In Austin Powers, Mike Myers plays both the ’60s-spoof superspy and his world-domination-craving nemesis, Dr. Evil. But some of Myers’ fellow Saturday Night Live alumni say that the actor-writer gave Evil a secret identity.
”The best joke in Austin Powers was that Dr. Evil was totally a Lorne Michaels impression,” says an anonymous ex-SNL writer who prefers not to risk the wrath of the creator and executive producer of SNL. ”It’s a perfect caricature,” agrees an ex-SNL actor of several seasons’ standing. ”His obsessing about minutiae, the way he ends everything by bringing his pinkie up and chewing the fingernail.”
”It’s not just the finger,” says the ex-SNL writer. ”It’s the lower lip, the eyebrows, the whole way he talks.” And when Dr. Evil goes on closed-circuit TV threatening to blow up the world unless he gets a comically low $1 million, this smacks of Lorne Michaels’ April 24, 1976, appearance on SNL to offer the Beatles a comically low $3,000 to reunite on the show.
”Is Dr. Evil really Lorne?” responds Myers. ”I have to laugh. Dr. Evil is mostly Donald Pleasence [007’s nemesis in You Only Live Twice].”
Visually, but not behaviorally, say the SNL vets. ”You know when Dr. Evil has a tantrum because he has to settle for mutant sea bass instead of the [dolphins] he’d asked for?” says the ex-SNL actor. ”I’ve seen that conversation between Lorne and the set designer 500 times at 10:30 on Saturday night.”