Mike My­ers in town to re­ceive hon­orary de­gree

Toronto co­me­dian’s films have grossed an in­cred­i­ble $2 bil­lion, but what’s next?

Richmond Hill Post - - Comic Stripped -

Where in the world has Mike My­ers been?

I’m sure I’m not the first per­son to ask that ques­tion. It’s been four years since his last sig­nif­i­cant role, in the fourth Shrek movie, and even that was a voice-over.

But con­sider this: the com­bined world­wide gross of My­ers’ films is a stag­ger­ing $2 bil­lion. Jim Car­rey beats him by a half-bil­lion, but on a per movie ba­sis, My­ers is the clear win­ner.

My­ers’ out­put re­volves around three fran­chises: Wayne’s World,

Austin Pow­ers, and Shrek. Not only have these films made tons of money, but they also gave the world in­deli­ble char­ac­ters and catch­phrases. Who hasn’t used “Sh­wing!” or “We’re not wor­thy” or “Oh, be­have!” in con­ver­sa­tion? Yeah, baby! Hey, there’s an­other one.

I spent an evening with the co­me­dian this month when he ac­cepted an hon­orary de­gree from Hum­ber Col­lege at their grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies. I was on the plat­form party, but got to the event early to try to get some face time with My­ers.

I was de­ter­mined not to re­peat my faux pas from the early ’90s when we ran into one an­other at a wrap party. He asked me what I thought of the Maple Leafs that year. My­ers is an enor­mous hockey fan. I haven’t watched a game since I was 12. I stam­mered some­thing jokey about touch­downs or home runs, but it just closed down the

con­ver­sa­tion and he slid away.

This time would be dif­fer­ent. I made sure I saw My­ers’ lat­est project, a doc­u­men­tary called Su­per­me­n­sch: The Leg­end of Shep

Gor­don — his de­but as a di­rec­tor — which is about My­ers’ friend and men­tor and a leg­endary show­biz man­ager.

When My­ers was at Hum­ber that evening, his kind­ness went be­yond the ex­pected pub­lic re­la­tions from movie stars. He seemed ac­tively con­scious of his role in mak­ing ev­ery mo­ment a lit­tle bet­ter.

He’s fa­mous for mak­ing us laugh, but his be­hav­iour that night sug­gested that his real work on the planet is of a more in­ti­mate na­ture.

He didn’t even have to show up. He and his wife had a child just 10 weeks be­fore. Surely the words “busy” and “ex­hausted” come to mind. And then he gave a short speech meant to in­spire a legion of hope­fuls to do great work, even un­der im­pos­si­ble odds. “Cre­ate some­thing ev­ery day,” he ad­vised the stu­dents. But here’s the kicker. Af­ter his speech and re­ceiv­ing his hon­orary de­gree, he sat in the front row of the dais as over five hun­dred grad­u­ates marched past him to re­ceive their diplo­mas. And each of those five hun­dred grad­u­ates could not re­sist shak­ing his hand. And that meant he had to stand up over five hun­dred times to shake their hands as he smiled and looked them in their eyes.

Five hun­dred times. Get up. Sit down. Get up. Sit down. I got tired just watch­ing it.

When The Love Guru was re­leased in 2008, it bombed at the box of­fice, and it soured a lot of crit­ics on My­ers’ ge­nius. I kind of liked it and a re­cent view­ing made me able to ap­pre­ci­ate its virtues away from the un­fair ex­pec­ta­tions of the time.

His new doc­u­men­tary sug­gests a hu­man­ist mind search­ing for a wor­thy topic. Some crit­ics may not take the film se­ri­ously, but I see it as an im­por­tant tran­si­tional work.

Re­ally, I can’t wait to see what the guy will do next.

Mike My­ers’ ‘Love Guru’ wasn’t a big hit with crit­ics, but we liked it

MARK BRES­LIN Post City Mag­a­zines’ hu­mour colum­nist, Mark Bres­lin, is the founder of Yuk Yuk’s com­edy clubs and the au­thor of sev­eral books, in­clud­ing Con­trol Freaked.

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