Mike Myers' Best Characters
Mike Myers is no stranger to playing outlandish characters. The Saturday Night Live alum has been gracing audiences with wonderful weirdos for decades. With ABC’s revival of The Gong Show, Myers debuts his latest character creation: variety show host Tommy Maitland. In celebration of the show’s big premiere, EW ranks Myers’ best characters.
10. Pitka (The Love Guru, 2008)
Even Myers admits this character was a major stinker; in 2014, he appeared in the cold open of SNL and said, “If you really want to put a bomb in the theater, do what I did: Put in The Love Guru.” In the film, Pitka is an American raised by gurus in India who wants to make a name for himself in the self-help business. In addition to the film’s cringe-worthy appropriation of Indian culture and guru tradition, Myers’ timing feels awkward, and the performance falls flat.
9. The Cat (The Cat in the Hat, 2003)
8. Phillip (Saturday Night Live, 1993-94)
Myers’ 6-year-old character was hyperactive, hypoglycemic, and, thanks to his sense of comedic timing, hyper-hilarious.
7. Simon (Saturday Night Live, 1990)
Myers debuted his SNL character Simon, a British child in a bathtub with a penchant for “draw-er-lings” (drawings), during the show’s 16th season. Throughout his five sketches, Simon is sometimes alone in the tub, sometimes accompanied by a friend, but always neglected by his father.
6. Linda Richman (Saturday Night Live, 1991-94)
Another iconic SNL caricature from Myers is the host of public access show Coffee Talk. Richman is a Jewish woman with a Brooklyn accent, based on Myers’ real-life mother-in-law, also named Linda Richman. The character frequently uses totally made-up Yiddish-sounding phrases like, “He had developed shpilkes in his schenectazoink,” and “Oy vey, schmear, I think it’s a shanda in a chuppah.”
5. Dieter (Saturday Night Live, 1989-93)
Although Myers made the character popular on SNL, he actually developed the German minimalist artist during his Second City days in the ’80s. Dieter hosts a West German talk show called Sprockets, on which he implores every guest to touch his pet monkey.
4. Shrek (Shrek, 2001)
3. Austin Powers (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, 1997)
Myers first debuted his James Bond character spoof in 1997 and would go on to play the party-happy, womanizing British spy in two more movies. The parody proved so successful, EW has since ranked it as No. 23 on our list of the 100 greatest characters of the last 20 years.
2. Wayne Campbell (Wayne's World, 1992)
Having one breakout SNL character is impressive enough, but Myers’ lovable metalhead Wayne Campbell (along with Dana Carvey’s Garth Algar) would go on to spawn two feature films and a slew of popular catchphrases. Excellent.
1. Dr. Evil (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, 1999)
Not Mr. Evil, because “I didn’t spend six years in evil medical school to be called ‘Mister,’ thank you very much.” He’s the archnemesis of Austin Powers over the course of the franchise’s three movies, but for an evil genius, he’s actually pretty thick. His world-domination antics (like “sharks with friggin’ laser beams attached to their heads”), constant ridicule of his non-evil adult son, and the infamous pinky-to-lip face made him even funnier than the movie’s hero, also played by Myers. According to previous SNL staffers, the character is almost entirely based on an impression of SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels… even the pinky.