Martin Knelman


"If Mike Myers ever becomes a Jeopardy! category, this book will win you the big bucks! In fact, author Martin Knelman scores a true daily double with this in-depth, no-holds-barred look into the darker side of Canada's latest comic enfant terrible."
The Globe and Mail

Martin Knelman, a prominent, award-winning Toronto journalist, is the author of three books about show business.

Penguin Canada/ August 2002 Firefly US/ Spring/03

The Life of Mike Myers

Mike Myers, raised in suburban Toronto, started his career at Second City, then soared into the spotlight on Saturday Night Live and quickly graduated to stardom with such hit films as Wayne's World, the Austin Powers movies, and Shrek. Much loved by adoring audiences, he has become plagued by his growing reputation as a demanding, controlling artist.

Martin Knelman, author of acclaimed biographies of John Candy and Jim Carrey, examines the source of Mike Myers' talent, the roots of his ambition, and the trajectory of his career.

The story starts in 1956, when one year after their marriage, Eric and Alice, aka "Bunny," Myers left England and settled in Scarborough, one of Toronto's middle-class suburbs and the font of much of Mike's material. To Eric, nothing in life was more imporant than comedy, especially British comedy.

Mike had a lucrative showbiz career as a boy, landing 17 commercials for such brands as Kit Kat candy bars, K-mart, and Pepsi. But it was a commercial with the late Gilda Radner that changed his life. As an 11-year-old boy, Mike fell in love with her. When she became a star on Saturday Night Live, he announced that he too would one day star on the show.

Wayne's World, a famous sketch on Saturday Night Live, based on Mike's adolescence in Scarborough, led to the incredibly successful film. But Mike's reputation as a talented but difficult artist was becoming the stuff of tabloid fodder and lawsuits, perhaps unfairly.

Mike Myers always abided by his father's credo that "silliness is an underrated art form and a state of grace."