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Ben Stiller, Mike Myers featured on tonight's 'Inside Comedy'
Mike Myers and Ben Stiller get candid about their careers with host David Steinberg on tonight's episode of Showtime's "Inside Comedy."
Myers, a former Pound Ridge resident, chats about the personal experiences that led to his "Austin Powers" trilogy, while Stiller, who owns a home in Chappaqua, looks back on the "Blue Steel" pose and other circumstances that yielded "Zoolander." Tonight's episode might be of particular interest to fans of Myers, who's kept a low profile since the September 2011 birth of his son, Spike.
One of the reasons the series proves to be engaging is Steinberg, a fellow comedian who puts his subjects at ease. While his interview subjects tend to be naturally funny people, the casual interview format often allows them to relax and reveal a more candid, serious side.
In this clip from tonight's interview, Myers delves into one of the reasons he wrote the first "Austin Powers" movie: It was a tribute of sorts to his father, who had just passed away.
"My father died in 1991," Myers said. "I went into a funk — there's no two ways about it. And 'Wayne's World' came out in 1992, and I was strapped to the front of a rocket. And I was like, 'Didn't I just live in government housing? How the hell did I get here?' And all of a sudden, life is moving a million miles an hour. The only person that I ever wanted to see any of it had just died. And I wrote two movies: One about the Battle of Britain, which, my mom was in, the Battle of Britain, and one about everything that my father loved, and it just came out [of me] in two weeks [and] that was 'Austin Powers.'"
Stiller talks in the same episode about the origins of the movie "Zoolander," which wound up being one of his biggest hits but didn't necessarily have studio support in the early going.
"I don't think the studio really got what we were doing at the time," Stiller said. "They were like, 'OK,' ... so it didn't really get a big sort of buildup."
Last week's episode of "Inside Comedy" featured yet another comedian with Hudson Valley connections. Susie Essman, a Purchase College alumna whose mother taught at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville/Yonkers. She told Steinberg how she got into stand-up comedy.
"Because I did all these characters, I thought I was going to do kind of a Carol Burnett kind of life, but that wasn't happening; nobody was knocking down my door," she said. "So, friends that I waitressed with kind of said, 'Go out on stage and do stand-up.' "
The premiere of the Myers-Stiller episode of "Inside Comedy" airs at 11 tonight on Showtime.