Austin Powers Heather Graham

Into the Groove

10 Shagadelic Facts About the Austin Powers Movies

Get groovy with the Austin Powers movies this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: New Line Cinema/Everett Collection

With the Austin Powers movies airing on IFC this month, we thought we’d look back at the trilogy that launched a thousand “Yeah, baby!” impressions, and offer a few fun facts you may not know about the grooviest spy this side of Liverpool. Trust us — these tasty tidbits are sure to make you horny, baby.

10. Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love” Inspired Austin Powers.

Austin Powers
New Line Cinema

Writer/star Mike Myers was driving with his wife when this randy anthem came on the radio. Wondering whatever happened to all the ’60s swingers, Myers started cracking jokes, asking his wife “Do I make you horny?” Annoyed, she told him to stop doing the voice, and just write the character down. He then knocked out the script for Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery in three weeks.


9. Jim Carrey Almost Played Dr. Evil.

Dr. Evil
New Line Cinema

Initially, Myers had no plans to play multiple characters in the Austin Powers movies. He actually approached Jim Carrey about playing Powers’ arch nemesis, Dr. Evil. Carrey was interested, but already committed to making Liar, Liar. While his take on the million dollars-obsessed master criminal would have been interesting, Myers ended up creating a classic character based on…


8. Lorne Michaels Inspired Dr. Evil.

While he resembles Bond villains Blofeld and Julius No in appearance, Myers based Dr. Evil’s unique vocal mannerisms and turns of phrases on his SNL boss. (Michaels is said to have uttered the line “Throw me a frickin’ bone here, people!” many times in script meetings.) Dana Carvey has noted that Dr. Evil is similar to the impression he did of Lorne during his and Myers’ SNL days, something which reportedly caused tension between the Wayne’s World duo.


7. Colin Quinn Almost Played Scott Evil.

Colin Quinn
Broadway Video

The stand-up and former SNL Weekend Update host actually turned down the role of Dr. Evil’s bratty offspring, Scott. Quinn admits that he regrets the choice, and explains that he was actually more age appropriate for the character than Seth Green, who should have been much older if the chronology of the movies made a lick of sense.


6. The first film had a groovy MTV special.

Lost to the mists of time is this bizarre MTV launch party for Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Done in the style of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, with guest spots from such ’90s standouts as Bill Bellamy and Kurt Loder, this odd special is both an artifact of its time and a psychedelic recreation of Austin Powers’ swinging London.


5. Mike Myers Had an Odd Nickname On Set.

Austin Powers
New Line Cinema

Either due to big egos, or just a need to clarify who should sit where, chairs on movie sets often have the director or star’s name on them. Not Myers’ though. A 1999 Rolling Stone article revealed that his chair on the set of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me simply said, “Sir Stinky Bottom, Viscount of Stinkvania in the Bottom-ic Empire.”


4. Myers own father inspired Nigel Powers.

Nigel Powers
New Line Cinema

Myers father, an Englishman, always held a ridiculous grudge against Hawaiians for murdering Captain Cook in his sleep. Finding this odd bit of hatred hysterical, Myers decided to use it when developing Austin Powers’ own father, swapping in a hatred of the Dutch, because who in their right mind hates the Dutch?


3. Test Audiences Demanded More Raunchy Jokes, Baby.

Films usually do reshoots because something isn’t working. Thankfully, the exact opposite happened here. The “Penis Rocket” scene from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me was such a hit with test audiences, the filmmakers decided to fluff it up, adding more juvenile jokes to really, ahem, milk it for all it was worth.


2. The “Goldmember” title almost didn’t happen.

Goldmember
New Line Cinema

MGM, the studio behind James Bond, almost put the kibosh on the Goldfinger spoof in the title of Austin Powers in Goldmember. New Line Cinema had to agree to run trailers for the Bond film Die Another Day with Goldmember in order to get away with the gag.


1. A famous Michael Caine character inspired Austin’s glasses.

Ipcress Files
Universal

Myers drew inspiration from Michael Caine’s character in the 1965 spy thriller The Ipcress File for Austin’s now iconic glasses. Caine returned the nod by wearing the original glasses when he played Nigel Powers in Austin Powers in Goldmember.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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