10 Of The Most Excellent Facts You Didn't Know About 'Wayne's World'

February 14, 2017

It's hard to believe that Wayne's World, one of the most bodacious rock n' roll films of all time, first screened in theaters 25 years ago on February 14th, 1992. Since then, it has produced an equally excellent sequel Wayne's World 2, as well as plenty of quotable lines and even putting Aurora, Illinois on the map!

So in celebration of the film's 25th anniversary, here are 10 totally righteous Wayne's World facts that you didn't know of the SNL sketch-turned feature film!
  1. "Wayne Campbell" was a character Mike Myers created on CBC
    In the "Extreme Close-Up" bonus feature on the film's DVD, Mike Myers says that the character of Wayne Campbell was inspired by the cool, long-haired rocker kids he would run into at parties as a teen. Wayne Campbell made his television debut on a CBC series titled It's Only Rock & Roll with his own collection of educational segments called "Wayne's Power Minute." Myers then brought Campbell to SNL on February 18th, 1989 along with his sidekick "Garth Algar" played by Dana Carvey. From there they instantly became a fan favorite.
  2. "Garth Algar" was based on Dana Carvey's older brother, Brad
    Also featured in "Extreme Close-Up" Carvey says that he was inspired by his older genius brother Brad when thinking of the adorably shy/goofy character of Garth Algar. Carvey said of his brother, Brad would "fix the dryer with a butter knife," and whenever he or his parents praised him for his work, he would respond with a soft little "Thanks." Carvey also admitted that he regretted giving Garth an overbite because he would have to force himself to hold it for over five minutes during some of their SNL sketches. It even left his jaw muscles sore.
  3. Penelope Spheeris was chosen to direct due to her background with metalheads and efficient work ethic
    Known for her famous rock/metal documentary The Decline of Western Civilization and punk documentary Suburbia, Spheeris had an existing relationship with SNL producer Lorne Michaels after briefly working as the producer to some of the Albert Brooks shorts that would air on the show during the '70s. Spheeris says that her background with rockers that Wayne and Garth would adore and her fast, underground-style of filmmaking landed her the director's position on the film. Spheeris would go on to direct films like The Beverly HillbilliesLittle Rascals and the David Spade/Chris Farley comedy Black Sheep.
  4. Some of the film's best lines and reactions were improvised
    Neither Myers nor Carvey had much film acting experience at the time of filming Wayne's WorldAt Academy Wayne's World reunion, Carvey said that one of Spheeris' best qualities was allowing them to improvise on film as long as they stuck to their schedule. Her motto was "If you can do it in 26 seconds, we can keep it in the movie." As a result, fans were blessed with Wayne's order of "Cream of Sum Yung Guy" and Garth's deep question of "Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?," which weren't in the film's script
  5. Rob Lowe and Alice Cooper were pushed out of their comfort zones
    Sure he's funny in Park and Recreation  and The Grinder, but actor Rob Lowe wouldn't have discovered his comedy chops were it not for his role in Wayne's World as the deceiving television producer "Benjamin Kane." To help him get into character, Myers suggested that Lowe channel his boss and SNL producer Lorne Michaels into Benjamin! 

    Same went for rocker Alice Cooper, whose cameo in the film required some actual acting as "himself." He told Billboard, "When I got to the set, Mike said, 'You're an actor, can you do some lines for us?' I went 'sure' and I got like five pages of dialogue. I said, 'When are we doing this?' He goes, 'In about 20 minutes.' I go 'OK.' So a lot of it was riffing. I think we did it in two takes. Of course, Dana and Mike, on the floor with the 'We're not worthy!' thing, were doing everything they could to get me to break up. They didn't realize my iron will, so I went right through that dialogue, and I think I surprised them. But if you would have seen the outtakes of 'We're not worthy, we're scum,' it goes on for like five or six minutes. And it just gets vile. Whoever owns those outtakes owns a little treasure."
  6. Filming the "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene wasn't as fun as it looked
    Inspired by his days cruising around with his friends as a teen, Myers said that filming the scene in the car was physically painful and he was worried that it wasn't going to come off funny. Not to mention that Carvey didn't even bother to learn to lyrics to the song. Myers said at their reunion that filming the scene was like "takin' a whiz on a Picasso."

    Queen frontman Freddie Mercury died three months before Wayne's World made it into theaters, and guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor were gracious to Myers for filming the scene. 
  7. It's the only SNL film to gross over $100,000,000
    Although past SNL sketches have gone to film like The Blues Brothers, The Ladies Man and It's PatWayne's World is the only one to score $120 million is US sales. Especially since it only cost $20 million to make.
  8. Myers allegedy tried to get Nirvana to appear in Wayne's World 2
    By 1992, the hair metal bands that Wayne and Garth adored were being overtaken by the grunge wave of bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. In hopes of addressing the transition of genres, Myers is rumored to have attempted to get Nirvana to appear in their "Waynestock" scene at the film's conclusion.
  9. Wayne's World spawned an awful video game, but a totally excellent roller coaster
    Nearly every major '90s film had its own bad video game on Nintendo, and Wayne's World was no different. But they did schwing and hit with their own roller coaster called "The Hurler" at Carowinds in South Carolina.
  10. Success briefly drew Myers, Carvey and Spheeris apart
    Although everyone adored Wayne's World at its premiere, Myers on the other hand was livid as some of the jokes in the film didn't warrant a laugh and how Spheeris removed certain takes out of the film. Carvey felt that he did Myers a favor playing Garth this whole time, and Spheeris wanted more creative control. As a result of all of the in-fighting, Spheeris did not return for the film's sequel, Carvey barely spoke with Myers after they left SNL, and Myers skyrocketed to stardom with Austin Powers.

    The trio did eventally reconcile. Myers told The Hollywood Reporter that "We're all getting too old to be pissed … Wayne's World has such a beautiful, uplifting spirit about it. Why should there be a dark cloud?" He even addressed Spheeris directly, saying, You made it better than it was written."

(source: Rolling Stone)