Rice University’s marching band mocked state-appointed Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles during their halftime show at Saturday’s football game against Texas Southern University.
The small band, known as The Mob, performed a brief “Austin Powers”-themed show characterizing Miles as Dr. Evil — the main antagonist of the popular movie series. The show criticizes Miles’ removal of librarians at around 85 HISD schools and his song-and-dance skit during the district’s annual convocation ceremony.
“Ever since taking over the Houston school board, Dr. Evil has been working on his plan to brainwash his new army of mini-me’s,” the student announcer says to begin the show. “Watch as he fires the teachers and principals to institute total control.”
HISD hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment on the performance. Over the weekend, Miles posted on Linkedin: “There is so much misinformation that it would be hard for even serious people to know what is going on in the Houston school district.”
Ethan Goore, a co-executive producer of the show, said The Mob aims to use their platform to try and address injustices in society through their performances. He said the band chose an “Austin Powers” theme partially because Miles’ name sounds similar to Mike Myers, the actor who plays Dr. Evil in the movie series.
“We’ve been hearing a lot from teachers that we know and parents who have kids in the HISD system that they are not completely satisfied with what’s going on currently, and that they wanted there to be more awareness about the issue,” said Goore, a junior at Rice. “That’s really where we jump in, and the way that we do it is through our halftime shows.”
The show, titled “Mob-stin Powers: The Superintendent Who Fired Me,” opens with students forming an “H” on the field and playing “Evil Ways.” One band member, playing Miles, lightly bonks another band member on the head with a screw-shaped sign saying “Fired” and the student falls on the field.
Apparently the MOB was prescient in that bit of show action. Note, as a pedantic matter, that MOB = “Marching Owl Band”, so “MOB” is in all caps. I don’t know if Miles’ LinkedIn comment is aimed at this show or if it’s more of a general comment about how nobody understands what he’s doing, but either way I find it amusing.
I believe art should be allowed the opportunity to speak for itself, so I will leave you with the following:
a little bird told us that a video of our MOBstin Powers/H.I.S.D. halftime performance was floating around… we love to see it 😎
— The MOB (@ricemob) 7:26 PM – 17 September 2023
For those who missed it live on the field… as always, bruised egos are encouraged to contact [email protected] and let off some steam😌
— The MOB (@ricemob) 3:28 PM – 17 September 2023
Enjoy! KHOU has more.