Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reprised their roles as Wayne and Garth for the 1992 feature film adaptation of their recurring Saturday Night Live sketch, Wayne’s World. That film remains the most successful film based on an SNL sketch and Wayne and Garth are two icons of the '90s. However, it almost didn’t happen, or history might have viewed Wayne’s World differently, because Dana Carvey actually quit the film at one point over the script, as he explained:
Mike was writing it, and I was putting stuff in. Then I would see that the stuff wasn’t in anymore. And so I actually, three weeks before we started shooting, said ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ I actually quit the movie.
Mike Myers, Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner are credited with writing the script for Wayne’s World, but during the writing process, Dana Carvey was trying to have some creative input by adding things in. As he told Howard Stern on The Howard Stern Show, everything that he was putting into the story was getting cut and that led to him quitting the film shortly before production was set to begin.
Based on his conversation with Howard Stern, Dana Carvey was trying to beef up his role in the film and give the character of Garth Algar more to do. He still viewed Garth as the sidekick, but wanted to add in things to the story to give him more of an arc. Carvey felt that he had nothing to do otherwise and there was no point in him even being in it with such a limited role.
These additions were not accepted though and they all got the axe, resulting in a story where he felt his character was getting short-changed. Dana Carvey understandably became frustrated that he wasn’t getting a creative say, and that frustration built to the point that he no longer wanted to even be a part of the film.
Apparently the powers that be didn’t initially believe that Dana Carvey was really quitting, and had he not come back, Wayne’s World would have presumably recast the role of Garth if it went forward at all. Fortunately, Dana Carvey’s exit wasn’t permanent.
Although the comedian/actor didn’t elaborate on what specifically changed his mind, Wayne’s World got to party on and went forward with him and Mike Myers as the two metalheads, ultimately becoming the cult classic it is today. Dana Carvey also said that he and Mike Myers wound up getting along during the making of the film and noted how great Wayne’s World turned out.
It is unfortunate that Dana Carvey felt like he didn’t get much creative input, but given Wayne’s World’s classic status, it’s hard to say that changing it would have improved it. Wayne does have a more robust story arc with his various girl troubles, but the film needs Garth too, even if his story is very much tied to Wayne.
Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reprised their roles as Wayne and Garth for the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary a few years back and the two comedians showed up on stage together at this past Academy Awards. Whether that means we’ll ever get a Wayne’s World 3 is anyone’s guess, but Mike Myers hasn’t closed the door on it.