By: Nick Gambino
On February 14th 1992 Wayne’s World hit theaters and brought with it a wide array of quotable lines and unforgettable laugh out loud scenes.
This is one of those movies that delivers scene after scene, line after line. For example, while these days it seems “that’s what she said” is most closely associated with Michael Scott, it was this little comedy gem from the mind of Mike Meyers that first popularized it.
Despite the subject matter itself being outdated (two metal heads host a public access show out of their basement), the movie’s comedic sensibilities surprisingly stand the test of time 25 years later.
Though the movie was based on the popular SNL sketch of the same name, Paramount didn’t expect it to do much business, dropping it in theaters without much fanfare. On the contrary it was a massive success making over $180 million on a $20 million budget (ka-ching!). With an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 84% audience score, it blew all expectations out of the water.
In honor of this legitimately classic comedy here are my top five favorite moments from the original Wayne’s World.
- Easy come, easy go
Easily the most memorable scene has to be the whole gang rocking out to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I dare you to not think of Wayne’s World whenever you hear that song.
Not only was it funny, punctuated with the picking up of an about-ready-to-spew friend and Wayne’s pining over a sexy ax (guitar for the layman), the scene also perfectly captures those Friday nights driving around with friends much the way Linklater did with Dazed and Confused.
Garth’s failed attempt at lip syncing to the slower parts of the song is even funnier now that we know that Dana Carvey honestly wasn’t prepared that day and didn’t know the lines.
- We’re not worthy!
Who would have thought Alice Cooper could be funny? In one of the best straight man performances in a comedy, Cooper teaches us the history of Milwaukee in full makeup and rocker garb showing us that you can be a rock star and an intellectual, they are not mutually exclusive.
- I’m coming to getcha
Another use of a classic rock song that is eternally linked to a scene from Wayne’s World. Garth’s dance to Jimi Hendrix’s Foxy Lady in an attempt to woo a beautiful waitress (in his dreams – literally) is up there with Napoleon Dynamite’s final dance scene.
A testament to Dana Carvey’s wacky comedy, the dance was all improvised. Apparently the script didn’t even call for it. Instead he was just supposed to sit on the stool as they zoomed in on him.
Try not laughing at Garth’s awkward gyrating and uncontrollable pelvic thrusts. Again, I dare you.
- Everything Garth
Wayne’s World would never have achieved success in the movie or in real life without the assistance of the shy and awkward Garth.
I would go as far to say there isn’t one scene with Garth that is even mediocre. It’s like watching Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (I’m going to get so much flak for saying that). You can’t take your eyes off of him whenever he’s on screen.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t make special mention of one of his lines from the underrated Wayne’s World 2. “Take me, Garth.” “Where? I’m low on gas and you need a jacket.” Classic.
- Watching the planes go by
This is a short but sweet scene. Wayne and Garth lay on the car (the Mirthmobile) looking up at the night sky as they discuss their future and various ways to describe how attractive Cassandra is. But it’s Garth’s coyly asked question that steals the scene, “Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he’d put on a dress and play a girl bunny?”
This scene was mostly improvised on the last day when director Penelope Spheeris gave the two comedians free rein to try out anything they had been wanting to but hadn’t yet had the chance. Check out the comedic chemistry and subtle performances that make this one of the best scenes in the film.
25 years seems like a long time but it’s nothing to the timeless comedy Wayne’s World gave us. I don’t know. Maybe in another 25 or 50 years it will lose its comedic appeal…NOT!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.