Q: I recently watched the first Austin Powers movie on Netflix for the first time in years. Throughout those years I kept a steady watch of "Seinfeld" reruns. While watching the Austin Powers movie, I noticed several actors who played small roles on "Sein

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

There seems to be no direct link between "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" (1997) and "Seinfeld," other than a shared need for a huge number of funny people for small roles, and the budget to get good ones. That and the North American comedy community, which is sometimes smaller than you think.

By all reports, star Mike Myers was directly involved in many of the casting decisions for "Austin Powers," the smash-hit film that he starred in, wrote and co-produced.

For example, Larry Thomas, who played the Soup Nazi in a 1995 episode of "Seinfeld," said that Myers approached him directly for the role of a casino dealer in "Austin Powers," after having seen his "Seinfeld" bit.

Brian George, who played Babu in "Seinfeld" and the Secretary General of the United Nations in "Austin Powers," has shared no such story of being approached by Myers, but they share a different, geographic link: Both of them came up in the Toronto comedy scene, specifically in the famed Second City comedy troupe there.

It was a different comedy troupe that brought Myers together with Patrick Bristow, who played the Wig Master in "Seinfeld." Myers did a guest appearance in a show put on by the Groundlings troupe in Los Angeles, which Bristow was a part of at the time. Myers soon called Bristow to do a part in another of his movies, "So I Married an Axe Murderer" (1993), and then called again for "Austin Powers."

As for the Bristow's "Seinfeld" link, it's even simpler: "Seinfeld" frequently cast Groundlings members when it needed to fill small but crucial comedic parts, which it needed to do often over its nine seasons.


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