Only to make you feel that little bit older, the cult classic comedy Wayne's World this week celebrates it's 25th anniversary. The film opened to theaters way back in 1992. Starring Saturday Night Live duo Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, the film would include the likes of Rob Lowe and Tia Carrere with a host of celebrity cameos. All as it told the story of two rock'n'roll friends hosting a public-access television show in their basement of Aurora, Illinois.
While it is remembered fondly and loved in many circles for it's unique humor and memorable one-liners, the critics at the time were not exactly won over by Wayne and Garth's shenanigans. Despite this lukewarm reception, they would go on to spawn a sequel via Wayne's World 2. As well as inspire a number of pop cultural references and bars/night clubs created in their honor.
Unimaginative, Dim and Stupid! History Reflects Poorly On Critics
Janet Maslin of the New York Times gave a scathing review of the picture to argue that it is an insult to people's intelligence.
“H. L. Mencken may have noted that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people, but not even he could have anticipated this…Wayne and Garth do their best to elevate stupidity to an art form.”
With Variety calling it “A colorful but uneventful picture,” Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times argues that even at an hour-and-a-half, the time feels stretched.
"One is conscious of how unimaginatively padded this movie feels, how little the filmmakers have found for Wayne and Garth to do," concludes Turan. "Even with three different endings, not to mention several musical numbers for Cassandra and even a guest solo for Alice Cooper, there is not nearly enough satisfactory plot and incident to fill the film’s bare bones 95 minutes.”
But Desson Howe of the Washington Post summarizes the film up the best, saying that you can't take the subject matter too seriously.
“Maybe you have to be hip to the Wayne’s World skit on TV’s Saturday Night Live. Maybe you have to be puerile, young-hearted and susceptible to jokes about — there’s no other way to put this — sphincters. Well, Wayne’s World-the-movie is a Roto-Rooter for clogged humor. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll drive home. As Wayne or Garth would say, it’s schweeeet.”
StairWay Denied! No - Literally
One of the great gags in Wayne's World would be the "Stairway denied!" moment where Wayne is prevented from starting the Led Zeppelin track in the guitar shop. Scott Meslow of GQ explains that this short 12 seconds in the motion picture was intended to play two bars of the actual song, only for there to be the threat of a $100,000 fee involved.
Ironically, it would be the band Spirit who sued Zeppelin for the song 'Stairway to Heaven' until the lawsuit was eventually dropped. One YouTube user did provide a cut as to what the 1992 film intended the scene to look like.