Wayne’s World (1992)

waynesworldI grew up during the second golden age of “Saturday Night Live,” and I admit that I never saw why so many people loved “Wayne’s World.” Even with the knowledge of what public access TV is years later, the sketch was always very one note to me. That said, we were lucky enough to get the feature film adaptation on VHS when it was released in stores, and it became an instant favorite. The movie itself was a hit, but “Wayne’s World” is a genuine childhood favorite mainly for breaking out of the single setting trappings and expanding the universe of Wayne and Garth. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are back as the hosts of the public access TV show that celebrates all kinds of random humor and appreciation of hot women.

When the pair isn’t filming their show, they hang out at their local coffee shop scarfing down donuts and coffee, and appreciating the local color. “Wayne’s World” has now gone beyond public access gaining some momentum among fans and executive Benjamin Kane is anxious to exploit that. Using Wayne and Garth as a means of exploitation, he plans to help promote a local video arcade CEO who excels at making money off of rigged arcades. What seems like a dream come true eventually becomes a nightmare, as the pair of pals begins to lose control of their show. It also doesn’t help Wayne is at risk of losing his girlfriend, the stone cold hot Cassandra, a fellow rock lover. Myers and Carvey don’t miss a beat reprising their characters, and adding extra dimension to their weird universe.

The movie also is never afraid to break the fourth wall time and time again and get meta. You’d assume that that would break the pacing and the comedy, but the pokes at the audience keep the movie flowing at a fast and funny pace. There are some absolutely priceless moments to pick out from the off the wall humor, from a great conversation involving subtitles that goes on too long, to Myers and Carvey commenting on the philosophy of product placement in their show, while the actual stars tout products from sponsors like Coke and Reebok. It’s that kind of double edged comedy that makes “Wayne’s World” such an out of left field bit of comedic brilliance. Carvey and Myers never lose sight of why their characters hit big with “Saturday Night Live” audiences, making them goofy, loud slackers with a strong friendship and tight bond.

Ironically the movie, like most skits in SNL, really falls apart right in the climax and the writers don’t even seem to try to deliver one that fits. The climax is where I usually tune out from the movie and kind of wish they’d have found an ending that fits. The writers do continue the meta-humor and deliver three potential alternate endings, closing on a final scene reminiscent of a normal episode of SNL, but it feels surprisingly anti-climactic. That said, “Wayne’s World” is what most adaptations of SNL skits have strived to be but rarely accomplished. Carvey and Myers understand their own characters, and keep true to their spirits amplifying their charm, humor, and wit for some raucous laughs.