​Mike Myers: Back in a very different gig

Mike Myers played Linda Richman in many "Coffee Talk" sketches on "Saturday Night Live." This morning, he's playing himself . . . talking with our Tracy Smith for this Sunday Profile:

If you've been wondering where you'll see Mike Myers next, this New York record store is as likely a place as any.

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"No cameras!" Opps!
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"'No photography allowed,'" said Myers pointing to the sign inside. "How ironic. What a scofflaw you are. Rules are for other people, I guess."

These days the comedy superstar -- now 51 and the father of two -- is happy to live the quiet life.

"You disappear from the public eye," said Smith.

"I do. I've done this about five or six times."

"Why is that?"

"Lorne Michaels has a great quote, which is from a blues song: 'How am I gonna miss you if you never go away?'" Myers replied.

This from the man who, at one time, was just about everywhere.

In the '80s and '90s, Mike Myers was the face that launched a thousand catch-phrases. ("Yeah, baby!" "I think you're shagedelic, baby!" "Now I am as happy as a little girl!")

And the Austin Powers franchise took in more than half a . . . billion dollars worldwide.

Does he have a favorite Mike Myers character? "I think it might be Doctor Evil," Myers said. "I've always loved the Bond villains, that they always wanted to show you: 'Before I kill you, let me tell you my plan.' Why?"

But it was "Wayne's World," his very first film, that would change Myers' world forever.

The movie, based on a "Saturday Night Live" sketch, was full of rock star cameos, including Alice Cooper.

Right before filming began, Cooper's manager, Shep Gordon, approached Myers with a problem.

"And I'm like, 'Who is this weasel?'" Myers recalled. "Are you kidding me? It's a joke! Who is this dude, right? Why am I talking to this guy?"

It turns out Shep Gordon was a big-time talent manager, with clients ranging from Teddy Pendergrass to Blondie, and he wanted Myers to change the Alice Cooper song in "Wayne's World."

"He's like, 'Listen. I know in the script 'School's Out,' but how about something from the new album?' I said no. 'How about no,' right?

"He goes, 'I also happen to know you start shooting in two weeks and you don't have a replacement. You really don't have a choice.'"

Long story short, Myers agreed. In time, Shep Gordon would pay him back in a way he never expected.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Mike Myers is the youngest of three boys. His father, Eric, a Liverpool native, was the "silly" comic inspiration for many of Myers' best-known characters.

"If my dad had written a book of philosophy, it would be called, 'In Praise of Silly,'" Myers said. "He thought that silly was our natural state, and we only get serious to get to silly."

With his parents' blessing, Myers himself became a comedian. But as he rose to fame on "Saturday Night Live," his father's health was failing.

"Oh, it was heartbreaking," Myers recalled. "My dad had left his body. I mean, it was a very long sickness. It was really painful. It was a really hard time."

And in November 1991 -- just weeks before the premiere of "Wayne's World" -- Mike Myers' father died of complications from Alzheimer's.

It's still tough for him to talk about.

"There's a few things that I know intellectually I accept, and at the same time I wish never happened."

Like losing his dad?

"Yeah," Myers said, tearing up. "Wow. You're not Barbara Walters, right? It's an interesting -- yeah, I just, I accept it, I just, I can't believe it. Or do I accept it? I don't know. Maybe I don't accept it."

"Maybe that's okay that there are some things that we can't accept," said Smith. "Maybe they're just unacceptable, right?"

"Yeah."

"Did your dad get to enjoy any of your success?"

"No," said Myers. "None of it. Not a little bit of it, no."

Myers thought he'd bounce back, but it didn't happen. "I was not in a very good place. What was surprising to me was how it kept being rough. I've since come to peace with the fact that it will always be rough, which is just what it is."

He needed to hide out for a while, and it happened that Shep Gordon had just the place: a home on the island of Maui.

"He said, 'Yes, come over, any time.' I said, 'What about tomorrow?' And he was like, 'Okay, great. How long you want to stay for?' I said a week. And I ended up staying for two months at his house. I exercised, and I ate good food that Shep had cooked for me himself."

"So do you think in a way he filled a void that was left by your dad?" asked Smith.

"I think that's a good theory. I think it might be true."

Most people would just say "thank you." Mike Myers was so taken with Shep that he made him the subject of a movie.

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