During the Super Bowl this year, comedian Mike Myers revived one of his all-time classic on-screen characters: Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers film franchise. It reminded us how Myers, in his prime, had a unique gift to create original personalities out of whole cloth, and shape them into unforgettable members of pop culture history. One of those characters, the perpetually optimistic headbanger Wayne, is seeing his feature-length movie Wayne’s World celebrating its 30 year anniversary (don’t hurl!), and director Penelope Spheeris is using the occasion to clear up some long-standing rumors.
Back in 1992, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey carried their popular Saturday Night Live characters of Wayne and Garth (whom they recently reprised) from the sketch comedy show to the big screen. As was the case in those days, SNL characters frequently got standalone movies, but few of them worked as well as Wayne’s World. The singalong to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody remains one of the most memorable scenes in this, or any other, comedy, and Wayne’s World director Penelope Spheeris clears up a major misconception about its use to Variety, saying:
There’s no question that "Bohemian Rhapsody" was the perfect choice for that scene. The peculiar nature of the Queen hit meshed beautifully with the quirky humor Mike Myers was weaving into Wayne’s World. And so much about his character was an appreciation for classic rock icons such as Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, so I’m not certain a Guns n’ Roses song would have worked in that format. Here, revisit the scene, in case it has been a while since you last watched it.
As it turns out, Mike Myers has a long history both with the song, and with the band. He tells an emotional story about how he and his brothers loved the song Bohemian Rhapsody as teenagers, and when it came time to write Wayne’s World, he included that tune. He does tell Stephen Colbert that the studio DID want Guns n’ Roses, but Myers pushed back because he didn’t grow up with that band. With the help of Lorne Michaels, Mike Myers got his way, and the rest was history.
Celebrate the anniversary of Mike Myers’ Wayne’s World in your own unique way. Maybe by watching the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, where the comedian cameos as the EMI agent who tells the band Queen that they can’t have the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” on their album. Talk about going full circle.
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