Cult Classic: Wayne's World
Forget Austin Powers, Shrek and especially The Cat in the Hat - there's no better Mike Myers character than the humble host of Wayne's World.
Though its output over the past ten years or so has been fairly lacklustre, it’s difficult not to overstate the importance of the iconic US comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live.
Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell and Steve Martin are just some of the comedic legends from across the pond that first honed their craft on the weekly show, though unfortunately SNL hasn’t left much of a legacy outside of its comedy stars. For example, comedy flops such as The Ladies’ Man, Coneheads and MacGruber litter the long line of sketch shows which producers mistakenly thought could hit it big at the box office.
There is, however, two comedy classics starring a duo of SNL veterans that won fans across the world and had their beginning from a recurring TV sketch. We are of course referring to… The Blues Brothers.
Actually no, we’re referring to the second such series from SNL, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey’s Wayne’s World. And let’s be honest, while there was no dip in quality between the 1992 Wayne’s World original and its sequel a year later, the long-awaited Blues Brothers 2000 was horrific, so we quite clearly weren’t referring to the earlier series.
Myers and Carvey star as too slow-witted wasteful rock fans that host a public-access cable TV show named – you guessed it – Wayne’s World, yet they are tempted by the chance to go nationwide alongside a sleazy excutive (Rob Lowe) and potentially ‘sell out’.
Yet such a synopsis is to do the film a disservice, as Wayne’s World cares so little for its narrative that it features multiple endings, including a ridiculously but surprisingly more satisfying “Scooby Doo ending”, which arguably trumps a later “mega happy ending”.
No, the real signifier of the mark Wayne’s World left on the world – even twenty years after its release – is that lines such as “Schwing!” can immediately elicit a smile and brief reflection from fans, while you’ll never find a better use of product placement than in the scene below:
Fans argue to this day over whether the original film or its Woodstock-inspired sequel is the superior version (personally the unlikely romance between Dana Carvey's Garth and Kim Basinger makes Wayne's World 2 essential for their scenes together alone), but the solution is simple - buy a box set, grab a Pepsi, order a Pizza Hut and deck yourself out head-to-toe in Reebok and enjoy them both consecutively.
The sad truth is that although Myers later struck paydirt with a trilogy of Austin Powers films (with a fourth apparently in the works) and Shrek, it’s a shame that Wayne’s World’s run ended at just two films 19 years ago. Could Carvey and Myers “party on” once more, albeit in a world of Auto-tune and LMFAO? Perhaps it’s better they’re not around to see what music has become in their absence…
For more cult films, check out the Jameson Cult Film Club.