August 23, 2002
Myers is groovy, baby!
By ROB GRANATSTEIN
Mike Myers' mojo is working on the people of Toronto.

The Scarborough native, also known as Austin Powers and Dr. Evil, was named the most popular Toronto celebrity in a new Leger Marketing/Toronto Sun poll.

Myers was on vacation and unable to give a "Yeah, baby!" about being chosen by 17% of respondents.

But it's obvious a little sucking up hasn't hurt.

In Goldmember, his latest Austin Powers movie, a subtle news ticker during the film tells audiences "Toronto is the best city in the world" and "Toronto Maple Leafs win Stanley Cup."

A Toronto Maple Leafs jersey also makes an appearance in the movie. Myers is a die-hard Leafs fan.

It also didn't hurt that when the poll was being conducted, Aug. 6 to 11, there was a huge marketing push on for Myers and Goldmember.

Toronto Raptors superstar Vince Carter is the city's second-most popular celebrity at 12%, out-polling all the Toronto Maple Leafs combined.

"Wow, I'm pleased for Vince and a little surprised," said Richard Peddie, president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. "Vince, he plays 40 minutes a game, he plays without equipment, he plays above the rim, he scores 25% of our points and he has a smile that lights up a room.

"I was a little worried after his injury and the fans were on him," Peddie said.

Mayor Mel Lastman's popularity with voters may be falling, but he's still the third-most popular Toronto celebrity.

Funnyman talk show host Mike Bullard ranked fourth.

"I'm shocked and grateful," said the host of Open Mike. "I was one of the people polled and I didn't vote for me."

Surprisingly, 55% of Torontonians asked couldn't name a Toronto celebrity. Sometimes, those who did answer didn't have a clue.

Celine Dion, a Quebecer with almost no links to Toronto, was as popular as Curtis Joseph, with 3% of the vote. Timmins country star Shania Twain garnered 2%.

LADIES MAN

Toronto also seems to have a new ladies' man on the scene. MuchMusic VJ Rainbow Sun Francks was tied with Mike "Pinball" Clemons and "Honest" Ed Mirvish, ahead of Tie Domi, Pat Quinn, Gary Roberts, Darcy Tucker, Don Cherry, Carlos Delgado and Pamela Wallin.

And all of Francks' votes were from women.

"That is so cool," Francks said.

"All women, you've got to love that," said the hip hop artist. "If that's an indication of my life here on out I'm a happy boy."

The poll of 500 Toronto and area adults is considered accurate within 4.5%, 19 times out of 20.