View Full Version : Anderson Can't Shake Macgyver

June 22nd, 2007, 03:51 AM

June 22 2007

Many viewers know Richard Dean Anderson as Stargate SG-1's Jack O'Neill. But the actor gets more fan shout-outs for MacGyver, an earlier series in which he played a secret agent and science whiz who could disarm a bomb with a paper clip.

Fifteen years after its finale, MacGyver was still fondly enough remembered to be the subject of a Saturday Night Live running gag this season, MacGruber. And the character's influence is apparent in USA's new Burn Notice (premieres
Thursday), which features an inventive ex-CIA agent who preaches the power of duct tape.

Anderson enjoyed the SNL sketches. "All it took was the font and the mullet" to channel the '80s hero, he says.

As to MacGyver's enduring resonance, he says: "There was just something embraceable about the franchise. We created a character who didn't use a gun to solve problems, who was more pacifist than anything. He was slugging guys, but at least he wasn't killing them. I think TV was ready to accept that kind of character."

Anderson has had fun with MacGyver, too. In 2006, he reprised the character in a MasterCard "Priceless" Super Bowl
commercial and guestvoiced an episode of The Simpsons in which he, Anderson, was kidnapped by Marge's Mac- Gyver-obsessed sisters.

For Anderson, that appearance put an exclamation point on MacGyver's -- and his -- place in pop culture. "That, to me, is a completed career."