We don’t hear that much from Saturday Night Live alum and Austin Powers lead Mike Myers anymore (but if you’re curious, this is what he’s been up to). After the 2003 bomb, Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat and the 2008 stinker, Love Guru, Myers basically dropped out of the business, had a kid, and has been quietly enjoying his life away from fame ever since.
Several weeks ago, however, he was on Marc Maron’s podcast, which I finally caught over the Labor Day weekend. It was far more fascinating that I expected. Myers was incredibly candid about his career and wasn’t at all shy about talking about some of the more intimate and controversial details of it. The best part of the podcast, however, was when Maron asked Myers if he could explain why he’d gotten a reputation as one of those guys who is difficult to work with.
Myers was forthright, and didn’t deny that where it involves certain things that he owns — like the Austin Powers and Wayne’s World characters — he can be very controlling. In other words, he demands the very best, and as a result, he’s gotten into a few spats over the years. He said, for instance, that he blew up at Lorne Michaels when SNL decided to bring Nancy Kerrigan on as a host after the Tonya Harding incident. He also said that Lorne Michaels was furious with him when he missed five shows because of overruns on So I Married an Axe Murderer.
There were a few other examples of Myers being difficult, but the most interesting one he gave for why he’s obtained that reputation was his dispute Paramount over whether to use Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in Wayne’s World. That song of course is the centerpiece of that movie, and one of the most memorable scenes in comedy history.
Many may not remember, however, that in 1992, Queen was not a hugely popular band. Freddie Mercury had died of AIDS in 1991, and the band wasn’t exactly racking up album sales. It was the inclusion of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in Wayne’s World that had stimulated their resurgence. The movie made the single number two on Billboard (bigger than the first time it was released) and Queen went on to sell several more million albums because Wayne’s World reintroduced them to popular culture (and MTV).
But if the studio had gotten its way, it wouldn’t have been Queen.
It would’ve been Guns n’ Roses.
OK, maybe not that Gun n’ Roses. More like this Guns n’ Roses.
Though he didn’t specify which song (I’m assuming Welcome to the Jungle), Myers said he was furious when the studio insisted upon GnR and told them that if they wouldn’t let him use “Bohemian Rhapsody” that he’d walk off the movie. He had nothing against GnR, he said, but that wasn’t the movie he had set out to make. The one with “Bohemian Rhapsody” was, and once the studio realized that Myers was dead serious about leaving, they relented and reluctantly allowed him to use “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The rest is history.
Source: Marc Maron