Weekend Vid Picks: Remember When Mike Myers Was Funny?

Nothing makes you realize your age more than looking back at your adolescent pop culture icons: remembering that the first X-Files movie came out ten years ago, watching the reunited New Kids on the Block video, or reading Mike Myers’ IMDB profile and realizing he hasn’t made a great movie since 1997.

This weekend, The Love Guru is getting ripped apart something awful — the New York Times called it downright antifunny, an experience that makes you wonder if you will ever laugh again. This makes me happy, because I’ve thought the movie looked awful since I saw the first trailer; but it also makes me sad, because I did really like Mike Myers, once upon a time. So let’s go on a little journey back to the 1990s, and remember some classic Mike Myers bits and bobs. Like, for example, the first Wayne’s World, which is one of the few great SNL adaptations thanks to random little touches like an epic ode to Queen:


Also, you can argue with me about this, but I really liked his somewhat more straitlaced turn as a San Francisco beat poet in So I Married an Axe Murderer:

And there’s also his incredible backlog as a performer on Saturday Night Live — which NBC.com has done a nice job of sampling. You might have your own favorites here, but I was always perversely fond of Simon and his drawings:Even the Austin Powers film, while definitely the beginning of the end, started off as a pretty tight satire of spy movies:

It was only when the franchise became consumed by one-joke stunt characters and gross-out humor that things really went off the rails. Looking back, it’s clear that Myers’ strength as a writer and performer was always when the comedy was rooted in something real. The more over-the-top the characters and premises became, the more disconnected the audience felt.

Sadly, I doubt we’ll ever see a return to old-school Myers. But it’s nice that with a click of a mouse, you can remember what it was like.