Remember that Hurricane Katrina benefit special where Mike Myers and Kanye West were talking about the disaster that the hurricane caused, and Kanye went off script and said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”? And Mike Myers stood there looking complete befuddled? Here’s a refresher.
Awkward. But recently with an interview with GQ, Mike Myers seems to agree with what Kanye said, while simultaneously addressing the look of utter confusion on his face after it happened.
I don’t think so either. But the question itself is a little beside the point of what actually went down in New Orleans. For me it isn’t about the look of embarrassment on my face, it is truly about the injustice that was happening in New Orleans. I don’t mind answering the question but the emphasis of it being that I’m the guy next to the guy who spoke a truth. I assume that George Bush does care about black people—I mean I don’t know him, I’m going to make that assumption—but I can definitively say that it appeared to me watching television that had that been white people, the government would have been there faster. And so to me that’s really the point—the look on my face is, to me, almost insulting to the true essence of what went down in New Orleans. You know, there’s a great line by the great Northern English poet Elvis Costello, as sung by Nick Lowe: “What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?” [Myers seems both dubious and slightly irked when I tell him that it was the other way round—the song was written by Nick Lowe but made famous by Costello.] The point being that. What is so funny about peace, love, and understanding? To have the emphasis on the look on my face versus the fact that somebody spoke truth to power at a time when somebody needed to speak? I’m very proud to have been next to him. Do you know what I mean?
What does he think about having his place next to Kanye in a major moment in U.S. history where a famous rapper publicly called out the President of the United States live on the air?
I’m, like, super proud to have been next to him. The look on my face is…to be honest with you, I thought I handled it well. I was like “This is what’s happening…” Because live TV is my milieu, and improv is my training, you know. It has been painful that the culture has at times meditated on my surprise, when it’s really the message, dude. The message, the message, the message, you know. There’s a world of fail culture, and it’s hardly a fail on my part to be next to the guy that spoke truth to power at a time when horrific injustices… [he trails off, point made]
He did handle it well. It just took a second to realize, “He just called out the President, let the improv skills kick in!” And he responded well. How you don’t respond is dancing like a rodeo clown like Ashlee Simpson did when her vocal track went wrong on SNL. Now THAT was hard to watch.