Plot: Two amiably aimless metal-head friends, Wayne (Myers) and Garth (Carvey), broadcast a talk show on local public access television. The show comes to the attention of a sleazy network executive (Lowe) who wants to produce a big-budget version — and he also wants Wayne's girlfriend, a rock singer named Cassandra (Carrere). Wayne and Garth have to battle the executive not only to save their show, but also Cassandra.
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Back when tuning into “Saturday Night Live” (TV) was still a popular thing to do, two stars of the show had a popular sketch bit involving two slackers with a public access TV show. In fact, Wayne and Garth were so popular, their sketch comedy skit was greenlit for a feature-length movie, titled Wayne’s World. And the response was enormous. So big, in fact, that a sequel was fast-tracked for the very next year. Suddenly, TV actors Mike Myers and Dana Carvey were household names.
While Dana Carvey aimed for mostly kid movies after these two films, Mike Myers was just getting started, and would go on to play the lead in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) and provide the iconic voice for the title character in Shrek (2001). For this Saturday’s retro review, it seemed like a good idea to go back and see how these two got their start, in Wayne’s World. Plus, it helped that it’s available for free on Hulu®.
Mike Myers is the leader of the Wayne’s World duo of Wayne and Garth, and does a good job with what is, essentially, a very basic character. While there isn’t really a depth to the character, the fun-loving Wayne still provides a decent amount of laughs. Viewers will be able to see an inkling of the future Austin Powers in his antics, although Austin Powers is sharper and funnier.
Dana Carvey, as the shy and quiet Garth, doesn’t get to shine too much in this first film, and is mostly just the quiet sidekick. While he gets a few moments in the sun, there’s nothing that really relies on the comedy stylings of Dana Carvey to pull off. Still, he’s a likable character anyway.
Rob Lowe, as the slimy guy, does a role he can probably do in his sleep by this point. He got better at when he went up against the duo of Chris Farley and David Spade in Tommy Boy, and looks to still be refining his character in Wayne’s World.
Tia Carrere, on the other hand, is mostly around for eye candy. It seems like she was looking to break onto the music scene for real, and this film provided her with the opportunity to do that. Surprisingly, the plot actually centers more around her than on Wayne and Garth (especially as the film gets closer to the end), and she does a decent job in her role. She’s just not a standout, and viewers may wish the film switched the focus back to Wayne and Garth.
Unlike many of the “Saturday Night Live” (TV) films that would follow after the success of Wayne’s World, it looks like they spent at least a little time on coming up with a plot of sorts. While it’s not exactly complicated, it gives them a rough framework to play around in, even while furthering the plot of the film. Later films would try to just extend the skit longer, and would fail. By providing a bit of a plot, the filmmakers helped make Wayne’s World more than just a skit.
That being said, they do have a lot of fun with the filler, and incorporate a large amount of the funny bits from the skit in their own segments – and come up with a few new ones as well. Whether it’s the “We’re Not Worthy!” chant to Alice Cooper or the now classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” head banging sing-a-long, there’s plenty of laughs on hand in Wayne’s World.
Sure, it’s a bit cheesy, especially now that it’s outdated. But Wayne and Garth still hold a charm, and watching their antics is still entertaining even today. If you haven’t seen Wayne’s World in awhile, go back and give it another viewing. While it may not be as funny as it was in ’92, it’s still got plenty of hilarious moments.