Wayne's World (film)

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, Chris Farley (in his first film role), 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 Oliver (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 one of his producers Russell Finley (Kurt Fuller) to find out where the show is aired, 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.

This, along with Wayne's blossoming relationship with hard rock bar band vocalist and bassist Cassandra (Tia Carrere); whose career Benjamin has also taken an interest in, leads to a rift forming between Wayne and Garth, which erupts after Wayne walks out on the show, leaving Garth to a bout of stage fright for the rest of the show. This surfaces in a bitter confrontation just off the runway at one of Chicago's two airports, where Garth is inaudibly arguing with Wayne (who presumably can hear him clearly) over the roar of a jet plane passing overhead. 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", 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.

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 for her band. Everybody huddles together as Wayne and Cassandra and 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 talks about how 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.


Effect on pop culture

Filled with pop culture references, the film started a few catchphrases, such as "That's what she said", "Not!", "Party on!", "Schwing!", and "Schaa". 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 dub the "Mirth Mobile".

Because of the scene with Alice Cooper he is still told the phrase "We're not worthy" sometimes when meeting fans.

Wayne and Garth's hobbies include playing street hockey, hanging out at Stan Mikita's donut shop, avoiding Wayne's ex-girlfriend Stacy, (whom he refers to as a "psycho hose beast"), and watching local bands perform at Gasworks, an Aurora hard rock club. (Gasworks was also an in-joke; it was the name of a real Toronto live music nightclub in the late 1970s and early 1980s which primarily booked hard rock bands.)

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.

Video games

In 1993, a Wayne's World video game was released for the 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, a classic 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."



  • A Wayne's World theme park attraction was built and featured at the formerly-Paramount-owned theme parks Kings Dominion and Carowinds. The Wayne's World-themed roller coaster, Hurler, remains at both parks, but the Wayne's World section of Carowinds has been re-themed Thrill Zone, and the Wayne's World section of Kings Dominion has been merged into another area of the park known as The Grove.
  • Scenes in downtown Aurora were actually shot in downtown Covina, California.
  • Wayne and Garth's hangout, Stan Mikita's Donuts is named after the former Chicago Blackhawks player. This is a reference to Tim Hortons, a doughnut shop chain named started by Tim Horton, a player from the Toronto Maple Leafs (Mike Myers' favorite team). Following the film, residents of Aurora, Illinois were inundated with tourists asking for directions to Stan Mikita's Donut Shop, only to be told that it was nonexistent.
  • The commercial for Noah's Arcade that opens the film contains footage of a prototype version of Sonic the Hedgehog playing in the background, though the game was released only on the Sega Genesis and never into arcades.
  • The statue of cars on a large spike was named Spindle, and was located in Berwyn, Illinois. The spindle has since been torn down to make way for more retail space.
  • Ed O'Neill reprises his role as a guest on Saturday Night Live as the disturbed man who speaks directly to the viewer. On Saturday Night Live, he played a shop teacher of Wayne and Garth's that is now an employee at the donut shop.
  • Robert Patrick reprises his role as the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day (he is credited as "Bad Cop" in the credits). He appears late in the film, pulling Wayne over on a police motorcycle. He shows Wayne a picture of a child and asks, "Have you seen this boy?" Wayne realizes who the cop is, screams, and drives off as the T-1000 walks after him (with the character's signature gait) for a few steps.
  • Chris Farley makes his debut movie appearance as a security guard. In the next film, he plays a different role.

See also


External links

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