Believe it or not: Oddball comedy Wayne’s World made its debut on the big screen 25 years ago. The movie, adapted from the Saturday Night Live sketches with Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers), the enthusiastic host of a public access cable show from his parents' couch, and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey), his socially inept and genius sidekick, went on to surpass $100 million at the box office and develop a cult following.
To celebrate the anniversary, more than 400 theaters are showing the movie Tuesday and Wednesday (tickets: WaynesWorld25.com). The screenings include an introduction by Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers, a new interview with Myers and Carvey, and a taped fan Q&A featuring director Penelope Spheeris and other actors from the movie, who shared some of these 25 facts you may not know about Wayne’s World:
1. According to Carvey, Garth was inspired by his brother, Brad, an engineer who built the first wire-wrapped Video Toaster editing tool.
2. In Wayne’s World 2, Garth wears a Video Toaster T-shirt. Get it?
3. When Garth plays the drums in Cassell’s Music, that’s really Carvey drumming.
4. The movie marked SNL cast member Chris Farley’s feature film debut.
5. Hosting a cable access show was a lifelong dream of Myers', hence the Wayne’s World show within a show.
6. Myers and Carvey improvised dialogue when they’re lying on the hood of the car, like the line, “Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?”
7. Remember when Wayne famously says "No stairway, denied," after trying to play Led Zeppelin? According to Spheeris, that came about because of fair use laws. "Stairway to Heaven was limited to, I believe, three notes, then we cut it back to two notes, then the studio went back and cut it down even further. The joke still worked."
8. The Bohemian Rhapsody scene was inspired by Myers' experience singing the Queen song in the car with his friends.
9. Myers wanted to cut the scene where Stacy (Lara Flynn Boyle) crashes her bike into a car, because he didn’t think it was organically funny. Then he realized it got some of the biggest laughs.
10. Tia Carrere turned down a role on Baywatch to play Wayne's love interest, rocker chick Cassandra.
11. One of the Wayne's World move poster taglines was "You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll hurl."
12. Wayne’s World is the highest-grossing SNL sketch-turned-movie.
13. The movie only cost $14 million to make.
14. Wayne’s World was No. 1 in its opening weekend in 1992 (with $18 million).
15. It became the No. 8 movie of the year, just behind The Bodyguard.
16. SNL producer Lorne Michaels told Spheeris she could hire Rob Lowe to play TV producer Benjamin Oliver “really cheap, because he can’t get a job” after the actor's sex tape scandal.
17. Carrere sings rock music in the movie, but she’s won Grammys for her Hawaiian music.
18. Paramount’s international marketing plan translated the movie’s signature phrases into different languages in ads.
19. Though the movie is set in Aurora, a suburb of Chicago, only two days of the 34-day shoot were spent in Chicago. The rest was shot in Los Angeles.
20. Not laughing while Carvey’s Garth crazily hammered a robotic hand was nearly impossible for Lowe.
21. Myers didn't hire Spheeris to helm Wayne’s World 2 because the two had creative differences. She felt better about it after the sequel bombed at the box office, making $48 million compared to the first movie's $121 million.
22. Spheeris went on to direct The Little Rascals and Black Sheep.
23. The character Cassandra was inspired by Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics.
24. Terminator 2 star Robert Patrick, who makes a cameo, still has fans come up to him and ask “Have you seen this boy?”
25. The town of Aurora has organized a six-month celebration of Wayne’s World, using the hashtag #partyonaurora.