"I eat sour cream with my bare hands! I just shovel it in there!" - Austin Powers
He was presumably born around the mid-1930s, cryogenically frozen in the late 1960s and resurrected in the late 1990s.
He is portrayed by Mike Myers. The three films in order of release are: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers in Goldmember. Austin is a parody of a number of mid-1960s spy films.
Early life[edit | edit source]
When Austin and Doug were babies, their parents took them and went on a trip to Belgium. At one point during the trip, his father left the car to urinate, during which time the car was blown up. Austin survived the explosion, but his mother was killed and his brother was missing and presumed dead. Due to the loss of his wife and one of his sons, Nigel kept a very distant relationship with his remaining son, acting more like a friend than a father.
If the song "Daddy Wasn't There" is any indication, while growing up, Nigel never took Austin to the fair or changed his underwear. Austin was also baptized and circumcised while growing up.
Years later, Austin entered the British Intelligence Academy to become an International Man of Mystery. Unknown to Austin, his roommate Douglas Evil was actually his long lost brother. It was during his time at the academy that he first met Basil Exposition.
Despite Douglas Evil having the highest marks in the class, Austin is chosen as his class's International Man of Mystery. He asks his father to stand up and take a bow, but the seat reserved for Nigel Powers is empty, causing everyone in attendance to laugh at Austin.
1967 (International Man Of Mystery)[edit | edit source]
Despite this, Austin Powers settled into life as an International Man of Mystery in the height of the 60s, finding a partner in Mrs. Marie Kensington and a cover persona as a fashion photographer. His fame and skill in bed made him an instant sex symbol of the mod movement. Among his many exploits was a one-night stand with Foxxy Cleopatra. About the only woman he wanted to sleep with, but did not, was Mrs. Kensington, out of respect for her marriage, bemoaning later the fact that "that ship had sailed."
One day, in 1967, he received word from Basil Exposition that Dr. Evil was planning a trap for him at the Electric Psychadelic Pussycat Swinger's Club. Sneaking into the club, Austin was attacked by one of Dr. Evil's assassins, but managed to overpower him with the help of Mrs. Kensington. However, Dr. Evil shot a harpoon, intending to kill Austin, but hit the assassin instead and escaped, although there is a theory that he intended to shoot the assassin, preventing him from telling Austin of his plans. Austin and Mrs. Kensington pursued, but arrived too late to stop Doctor Evil from sealing himself in a cryogenic pod and launch himself into space.
Knowing that one day, Dr. Evil would return to menace the Earth anew, Austin agreed to have himself frozen so he could battle Dr. Evil in the future.
1997 (International Man of Mystery)[edit | edit source]
After being frozen for 30 Years, Dr. Evil's rocket landed in Nevada, and Commander Gilmore of the U.S. Military came to England to request the help of the Ministry of Defense. To that end, Austin Powers was unfrozen and reanimated to return to service, this time with Vanessa Kensington serving as his partner. Despite his troubles getting adapted to the 90s, Austin eventually wins over Vanessa with his charm. Surprisingly, Vanessa seems to be the only one who directly hints at Austin's teeth not being up to par with the 90s, and in return he shows slight embarrassment for himself. Austin managed to stop Dr. Evil's plan to launch a subterranean nuclear missile, banishes Dr. Evil into space, and settles down with Vanessa to live happily ever after. Or so he thought...
1999 (The Spy Who Shagged Me)[edit | edit source]
After being married for almost two years, Austin suddenly found himself a widower when Vanessa was revealed to be a Fembot designed by Doctor Evil. Quickly returning to his old ways, Austin returned to the dating scene, and soon found himself in bed with Ivana Humpalot, another of Doctor Evil's assassins who he won over with his charm. However, during the shagging, Austin discovered something terrible. Before he could make Ms. Humpalot orgasm, something happened to the swinger that had never happened before: he went limp in the middle of a hot shag and couldn't get his erection back. Immediately, Austin realized there was only one explanation for why he went flaccid during sex - he had lost his mojo!
It turned out that Doctor Evil had launched a new plan that hit Austin below the belt quite literally. Using a "Time Machine," he had sent himself back to 1969 and stole Austin Powers' mojo, rendering Austin impotent sexually and hoping it would also steal his spy skills as well. Using a Time Machine Car developed by the Ministry of Defense, Austin himself went back to 1969 to put a stop to Doctor Evil's scheme and cure his erectile dysfunction.
1969 (The Spy Who Shagged Me)[edit | edit source]
Having returned to the Sixties, Austin found himself back in much more familiar territory. However, trouble was not long in finding him, as he was attacked by two of Doctor Evil's hitmen. However, he managed to escape with the help of CIA Agent Felicity Shagwell, a groovy hippie chick and basically a female American version of Austin. Austin quickly fell in love with his new partner, but when she tried to make love to him in his Shag Pad, he unfortunately had to turn her down due to his lost mojo. However, Felicity immediately forgave Austin when he explained things and was happy to help him recover his libido (no doubt due to her desire to still experience Austin's mojo). Through the efforts of both, they managed to foil Doctor Evil's plan to destroy the earth using a giant "laser" fired from the moon. Doctor Evil, however, escaped into space once again, and Austin and Felicity escaped through Dr. Evil's time portal back to 1999. Before they returned though, Dr. Evil destroyed the bottle containing Austin's mojo. Seemingly doomed to impotence forever, Felicity reminded Austin of everything he accomplished without it and, upon returning to 1999, told Austin she loved him. Having earned her love, Austin's erectile dysfunction was cured when his mojo returned, making him the groovy super spy and stallion in the sack he used to be.
2002 (Goldmember)[edit | edit source]
Austin finally succeeded in arresting his long-time nemesis, Dr. Evil, sending him to prison. As a reward, he was invited by the Queen of England to be knighted for his efforts. However, just like at his graduation, his father was a no-show at the event. While consoling himself at his pad, he receives word from Basil Exposition that his father had been kidnapped, and their only clue was the sailors that were on the ship all had their genetalia painted gold.
Knowing only a madman would understand the psychology of another madman, Austin confronted Dr. Evil, demanding to know where his father was. Dr. Evil reminded him about what happened at the Academy, but told Austin that his father was kidnapped by Goldmember and taken back to 1975, in exchange for getting a transfer to a regular prison.
Austin quickly went back to British Intelligence, where a new Time Travelling Car (in the form of a Pimpmobile) was created to take Austin back to 1975 to find his father.
1975 (Goldmember)[edit | edit source]
In 1975, Austin met former girlfriend Foxxy Cleopatra, who was undercover spying on criminal genius Johann van der Smut, better identified as "Goldmember". Together, they evaded Goldmember and rescued Austin's father, but disagreements between Austin and his father Nigel led to the two going their seperate ways for a while. Austin and Foxxy then met a new side of Mini-Me, the dwarf clone of Dr. Evil, as he defected and joined their side.
Austin and "Mini-Austin" snuck into Dr. Evil's submarine lair, where Austin was given the chance to shoot Dr. Evil and end it all. Before he could, however, Nigel intervened and revealed that Dr. Evil was actually his son Douglas Powers, making him Austin's brother. Austin embraced his brother, father, and Mini-Me. Goldmember then attempted to proceed with the plan to flood the Earth, but was foiled by the Powers family and Foxxy.
The string of events was adapted into a film shortly after, and Austin went with Douglas, Nigel, Foxxy, and Mini-Me to watch it at the premier while his nephew Scott Evil swore revenge, "I'm gonna get you, Austin Powers!".
Groin/crotch attacks[edit | edit source]
Austin has been hit in the genitals 5 times. His first two were at the end of International Man of Mystery when he front flipped into his car he crotched himself on the gear shift, his eye brows raised and eyes widened as he moaned, he grunted as he pulled the gear shift a second time into his testicles.
Mini-Me kicked him in both the penis and testicles during their first fight while Austin was on his knees, causing him to groan. Later he ran and bit Austin's testicles, tearing off the crotch of his outfit, Austin groaned loudly.
In the middle of their fight in Gold Member, Mini-Me kicked Austin in the testicles to escape being smashed on the head with a drawer.
Austin has referred to his genitals as meat and two veg, testicles, pills and wedding tackle.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
- Martial Artist: Powers has an unknown degree of martial arts training. This is shown with his infamous judo kick.
- Marksman: Powers has shown consistent abilities with a wide variety of firearms such as pistols.
- Tactician: In man cases, Austin has outwitted Dr. Evil by quickly planning his ways out of traps.
- Enlarged Bladder: In numerous cases, Powers has shown the ability to urinate longer than any person alive
- Mojo: The mojo Powers has is a biological component separate from himself. Dr. Evil was able to attract Frau Farbissna in a matter of moments. This mojo allows Austin to consistently attract women far more attractive than himself. It's possible this is how Austin is able to influence entire crowds to dance along with him or how he's able to run naked in a hotel without consequence. The mojo has even been weaponized, and Austin has been able to destroy numerous machines with it alone. Without his mojo, however, Austin seems to be incapable of performing in the bedroom, finding himself suddenly impotent while shagging Ivana Humpalot when it was stolen by Fat Bastard. However, despite its destruction in The Spy Who Shagged Me, it appears to have been restored by the end of the film by unknown means, given that Past Austin was in bed with Felicity. While Felicity told Austin he didn’t need his mojo when it was destroyed, there does appear to be some need for Austin to have it given his impotence after it was stolen. One possibility for the restoration of Austin’s libido is that perhaps his mojo naturally can restore itself after a time. His erectile dysfunction may have been only temporary while his body needed time to regenerate it after it was taken. Another possibility could be that when Past Austin went through the Time Portal, rather than going straight back to the future, he may have followed Present Austin’s example and gone back in time to retrieve his mojo and return it to his frozen body.
Original sources[edit | edit source]
Mike Myers himself has stated in interviews that the idea for Austin Powers came to him one night as he was driving home from hockey practice. His car radio was on, and as he was listening the song The Look of Love by Burt Bacharach began to play. As he heard the music the question "Where have all the swingers gone?" came to his mind and he began to conceive the character who would become Austin Powers. The first phrase he thought the character might say was "Do I make you horny?" which indeed became a catch phrase for the character.
Powers' flamboyant appearance and overt flirtation is probably based on the early 1970s TV character "Jason King," who originally appeared in the ITC Entertainment program Department S and later in his own spin-off show. The name "Austin Powers" may have either been inspired by Austin-Healey, a British sports car builder or possibly after actor Austin Pendleton who has crooked teeth and wears glasses similar to Powers in the 1972 theatrical release What's Up, Doc?.
Powers' "cover persona" to hide his job as an international agent is as a fashion photographer, which provides an opportunity in the first two films to satirize Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up as well as Dean Martin's Matt Helm character. The signature eye glasses hail from Maurice Micklewhite in the Harry Palmer films and perhaps also Peter Sellers in the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale. Appropriately, Caine played Austin's father Nigel Powers in Goldmember and wore the original glasses from The Ipcress File as well.
Another major source of humor derives from Powers having been cryogenically frozen in the 1960s and revived in the late 1990s, roughly parodying the 1966 spy series Adam Adamant Lives! about an Edwardian secret agent who was frozen without having any sense whatsoever of changes that have occurred in society the intervening years as evidenced by the following Austin Powers quote:
- "...But as long as people are still having promiscuous sex with many anonymous partners without protection while at the same time experimenting with mind-expanding drugs in a consequence-free environment, I'll be sound as a pound!"
Powers' nemesis is Douglas (his brother), a character based on "Ernst Stavro Blofeld" of the James Bond films and played by Myers as well. Other Bond-inspired villains include Frau Farbissina, most likely based on "Rosa Klebb" in From Russia With Love. Dr. Evil's right hand man, Number 2, was probably inspired by "Emilio Largo" of Thunderball. A reference to "Number 2" was also made in the cult television series The Prisoner. Other characters culled from the genre include Alotta Fagina, a pun on Goldfinger's "Pussy Galore" and Random Task, again a pun, this time on Goldfinger's "Oddjob." The figure "Goldmember" in the 2002 film is an obvious reference to "Auric Goldfinger."
Michael York's character Basil Exposition is named such because Basil literally provides the audience with the exposition of the plot. The name is a parody of the scenes in the Bond films where "Q" or some other high-ranking official made use of highly sophisticated audiovisual devices to explained the plot and characters to Bond and therefore to the audience. These scenes were written to make sure the audience "got" the story, hence the parody. The Bond screenwriters were often aware how clunky these expositionary scenes could be. They made them more entertaining by having Bond briefed in exotic locations such as a hidden cave in the Egyptian desert in The Spy Who Loved Me, itself the basis of the title The Spy Who Shagged Me.
Felicity Shagwell in The Spy Who Shagged Me is based on the stereotypical "hippie chick" from the 1960s; the name is based on the double-entendre inspired names of several female James Bond characters such as "Pussy Galore" and "Xenia Onatopp". She could also be an American version of "Modesty Blaise."
Foxxy Cleopatra in Goldmember (portrayed by Beyonce Knowles) is clearly based on female characters from 1970's "Blaxploitation" or "Soul Cinema" motion pictures, especially those featuring Pam Grier. The name itself is certainly based on Grier's "Foxy Brown." Another possible source is "Cleopatra Jones" played by Tamara Dobson. Other elements of her Foxxy's character are taken from Grier's characters in the films Coffy and Friday Foster. Teresa Graves' performance in the short-lived crime drama Get Christie Love! might also be an inspiration, but all of the vixens in the "soul cinema" genre might be considered formulaic.
A few other 1960s films that seem to have been source material for the satirical blend of the characters:
- Dr. No (1962, the Blofeld/Dr. Evil appearance)
- You Only Live Twice (1967, the Blofeld/Dr. Evil appearance.)
- Casino Royale (1967, many elements, itself a spoof of the Bond films.)
- Blow-Up (1966, the virile fashion photographer.)
- Our Man Flint and In Like Flint (1966 and 1967, many elements. Austin, in 'The Spy Who Shagged Me,' says the latter title is his favorite movie.)
- The Ipcress File (1965, Harry Palmer's glasses.)
- Alfie (1966, mentioned and parodied throughout all three movies)
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Austin's glasses are usually meant to be a reference to the glasses Michael Caine wore as "Harry Palmer" in The Ipcress File. When Caine was cast as Austin Powers' father Nigel in Austin Powers in Goldmember, he wore the actual Harry Palmer glasses.
- Austin admits to Ivana Humpalot he contracted gonorrhoea, “the clap”, in the 1960s.
- Felicity Shagwell reminds Austin he is also well-known for his skill in sensual massages.
- The teenage version of Austin Powers who appeared in Austin Powers in Goldmember is played by Aaron Himelstein.
- Austin Powers was spoofed by the Steve Martin's character "Mr. Chairman" in the movie Looney Tunes: Back In Action.
- Austin Powers' grandmother's from Sweden due to the fact that Nigel Powers asked him about her.
Catchphrases[edit | edit source]
- "Oh, behave!"
- "Groovy, baby!"
- "Shall we shag now or shag later?"
- "Do I make you randy?"
- "Do I make you horny baby, do I?"
- "Hey baby, what's your sign?"
- "Do 'em dirty in front of they dad."
- "Honestly, it's not mine!"
- "This sort of thing ain't my bag, baby!"
- "I'm gay, I swear!"
- "Shaggy baby, Shaggy!"
- "I eat ass!"
- "I've been frozen for thirty years I've got to see if my bits and pieces are still working. My wedding tackle, meat and two veg! My twig and berries!”
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Austin Powers: Oh, Behave! (Game Boy Color)
- Austin Powers: Welcome to My Underground Lair! (Game Boy Color)
- Austin Powers in Operation Trivia (PC and Macintosh)
- Austin Powers Pinball (PlayStation)