• Joe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #208: Stuart McKenzie


"Smartass!"

So I Married an Axe Murderer is a hidden gem, one of those early-90s vheicles for a Saturday Night Live alum that actually worked. Coming off his Wayne's World success, Mike Myers played it straight for one of the few times in his career. Not a crazy caricature, his Charlie MacKenzie is a regular guy, a very funny but essentially normal San Francisco beat poet who winds up in an amusing little romance with a woman with a checkered past. All of her previous husbands have died, and the film makes us believe it was Harriet herself, a black widow murdering her lovers, which is sufficiently scary to terrify timid little Charlie. Of course it all works out. But this, to me, is all backdrop, and while enjoyable, isn't the best part of the movie. The best part is Charlie's dad, Stuart MacKenzie.


Often times, actors playing multiple parts in a film comes off as a stunt, and often a poor one - think Eddie Murphy, or even Myers' later indulgences with his Austin Powers franchise. But here, Myers is in perfect form as his own father, buried beneath jowly makeup and coke-bottle glasses, bellowing in a thick mockery of a Scottish accent, stomping about a wedding in full regalia or the house in his boxer shorts. Stuart is a blunt instrument of a man, coarse and vulgar, fiercely proud of his Scottish heritage and existing in a strange world of conspiracy theories informed by his wife's worship of the Weekly World News. Irascible and hilariously cruel, especially to Charlie's massive-skulled younger brother, Stuart remains sentimental and loving, and welcomes Harriet into the family with open arms.


Myers doesn't spend much time on screen as Stuart, but those scenes aren't just the funniest in the film, they're some of the funniest in any movie. Who can forget his rendition of "If You Think I'm Sexy" at Charlie's wedding, accompanied by the bagpipes? (A rendition so exhausting that it ends with a piper down. It was all right, though, he was just pissed.) And Stuart's endless stream of insults directed at the size of his younger son's head are side-splitting. The very fact that Stuart refers to the child as "Head" is worth it alone. "It's like Sputnik - round yet pointy in parts."


Now go to bed and cry yourself to sleep on your giant pillow. But first have some Kentucky Fried Chicken. The Colonel puts in a secret ingredient that makes you crave it fortnightly.

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