475-episode-12-%e2%80%94-the-love-guru/page__view__findpost__p__14564

            There are actually kernels of really great ideas in here, about cross-cultural validation and race. One of the main characters is a black hockey player, described as “the Tiger Woods of hockey.” So, why does it take a black superstar to validate a sport? Why are these sports/cultures so racially segregated even today? Why does western culture feel the need to commodify Hinduism into Oprah’s Book Club-style bite-sized bits before that culture can be validated? None of these questions are addressed in any coherent or intelligent way, but they could have been, which makes the film’s outrageous un-humor all the more disappointing.*

            *Elaboration: I don’t think comedies have to address weighty issues directly, but if those themes are present, they can add to the humor; like the jokes are a relief to the weightiness inherent in those ideas. You know, how Ghostbusters deals with themes of the afterlife or The Hangover deals with themes of regret and guilt. Those movies are good because they know how to make jokes about things that make us uncomfortable

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            • Bad Movie Beatdown: The Love Guru:

              Film Brain finds there’s no love lost when it comes to the movie that infamously ended Mike Myers’ career – through pain, we can let the spiritual healing begin. Contains strong language, frequent moderate sex references and slapstick violence. This work is protected by Fair Use.

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      • Yeah, Dana Carvey (you can argue that among the late ’80s early ’90s “SNL” cast-members, he was supposed to be the big break-out star in terms of film success) had a botched heart operation in the late ’90s that put him out of commission for a while. He tried to make a comeback w/ “Master of Disguise” but it really didn’t amount to anything because of it’s mostly negative feedback.

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      • 10 Terrible Film Sequels That Somehow Made It To Cinemas:

        http://whatculture.com/film/10-terrible-film-sequels-somehow-made-cinemas.php/8

        4. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

        Sequel To: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, a spoof of the James Bond series which cemented Mike Myers’ pop culture status after the success of Wayne’s World 1 & 2.

        Who Made It?: Jay Roach, who also helmed the first film. No excuses then.

        Why Was It Made?: Austin Powers was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic, coinciding with the Cool Britannia trends in Britain and the recent re-launch of the Bond series with Goldeneye. Having taken nearly $68m on a budget of $16.5m, the sums clearly added up.

        Why Is It So Bad?: While many sequels feel like cheap cash-ins, The Spy Who Shagged Me is certainly one of the most cynical. While the first film was adolescent in places, it did intelligently explore and send up the clichés of the spy thriller in amongst all the gross-out humour. In the sequel all that has been replaced by lazier, more repetitive jokes, cheap references to Star Wars (cashing in on the Special Editions) and a plot which fulfils on none of the potential of the film’s central conceit (Austin Powers losing his mojo). It’s also really mean-spirited, believing that both fat people and little people are inherently funny, especially when they are being humiliated.

        What Happened Next: A second sequel, Austin Powers in Goldmember, arrived three years later to mixed reviews. A fourth film has been mooted for many years. Myers went on to find success in the Shrek series, while Roach later made Meet the Parents.

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        • 5 Great Comedy Movie Sequels (And 5 That Were Disappointments):

          http://whatculture.com/film/5-great-comedy-movie-sequels-5-disappointments.php/9

          When I was an adolescent, quoting lines from “Austin Powers” movies was just something that was done. “Yeah baby!”, “Do I make you horny, baby?”—it was not long before people would only quote those lines when they were trying to be ironic. Now, it’s very much a thing of the past. There’s no irony involved anymore. Nobody dresses up like Austin Powers for Halloween. No one ever tries to do a Dr. Evil impression. It’s done. The time has passed. So why did this happen? It’s simple: Mike Myers & co. ran all those jokes into the ground with the third movie.

          Yes, it’s very much safe to say that the “Austin Powers” movies have not aged very well over the past couple of years. The first one still has plenty of great moments and is often very funny, the second one took a bit of a dip in quality but it at least manages to take the series through some quirky directions. There’s the introduction of a couple of new characters (Mini-Me and Fat Bastard) that now seem integral to the film series as a whole. And the film seems to have a lot of fun incorporating time travel into the plot. I don’t have a problem with the second film. It’s the third film that is very much guilty of rehashing all the same jokes that were introduced earlier in the series. Overall, I’m pretty sure “Goldmember” is the reason why the Austin Powers series has taken a dive in the public consciousness.

          “Goldmember” rehashes so many jokes from the second film that they actually have Ozzy Osbourne, featured in a cameo appearance, make fun of that fact. Oh yeah, that’s another thing. “Goldmember” is filled with a ridiculous amount of celebrity cameos. Instead of the film being nostalgic for the ’60s or the ’70s, watching it now very much reminds you that the film was made in 2002. Remember when “The Osbournes” was a reality show that existed? Remember when Britney Spears was a pop superstar? Remember when Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life” was a popular song? Actually, even that was a dated reference when the movie first came out.

          Out of the entire movie, only Beyonce is still relevant. She actually manages to have a great amount of fun with her role, unfortunately she and Mike Myers displayed zero chemistry between each other. Then there’s the appearance of yet another Mike Myers character in the film: Goldmember. He’s Dutch, he has golden genitals, he has a collection of his own dead skin, and he constantly makes ’70s pop culture references. There was some comic potential there, perhaps, but the film is too busy being in love with itself that it never tries to enter new comic directions. Instead, they just go for the same jokes that made the first two movies work. By the time the movie was over, audiences all made a secret pact never to quote from an Austin Powers movie ever again. Eleven years later? The pact is still strong.

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    • As an example, Dana Carvey could easily have done a variety of supporting roles. Jon Lovitz certainly did, and with a lot less range. Enjoyable, but always basically Jon Lovitz. I am a big fan of SNL alums transitioning to the big screen but it doesn’t always work out.

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      • I’ve heard the argument (primarily from the Haphazard Stuff site regarding a video concerning bad sequels like “City Slickers 2″) that somebody like Jon Lovitz could never really be successful as a feature length, film star (when compared to his “SNL” days) because his acting style/style of comedy is too animated and schtick filled.

        And again, speaking of Dana Carvey:

        http://splitsider.com/2012/10/the-lost-roles-of-dana-carvey/

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        • I am honestly surprised whenever any of the SNL guys make the transition. To success on SNL you need to be a chameleon. There are exceptions. Chevy Chase, John Belushi and Bill Murray were bigger personalities than character actors. But most of the more recent SNL stars are doing characters that don’t necessarily transition to the big screen.

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  8. One key thing that you left out regarding the live-action “Cat in the Hat” film is that Dr. Seuss’s estate and his widow refused to approve any more live-action adaptations of Dr. Seuss’ work (after this and the “Grinch” movie w/ Jim Carrey) due to all of the adult/raunchy jokes that clashed with the family friendly nature of the books.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/remarks.php?trope=Horrible.Film&id=62562

    The Cat in the Hat. A 90-minute live-action adaptation of material that was previously filmed, with padding, as a half-hour cartoon. Imagine the padding here. In addition, Mike Myers and the script combine to derail the character of the Cat in the Hat. The Cat in the book is a jerk, but in the book he comes off as naive, someone who doesn’t understand the consequences of his playfulness. In the film, the added off-color humor kills any hopes of naivete; in the film, he’s a creepy, insensitive mancat-child who seems intent on ruining lives.

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    • COMMENTARY TRACKS OF THE DAMNED:

      http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-cat-in-the-hat,28691/

      Crimes:
      • Turning a children’s classic into a crass forum for the mildly ribald improvisational stylings of Mike Myers

      • Adding all the boner, bat-in-the-crotch, and gonorrhea jokes that the original book apparently lacked, and pointlessly sexing it up with leering shots of Kelly Preston’s cleavage and a Paris Hilton cameo

      • Draining Dr. Seuss’ story of all that icky wonder, magic, and lyricism

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      • One thing that I forgot to note about the Nostalgia Critic’s review of “The Cat in the Hat” is that he feels that Mike Myers at the end of the day wasn’t really that funny. Basically, after a while, people started to catch on to the repetition of Mike’s humor. And without proper support (like for instance, Dana Carvey in “Wayne’s World”), he really couldn’t keep people laughing for long.

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        • Besides Mike’s “difficult to work with” reputation, I think that it’s now quite obvious why his star started to dwindle sometime after the third “Austin Powers” movie, people started to grow tired of his schtick. I think Mike was perhaps, at his best when he was surrounded by equally if not funnier people like when he was on “SNL” (since it was a sketch comedy TV show rather than a full length movie w/ him headlining, it was harder to worn out by him over a short period).

          You can make the argument that his “Wayne’s World” co-star Dana Carvey was/is the better comedian (and therefore, should’ve deserved the better film career):

          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105793/board/flat/213491402?p=1

          Am I the only one that thinks that Dana Carvey was much funnier than Mike Myers in this movie? I mean, I think Mike Myers is funniest when he plays a total a character that looks nothing like himself, like Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, Austin Powers, Linda Richman (SNL), or the father in So I Married An Axe Murderer. It seems like in the roles where he looks like himself he’s laughing at his own jokes, which is really unappealing and not funny. His comedic timing in Wayne’s World was really awkward in some scenes while Dana Carvey was spot on every time. I think it has to do with humility. Dana Carvey seems to care more about focusing on characterization while Mike Myers just wants everyone to look at him.

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          • I always thought Carvey would be more successful than Myers. Carvey’s problem is that his skill set is great for sketch comedy but doesn’t translate as well to feature length film. Also, he had some terrible health problems. But even so, I’m not sure movie stardom was ever in his future. I was frankly surprised that Myers was ever as successful as he was in film.

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            • Maybe part of the problem for Dana Carvey besides his health issues is that he never really had his own Austin Powers (not counting his “SNL” characters like the Church Lady) so to speak to push his film career further.

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              • Absolutely. Carvey was also a character actor and was going to have a tough time making it as a movie star. That style of comedy works best on TV. I was less surprised by Carvey’s lack of a movie career than I was surprised by Myers’ success at the movies.

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          • Another problem that Mike Myers had arguably, is that he never really played a “normal” guy (w/ the exception of his character in “So I Married an Axe Murderer” and to a certain extent, Wayne Campbell). Mike Myers is really a glorified character actor (he always has to play some eccentric, overly cartoonish character w/ a silly accent and heavy make-up) when you get right down to it. But if you’re a leading man type performer like Myers it’s much harder for audiences to relate to him.

            At the end of the day (especially by the time he made the third “Austin Powers” film), it’s probably safe to say that Mike was tired and out of good ideas (he kept making cheap jokes without extra layers). In other words, Mike arguably cashed in too much on the gimmicks that he created in the previous movies without really introducing newly funny and fresh concepts. Therefore, he pretty much just cashed in all his chips and milked the tit/cash cow for all it was worth so to speak.

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            • I agree. Axe Murderer was Myers attempt at being a traditional leading man. But he also included bits of the kind of humor that would define his box office success. The parts of the movie that case Myers as a leading man failed. What worked is the character actor stuff.

              Myers has shown that he can make a movie out of that stuff. But after three Austin Powers movies and the Love Guru, he seems to have run out of juice. Check out his extended cameo in A View From the Top. He is basically trying out material for future Austin Powers movies. It’s an interesting glimpse into how Myers develops material.

              By the time Love Guru flopped, it sure seemed Myers had drained the well dry. Maybe the time off has replenished his idea well. But the fact he’s returning to Austin Powers yet again doesn’t leave me very optinistic. I expect he’ll recycle the same jokes a 4th time.

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        • Mike Myers has always sucked:

          http://logictortured.com/blog/2012/02/26/mike-myers-has-always-sucked/

          This post is sort of outdated, Mike Myers’ career is all but dead, but I’m only writing it because I recently re-watched So I Married an Axe Murderer.

          Several years ago Mike Myers was ridiculed for the release of the god-awful movie The Love Guru. But you know what, he’s always sucked. Myers’ entire career consists of creating cliched stereotyped characters and having them say mundane things. In other words, he simply does not know how to be funny.

          Let’s look back at So I Married an Axe Murderer. It was his second movie. In addition to playing the main character, he also played his character’s dad. He played that dad as a loud stereotypical Scottish man. The dad said utterly mundane things very loudly. He talked about soccer. About his younger son’s large head. About his other son’s reluctance to get married.

          The writers of So I Married an Axe Murderer did try to stretch the dad’s character a bit and had him dancing and singing along to the Bay City Roller classic, Saturday Night. They also had the dad sing Do You Think I’m Sexy accompanied by bagpipes. While those were certainly not stereotypical of old Scottish men, they were certainly also not funny.

          Having a stereotyped character act stereotypical is not funny. Just as merely having that same stereotyped character do something out of his stereotype also is not funny. Nothing the dad said or did was actually funny. It’s almost as if Myers is from an alien culture which has no clue what humans consider funny. Or even what “funny” means.

          And even the main character Myers plays in So I Married an Axe Murderer is stereotyped. The movie called for a character who dates, so that’s what Myers gave them. His character has no given job, education, or background. He exists purely as a person who dates and dumps women and then does beat poetry about it. So all the “jokes” which occur are nothing more than things people ordinarily would say during dates. In other words, they’re not funny.

          Read through these so called “memorable quotes” from So I Married an Axe Murderer to see how unfunny the movie actually is. These are the “best” lines and none of them are funny.

          Or how about his most famous character. Wayne from Wayne’s World. In that movie he played a stereotypical metal-head teenager from the 80s. His character said things typical of metal kids from that time period. But merely saying things that people say is not funny.

          Or his other famous character, Austin Powers. In that role he played a stereotypical British spy who said stereotypical British slang in a stereotypical British accent, like “baby.”

          Why is saying British slang funny? It’s not. So the real question is why Myers thinks repeating slang is funny? As I said, he does not have a clue about what “funny” is.

          I’ll continue, on SNL Myers did a character named Linda Richman. She was his stereotypical “jewish female” character. She said “verklempt.” Why? Because apparently that’s what jewish women say. Why is it funny? It’s not.

          I could go on and on. It’s not just that The Love Guru wasn’t funny. It’s really that Myers isn’t funny. At all.

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          • Humor is subjective. Apparently, the author of this article is not a fan of Myers’ humor. Curious that they skipped over Wayne’s World entirely.

            Sounds like someone had an (wait for it…) AXE to grind (groan!)

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      • Here’s another good reason why “The Cat in the Hat” was horrible: They put the script in the hands of the wrong writers. Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel may be OK when it comes to raunchy, R-rated films like “Eurotrip” and “The Dictator”, but they were obviously not meant to do family films.

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        • I have never sat down and watched it from start to finish. But from what I have seen, Alec Baldwin is the only source of entertainment. Everything else is terrible.

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  9. Apparently, after the first “Wayne’s World” film proved to be a major hit, an “SNL” producer told Mike Myers if there was anyone he wanted to work with, just let him know. Myers’ response: Federico Fellini. The producer kept waiting for him to laugh…then realized Myers was completely serious, that having one hit under his belt meant he could work with the man who made “8 1/2″.

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    • LOL. I have not heard that one before. Hysterical. I wouldn’t believe it, but with Myers anything is possible. He wanted to write Garth out of Wayne’s World for crying out loud!

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    • Speaking of which, I wonder why the second “Wayne’s World” film wasn’t as big of a box office success as the first one. To put things in proper perspective,the first “Wayne’s World” movie grossed about $121 million at the domestic box office. By comparison, Wayne’s World 2 only grossed about $48 million (barely breaking even).

      Supposedly, part of the problem was that “Wayne’s World 2″ got lost in the shuffle during the ’93 holiday/Christmas season w/ “Mrs. Doubtfire”, “Schindler’s List”, and “The Pelican Brief” out around the same time.

      I think another problem or issue is that when the first “Wayne’s World” movie was released, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” had been only out for about four months. Between the time(early 1992-late 1993) in which the first and second “Wayne’s World” movies were released, grudge permeated music. Thus, Wayne and Garth’s love of ’80 hair bands and what not seemed out of touch with the 17-25 year old target audience. Basically, the movie or movies felt dated by this point.

      I also wonder if Beavis & Butt-Head were a partial factor. What I mean is that “Beavis & Butt-Head”, which premiered on MTV in I believe, March of ’93 arguably made Wayne & Garth “so last season”. Beavis & Butt-Head had pretty much surpassed Wayne & Garth as America’s favorite metal loving comedic duo (Wayne & Garth did the same w/ Bill & Ted so to speak).

      Like

      • re: Between the time(early 1992-late 1993) in which the first and second “Wayne’s World” movies were released, grudge permeated music. Thus, Wayne and Garth’s love of ’80 hair bands and what not seemed out of touch with the 17-25 year old target audience. Basically, the movie or movies felt dated by this point.

        VERY GOOD POINT — the target audience “aged-out,” so to speak, and “hair bands” were getting to be uncool by that point and/or seeing as the average USA youth has little sense of history, the kids couldn’t relate to Wayner and Garth.

        Also, SOUTH PARK kind of took-over as semi-hip youth’s cultural barometer…Robert Smith from the Cure was cool, but Warrant was stuff the older nerds/beer-bellies listened to.

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      • You might be overthinking it- Waynes World was OK- but no Caddyshack. A lot of people who saw the first might have decided a sequel really wasn’t needed.

        Like

  10. That is an excellent point about the concept in the first AP movie, Terence. The concept did make the movie and it gave the writers a vehicle for writing almost elegant satire. And of course, Myers played the role with charm and gusto. it’s also a compelling thought, as others have noted, that many comedians have a shelf life. Their brand of humor may suceed via the novelty aspect in the beginning.
    Cat in the hat – double ugh.

    Like

  11. 25 A-List Hollywood Actors Who Fell the F Off:

    http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/02/25-a-list-hollywood-actors-who-fell-the-f-off/mike-myers

    Mike Myers
    Best Known For: Wayne’s World (1992), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), Shrek (2001)
    Most Recent Project: Shrek Forever After (2010)

    You can’t blame a man for getting lazy with all that green monster money. Odds are, Mike Myers was a vital part of your childhood. Between Wayne’s World, Austin Powers, and Shrek, he’s been the vehicle for a decade’s worth of funny quotes at the middle-school lunch table.

    Someone should’ve warned him, though: The demands of a huge cartoon franchise can monopolize your creative output. Outside of the Shrek franchise, Myers has only had time for Razzies, with films like The Cat and the Hat and The Love Guru comprising most of his recent work.

    Like

  12. Let’s Give These 11 Washed-Up Feature Film Actors Their Own Television Series:

    http://www.pajiba.com/seriously_random_lists/lets-give-these-11-washedup-feature-film-actors-their-own-television-series-.php

    Mike Myers — Myers kind of screwed his own career, selling out too hard with a series of overly broad comedies and sequels He’s a gifted comedic actor, but also kind of limited. He could be good in the right role, but given his age and his limitations, I’m not sure that role exists on network television: At best, I could see is a scene-stealing, crazy drunken uncle on a irreverent family sitcom.

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  13. The Lost Roles of Mike Myers:

    http://splitsider.com/2011/06/the-lost-roles-of-mike-myers/

    Outside of the Shrek films, the past decade hasn’t been to kind to Mike Myers’s career. While its now commonplace for critics and Internet commenters to dogpile on the man, let’s not let The Love Guru taint our collective opinion of Myers. He’s created a lot of beloved comedy in his time, especially with his work on Saturday Night Live, Wayne’s World, and Austin Powers. In an industry where most big name comedy actors are pumping out two or three movies a year, their faces a ubiquitous presence on the posters and cardboard cut-outs that blanket cinema lobbies year-round, it’s refreshing to see Mike Myers showing a little reluctance to flood the market with his comedy. Though it sometimes may not seem that way, Myers is someone who chooses his projects carefully, taking lengthy Kubrickian hiatuses between movies. Being so choosy about his projects has caused Mike Myers to miss out on some well-known projects over the years. Let’s take a look at some parts Myers passed up in this week’s Lost Roles.

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  14. interesting stuff Terrence. A movie about “Da Bears” gang could have been a lot of fun. As Lebeau’s main article indicates, and the writer in the link above skips over, Myers may have lost out on projects for being difficult. I remember when the Keith Moon movie was being discussed and thought it sounded intriguing.
    And I do agree that he might have aced Charlie and the Chocolate factor, as capable an actor as is Johnny Depp, Myers would have brought his unique comedy persona to the role, and it could have revived his career. But alas instead there was the Cat in the Hat… woulda coulda shoulda :)

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  15. 20 Movies That Made Us Think Differently About The Actors In Them (And Not In A Good Way):

    http://styleblazer.com/73727/20-movies-that-made-us-think-differently-about-the-actors-in-them-and-not-in-a-good-way/5/

    Mike Meyers killed it with his stupid-funny Austin Powers routine, managing to milk it for an entire trilogy. When it got stale, he invented The Love Guru, which was stupid but not in a funny way.

    Like

  16. 10 Formally Respected Actors Who Have Probably Gone Insane:

    http://whatculture.com/film/10-formally-respected-actors-who-have-probably-gone-insane.php/6

    5. Mike Myers

    Austin Powers was a long time ago and Wayne’s World even longer, though he has had the success of Shrek to fall back on, though even that franchise has now more than over-stayed its welcome. His fall from grace however is more down to his horrible choice of live action roles than constantly going back to the well for another outing as the green ogre.

    While the signs were beginning to show with Goldmember, even his most vocal of critics wouldn’t have been able to foresee what would follow. First up was the title role in The Cat in the Hat, which made him look like a poor man’s Jim Carrey, and as bad as that was, it’s nothing compared to the shambles that it is The Love Guru.

    Myers’ comedy has always been rather divisive, but The Love Guru was flat out unfunny. The only thing he achieved with these two films was to make people wonder when exactly Mike Myers lost his damn mind? How could the guy that created two of the most popular characters of the last twenty years or so get it so wrong?

    As of now, it seems that Myers’ career as a leading man in comedy is over; another Austin Powers won’t fix it and considering he co-wrote, produced and starred in The Love Guru, I doubt that anyone will allow him to create an original character again. If he really wants to do it then I would suggest that he dust off Dana Carvey and finally put out Wayne’s World 3. He may be concerned about ruining the legacy, but how much worse could it possibly get? Party on Wayne!

    Like

    • I like it. Wayne and Garth would be seen initially through flashbacks and then in present time, they are conservative, boring accountants and have teenagers of their own. Wayne Jr and Garth Jr find their parents music lame and form their own band. Oh, the possibilities!

      Like

  17. 10 Actors Who Are Nowhere Near As Great As They Used To Be:

    http://whatculture.com/film/10-actors-who-are-nowhere-near-as-great-as-they-used-to-be.php/3

    8. Mike Myers

    There is something about Hollywood that sucks the spark out of those comedians that make it on the big screen. They explode into the stratosphere making us question how we were able to even live our boring lives before they came along. Such was the case with Mike Myers. Honing his comedic skills on Saturday Night Live, he made the jump with the bitching Wayne’s World, followed that up with the nice-guy So I Married An Axe Murderer and then everyone’s favorite Millennium costume, Austin Powers.

    So what happened?

    Shrek came along and Mike discovered he would never need to go into a make up trailer again. Doing voice-over work has been such a great steady gig for him that he really has no need to try and create new lovable characters. His last attempt, the Love Guru, stank so bad it even beat out The Happening for the 2008 Razzie award as Worst Film of the Year. When your comedy is considered worse than a movie about killer plants, you know you’ve hit rock bottom. Fortunately, it’s not like Mike is in financial trouble. He’s just hit his creative plateau. For now.

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  18. Five Actors You Should Never Fight for Creative Control:

    http://www.nerve.com/entertainment/2010/07/23/five-actors-you-should-never-fight-for-creative-control

    3. Mike Myers

    Cliche suggests that all comedians have a moody, tyrannical monster underneath their wisecracking exteriors. One comedian who seems to fit this mold is Mike Myers, whose track record of film success is tempered by numerous stories of behind-the-scenes tantrums. Myers was apparently against including Dana Carvey’s Garth character in 1992’s Wayne’s World for fear that Carvey, a slightly bigger star, would overshadow his own turn as the title character. He also supposedly stormed off Wayne’s World’s set because there was no margarine for his bagel. Years later, halfway into the production of the first Shrek, Myers decided the ogre should speak with a Scottish brogue. This cost DreamWorks about $5 million to correct. The pinnacle of Mike Myers-related craziness, though, has to be the 2000 Dieter script debacle. Myers backed out of making a film based on his weird German SNL character, claiming heroically that he refused to cheat moviegoers with an inferior screenplay. The problem is, he co-wrote the screenplay and had complete creative control over the project. Instead of taking the time to fix it, he walked away from Dieter and was promptly sued by Universal Pictures for $3.8 million.

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    • 10 Famous Actors Who Are Notoriously Difficult To Work With:

      http://whatculture.com/film/10-famous-actors-who-are-notoriously-difficult-to-work-with.php/10

      2. Mike Myers

      You could be forgiven for thinking that “a night out on the town with Mike Myers” might make for a great old time, but this costume-inclined funnyman has earned more of a reputation for going totally nuts on set, so maybe you should reconsider that drink, huh? I hear Keanu Reeves is nice. Anyhow, Mike Myers has spent much of his career making everybody hate him. Though those who have worked close with the Austin Powers actor have cited him as a “genius,” they’ve also called him “a moody, temperamental control freak.” Ouch.

      So although you might associate Mike with classic catchphrases like “Yeah, baby, yeah,” and, uh, “That’ll do, Donkey – that’ll do,” he’s about as egomaniacal as they come. One guy even reported that he got fired for looking the actor in the eye whilst making Austin Powers. For the sake of this article, I hope that’s true. At this point in time, Myers has succeeded in alienating absolutely everyone in Hollywood, anyway, which is why you haven’t seen him in anything for the last few years. I think it’s over for this once funny chap. That’ll do, Mike. That’ll do.

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  19. Mike Myers: Has Hollywood’s funniest man lost the Midas touch? Mike Myers was once hailed as Hollywood’s funniest man. As yet another of his movies is slammed by the critics, Guy Adams examines what went wrong:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/mike-myers-has-hollywoods-funniest-man-lost-the-midas-touch-887022.html

    1. The Mike Myers work ethic

    Myers waited six years to appear in another film after the Austin Powers trilogy (provided you ignore his voiceover work in the Shrek animations and The Cat in the Hat). In the fickle world of Hollywood, that’s simply far too long.

    Today, the majority of Myers fans are over the age of 25. Many have grown up, moved on, and now represent a demographic that is tricky to tempt to cinemas in great numbers to see any film, let alone a poorly reviewed comedy. In short, The Love Guru’s creator and central figure has lost touch with the zeitgeist.

    2. ‘The Love Guru’ was poorly marketed

    Believe it or not, The Love Guru was actually a hilarious movie… provided you have the sense of humour of a 10-year-old. Unfortunately, very few 10-year-olds ever got to see it.

    American public morality makes it hard to get away with a kids’ movie that touches on the subject of sex. But if the people at Paramount had stopped trying to sell The Love Guru as a randy Peter Sellers movie, and instead focused on the young teen market, they could have found a more willing audience.

    3. Casting problems

    Justin Timberlake may be a decent musician. But he’s a lousy actor, and appeared snappy and tricky in publicity interviews leading up to the film’s launch this summer.

    Ben Kingsley is over-exposed, and the Jessicas Alba and Simpson are better known as rent-a-celebrities than actors. Myers, meanwhile, has never enjoyed a reputation as an easy person to work with. Type his name, together with “diva”, into Google and you’ll see why.

    Although it isn’t known whether Myers insisted on being given “final cut” on The Love Guru, it’s unlikely that either his producers or the studio leaned hard enough on him either to keep the 87-minute film’s budget down, or rework some of the scenes and jokes that caused its appalling reviews.

    4. The film offended minorities

    Myers has a track record of upsetting noisy interest groups, and in previous films has variously lampooned Scots, fat people, midgets, and the entire homosexual community.

    In The Love Guru, he sends up Eastern mysticism, which sparked heated complaints from the Hindu community, in both America and overseas. “What he could have done was have been a little less gross about some of the jokes,” Deepak Chopra told MTV News. “And some of the spiritual themes, they could have shown more of the lighter side. He was almost too serious in his deprecation. He needed more humour.”

    5. Mike Myers wasn’t funny in the first place

    Re-watch Wayne’s World. Then re-watch the Austin Powers trilogy. Provided you are sober, ask yourself a big question: are they really all that hilarious?

    Sure, the films were original. Sure, catchprases such as “Party time!” and “Groovy, baby!” might have made you laugh as a half-stoned teenager. And those ludicrous fake teeth probably looked good at the time. But 10 years down the line, it’s difficult to argue that the Myers sense of humour has aged particularly well.

    6. It fell victim to wider trends

    This summer, there’s a glut of comedies on the market. Some are pretty decent, such as Adam Sandler’s You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, and Will Ferrell’s Step Brothers. Others less so, such as Get Smart. While many have performed solidly, none has provided a box-office knockout.

    “I would put Mike Myers in that category of Saturday Night Live ‘alums’ who have come from TV to movies,” says film historian Steve Vineberg. “Some have had sustained careers, others haven’t. His real gift is as a mimic, and with that brand of humour, there’s always only a certain number of times you can see that shtick without growing bored.”

    7. It was a rare aberration

    As you might expect from a man whose brand of comedy is defined by its quirkiness, Myers is capable of the odd mistake, and his career before The Love Guru wasn’t as untarnished as you might think: in 1993, he released the stinker So I Married an Axe Murderer.

    He bounced back from that, and he may well bounce back from this. Indeed, only last week, the Hollywood rumour mill suggested that he was currently hard at work on a fourth instalment of the Austin Powers series, which will be part-homage to his late father.

    The analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Media by Numbers recently told the influential film magazine Radar that it’s too early to write Myers off. “Certainly, he’s a visionary comedian, and I wouldn’t count him out. But in the future, a more accessible or mainstream character might play better to a mass audience.” Of course, only time (and Austin Powers 4) will tell.

    Like

    • 15 Hollywood Comebacks That Didn’t Take (Maybe These Celebrities Find A Side Gig):

      http://styleblazer.com/107025/15-hollywood-comebacks-that-didnt-take-maybe-these-celebrities-find-a-side-gig/4/

      The Love Guru (2008) was intended to revive the live-action movie career of Mike Meyers the same way the Austin Powers franchise had years earlier. Unfortunately, it failed miserably both critically and commercially. A brief supporting role in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds was overshadowed by the breakout performances by Christoph Waltz and Michael Fassbender. Meyers will soon be attempting another career reinvention with Wayne’s World 3 and Austin Powers 4, which are currently in the works.

      Like

      • Hollywood Career Killers: 15 Movies That Helped Do Away With Major Tinseltown Players:

        http://styleblazer.com/141888/hollywood-career-killers-15-movies-that-helped-do-away-with-major-tinseltown-players/14/

        The Love Guru was Mike Myers’ Austin Powers follow-up and a huge commercial disaster. The film featured Myers as an Hindu guru (um…) whose unconventional tactics are employed to restore the love-life of a well-endowed hockey player (Justin Timberlake). No, we aren’t making that up. Even worse, Myers roped Jessica Alba and bunch of other talents into the film based of the goodwill accrued by previous projects. The film tanked, was accused of xenophobia by Hindus and was torn apart by critics. The film has been called Myers’ career killer, though if he can put together another Austin Powers or Wayne’s World, he may get back on track (both are in the pipeline).

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        • 25 Movies That Killed Careers:

          http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/09/25-movies-that-killed-careers/the-love-guru

          The Love Guru (2008)
          The casualty: actor Mike Myers

          As long as they keep making Shrek movies, Mike Myers won’t truly ever be “dead,” career-wise. Just don’t expect any live-action comedies written by and starring the Saturday Night Live alum anytime soon. Sorry, Austin Powers fans, but 2008’s The Love Guru basically obliterated any hopes of having a major studio fork over the big bucks to Mr. Myers.

          The bad will technically started in 2003, when The Cat in the Hat was nominated for three Razzie awards, including a Worst Actor nod for Myers. Instead of returning to the Austin Powers franchise, which would have at least provided a safety net stitched with familiarity, Myers tried introducing a new zany character to the masses: Guru Maurice Pitka, a painfully unfunny (dare we say racist) creation surrounded by a plethora of potty humor and a startling lack of originality.

          Budgeted at $62 million, The Love Guru barely inched its way to $41 million at the box office. And Myers avoided a losing streak at the Razzies when he scored the Worst Actor trophy for this Worst Picture winner. We doubt even Wayne Campbell could resurrect Myers’ leading man status at this point.

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          • 12 Actors Whose Careers Were Destroyed By A Single Movie:

            http://whatculture.com/film/12-actors-whose-careers-were-destroyed-by-a-single-movie.php/2

            11. Mike Myers – The Love Guru

            The Actor: Despite visibly helming two successful comedy franchises (Wayne’s World and Austin Powers), Mike Myers is best known for playing Shrek, a character it’s nigh on impossible to make out as him. What’s funny is that these three series aside, Myers, a highly regarded name in comedy, doesn’t have many films to his name. His career was pretty much made on the back of Austin Powers, which he’s seemed unable to follow on from.

            The Film: Now technically this all started with The Cat In The Hat, but many chalked that up as a minor mistake to make a quick buck. It was with The Love Guru, with Myers’ returning to adult comedy, that he really fell from grace. A putrid exercise in taking the easy route for laughs, audiences and critics despised it in equal measure. As writer and producer also, the faults were all on Myers.

            What Happened Next: He’d already filmed a role as an English general for Inglourious Basterds (Tarantino felt like giving someone else a pointless cameo this time), but The Love Guru has literally spelled the end of his career. Shrek has finally stopped and with his last successful live action film over a decade ago, it looks like Hollywood have learned something they seem unable to with Will Smith and realized success in the nineties does not translate to success today.

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            • I haven’t actually read any of the entries in this list, but does anyone really think a career can be destroyed by a single movie? The premise just seems ridiculous to me. If a single movie can really derail a career, you don’t actually have a career. I think the WTHH articles illustrate that no one movie ends a career. There are usually numerous factors that lead to a career cooling off. Yes, a flop can cause a star to lose career momentum. But an A-list star should be able to absorb a single misstep no matter how big.

              In Myers’ case, for example, The Love Guru didn’t end his career. It just failed to revive it as he had hoped.

              Like

            • The Love Guru (2008) – A Review:

              http://haphazard-stuff.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-love-guru-2008-review.html

              Star hockey player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) has emotional problems since his wife left him for his rival Jacques “Le Coq” Grandé (Justin Timberlake). With his skills no help to the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup, the team owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) hires Guru Pitka (Mike Myers) to help Darren overcome this stress and help them win the Cup and the admiration of their fans. Initially the unorthodox Pitka has his own sights set on dethroning Deepak Chopra as the number one guru and is eying a guest spot on Oprah. However, when he meets the lovely Jane this Love Guru gets smitten and vows to help her team and hopefully win her heart.

              This movie is terrible. What a tragic unfunny experience this was.

              The story is stupid, this character annoying and the jokes are juvenile and the worst part of it all it’s all extremely unfunny! Mainly the humor consists of potty humor at a twelve-year-old level. Let’s see, we have fart jokes, pee jokes, poop jokes. If you love penis jokes you might enjoy this. There’s actually a dinner scene where the main course is meant to look like a ball sack. Myers holds them up and mugs to the camera doing tired schtick trying to make the gag funnier – it isn’t. When they start smashing ‘the nuts’ with a hammer it’s clear they have nothing else to offer in regards to the comedy here.

              This is an extremely self-indulgent flick. It’s like Myers thought this character would go over so big and become part of his beloved stable of creations. Maybe Pitka could have been if there was actually some smart satire written for him. If they used him to goof on the self-help movement, the popularity of gurus, eastern teachings being dumbed down to an western audience. There’s nothing like that. Instead it’s just Myers putting on a ‘funny voice’ and a series of bathroom humor filling up the screen time. I can’t recall if the movie was met with attacks by Indian groups for portrayals of stereotypes or mocking their culture or anything like that. Maybe this flick didn’t even warrant that attention.

              Jessica, Jessica, Jessica, who’s picking your scripts….
              Besides relying on the aforementioned dick jokes, there are pointless cameos, Pitka’s teaching through unamusing acronyms, characters fighting with urine soaked mops, Myers performing songs on a sitar, small jokes aimed at Verne Troyer, Justin Timberlake further trying to convince everyone he’s funny (I never bought into that) and Jessica Alba once again looking great in an atrocious movie. She just keeps adding those feathers to her cap.

              Myers was a talented guy once. Everyone loved his Austin Powers character (before he ran that joke into the ground with sequels). Wayne’s World featured one of his popular Saturday Night Live characters in a pretty fun movie. Yeah, SNL all those characters he created, he was one of the highlights on the show back then.

              Then in the last ten years Myers has disappeared. Other than being the voice of Shrek (which that also was run into the ground with subpar sequels) when he has emerged it’s been in some pretty awful films. His biggest live-action appearances was The Cat in the Hat in 2003 and here as the Love Guru. I guess if you want to you can count his three minute cameo in Inglourious Basterds in 2009, but I don’t. Myers the performer has practically completely dissolved away.

              The Love Guru didn’t help things. Some reviews actually suggested the idea of retirement to him after witnessing it and said the film could be a career-ender. That with this movie it proves he has simply run out of material. This is on top of all the stories about how difficult he is to work with. Perhaps all that explains why we haven’t seen him since 2009.

              I was expecting this to be bad, but I had no idea how bad it really would be. I sat there stone-faced for ninety minutes wondering “Why in the world would they think this was funny? They couldn’t have all actually sincerely believed in this. There had to be someone on the set who realized they were helping make a stinker, right?”

              It’s a putrid movie. If you were to ever watch it I would like to say to look out for at least one high point and offer a tiny bright spot in this dreck, but there is none. No none. Oh I guess I could repeat Alba looks good again in it. And no she doesn’t get naked so forget that. It’s simply a miserable, unfunny experience.

              No wonder we haven’t seen Myers headline a movie since this.

              Like

      • 10 Forgotten Actors That Need To Make A Comeback:

        http://whatculture.com/film/10-forgotten-actors-that-need-to-make-a-comeback.php/5

        6. Mike Myers

        Mike Myers was a comedy heavyweight throughout the 90s and much of the early 2000s. Sure Mike has done some voice work for Shrek but the last movie that he managed to headline was The Love Guru which left quite a few of us wondering, what the hell happened?

        When Austin Powers hit the scene people were visiting emergency rooms because they were in so much pain from laughing too hard. Much like anything else that is good, too much of a good thing became a bad thing. By the time the third Austin Powers movie was released Myers decided to call it a day on the franchise which in retrospect was a good move. After the epic failure that was The Love Guru Mike Myers completely disappeared which is not what any of us wanted.

        We live in the age of Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Zack Galifinakis, and Jonah Hill. Many of the actors that were just mentioned have something that makes them special but not one of them can fill the shoes that Mike Myers wears. I’m not saying he’s better or worse than anybody all I am saying is that he is his own man and brings his own unique presence to the screen.

        Mike Myers has taken quite the break from mainstream cinema. At this point an Austin Powers sequel would be welcomed by many. It has been long enough of a wait to where a new Austin Powers or Wayne’s World film would be celebrated. Let’s hope he cranks one or two more great comedy films out before calling it a day.

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  20. They Believed The Hype (And It Blew Up In Their Face): 15 Celebrities Whose Careers Were Hurt By Hubris:

    http://styleblazer.com/131706/they-believed-the-hype-and-it-blew-up-in-their-face-15-celebrities-whose-careers-were-hurt-by-hubris/4/

    After the combined success of the Wayne’s World, Austin Powers, and Shrek series, Mike Meyers seemed like he could do no wrong. Then came The Love Guru which ground his career to an unexpected halt. The comedy cast co-writer/producer/star Meyers as guru Maurice Pitka, a Hindu stereotype intended to help a hockey player (played Justin Timberlake) regain his confidence. Immediately after its release, The Love Guru was lambasted by critics and Hindu organizations for being both unfunny and xenophobic. Audiences apparently felt the same, causing the big budget film to bomb. Many suspect the “anything-for-a-joke” arrogance displayed by Meyers in The Love Guru has inadvertently killed his career outside the Shrek franchise.

    Like

  21. Agreed on these latest comments. I was a big fan of Dana Carvey and loved the way he immersed himself in his characters – outrageous and hilarious. The thing is, Garth would not be funny without Wayne and vice versa.

    Like

    • Myers created Wayne as a solo character he used to do in shows. Garth was added when Myers brought the character to SNL. It works better as sketch comedy if Wayne has someone to play off of. But Myers was never happy about turning his solo act into a duo. And he constantly struggled against it. When it came time to make a Wayne’s World movie, he did everything he could to minimize Carvey’s character. If he had his way, I doubt Garth would have been in the movie at all.

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      • Mike Myers should’ve in retrospect or hindsight taken Dan Aykroyd’s approach to movie making in that it’s usually better to team up w/ another funny person (e.g. John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, and John Candy) instead of always having to go it alone. I think I’ve already said that part of the reason why Mike Myers’ career went into decline is that audience more than likely (by the time he did “The Cat in the Hat”) started figuring out the repetition of his style of comedy.

        The thing about something like “SNL” when compared to a feature-length movie, is that sense it’s an ensemble program w/ one sketch at a time, it’s much, much harder to be worn out by a comedian’s schtick. The same sort of thing can be argued regarding Jim Carrey regarding his work on “In Living Color” when compared to his movies. Just like Mike Myers, I think Carrey would’ve benefited by teaming up w/ other high profile comedic stars since he’s own schtick only had such a certain shelf-life.

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        • That’s not how Myers works. He tried repeatedly to ditch Carvey from Wayne’s World which would have resulted in a fan uproar. He’s not a collaborator by nature.

          Like

          • Yeah, I don’t think that Mike’s ego would allow him to share the spot w/ another high profile comedian/peer for too long. I really wish that if Mike Myers is going to bring back a old character, it would be Wayne Campbell and not Austin Powers (if the rumors of him doing a fourth “Austin Powers” flick are true) first and foremost. I feel that Mike maybe has taken the Austin Powers character and his universe as far as he could go. Hell, I also would rather see him try another stab at the proposed but ultimately aborted “Sprockets” movie.

            Personally, the best time for another “Austin Powers” movie was around 2006, when “Casino Royale” w/ Daniel Craig as the new James Bond was released. Before that, it felt like a new “Austin Powers” movie went hand in hand w/ the latest Bond movie (the last three Pierce Brosnan Bond movies came out the same year as all three “Austin Powers” movies).

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            • I know part of the joke of Wayne’s World was that Myers and Carvey were waaaay too old to be teens. But I’m not sure that they could still pull off the gag. For a sketch, sure. But could they sustain it for a feature? I don’t know.

              I think there is plenty of material left to spoof in the spy genre. But it will have to mean moving beyond the 60s satire that was the entire point of the first movie. Myers mined the same material to lesser effect in the two sequels. If he just does the same thing again, it’s going to feel beyond tired.

              I would much prefer something new from Myers. But last time he tried that, we got The Love Guru. That’s no good.

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  22. 10 Actors Who Need To Make A Great Movie Before It’s Too Late:

    http://whatculture.com/film/10-actors-who-need-to-make-a-great-movie-before-its-too-late.php/7

    5. Mike Myers

    Last Great Movie: Shrek (2001) – I’m not counting Inglourious Basterds (2009)

    Mike Myers is only 50, so he really shouldn’t be in the dire situation that he’s in right now. It’s not like it’s impossible to be funny when you go past middle-age – for a lot of comedians, that’s when the really good jokes start to kick in. You know, when you’re fed up with your kids and your wife, and you can use them as subject matter like Judd Apatow does. Hell, he actually uses them in his movies. My point is, though… why can’t Mike Myers find a suitable outlet for his talents that isn’t The Love Guru or similarly bad comedy abominations?

    Myers is a certified comedy veteran. As in, the man’s been acting funny since he was 10 years old. Is it possible that he’s just dried up? I guess that would make sense, but I refuse to believe that Mike Myers wants to be described on a website list chronicling failing actors as “dried up.” I mean, this guy was Austin Powers in Austin Powers! He was Wayne in Wayne’s World! He was Shrek in, uh, Shrek (man, Mike Myers likes being in movies named after his characters, huh?). Apparently, though, everyone in Hollywood hates this guy, because he’s difficult to work with. So it’s already too late, I guess. Which is sad, but it’s better than Love Guru 2.

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  23. Hear Me Out: Johnny Depp Has Become Mike Myers:

    http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Hear-Me-Out-Johnny-Depp-Has-Become-Mike-Myers-38392-p2.html

    Now consider the career of another TV star turned Hollywood power player Mike Myers. From Saturday Night Live he made a successful leap to the big screen with Wayne’s World. There were early signs that Myer’s own belief in his unerring comedic talent could prove a problem. He notably had Penelope Spheeris blocked from directing Wayne’s World 2 after the pair fought over the edit of the wildly successful first film. Notably, no one calls the sequel a classic of any sort. Later, the success of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery gave Myers a new level of fame that gave him a lot more creative freedom and bigger budgets for his next creations. He became a producer for the franchise. While the sequels grew dumber and more outlandish, they made exponentially more at the box office. Leaping from $53 million to $206 mil, then $213 million. Sure, these sequels were less welcomed from critics (Rotten Tomatoes rankings sank from 70% to 51% and 54%), but Myers was on fire! He could do whatever he wanted! So, the actor/producer made The Love Guru. It has an over-the-top sensibility, racial insensitivity, and leaves you wondering who this movie was made for. Sound familiar?

    With a budget of $62 million dollars and stars like Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, and Ben Kingsley, it made $40 million worldwide. Basically, it flopped hard. A.O. Scott of The New York Times called it “downright anti-funny,” and Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News predicted it would be a career-killer for Myers. It basically was. Since then, Myers has resurrected Austin Powers for music videos with Britney Spears and Madonna. But a small role in Inglourious Basterds is the only film appearance he has made, not counting his recurring voice work in the Shrek franchise. Myers overplayed his hand. He decided he could do no wrong, went too far, and made a comedy I’ve yet to hear anyone defend. (Though the discussion of The Love Guru on How Did This Get Made is definitely worth a listen.)

    Similarly, Depp is buying into his own reputation too much. Yes, we’ve loved him for the odd outsider characters he could create—but that was when they felt relatable despite all their quirks. These days Depp’s characters are just a jumble of facial tics and one-liners without a beating heart to draw us in. They are just cartoonish clowns. As much as it pains me to say it as a long-time admirer of Depp, it’s not fun anymore. He makes me wish he’d just return to his private island and leave us moviegoers alone. If follows Myers’ example, he’ll do just that, resurfacing only to revive Jack Sparrow and maybe bring about Rango 2-4.

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    • Wow. That’s reaching. I don’t see any connection between the two actors at all. Utterly random.

      Like

      • It’s coming from a guy who wishes that Myers keep playing forever Wayne and Austin Powers and Depp forever Jack Sparrow. I bet that in another blog he is a music critic who wishes that the Beatles (including the dead ones) should reunite to play “I wanna hold your hand”.

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        • I guess.

          Sometimes these articles seem far fetched. They usually stretch to make a point or come up with enough items to turn into a “list”. (I guess “lists” are popular?) But this one seems exceptionally misguided.

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          • Lists are easy to do, popular and make 15 clicks out of a single visitor.

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            • lol – that’s probably the appeal. Although I find I rarely click through most of these lists. Usually after the first 2-3 entries, I realize the list is pretty worthless and give up. Especially at this “what culture” site. I hate to pick on whoever is writing those articles. He or she is just doing their thing. It’s not like they are promoting their silly lists. But when I see them, I have to wonder why anyone keeps reading them. Maybe it’s just me, but they seem really poorly conceived.

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          • I’ve not been reading through the lists at all. They seem mostly simplified opinions.

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            • Yeah. It seems like the author comes up with an outrageous list name he or she thinks will drive traffic and then keeps cranking out the same washed-up celebs for list after list.

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          • Is this the same writer who thinks Tobey Maguire/Spiderman looked like he was “slumming” with Kirsten Dunst/Mary Jane?

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            • The Reddit guys should get ahold of some of these bloggers. I got slammed for writing a “hit piece” on Myers. They don’t know what a “hit piece” really is.

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    • re: He decided he could do no wrong, went too far, and made a comedy I’ve yet to hear anyone defend.

      I think that’s called “believing your own press” and/or “believing your own bulls**t.” It happens a lot in music also — so many people RAVE about a performer or band and then said performer/band think that anything they do is charmed…Fleetwood Mac released the mammoth TWO RECORD SET “Tusk” and that started their decline from the charts. Lou Reed released a TWO RECORD SET of song-free guitar feedback, “Metal Machine Music.” Dylan released a TWO RECORD SET of not-very-good covers of other people’s songs, “Self-Portrait.”

      Gee, this is fun…sort-of. :(

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      • I’m not disagreeing with the premise, but will defend “Tusk” as an album. If you’re a fan of the Mac it is a must-have, although radically different from “Rumours”. Fleetwood Mac was a star that burned so bright it couldn’t stay there forever, and their decline, if you can even call it that, was for a whole lot of other reasons including successful solo careers. Plus they were back together and still touring as a band this year, minus Christine. Pretty much anything they choose to do IS charmed. :)

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        • I can’t defend Tusk the album except to say that nothing Fleetwood Mac did was going to live up to Rumours. The interpersonal squabbles and the pressure to match their previos success almost guaranteed disappointment. However, I can totally jam to Tusk the song:

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          • I didn’t intend to dis the Mac — but I worked in a record store circa “Tusk” and while it sold OK, it was a major comedown after “Rumours” and like many of rock’s “double albums,” it might’ve been better as a single disc. It’s a bit like with life performances — just because one CAN solo for 20 minutes doesn’t mean one SHOULD. [I'm NOT saying the Mac did that, but many rockers have...John Bonham of "the Zep" was known to do 30+ minutes drum solos (while the rest of the band got high off-stage) in concert.]

            Maybe Myers is addicted to rugs, not drugs — they could be why he would not leave his trailer…rugs as smooooth as margarine for his studio-bought bagel, yuuumm.

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          • OMG SO LOVE this video, thanks for posting it. One of my all time favorites and love how they incorporated the marching band. OT I know but, well, wow!

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            • Hey, sure thing. I wonder how many of my comments are completely off topic. Has to be a pretty high percentage. We’re talking about Lindsay Lohan vs. Hilary Duff in the Rebecca DeMornay article despite the fact Lohan has her own article. Not quite sure how that happened.

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    • Pretty astute. By many accounts, Myers takes his “craft” a little too seriously and was fiercely competitive with his SNL co-workers.

      Getting massive success by spawning sequel after sequel of what was basically a decent movie (but is not seen retroactively as any kind of classic comedy) and diluting the formula definitely gave him a bigger head than was good for him.

      I agree that Johnny Depp is buying his own press a little too much also. He needs to split from Tim Burton and start making movies involving serious acting again. He’s neglected his God-given talent as a damn good actor. I still don’t think he got enough praise for “Donnie Brasco” and could still go back down that road.

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      • Depp has been relying on the Jack Sparrow schtick too much lately. He used to be so daring. But now it doesn’t seem like he’s taking chances so much as he is going through the usual eccentric motions. He plays every character the same way. Hopefully, he’ll take on a role that challenges him. Donnie Brasco is an excellent example of the kind of thing Depp used to do pre-Pirates.

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      • Agreed. Depp is cheapening his legacy, even though he can probably buy half of California at this rate.

        As for Myers, the success of the Austin Powers franchise did him in both creatively and personally–he took himself way too seriously (and I will admit he was brilliant on SNL), and would have been smarter NOT doing the third AP film. Even in this day and age, it’s not many actors who the public will buy more than one sequel from.

        If I had his money, I’d be doing indie projects up the wazoo or else get into production. Even Woody Allen realized the limitations of putting himself in every movie he ever made.

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  24. Mike has a heavy drug problem

    Like

    • That’s not one I’ve heard before. Where did you hear that?

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      • Yeah- I think you have to cite a source-like a public admission to Betty Ford or a public statement/press release.

        Rumors from those fan rags, while often accurate, really can’t be relied on- their reliability is no where near 100% and sometimes its garbage spread by the fired pool boy, etc.

        For example- Chevy Chase has admitted he had drug problems in the early Eighties and went to Betty Ford- just saw him talk about it on the Biography channel.

        For a personal example- I saw Eric Roberts under the influence- but his problems have been very public and I have witnesses to my story.

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        • It wouldn’t surprise me. But there has to be some public documentation before I am going to comment one way or another. I got taken apart by some folks for the well-documented stories I already included in this article. I can’t imagine what the response would be if I started claiming Myers had drug problems based on a comment from some anonymous guy.

          Myers, like a lot of artistic types, has his issues. They are the kind of problems that could conceivably lead one towards substance abuse issues. But I have yet to hear of this in any public way.

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      • (Maybe I made this joke before:) Myers has a heavy rug problem, I think…it makes opening and closing the doors to his mansion and imagination difficult.

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  25. “So I Married an Axe Murderer opened to mixed reviews and flopped at the box office. But it has accrued a cult following over the years.”

    The movie is a muddle- but I bought the soundtrack for $5 in a bin and have listened to it (or copies) for years. Its a good compilation of early Nineties music and was worth the money in the days before digital downloads (youngsters are befuddled/laughing at me- but this was when CD’s cost $15 and hunting down songs was time and $ consuming)

    Like

    • It was a good soundtrack. I had a pal who loved So I Married an Axe Murderer, but I think he was influenced mostly by the soundtrack. The movie has its moments. There are flashes of what was to come in the Austin Powers movies. Unfortunately, they are married to a fairly bland rom com.

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  26. Two points:

    1) Ever notice that voice-work is the “new television”? Actors that were big/popular once-upon-a-time (or downright has-beens now) now do lots of voice-work in animated/kids’ films? (I understand Teri Hatcher REALLY WANTED a “role” in “Planes.”)

    2) It’s OK to be a BIG JERK in H’wood AS LONG AS YR FILMS MAKE LOTS OF MONEY…but as Myers and Chase have learned (well, likely not, as their egos…etc.), being a BIG JERK is not cool when your films BOMB.

    “As ye sow, so shall ye reap…ya creep.”

    Like

    • 1. TV is the new movies. Or at least cable dramas. They are getting more and more sophisticated. Movie stars are being drawn to them for good material. Celeb voice work started to become a thing after Aladdin. Celebs had done voice work before then, but after Williams got lots of praise for Aladdin the floodgates opened. I remember being surprised how star-heavy Shrek was when it was released. That was usually a sign the movie didn’t have much going for it beyond big name stars. When Shrek became huge, voice work became an easy paycheck for even A-listers. Toy Story was another key step in that movement.

      2. I keep saying that. If you are successful in Hollywood, they will forgive anything. Stop making money and they will drop you in a second. Start making money again, and all is forgiven.

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  27. though i’m not replying in the right thread…agree with your sept 8 point TC, about what made the original WW and AP great: Satire, and well done. Not just extended SNL skit and cashing a paycheck. Remember Mimi Rogers, as mom to Elizabeth Hurley, describing the absolutely beastly and unattractive Austin? “Women want to be with him, men want to be him?” Every bit as hilarious when you watch it today.

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  28. If that’s true then Mike Myers certainly had the last laugh, didn’t he? Look at the amount of money he made ~ probably off of idiots like you!

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    • re: probably off of idiots like you!

      HEY, waitaminnit!!! I resemble that remark!

      Actually, Myers WAS a very funny guy, but he likely let his ego get the better of him…either that, or no one in his “circle” had the nerve to tell him that “The Love Goo Rue” was going to offend Hindi folks and it just wasn’t that funny.

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      • If being a Myers fan makes one an idiot, I guess I can be painted with that brush too. There was a time when Myers was one of the funniest guys in Hollywood. But like you say, he lost touch.

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  29. Read about Mike Myers’ unmade “SNL” Dieter movie:

    http://splitsider.com/2013/10/dieter-the-mike-myers-franchise-that-never-was/

    Could the “Sprockets” host have carried a whole film?

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    • re: Could the “Sprockets” host have carried a whole film?

      NOT LIKELY — especially given the track record of other SNL “concepts” stretched-out to feature length. (See – if you dare – “It’s Pat”/”Night at the Crapsbury”/etc.)

      Like

    • From what the article describes, it sounds like it could have worked. I realize most Sat Night Live films have been terrible. But Myers had struck gold with Wayne’s World. And the WW sequel was under-rated. Austin Powers was basically an SNL sketch without ever having been on SNL. If the script was as good as this article makes it sound, yes I think it could have worked.

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  30. nice update Lebeau; I always enjoy reading your stuff; and I am really looking forward to the update on Steven Seagal.

    Maybe I missed it the first time, but I never realized Myers worked with Tarantino…. no come back like Travolta.

    The one piece that caught my attention was your quote on Ron Howard being a hot head. I loved his latest movie Rush; and saw a lot of video of the his work while making the film. He comes off as some easy going guy who likes to make movies

    Like

    • Hey Mack, glad you enjoyed the update.

      Working with Tarantino is usually good for a career boost. But he hasn’t orchestrated any comebacks on the scale of Travolta since Pulp Fiction. Myers’ role in Inglorious Basterds is way to minor to give him much of a career bump. Especially under all that make-up.

      The bit on Howard being a “hothead” was meant as a joke. Rabin went on to talk about how getting into a feud with Opie is like punching Mother Theresa.

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  31. Why did they ditch Elizabeth hurley from the first AP and not have her return for the sequel? i never u derstood that

    Like

    • Why Elizabeth Hurley was ditched (and I don’t want to give it away for people who haven’t seen the 2nd “Austin Powers” movie yet), I think it has to do w/ the feeling that the first “Austin Powers” was meant to be stand-alone (a la the first “Back to the Future” movie). Mike Myers and company perhaps felt that they “wrote themselves in a corner” since at the end of the first movie, Austin and Vanessa (Hurley’s character) were married. Also, it was more than likely a reference to how James Bond always has a different leading lady (without any reference towards what happened the movie or movies prior) in each movie.

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      • Makes sense, i thought it may have had something in it, Hurleys own movie career hasnt exactly been stellar after this and shes now well known here in oz as going out with a famous cricketer

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        • Shortly thereafter, E. Hurley “retired” from the movies…after of course being in several bombs and movies that bypassed theaters. Just like Meg Perky: “I’m walking away from Hollywood…after it stopped returning my calls.”

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          • Hurley is someone I keep meaning to write-up. Haven’t gotten around to her yet. I was always surprised she didn’t catch on after Austin Powers.

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          • Star-Derailing Role :

            http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StarDerailingRole

            •After co-starring with Mike Myers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Elizabeth Hurley started snagging supporting parts in many comedies like My Favorite Martian, EdTV and Bedazzled. However none of these movies came close to matching Austin Powers’ success. In fact, most of them flopped at the box office. However, Serving Sara was pretty much the last straw as she didn’t headline another mainstream film since and only did one more movie, Method, before focusing more on her modeling work and less on her acting career. She did start acting again 7 years later but has stuck to mostly doing television.

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  32. This blog is great btw, first time visiting, wont be the last, and Ill tell all my friends, great work,

    Like

  33. I agree with most of the previous points about his ego and the fact that a lot of his humor seems to have become stale.

    I once considered the original Wayne’s World and the original Shrek to be among the funniest movies ever made. Austin Powers I always found quite funny albeit not quite the modern classic a lot of people my age seem to think it is. Recently I re-watched both Wayne’s World and the first Austin Powers movie and found myself sitting stone-faced through both. With Wayne’s World a lot of the schtick I found funny between 14 and 18 had no impact on me in my thirties. Austin Powers in some ways became a victim of its own success. And so in a way has Shrek. When the animated film debuted in 2001, the approach it took to animated comedy was still new. Now it’s been done to death. In both cases, there’s also the matter of increasingly mediocre sequels (although Shrek 2 was pretty funny) and the fact that a lot of the humor in both was reliant on pop culture references from the eras they were made.

    A lot of Myers’ humor was designed, whether consciously or not, to have a sell-by date. That could be attributed to the fact that he broke through on a sketch comedy show. In some ways, I wonder if maybe that might be the reason why so many SNL big time players never made it in features and those who did flamed out after a relatively short time period: the ability to create sketch comedy that’s relevant and topical as of right now does not translate that well into feature films. Of course it could also be argued (as was correctly pointed out in your entry on Chevy Chase) that many of the SNL gang are more personalities than actors..Bill Murray could be considered an exception: he has a very distinctive personality. But at heart he’s always been a character actor which is why he was able to transition into edgier comedies and serious dramatic roles when the types of comedic roles that he did well in the 80s began to dry up. Likewise Dan Aykroyd was never really a leading man; he always did his best work in ensemble and supporting roles.

    Like

    • You are killing it Jeff! I have always seen parallels between the Austin Powers and Shrek franchises. Both of them started out with fresh, funny movies with a little bit of heart. And then they were swallowed by bigger, louder sequels that kept rehashing the same shtick to lesser effect.

      I actually do think Myers could have made it as a dramatic character actor. But audiences weren’t interested in Myers unless he was doing his shtick. But remember, Murray went through his Larger Than Life/Man Who Knew Too Little phase too. Myers could come back with his own Lost in Translation at some point in the future and reinvent himself. I’m not expecting that to happen. If anything, he seems to be retreating to the comfort of Austin Powers again which I think will prove to be a mistake. But I think Myers does have some talent.

      Problem is, very few people are interested in putting up with him if he’s not putting butts in seats. And that ain’t happening.

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      • I think that the fundamental problem w/ Mike Myers (besides what I’ve already said about his act perhaps becoming repetitive after a while) is that it seemed like Mike tended to play a caricature (e.g. in “The Love Guru”) than a truly, fully realized character (if that makes sense). Maybe that’s what set Mike Myers apart from say, Peter Sellers, whom Mike was regarded as the “heir apparent” too.

        Like

    • The one unfunny think about comedy is some of it mos def has a “sell-by date.” Not to get caught up in apples-to-oranges comparisons, one reason the classic Warner Bros. cartoons (especially Bugs Bunny), the 3 Stooges, the Marx Brothers, George Carlin, and Rodney Dangerfield still resonate with audiences even now is their lack of being, well, era-specific…one can laugh at their zaniness and wit as its mostly timeless. Whereas some humor — Vaughan Meader, Mort Sahl, even Lenny Bruce and some SNL — just aren’t that funny at all unless one lived through the particular era that produced them. (Simply put, unless you’re a history buff, few are going to find Meader’s jokes about the Kennedy family funny.) Heck, a big part of SNL’s early appeal was the fact they used sex and drug references alien (and forbidden) to prime-time audiences. Just saying “Slut!” on the air was funny in the ’70s whereas now, shucks, it’s really not. Lenny Bruce SHOCKED audiences back-when, but I tried to watch a performance “movie” of him in the early ’90s and frankly it was difficult to sit through. I never thought most of Cheech & Chong’s stuff was all that funny, and they are even LESS funny today. (On a NATIONAL LAMPOON album circa 1973/4, a semi-stoned-sounding female voice intoned: “If dope-smoking doesn’t damage your brain, then how come so many teeny-boppers think Cheech & Chong are FUNNY?”)

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  34. Jeff, I think that for a movie like AP1, there has to be some familiarity, whether in affection or disdain, for the decade that it is spoofing, otherwise the humor will be lost. That familiarity encompasses a broad range of appreciation for the movies, music, culture, events, humor, and so on, of that time period. What this means for anyone with a wider perspective than Scarlett, above, is that if that particular humor resonates with you, it always will, whereas if it doesn’t, it probably won’t ever have much meaning. I’m among the enduring fans of AP1 and all the Vacation movies, and my kids have joined in, yet I wouldn’t be surprised if it got stale for them eventually.

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    • Exactly! I was born in 1970, but I had a great affection for the music and movies of the 60s. The first Austin Powers celebrated those goofy spy movies. You could feel the love for the era. That is what made the first movie different from all the sequels. I won’t ever watch it and laugh as hard as I did the first time. The sequels have squashed some of my enthusiasm. But I still remember how the first movie gave me a warm glow in addition to a lot of belly laughs.

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      • Yep. And, as noted by Shemp, in the 70s it was just so outrageous to say the word “slut” on TV. SNL has always had to evolve to stay relevant, with varying degrees of success.

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        • However, there was some stuff the original cast got away with that would never fly today. The interview sketch with Richard Pryor comes to mind. Or some of the flagrant drug humor.

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        • PS: re: Comedy having a sell-by date: I dunno if anyone noticed, but Chevy Chase’s blase/devil-may-care style looked fine on a guy in his 30s, but not so much on a guy in his 50s…or however old he is. I predict Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg are gonna look kinda pathetic in 10 or so years (unless they “branch out” comedy/maturity-wise).

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          • Chase’s late 70’s/early 80’s “too-cool-for-school” bit definitely had an expiration date. When a middle-aged guy does it, you want to punch him in the face. I’m frankly amazed Sandler has gotten away with his man/boy schtick as long as he has.

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            • re: I’m frankly amazed Sandler has gotten away with his man/boy schtick as long as he has.

              Attribute it to the “dumbing-down” of popular culture in general…as some have opined: The Mike Judge movie “Idiocracy” is happening now! And Sandler has an “heir” in the equally obnoxious Samberg, it seems.

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              • I can honestly say I am unfamiliar with Samberg’s work. But he clearly resembles him. And it seems he has a similar style. I don’t mind the man/boy comedy bit. Will Ferrell still pulls it off. But Sandler’s take is just so lazy.

                I don’t know if pop culture is really getting dumber. Go back and watch some of the crappy comedies from days gone by. There have always been comedians who were inexplicably popular. Although few have had the longevity of Sandler.

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                • No one else willing to defend Adam Sandler here? :) Okay, I’ll admit to being a moderate fan of his earlier work. I’m in the right demographic to have been the right age (mid 20’s) when his movie career began in full earnest back in the 90’s. I think his shtick played well when he (and I) were younger, and I’d consider Happy Gilmore (1996) through Spanglish (2004) to be Sandler in his prime. Yeah, he was crude at times, but cleaned up his act reasonably well for his more respectable leading ladies (Drew Barrymore (twice) and Winona Ryder) in that time period, But the man/child act just doesn’t wear as well for an actor rapidly approaching 50, and as the tone of his movies hasn’t seemed to have matured with his age (in fact, it seems to have gotten worse, the few times I’ve revisited his later works), I’ve lost interest in him.

                  Something I don’t know if anyone’s touched on is his work under other directors. I enjoyed James L Brook’s Spanglish, featuring a much more restrained Sandler in a more ‘dramedy’ type movie. It disappointed at the box office, though (which may have sent Sandler the wrong signal, regarding his future projects). And though I haven’t seen them yet, I’ve heard good things about Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me.

                  And comdey’s definitely a wildly varying taste… I’m exactly the opposite of you on Will Ferrell. He was okay on SNL, but I thought Anchorman was stupid. :P

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                  • Agreed to an extent on Sandler. I was never a huge fan of his overgrown teenager schtick. But I did like his first comedy album (the one with The Thanksgiving Song) and I enjoyed The Wedding Singer and some of Happy Gilmore. But in some ways he’s fallen into the same trap that Jim Carrey has fallen into.

                    It’s not as if he hasn’t tried to branch out. He’s tried his hand at making more mature comedies (Spanglish, Funny People). He’s also tried to play serious dramatic roles (Punch Drunk Love (still his best film), Reign O’er Me). Each time though, with few exceptions, the message the public seems to be sending is: If he’s not being the overgrown teenager, we’re not really interested.

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                    • True. If I were Sandler, I’d keep cranking out the lazy comedies too. When he keeps being rewarded with huge paydays, who can blame him. Especially when all of his efforts to expand beyond that have been ignored at the box office.

                      Why do you think I keep cranking out WTHH articles? And I’m not even getting big pay checks.

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                  • Anchorman was stupid. But it made me laugh more than ever movie Adam Sandler has ever made combined. Which is not to say I laughed all that much at Anchorman. I just very rarely even chuckle at Sandler movies. Talladega Nights kills me though.

                    I did like The Wedding Singer. Not sure why, but that one worked for me. Sandler softened his schtick a little and even attempted to act a bit. He and Barrymore had some chemistry. When I bash on Sandler, The Wedding Singer is the exception that proves the rule.

                    I was in my 20s in the 90s too. Still didn’t think Sandler was funny. It was just more age-appropriate. Happy Gilmore had two funny jokes if I remember. One was Sandler fighting Bob Barker and the other was Steve Buscemi’s odd cameo.

                    My brother recommended Spanglish. I like James L. Brooks. I like Tea Leoni. But man, I hated Spanglish. It was just so derivative. I could not wait for it to be over. But I though Sandler was good enough in it. Spanglish wasn’t his fault.

                    Punch-Drunk Love was interesting. But ultimately, it didn’t grab me the way it did a lot of critics who praised it. I have to give Sandler credit for giving a good performance. I really except these movies from complaining about Sandler. When I talk about how awful Sandler is, I’m talking about Happy Madison Productions.

                    Haven’t seen Reign Over Me but that’s because I have yet to hear from one person who liked it.

                    Like

                • IN DEFENSE OF Will Ferrell: Ferrell, imho, isn’t doing the overgrown teenager/mad-boy shtick of Sandler — he’s closer to the Bob Newhart style of Bemused, Bewildered, Clueless Doofus. Not to imply Newhart’s “thing” was being a doofus, but his gently blank-faced bewildered-ness in the face of a World Gone Goofy — Ferrell has some of that. I can see why the “Anchorman” movies wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but I thought they were hilarious and Ferrell’s “Spanish” comedy “Casa de mi Padre” is borderline brilliant.

                  Sandler, like many SNL-ers, is funny in, should you pardon the expression, short spurts. In a whole MOVIE, not so much.

                  Like

                  • I think you’ve done a good job identifying what separates Ferrell from Sandler. I have never been able to put my finger on it exactly. I think their comedy shares a lot of the same DNA. I think of them both as frat boy comics. But with Ferrell, I feel like he’s really trying. There’s something clever there. With Sandler, I feel like half of his appeal is that he isn’t trying at all. You’re just expected to laugh at him because he’s Adam Sandler.

                    Off-screen, I hear Ferrell is a jerk and Sandler is the nicest guy in the world.

                    Like

  35. BTW Chase is 70, which has something to do with why I defend him.

    Sandler, all I can say there is, the guy really knows his target wallets I mean demographic. It’s all about pre-teen kids (and their parents’ wallets). As if Grown Ups 2 wasn’t painful enough.. Jack and Jill was just on TV and my 11 year old was laughing hysterically when the Jill character was running for the bathroom after too many chimichangas. I mean…. Please. 11th grader found it too juvenile and didn’t watch. For some reason Sandler got Al Pacino to appear so there was an interesting actor to watch, but even so I could only stay in the same room while Pacino was on the screen.

    Like

  36. Mike Myers (I) : What the Hell Happened to Mike Myers?

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000196/board/flat/205329581?p=1

    Sun Nov 18 2012 03:01:26

    Thanks for posting this. I had just been reading an article on Deadline about the drama behind Austin Powers 4, and how Myers/his reps were basically being divas, and after reading this, it makes more sense.

    I recall hearing about a falling-out between he and Carvey (preventing a Wayne’s World 3), hence my surprise at their MTV reunion a few years back; it was my understanding that Carvey felt Myers “stole” his impression of SNL creator Lorne Michaels and turned it into the Dr. Evil character in Austin Powers (this has been well-reported online). But after reading that he tried to exclude Carvey altogether from the movie?! Wow. Never knew that.

    Dude definitely seems like a huge pain in the a**. I always thought his retreat from the public eye was somewhat purposeful, but now, it seems more like he just burnt a lot of bridges.

    Tue Nov 20 2012 13:34:40

    What a garbage article. He doesn’t retreat, he takes a 3 year break between movies. He supposedly ‘retreats’ after failures, but he takes his break even if the movie was a commercial success. He can’t ‘retreat’ after failures and successes, otherwise he’s not retreating.

    And then we get to the end; ‘Myers is a d*** and nobody will work with him. Unless they do. But maybe they won’t. So I’m not actually saying anything.’

    Sat Dec 22 2012 00:53:09

    I got to speak with Verne Troyer once and he couldnt say enough good things about Mike said he was a real gentleman to everyone on set.

    He did say a few bad things about Jim Carrey though about the time he spent on the Grinch.

    Thu Jan 3 2013 14:30:57

    I agree that this article is a steaming pile of crap. So many people believe everything they read, all to the delight of the Hollywood PR machine. As far as Myers and Carvey go it’s much better for fans and the public to believe the two hate each other than to imagine anything else.

    Sun Jan 20 2013 16:34:06

    Poorly written article overlooks the simple truth: Mike Myers made his money a long time ago, and as such, doesn’t NEED to make a movie every year. Sure, he is known to be a pain in the a**, but when he’s in the right frame of mind, comedy gold is produced. The world needs another Wayne’s World or Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery more than they need more generic fodder from the likes of Adam Sandler or Rob Schneider.

    Sun Jun 30 2013 19:13:51

    I don’t know if Myers is the man to make another Wayne’s World or Austin Powers in terms of a film of similar impact and influence or literal sequel. I don’t know if he’s in a place to come up with that kind of film and I don’t know about sequels to either. I don’t think he’s got the youthful energy or hunger to make them shine and it’s simply a different time. I’d like to see him make a comeback as I too believe he’s got more good work in him but I’d like to see him transition to films and roles of a bit more substance, something a bit more character driven and something that reflects that he’s on the wrong side of 50, while still being funny.

    Tue Feb 25 2014 12:46:28

    I worked on a set with Myers once. Never again. The guy’s a raging egomaniac douche, and half the cast and crew were ready to walk off the set due to his histrionic cry-baby fits. Working with Myers is like working with a 10-year-old who has been told he can’t have ice cream at a birthday party. As a result, he’s basically persona non grata in this town–no one wants to work with him anymore. That’s why he’s relegated to poor Shrek sequels.

    Fri Mar 7 2014 11:40:42

    While I can believe what people are saying about him and what he’s like to work with (my friend’s uncle was a crew member for one of his movies and she said Myers fired him without giving him a reason).

    But this article conveniently leaves out the part about Mike’s dad, who had Alzheimer’s in 1987 and died in 1991 right before Wayne’s World received critical praise at its first screening. His father’s condition is what caused him to be so uptight and demanding on set, since he was so determined to make Wayne’s World a success and for his dad to be proud of him. It makes sense now.

    Sat Apr 12 2014 05:09:19

    I’m glad you mentioned the part about his fathers passing because I can almost promise that most of his “attitude” during Wayne’s World was related to his father. I’ve read many articles stating that he was taking his fathers condition/death very hard. He might have benefitted by taking time off, but then again that might have stunted his career too. Mike is a great comedian, but as a successful celebrity, you typically have to have an ego.

    Like

  37. Mike Myers says he was “very proud” to be standing next to Kanye West 9 years ago:

    http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/mike-myers-kanye-west-spoke-truth-about-hurricane-katrina-injustice-2014215

    Myers if finally commenting on that Hurricane Katrina fundraiser from 2005, in which Kanye said: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

    Like

  38. I’ve always thought Myers was overrated. He was pretty good on SNL and I like the first Wayne’s World and the first Austin Powers, but he’s basically a one-trick pony: over-acting combined with a bad accent. And I always wondered why they paid him so much to voice Shrek. Couldn’t any voiceover actor do a bad Scottish accent?

    Like

    • “Mike Myers doesn’t care about Kanye West.”

      I hope MM makes a comeback, provided he’s learned a bit of “humility,” i.e., quit being an ***hole.

      Like

  39. Sounds like a lot of bullshit to me. Every interview I’ve ever read with anyone who’s ever worked with Myers have all said he’s one of the humblest, nicest, most down to earth guys in Hollywood. One of the most talented and easiest to get along with due to his lack of ego. And also one of the most giving comic actors to his co-stars. Both Liz Hurley and Heather Graham said he was so respectfulof and in love with his wife at the time, Robin; that he didn’t even want to do love scenes with the actresses. Nancy Travis said The same thing. Nicole Kidman said it was rare to meet a guy who was that respectful and humble in The entertainment world when she worked with him on SNL.The scene where he’s dancing in his underwear for Tia Carrere comes directly from an inside joke between him and his then wife, which he insisted on including as an homage to Robin. Dana Carvey has said they would stay up all night writing sketches for WW when they were on SNL and that those were some of his fondest memories of his time there. In fact, Carvey had the Church Lady, his only real original character. And if it weren’t for Myers writing Garth he’d have had nothing to do on SNL and certainly no movie career. And not for nothing, but citing Penelope Spheeris as a source of his supposed faults is grasping at straws…. as she is notorious for not getting along with the stars of the movies she’s been lucky enough to direct. So I find all this suspect at best. Because every interview I’ve ever read with anyone who’s ever worked with him have all marveled at not only how talented he is, but also just what an all around nice guy he is.
    ~Paul

    Like

    • Paul, just because Mike Myers may be a swell enough of a guy when around his co-stars, doesn’t completely excuse him or let him off the hook for the otherwise unpleasant stories (which I don’t feel, I need to recite) that have been told about him. If anything, that makes Mike a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Are you telling me that the negative stories that were told about him in I believe, “Entertainment Weekly” just prior to the release of “The Love Guru”, were completely fabricated if not purely exaggerated/blown out of proportion!?

      As for what Penelope Spheeris had to say, well Mike apparently didn’t get along w/ the director of “So I Married an Axe Murderer” either. It seems like Mike Myers will only work w/ directors whom he feels won’t challenge him (e.g. whoever directed “The Love Guru”) or call him out on his crap.

      Also, Ron Howard (who by most accounts that I’ve heard, is a really nice guy) criticized Mike’s professionalism during the whole “Dieter” debacle. Of course, Mike had to retaliate by poking fun at Ron Howard’s hair loss via the Scott Evil character (incidentally, another redhead) in the third “Austin Powers” movie.

      Like

    • Hey Paul, believe what you want to believe. I read a story about a guy who met Myers at a bar. He was a huge fan and worked up the courage to approach him. The guy told Myers that he had brought him and his friends a lot of laughs and he would like to thank him by buying him a drink. Myers didn’t even turn around. Still staring forward he said through gritted teeth, “I can buy my own #@!%ing drinks. Save your money for my movies.” The guy was devastated.

      Maybe Myers was having an especially bad day. Maybe the guy telling the story made it all up (but really, why would he?) I have never met Myers and I’m guessing neither have you. So we’re limited by second hand info.

      But it’s not like the “Myers is an assbag” theory hinges on the word of Penelope Spheeris. Some of this stuff is public record. Like when he backed out of a movie he had written just before filming was supposed to start and blamed it on the script he had written. A lot of people went without paychecks because Myers changed his mind about his own script. Your position is backed by a bunch of PR interviews. Those things are pure BS. I can find articles where Kevin Smith praises Linda Fiorentino. But as soon as Dogma was out of theaters, he changed his tune. Never believe anything an actor or actress says while they are selling a movie.

      Frankly, you don’t have to look too hard to find interviews where people talk about what an egotistical jerk Myers is. And even those who praise him still readily admit he is difficult or politely refer to him as a “perfectionist” which is the polite way of saying “difficult”.

      But again, believe what you will.

      Like

      • re: …a bunch of PR interviews. Those things are pure BS.

        Say it ain’t so! [sarcasm] Yeah, EVERYbody loves their movie when they’re on The Tonight Show pimping, er, promoting it then it comes out a few years later that “it was a horrible experience.”

        re: Like when he backed out of a movie he had written just before filming was supposed to start and blamed it on the script he had written. A lot of people went without paychecks because Myers changed his mind about his own script.

        I’d call that being a jerk.

        Also, in Sarah Silverman’s memoir “The Bedwetter” she shares about when Myers was mean to her during a writers’ meeting.

        Like

        • That does it for me. How can you be mean to Sarah Silverman?

          But hey, he’s so devoted to his wife he doesn’t even want to film love scenes with Liz Hurley and Heather Graham. Yeah, right! My wife might read this but I’m okay going on record that I am completely willing and excited about the prospect of filming love scenes with either Hurley or Graham any time they are inclined to do so. Call me!

          By the way, that wife he was soooooo devoted to… yeah they filed for divorce in 2005. Seems like maybe those PR interviews don’t tell the whole picture.

          Like

  40. robin williams eddie murphy did drama myers should do it it could have audiences see him in a new light

    Like

  41. By the numbers: Saturday Night Live goes to the movies:

    http://thedissolve.com/features/by-the-numbers/715-by-the-numbers-saturday-night-live-goes-to-the-mov/

    Wayne’s World (1992)

    The first film adaptation of the Mike Myers-created sketch of the same name is the most commercially successful Saturday Night Live-born film in a walk, and one of only two SNL films (the other being The Blues Brothers) that were considered worthy of a sequel. In fact, Wayne’s World was such an unexpected hit—landing in the top 10 highest-grossing films of 1992—that it kicked off a nearly decade-long quest on the part of producer Lorne Michaels to replicate its success, first via a quick-turnaround sequel in 1993, then a string of increasingly ill-conceived SNL-sketch-derived films released at a clip of roughly one per year for the rest of the decade. But none were able to recapture the strange, zeitgeist-y magic of Wayne’s World.

    Part of it was timing: “Wayne’s World” was one of of SNL’s most popular recurring sketches in the early 1990s, thanks in large part to the way its format—two slacker rocker dudes (Myers as Wayne Campbell and Dana Carvey as his sidekick, Garth Algar) broadcasting a public-access talk show from a basement in Aurora, Illinois—allowed for incorporation of the show’s weekly special guests, as well as a slew of sorta-catchphrases (“Schwing!,” “…NOT!,” “Party on,” etc.) that instantly entered the popular lexicon. The film version smartly adapts these qualities to the big screen, weaving celebrity cameos and pop-culture references into a plot centered on the compromises involved in taking a small-time endeavor like a public-access show—or, if you will, a late-night comedy sketch—to the big-time. The TV-host aspect of the premise also allowed for the sort of fourth-wall-breaking and self-referentialism, via Wayne’s narration and asides to the camera, that would become increasingly prevalent in mainstream comedy in the coming years. In addition to the film’s enduringly silly quotability (“Actually, it’s pronounced ‘Mil-e-wah-que,’ which is Algonquin for ‘the good land’”), it’s this aspect of Wayne’s World that holds up best today, even as its references and plot specifics look a little moldy for two decades’ remove. [GK]

    Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

    As the first, and really only true sequel in the library of SNL films (the years and cast change between the original Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000 render the latter more of a spiritual sequel than a direct one), Wayne’s World 2 had to figure out how to extend an already over-extended premise. The solution wasn’t particularly elegant, saddling the newly successful, ostensibly more mature Wayne (Mike Myers) with a vague desire to find his purpose in life, which ends up being holding a massive rock concert, called WayneStock, in his hometown of Aurora, Illinois. But mostly, Wayne’s World 2 is concerned with trotting out celebrity cameo after celebrity cameo (Drew Barrymore, Charlton Heston, Heather Locklear, Rip Taylor, the sweaty torsos of the members of Aerosmith) and driving its predecessor’s catchphrases into the ground. The script—penned, like the first film, by Myers alongside Bonnie and Terry Turner—also gets routinely sidetracked by a subplot involving Wayne’s girlfriend, Cassandra (Tia Carrere), whose ascendant music career both mirrors the first film’s plot and gives the sequel its villain, music producer Bobby Cahn (Christopher Walken), who fills more or less the same role Rob Lowe’s smarmy TV exec did in the first film.

    Wayne’s World 2 is burdened by a tangible flop-sweat as it struggles to re-capture lightning in a bottle. Imbued as it is with the spirit of sketch-comedy, the film has its share of memorable stand-alone sequences, including a brilliantly weird late-movie homage to The Graduate. But success spoiled Wayne’s World, turning its scrappy heroes into world-beaters and giving them lame new challenges to rise above. (Garth’s obscenely sexy new girlfriend, a femme fatale played by Kim Basinger, serves as a perfect personification of this problem.) It’s completely understandable why a Wayne’s World sequel seemed like a good idea in 1993, but the results show that Myers and company should have said “No way!” instead of “Way!” [GK]

    Like

  42. i honestly think he can do drama 54 was amazing he has potental

    Like

  43. It’s time for another Austin Powers movie.

    Like

    • Mike Myers certainly thinks so. I think it would be better to leave that character alone. I loved the first movie. But every sequel cheapened it just a little more.

      Like

  44. yes another waynes world movie would help too but he should try drama not do a stallone or ford and head to a franchisee when his movies flop

    Like

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