Canadian funny-men are also spiritual seekers: Jim Carrey looks to Eckhart Tolle, and Mike Myers takes his cues from Deepak Chopra. But Myers’ comedic homage to Chopra, The Love Guru, is no laughing matter
BY PAUL KAIHLA — Dana Carvey and Mike Myers were comedic partners. They made millions, and achieved international fame with the Wayne’s World movies in the 1990s.
Then they went their own ways, and Myers found a new partner — this time, spiritual.
Do you think Carvey just might have been taking an indirect shot at Myers with this impersonation of Deepak Chopra? It’s from Carvey’s new, hilarious HBO comedy special, Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies:
Carvey: Deepak Chopra, I love that guy because he’s so confident about what the fuck we’re all doing on this planet . . .
Impersonation of Chopra: “If you want to have success, let go of success. If you want to have happiness, let go of happiness. If you want to be rich — Give *me* all your money.”
(See minute 6:45 of the the video below; Above photo, Mike Myers and Deepak Chopra)
How is Chopra a proxy for Mike Myers? The author of Ageless Body, Timeless Mind is the personal spiritual director to Myers, the most powerful comic in Hollywood ($20-mil paycheck, creative control of his movies).
Chopra’s career is the key inspiration for Myers’ new film, The Love Guru (Myers gave Chopra a cameo role).
Back to the future: Why the apparent friction between Carvey and Myers?
Carvey had a uniquely unfunny decade. He disappeared from stage and film, had heart surgery — and sued his doctor for malpractice.
Meanwhile, the Austin Powers franchise made Myers the king of comedy in Hollywood, earning about a half-a-billion dollars in box office revenues.
Months after the release of The Spy Who Shagged Me, Carvey told Vanity Fair magazine in 2000 that it was he who created the Dr. Evil character Myers portrayed in the three Austin Powers films — a claim that Myers denies.
Now in 2008: Is Carvey enjoying a last laugh?
To the near-unanimous delight of Hollywood insiders, The Love Guru is bombing — and the flop has probably ended Mike Myers’ career as an A-list director and comic.
The irony is that it is shattering an ego that found a new identity as a spiritual crusader, so to speak. In The Love Guru, Myers plays a fake Indian mystic who comes to America as a Chopra wanna-be.
According to a feature-length story about Myers and his new movie in Entertainment Weekly, he wanted to use comedy to disseminate Chopra’s spiritual code:
. . . to Myers, who regards Chopra as a friend and spiritual adviser, The Love Guru is not just a vehicle for a new set of catchphrases; it’s an effort to impart uplifting messages about love, joy, and self-acceptance. ”It’s a delivery system for some wonderful ideas”
In real life, the friendship between Myers and Chopra is chronicled in a current episode of the Sundance Channel series, Iconoclasts.
Myers and Chopra express mutual love and admiration. “It’s so rare to find an artist who has such an understanding of consciousness,” Chopra says of Myers.
In the EW story, Chopra expands on those sentiments:
”Over the years, Mike has dealt with deep existential doldrums in his life, whether it’s the loss of his father or his divorce or just the dilemmas we all face: our mortality and so on,” Chopra says. ”Spiritually, he is extremely mature.”
On that score, Dr. Deepak may be engaging in projection (the psychological, not cinematic, kind:)
In his last film project, Myers was sued by director/producer Ron Howard and his company, Imagine Entertainment, describing him in the statement of claim as “egomaniacal,” “irresponsible” and “selfish.” Others in Hollywood routinely call him an impossible control freak.
All the while, Myers was apparently immersing himself in Chopra’s audiobooks, and dry-running his Indian guru comedy character in private shows in New York comedy clubs.
Here’s a case of lost in translation. Most of the ridicule associated with The Love Guru isn’t being enjoyed inside the movie theater — but on the outside. One exhibit: the same EW magazine that gave The Love Guru a splashy spread, now has this to say in its review of Myers’ performance:
The whole characterization is tacky and far too secondhand. Pitka, in essence, is the Maharishi dragged into the age of Deepak Chopra, and Myers doesn’t bring much to him beyond a lispy one-note accent (singsong Indian dialect veddy funny, no? Actually…no), his usual beaming leer, and a penchant for lines like ”I’m so hungry I could eat a skunk’s bottom!”
Carvey is way funnier. He’s gone up, while his former partner has come down. They’ve reversed trajectories. It’s a classic of what spiritual teachers call the Divine Paradox.
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