We’ll admit, reading the Dad Grades for a guy named Dr. Evil is a bit like reading a food review column for a restaurant named Our Chef Has The Flu. You’re well aware a failing grade is at the end of this. So why read it? We’ll tell you why. Our column has Seth Green in it. This is the Dad Grades for Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers franchise.
Much like that restaurant with the sick chef from earlier, Dr. Evil’s strengths are a hard sell. No matter how many tussles of the hair he doles out, no matter how many school plays he shows up to, no matter how many father-son fishing trips he may plan. None of that really matters when your whole thing is “look how evil I am.”
Nevertheless, we find it’s best to seek the silver lining in all things. So we’d be remiss to not point out that, at the end of the day, Dr. Evil embodies that Goofy Dad spirit we’re so eager to encourage.
Here he is trying to win his son’s affection with an impromptu Macarena.
And lest we forget all the ingenious methods he has for telling his child to be quiet. There’s The Shh, a time-tested classic:
The Zip It:
And, our personal favorite, The Scotty Don’t. This one will only work for some kids.
A hush-up hat trick if we’ve ever seen one.
Also, according to Austin Powers in Goldmember, he does a pretty good job accepting gifts from his kid. Perhaps Dr. Evil might not have reacted this way had his son Scott presented him with, say, a picture frame with macaroni glued to it, yes. And we’re sure you weren’t totally insincere in your enthusiasm for the assault on grammar that was your last Father’s Day card. But come on.
Parenting tip: treat every gift your kid gives you as if it were sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.
We’ve had quite the streak of irredeemably horrible dads in recent months. From Tywin Lannister, to Thanos, to Darth Vader, cinema has no shortage of despicable fathers for us to put through the wringer here on Dad Grades.
But Dr. Evil is in his own class of unfit. His son, Scott, is a fairly normal young man with no aspirations of living up to his surname. Over the course of three films we see him try and fail to gain the approval of his estranged father. But, as Dr. Evil himself stated on Jerry Springer, Scott’s just never been quite evil enough.
This is a truly abhorrent thing to wish of your child. Time and time again we’ve made clear that it’s never okay to push your kids into hobbies in which they show an active disinterest, be it ballet or world domination. This “never enough” mindset crushes a kid’s self-esteem, breeding detachment.
Dr. Evil only furthers the emotional distance between him and his son after successfully cloning a miniature version of himself. Mini-Me functions as the evil son Dr. Evil never had and, naturally, tensions rise between him and Scott.
Mini-Me’s existence is particularly cruel in that it removes all doubt from a question that’s plagued siblings since the beginning of time: am I the least favorite? This is easy to answer when your only sibling looks exactly like a 2-foot-8 version of your dad. You may be Dr. Evil’s biological son, Scott, but your new brother is his actual biology.
This sort of “am I enough?” mindset can damage a kid’s self-esteem, causing feelings of isolation, detachment, and resentment. Just look at the sort of pressure he puts on this poor kid.
Scott: I was thinking I like animals. Maybe I’d be a vet.
Dr. Evil: An evil vet?
Scott: No! Maybe like work in a petting zoo.
Dr. Evil: An evil petting zoo?
We at The Dad are strong proponents of letting children grow into who they want to be. If the only interest you show in your child involves ushering them into a family business, of course, they’re gonna challenge you at every turn. Especially if you name your big evil plan The Alan Parsons Project.
Or Preparation H.
Dr. Evil has a complicated relationship with his son. He was frozen for all of Scott’s childhood, and any transition back into fatherhood, let alone warmth, is going to be a rocky one. However, he is quite resolute in his mission to wreak havoc on a global scale, and we can’t see any father-son camping trips getting in the way of that.
But we’ll award bonus points just because it’s fun to imagine getting picked up from school in this.
FINAL GRADE: D
Check out our previous edition when we graded another supervillain named Darth.