Remember Wayne’s World? The long-running SNL skit turned movie was one of the most quoted pop culture moments of the ’90s, gaining legions of followers and fans as they host a local cable show called, fittingly, Wayne’s World. People still love the main characters Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, played by Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey. Check out 20 of the best-kept secrets about this show!
The movie was a crazy hit at the box office, but did you know that it led to another success? That’s right – after the release, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” shot to #2 on the Billboard 100, even though it was 16 years after its release! The movie soundtrack itself was at #1 on the list.
Where was the movie originally meant to be set?
Ever noticed Wayne’s Canadian accent? The actor who plays him, Mike Myers, is from Toronto, Canada. The movie, which is set in Aurora, Illinois, was originally meant to be set in Canada! To keep everything a bit more confusing, it was filmed in LA.
The movie made how much money?
The movie had a modest budget, as SNL didn’t really make movie spin-offs (aside from the successful Blues Brothers film several years earlier.) However, the movie grossed over $100 million, while filming cost only $14 million!
What’s the funniest case of ad-libbing found in the movie?
The actors, being hilarious humans, obviously improvised a lot. One of the funniest moments is when Wayne and Garth are hanging out watching planes fly by, and Garth asks Wayne if he ever thought Bugs Bunny was attractive in women’s clothing. That was actually an ad-lib by Dana Carvey, and Mike Meyer’s laugh was genuine. They kept it in the movie because it was so amusing.
What surprised Alice Cooper?
Alice Cooper had no idea his role was so big! He was under the impression that he was there to say one line and play some music, and was surprised when he was handed a long monologue to memorize. Alice Cooper is a pretty big history buff in real life though, and absolutely nailed the scene (without much prep time!)
Why did Mike Myers not want a second actor with him?
Wayne’s World was developed by Mike Myers as a solo character from his Second City days. When he joined the SNL cast, they added on Garth. Meyers didn’t really want to share the limelight – or his character and ideas – with Dana Carvey, but acquiesced, as Carvey was (at the time) a much bigger star than he was.
What injuries did they develop during filming?
After filming the Bohemian Rhapsody scene, both Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey developed severe neck pains from all the headbanging. You can see this in later scenes, when they keep their necks kind of stiff!
Dana Carvey also suffered extreme jaw pain due to his characters distinctive underbite. He used to spend his evenings with his face packed in ice to try to alleviate the pain!
What was the initial reaction from the studio?
Paramount Pictures were originally reluctant to back the film! Despite the movie grossing over $180 million its opening weekend and being a favorite on SNL, the first reaction from the studio was a note from them saying they didn’t understand the concept.
Myers didn’t like some of the scenes! He wasn’t a fan of Robert Patrick’s cameo, not thinking people would get it. However, people LOVED it, which somewhat surprised Myers.
Which famous firsts happened in this movie?
This was Mike Meyer’s first film role, and the movie was also his first on-screen kiss – with Madonna! “I was so nervous,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 1991. “She was really nice, actually. I was terrified. I had never kissed anybody on screen before, and she was really nice.”
Who didn’t get along off-screen?
People loved to circulate rumors of bad blood between Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. Carvey has outright disputed this, but Myers was a bit more nuanced, calling the rumors ‘overstated’ and saying: ““That isn’t to say they’re not both comedians and that occasionally there’s not some disagreement over who should be speaking what.”
He and the director, Penelope Spheeris did have issues! “I hated that bastard for years,” Spheeris told Entertainment Weekly in 2008. ‘‘But when I saw Austin Powers, I went, ‘I forgive you, Mike … You can be moody, you can be a jerk, you can be things that others of us can’t be—because you are profoundly talented. And I forgive you.’”
But why weren’t you allowed to play ‘Stairway’?
Ever wonder why the guitar store had a sign in it that said “No ‘Stairway to Heaven'”? In the ’70s, some guitar stores got into the habit of fining patrons if they played the obnoxiously overplayed opening riff to the song, hence the sign.
Who was a real-life musician?
Myers may not have played ‘Stairway to Heaven’, but Carvey really played the drums! In real life, he is a talented percussionist, and did that solo himself.
Another real-life musician is Tia Carrere (Cassandra), a real-life musician, who played her own bass and sang in the movie.
What happened right at the end of filming?
The movie took 34 days to shoot! The reason for the brevity is mainly since most of the cast needed to return for SNL filming before Labor Day. In fact, the schedule was so tight that after his last shot, Dana Carvey jumped into a car in full makeup, sped off to the airport, and caught a flight to New York – he was due onstage that night at SNL!
What funny coincidence happened before Wayne’s World even started shooting?
In a funky coincidence, director Penelope Spheeris directed the video for Gary Wright’s song Dream Weaver, which Wayne hears in his head when he spots Cassandra for the first time. It was being used as Wayne’s “dream woman” music even back in the SNL skit days, before Penelope Spheeris was ever attached to it!
Bet you didn’t know that this phrase originated in Wayne’s World!
Remember when everyone was saying “That’s what she said”? We bet you thought it was from The Office. Think again! The phrase was actually coined in Wayne’s World, flew under the radar for about 20 years, and (much like the way they revitalized Bohemian Rhapsody) got a breath of new life in The Office.
What happened with the director after she wrapped up Wayne’s World?
Penelope Spheeris had a hard time getting work directing anything but comedies after Wayne’s World. She started off as a documentarian, making fascinating films about punks in L.A. After she directed WW, she went on to direct The Beverly Hillbillies and The Little Rascals, finding it hard to direct things that weren’t comedy from that point forward.
What had to be changed due to copyright laws?
Mike Myers actually played a few riffs from ‘Stairway to Heaven’ in the theatrical release. This had to be changed for the video release, as the directors were unaware that this would cost quite a bit in royalties. They changed it to something that sounded like ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen and hoped audiences wouldn’t notice!
What’s the significance of the bar Gasworks?
Wayne meets Cassandra in a bar called Gasworks. This is named after a legendary rock n roll bar in Toronto that Mike Myers frequented in his earlier days. Sadly, you can’t visit – the long-running establishment closed in 1993 after 25 years in business!
Check out these random mistakes!
Did you notice that even though Wayne lives with his parents, you never actually see them?
Also, remember the episode of The Twilight Zone that Garth describes to his audience? It doesn’t exist! Notice any other funny inconsistencies in the movie? Let us know in the comments!
Finally, we’ve got the best quotes from the movie, next!
Finally, check out this great compilation of the best quotes from Wayne’s World! Schawiiiiing!
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