1992 – the film ‘Waynes World’, with a brief cameo appearance from Meat Loaf premiered in the US.
Wayne’s World was a recurring sketch from the NBC television series Saturday Night Live. It evolved from a segment titled “Wayne’s Power Minute” on the CBC Television series It’s Only Rock and Roll as the main character first appeared in that show. The Saturday Night Live sketch spawned two films, and several catchphrases which have since entered the pop-culture lexicon. The sketch centered on a local cable access television program in Aurora, Illinois, hosted by Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers, the same actor from “Wayne’s Power Minute”), an enthusiastic and sardonic long-haired metalhead, and his timid and sometimes high-strung, yet equally metal-loving sidekick and best friend, Garth Algar (Dana Carvey). Wayne lives with his parents and broadcasts his show “live” from the basement of their house every Friday evening at 10:30.
Wayne’s World is a 1992 comedy film starring Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar, hosts of the Aurora, Illinois-based cable access television show Wayne’s World. The film was adapted from a sketch of the same name on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
The film grossed US$121.6 million in its theatrical run, placing it as the eighth highest-grossing film of 1992 and the highest-grossing film ever based on a Saturday Night Live skit. It was directed by Penelope Spheeris, with Myers co-writing the script.
The film also featured Rob Lowe, Tia Carrere, Lara Flynn Boyle, Brian Doyle-Murray, Robert Patrick (spoofing his role in Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Ed O’Neill, Ione Skye, Meat Loaf, and Alice Cooper.
Wayne’s World received mostly positive reviews upon release and was commercially successful (unlike many Saturday Night Live-based films). It was followed by Wayne’s World 2. In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted Wayne’s World the 41st greatest comedy film of all time.
Wayne Campbell (Myers) and Garth Algar (Carvey) are the hosts of Wayne’s World, a local Friday late-night cable access program based in Aurora, Illinois, where they ogle pictures of beautiful celebrity women, play air guitar and drums, and interview local people, indirectly making fun of them over the course of the interview. The program is popular with local viewers. One day Benjamin Kane (Lowe), a television station executive, is visiting a girlfriend who turns the TV to the show. When she tells him how many people watch the show, he instructs his producer Russell Finley (Kurt Fuller) to find out where the show is taped, telling him they may have an opportunity for a huge sponsorship.
Benjamin shows up next week in Wayne’s basement and introduces himself after the show ends. He offers to buy the rights to the show for $10,000 ($5,000 each) and to keep Wayne and Garth on for what he describes as a “huge” salary. Garth then covertly speaks to the audience, sensing he has a bad feeling Wayne is selling out, but he is too shy to confront Wayne about it. Following the purchase of the show, it is quickly “reinvented”, complete with a weekly interview guaranteed to Noah Vanderhoff (Brian Doyle-Murray), the show’s sponsor. The first reinvented show is also their last, as Wayne holds up a series of cards with phrases such as “Sphincter Boy” (pointing at Vanderhoff), “He blows goats…I have proof” and “This man has no penis”, prompting Benjamin to call Wayne up to the control booth and fire him on the spot.
At the same time, Wayne’s blossoming relationship with hard rock vocalist and bassist Cassandra (Tia Carrere) leads to a rift forming between Wayne and Garth. It erupts after Wayne walks out on the show, leaving Garth to a bout of stage fright for the rest of the show. The two separate, but later make up after Wayne breaks up with Cassandra following an argument between them over Benjamin.
Cassandra and her band, Crucial Taunt, perform on Wayne’s World, which Wayne has put back on the air, with hopes that record company executive Frankie Sharp (Frank DiLeo in a cameo role) will see her performance.
Wayne’s World has multiple endings and anti-plot (the ridicule of common plot techniques). The movie provides two “alternate” endings, a “sad ending” and a “Scooby-Doo ending”. These two endings are an alternative to the “mega-happy ending”. The sequel makes it clear that the “mega-happy ending” is what actually occurred.
The “sad ending” begins with Frankie Sharp showing up and telling Cassandra it’s the “wrong time” to give her a record deal, following with a fire starting in Wayne’s basement and him carrying a dead Garth out of his house, calling, “Why, God? Why?” Cassandra and Benjamin sip drinks on a tropical island, with Cassandra telling Benjamin that last night was the most incredible night of her life. Benjamin responds by saying, “You were terrific,” then breaks the fourth wall by looking directly at the camera and adding, “You didn’t really think she’d end up with Wayne, did you?”
The “Scooby-Doo ending” begins with Frankie Sharp showing up again, but Wayne interrupts him by pulling a rubber mask off a restrained Benjamin, revealing him to be Old Man Withers (Carmen Filpi), who runs the haunted amusement park and frequents Stan Mikita’s Donuts. Withers proclaims (in Scooby-Doo fashion), “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you snooping kids!”, then Garth imitates Scooby-Doo by saying “Good One, Shaggy”.
The “Mega-Happy ending” once again has Frankie Sharp showing up, this time giving Cassandra a huge record deal. Everybody huddles together as Wayne and Cassandra, along with Garth and his dream girl, announce their love for each other; Russell talks about how platonic love can exist between two men (him and Terry); and Benjamin says that a good and rich life can bring you to the top, but can’t get you everything. Then Wayne and Garth approach the camera as Wayne says “Isn’t it great that we’re all better people?” and (breaking the fourth wall for the final time) utters his renowned “Fished In!” line and him “hooking” his mouth and making fish fins.
* Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell
* Dana Carvey as Garth Algar
* Tia Carrere as Cassandra Wong
* Rob Lowe as Benjamin Kane
* Lara Flynn Boyle as Stacy, Wayne’s ex-girlfriend
* Michael DeLuise as Alan, one of Wayne and Garth’s crew
* Lee Tergesen as Terry, Wayne and Garth’s cameraman
* Brian Doyle-Murray as video arcade magnate Noah Vanderhoff
* Colleen Camp as his wife, Mrs. Vanderhoff
* Kurt Fuller as Russell Finley, Benjamin’s assistant
* Meat Loaf as Tiny, the bouncer at Gasworks
* Chris Farley as the well-informed Security Guard at the back of Alice Cooper concert
* Frank DiLeo as rock promoter Frankie ‘Mr. Big’ Sharp
* Ed O’Neill as Glen, the manager at Stan Mikita’s Donuts
* Mike Hagerty as Davy, Glen’s customer who got laid off
* Frederick Coffin as Officer Koharski
* Donna Dixon as Garth’s dream woman
* Ione Skye as Elyse, Benjamin’s girlfriend, who introduces him to Wayne’s World
* Robin Ruzan as a waitress.
* Charles Noland as Ron Paxton, who tries to market his invention, the “Suck-Kut”, to Garth
* Carmen Filpi as Old Man Withers
* Robert Patrick as Bad Cop (Terminator T-1000 parody)
* Alice Cooper as himself
* Pete Friesen as himself, Alice Cooper’s guitarist
* Derek Sherinian as himself, Alice Cooper’s keyboard player
* Jimmy DeGrasso as himself, Alice Cooper’s drummer
Effect on pop culture
Filled with pop culture references, the film started catchphrases such as “That’s what she said”, “Party on!”, “Schwing!”, and “Schea”. It augmented the slacker language of Generation X, much as Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure had done previously. It featured a baby blue 1970s AMC Pacer with flames and non-matching wheels, which Wayne and Garth dubbed the “Mirth Mobile”.
The film frequently breaks the fourth wall, with Wayne, Garth, and others on occasion speaking directly to the audience. Parts of the story are carried by Wayne’s narration to the camera, in which he offers his thoughts on what’s happening in the film. Despite Wayne, Garth, Glenn, and Ben addressing the viewer, no one else seems aware that they are in a film.
In 1993, a Wayne’s World video game was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Sega Mega Drive, and the Nintendo Game Boy. The game’s plot differs from the film: the player controls Wayne as he goes on a mission throughout Aurora – visiting The Gas Works, Stan Mikita’s, and the music store from the “No Stairway” scene, among other locations – to rescue Garth from inside the “Zoltar the Gelatinous Cube” arcade game mentioned in the film.
Alternatively, an adventure game version of Wayne’s World was released around the same time for DOS. The plot involves Wayne and Garth trying to raise money to save their show by holding a “pizza-thon”.
* The use of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the film propelled the song to #2 in Billboard singles charts nearly 20 years after its first release. The soundtrack album reached number one in the Billboard album charts.