Excuse me for one damn second…

June 17, 2008

From an Entertainment Weekly piece on Mike Myers.

”Just because it’s comedy doesn’t mean it’s not as important to Mike as There Will Be Blood is to Paul Thomas Anderson,” says Michael De Luca, who helped launch the Austin Powers franchise as an exec at New Line and has produced The Love Guru. ”I’d make 10 movies with Mike in a heartbeat, but you’ve got to take it as seriously as he does, and he gives 150 percent.”

Yes, because the scripts for the Austin Powers movies were so finely tuned and precisely worked-out, weren’t they?… And his Scottish and British (oops) English accents were incredible pieces of comic observation (am I the only person who finds Shrek’s voice comes close to actually ruining the movie?) … And he would never stoop to slapping a shitty Indian accent and a beard on Austin Powers and calling it a new character…

I’m not anti-Myers. I loved many of the Doctor Evil bits in the first movie, and I even liked ‘Wayne’s World’ when it first came out but… Paul Thomas Anderson?! The man has the comedy equivalent of the ambition and vision of Paul Thomas Anderson?! For one thing, ‘Boogie Nights’ was funny a hundred times more often than ‘Austin Powers’ was funny, and…wait, did he really say ‘Paul Thomas Anderson’? Is he insane?

I think what annoys me is this…Only someone who doesn’t care about comedy at all could compare Mike Myers to Paul Thomas fffffffffffffucking Anderson. It’s a way of appearing to value comedy while actually doing the complete opposite.

About 200 years ago, we received a South Bank Show award for ‘Father Ted’, which was presented to us by an ageing and confused Barbara Cartland. I remember turning to see Melvyn Bragg chuckling behind his hand as she mispronounced the title of the show. It was all very amusing, but I present it here because it is a perfect metaphor for what I’m talking about: “Here’s your award but, ha, ha, fuck her and fuck you!”

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