Wayne’s World has turned 30! That makes me feel indescribably old. I loooooved Wayne’s World back in the day. It was the first movie I saw three times in the cinema, and there wasn’t even a cinema in my town. I didn’t know it was a Saturday Night Live spin-off, and didn’t care, but I responded strongly to its vibe, its goodwill, its sense of fun, its rockin’ tunes…
It was irreverent and rebellious, but in a weirdly warm and welcoming way—Wayne and his bros didn’t want to smash the state or tear down the system, but they might buy The Man a cruller at Stan Mikita’s Donuts and try to win him over.
What’s it about? Metal and public access television. Suburban teen metalhead Wayne Campbell (a pre-Austin Powers, pre-disappearing-off-the-cultural-map-completely Mike Myers) and his nerdy but equally music-obsessed best friend Garth Algar (MVP Dana Carvey) host the local community TV talk show Wayne’s World, which they film in Wayne’s basement. Wayne, in that fuzzy interstitial area between high school and real life, dreams of taking the show pro, but can’t figure out how.
In swoops sleazy TV producer Benjamin (Rob Lowe, on the cusp of everyone realising how funny he is), who promises fame and fortune but really wants to strip mine the show and give Wayne and Garth the boot (how this will profit him is unclear). He’s also making moves on Wayne’s new girlfriend, rock singer Cassandra (Tia Carrere). Can our heroes win out over the forces of corporate oppression and commercialisation?