This Hilarious ‘Austin Powers’ Gag Was Rob Lowe’s Idea

While he might be most known for his work on TV shows, Rob Lowe had a secondary role in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. In addition, he came up with one of the film’s funniest jokes. Interestingly, the joke in question was inspired by a classic movie.

Rob Lowe in a suit
Rob Lowe | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

The impression that got Rob Lowe a job in the first ‘Austin Powers’ sequel

The Austin Powers series began with Austin Power: International Man of Mystery in 1997. In the film, Robert Wagner played a henchman named Number 2. In his book, Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography, Lowe discussed how he once made Mike Myers laugh on a golf course by doing an impression of Wagner. Afterward, Myers asked Lowe to get on the phone and perform the impression for his wife, Robin, and Lowe obliged. Lowe felt it was a “good sign” when Robin laughed at him.

Later, Myers sent Lowe a copy of the script for Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Lowe read the script at his favorite Italian restaurant and found it impressive. He came across a stage direction which said he would be playing a younger version of Wagner’s character from the first film. “Mike has taken my golf-course joke, made it a character, and, in case anyone had other ideas, wrote my name into the script! ‘You maniac!’ I tell him later. ‘You want me to do my little impression as a character?’” That’s exactly what Myers wanted. Myers was convinced Lowe would “nail” the role.

The trailer for Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

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The ‘Austin Powers’ gag Rob Lowe came up with

In the book, Lowe recalled how he also come up with one of the movie’s most striking jokes. “Mike can also be a great collaborator, and one day as we are shooting in the hollowed-out volcano lair, I have an idea,” Lowe recalled. “‘Mike, how about if I get pissed at you and try and stand up to Dr. Evil. Maybe you end up bouncing the big globe off my head and taunt me like Robert Duvall in The Great Santini.’ He loves the idea and we shoot it immediately, ad-libbing the dialogue. It stays in the final film and is one of my favorite scenes.”

How Rob and the public responded to ‘Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me’

Lowe had a great time on the set. He said he more fun making Austin Power: The Spy Who Shagged Me than most of his other movies. He thought the scene where Myers rapped new lyrics to “Just the Two of Us” was hilarious and revealed Myers came up with the new lyrics on the spot.

Dr. Evil performing “Just the Two of Us”

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Lowe described Austin Powers; The Spy Who Shagged Me as the biggest movie of his career up to that point. According to Box Office Mojo, the film earned $206 million. Lowe reprized his role as a young Number 2 in the film’s sequel, Austin Powers in Goldmember