Dr. Evil II

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Blofeld parody Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) confides in his aide Number Two (Robert Wagner) in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997).

Dr. Evil II

(pop culture)
When comedian Mike Myers invented Dr. Evil— a bald, scar-faced Blofeld lampoon, with added mannerisms parodying Myers' Saturday Night Live boss, producer Lorne Michaels—for his cinematic spy spoof Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), little did he realize that the greatest menace this wacky world dominator posed to the swinging secret agent was his stealing the film from its title star. (Since Myers played both hero and villain, however, his job security was not threatened.) As the supervillain discloses in a father-son encounter group, during his childhood he “would sometimes be placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds—pretty standard, really.” Reared by his prostitute mother and over-achieving Belgian father, a genius with “low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery” who was prone to “outrageous claims like he invented the question mark,” is there any wonder why this doctor—who at age fourteen had his scrotum ritualistically shaved— was destined to become evil? In 1960s England, Dr. Evil built a global crime empire, conducting experiments with his invention, the “laser,” and habitually holding the world ransom for one million dollars. To escape capture by Austin Powers he allows himself to be cryogenically frozen, along with his beloved cat Mr. Bigglesworth. Powers is similarly put on ice, and he is resuscitated in 1997 when Dr. Evil thaws himself out to once again terrorize the world. Both Powers and Evil are proverbial fishes out of water, clumsily acclimating themselves to contemporary society. Striking a comedic chord with audiences and with the actor/screenwriter who portrayed him, Dr. Evil's profile was amplified in the film's continuations Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) and Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002). Fascinated with time travel, Dr. Evil hopped through various decades in both sequels, nabbing Austin's mojo in the second movie and joining forces with the disco-era, roller-boogying scoundrel Goldmember (also portrayed by Myers) in the third. Sometimes operating from an island base with a Mount Rushmore–sized stone carving of his face, Dr. Evil is aided by a sinister circle: Scott Evil, his son artificially created in a lab during Evil's cryogenic nap; Number Two, the eye-patched front man to Evil's “legitimate” businesses; his loyal Nazi aide (and sometimes lover) Frau Farbissina; and his clone Mini-Me, a diminutive duplicate with whom Dr. Evil formed an unsettling bond. Expendable underlings are at the beck and call of the man who earned the title “doctor” after six years in evil medical school. Despite his intellect, Dr. Evil still has kinks to work out of his weaponry—his “overly elaborate and exotic” death traps are easily escapable, his automated chair never seems to work properly, and instead of a tank of sharks with “frickin' laser beams” attached to their heads, the best he can muster are ill-tempered mutated sea bass. In Goldmember, Dr. Evil discovered that he and Austin Powers are actually brothers who were separated as toddlers (and you wondered why they looked so much alike). Dr. Evil reformed, and his heir Scott secretly assumed control of his dastardly domain, should any further sequels develop. Myers appeared as Dr. Evil at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, and his infamous creation has enjoyed a spate of merchandising, from action figures to talking plush dolls to Halloween costumes.