Five things to know about ‘Wayne’s World,’ which is turning 25
Break out the coffee and crullers because it’s party time for “Wayne’s World” fans: the irreverent smash comedy is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Yes, way! Canadian comic actor Mike Myers teamed with Dana Carvey to portray suburban, metal-loving slackers Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar in the popular “Saturday Night Live” sketch that inspired the movie adaptation.
The film centres on Wayne and Garth’s public-access talk show and the efforts by sleazy yet suave network executive Benjamin (Rob Lowe) to make a slicker, big-budget version of “Wayne’s World.” Benjamin also has his eyes set on another target: Wayne’s rock-star girlfriend, Cassandra (Tia Carrere).
The film is stacked with lighter moments in the form of impromptu sing-a-longs, zany riffs on classic TV shows and films, memorable catchphrases (“Schwing!”) and comical cameos from the likes of rocker Alice Cooper and “Terminator” star Robert Patrick.
Cineplex will host screenings at select locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax on Tuesday to coincide with the silver anniversary of the movie’s release.
Here are five things to know about “Wayne’s World”:
BOX OFFICE BONANZA: Fans were clearly feeling the love for “Wayne’s World” when it debuted on Feb. 14, 1992. The Valentine’s Day release soared to No. 1 in its opening weekend. By year’s end, it was the No. 8 film overall, grossing more than $121 million, slightly behind romance-drama “The Bodyguard” and ahead of erotic thriller “Basic Instinct,” according to Box Office Mojo. It remains the top-grossing “SNL” spinoff of all time, ahead of “The Blues Brothers” and its sequel, “Wayne’s World 2.” FROM CANADA TO CHICAGO: Co-screenwriter Myers drew inspiration from his upbringing in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough for “Wayne’s World.” Myers continued to hone the Wayne character after joining Second City, and portrayed him on Canadian TV series “City Limits.” Canadian “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels later hired him for the long-running sketch comedy series.
“Wayne’s World” was reportedly supposed to be set in Aurora, Ont., with doughnut shop scenes at Tim Hortons. But in an effort to Americanize the production, the screen locale was transported to the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Ill., complete with a fictional hangout: Stan Mikita’s Donuts. The onscreen venue featured a towering likeness of retired Chicago Blackhawks player Stan Mikita on the roof. The Slovak-born ex-centreman was raised in St. Catharines, Ont.
Look closely and you may spot a palm tree in “Wayne’s World”: the film was primarily shot in California.
FLASH OF FARLEY: Chris Farley landed his first film role in “Wayne’s World” - but blink and you’ll miss him. The late comic actor and former “SNL” star had a brief appearance as a security guard at an Alice Cooper concert. Farley made a return in the film’s 1993 sequel as Wayne and Garth’s longhaired, plaid-clad pal Milton. He later found big-screen solo success as a box-office headliner of comedies including “Tommy Boy” and “Black Sheep.”
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Dana Carvey found inspiration close to home for his portrayal of his mild-mannered, bespectacled onscreen alter ego Garth: his real-life brother, Brad. “We both eat red licorice, and we both like video, and we both play the drums,” the elder Carvey told People Magazine in a 1994 interview.
The comedian Carvey paid tribute to Brad in the film’s sequel when he sported a Video Toaster T-shirt - a stylish nod to the special-effects computer his engineer brother helped create.
FIT FOR A “QUEEN”: Legendary British rock group Queen can give full credit to “Wayne’s World” for helping breathe new life into “Bohemian Rhapsody.” After being showcased in a memorable sequence in the film where Wayne, Garth and their friends sing along and headbang to the operatic track blaring from a car stereo, the tune first released in 1975 was suddenly inescapable.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” resurfaced on the charts and radio airwaves - but its appearance in the film almost didn’t happen. Myers said in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone that he fought hard for the song’s inclusion, and noted that Michaels had suggested Guns N’ Roses.
Mike Myers, left, and Dana Carvey, of “Wayne’s World” are seen at the MTV Movie Awards in 2008 in Los Angeles. Break out the coffee and crullers because it’s party time, “Wayne’s World” fans: the irreverent smash comedy is celebrating its 25th anniversary.