Posts Categorized: Austin Powers

I Touch Myself from Austin Powers – Is it still actually funny?

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If we all remember the movie version, we fell in love with the theme song sung by Madonna for one of the Austin Powers movies and the video of her riding in his car singing.  She then also had a song for an actual James Bond movie that completely kicked ass.  However, another song which Ryan wanted to write about is I Touch Myself from Austin Powers.

I wasn’t sure if I should let him write about I Touch Myself from Austin Powers the movie, but they are producing a musical version of it and it is a kind of popular song.  When reading about what he thought when he first saw it and what he thinks now, I decided to let him post it.  Here is Ryan’s overall thoughts on I Touch Myself from Autism Powers.

Growing up I seriously believed that I Touch Myself from Austin Powers was the funniest musical sequence to ever occur in film. I just watched it again for the first time in about 15 years, and while I no longer would defend that position, I do think that I had a pretty decent sense of humor for an eight year old. After all, what is this scene lacking? I Touch Myself from Austin Powers has it all; sexiness, dance moves, robots, explosions, a fun soundtrack, and even adult stars (the “fem bots” are played by Jenna Jameson). Sure, some parts are a bit slapstick and immature, but the movie is about a cryogenically frozen secret agent who comes back to fight Dr. Evil. You can’t take such a ridiculous plot seriously, and neither can the movie itself.

The biggest thing I notice now that I did not as a child is how confusingly dated everything seems. In this scene, there is a Canadian actor, playing a 1960’s Brit, exploding 1990’s porn star robots with his sex appeal. Austin has the retro-sci-fi outfit (though admittedly not for long), the Fem Bots have ridiculous nineties haircuts, and everyone is smoking on screen. Thinking about how weird all of this is almost makes the scene seem as surreal as it is over the top. There is just a whole lot going on that has no business in this decade – or any other for that matter.
But the scene is more than comedic relief. I Touch Myself from Austin Powers is the one time the hairy chested protagonist’s oversexed personality does not get him in trouble — rather it saves his life. After watching about an hour of the immensely likeable character’s libido shoot him in the foot, I was really rooting for his sex drive to do something good for him. And in this scene it does! Earlier in the film the Fem Bots are displayed as this cutting edge, death inducing technology. They are like lady Terminators that use their seduction instead of strength. However, Austin Powers also uses his seduction instead of strength (or skill, or intelligence… seduction is pretty much all he has) and when he dances to I Touch Myself they literally short circuit from how awesome he is.

I think that there is an almost humanist appeal to this success. Everyone wants to think that the thing they keep doing that gets them in trouble or others call a waste of time will come in handy. Maybe you will end up in some sadistic trivia game and being able to recite all of the dinosaurs from the Jurassic period will save your life. Or maybe one day all the cup stacking you have been practicing will help when you need to… ok, the cup stacking will probably never take you further then winning cup stacking competitions. Still, throughout the movie, Austin tries seducing many people with the best intentions. Time and time again, this only leads to him hurting himself and others. After all of this, I Touch Myself from Austin Powers was a breath of fresh air and a victory for the underdog.

I will not argue that the sound effects aren’t annoying. And I agree that or that the whole premise isn’t abundantly absurd if not stupid. However, this movie seemed like pure comedic genius when I was in second grade, and even if you hate it, at least it is a catchy song.