It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from comedy superstar Mike Myers.
While he’s shown up in the odd cameo here (Inglourious Bastards) and there (a wink and a nod in Bohemian Rhapsody), he hasn’t headlined a comedy since 2008’s critical and commercial flop The Love Guru.
He’s finally back this week on Netflix, once again playing multiple comic roles in The Pentaverate, a comedy about a fumbling journalist who infiltrates a secret society of five men who … rule the world or something?
It certainly looks like a heaping helping of what Myers does best. But the question is: Where the heck has he been?
Theory #1: The Love Is GoneIt’s clear The Love Guru left a mark. New York Times critic A.O.Scott was less than kind in his assement of the spiritual spoof, calling the film “downright antifunny, an experience that makes you wonder if you will ever laugh again.” Woof.
You think funny guys don’t read reviews? In this case, you might be right. In 2014, Myers told GQ: “I’ve never read it. I won’t read it, and I’d love not to know.”
But Myers had to know his star had fallen. In the 15 years prior, Myers had created not one, not two, but three comedy super-franchises. Wayne’s World was the biggest SNL movie ever, spawning a sequel. The Austin Powers franchise ruled the 90s, although we wanted to punch every goofnozzle with a fake British accent who attempted this:
Finally, the Shrek movies took home Oscars and millions at the box office. The franchise also spawned a series of shorts and Christmas spectaculars.
Is it possible that the failures of the abysmal Cat in the Hat and the aforementioned Love Guru bruised Myers’s comedic ego, sending him into hiding? When we have seen Myers -- in the prestige cameos and the supremely weird Gong Show remake -- he’s so buried in latex that he appears to be in a witness protection program.
Theory #2: Family RulesOr maybe he’s just been off being a dad.
Myers famously worshipped his own father, with whom he shared a love of Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore, and Monty Python. In very real ways, both The Spy Who Shagged Me and The Love Guru were comedy tributes to his dad.
And in his missing years, Myers was busy starting a family of his own. Since The Love Guru, Myers remarried and had three children, certainly enough to keep anyone busy.
“Anyone who tells you fatherhood is the greatest thing that can happen to you, they are understating it,” Myers told Deadline. “I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I knew I wanted to be a father, I didn’t know it was going to be this awesome or that my kid would come out so beautiful and lovely.”
Theory #3: He’s been working on The PentaverateWith his show dropping this week, it’s especially disconcerting not to hear from Myers, who in years past would have been making the rounds of late-night talk and celeb profile pieces. So far, not a peep.
But from its trailer, it’s clear The Pentaverate was not a weekend’s undertaking. We’re guessing it’s another labor of love from a comedian whose reputation has taken a hit over the years due to his obsession with detail and nuance.
It’s been a minute, Mike Myers. We’re excited to see what you’ve been up to.
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Top image: Jax Media