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‘Wayne’s World’ Director Penelope Spheeris Talks Upcoming 30th Anniversary and Comedy Today

“People all over the world have seen Wayne’s World. And to me, it’s astounding… people all over the world for 30 years have seen it.”

Wayne’s World was first released on February 14 back in 1992. The movie is a spin-off of an SNL skit, following Wayne (Mike Meyers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) as Benjamin (Rob Lowe) takes interest in not only their public access TV show but Wayne’s girlfriend Cassandra (Tia Carrere) as well.

Wayne’s World grossed over $121 million at the domestic box office and has partied on to being considered a classic today. Aside from its contagious dialogue, the film also features a masterful soundtrack including songs like Freddie Mercury’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Jim Hendrix’s Fire, and many more bops. This adds up, given Spheeris’ extensive background in music video production.


Before Directing Wayne’s World

Via: Paramount

“Around 1973 or 1974, I got a call from CBS Records, and they asked if I would like to make a music video… So, I started this company, and I was working for many of the record companies shooting a lot of music. And so, my experience doing the music videos in the early days, I think had a great effect on not only just shooting performance but also choosing songs and the marriage of the visual and the audio… and using music to create more emotion.”

Before directing Wayne’s World, Spheeris’ first feature film in 1979, The Decline of Western Civilization, was a documentary on the Los Angeles Punk Scene. The documentary shut down Hollywood Boulevard and the Chief of Police at the time demanded the film not be shown again in L.A.

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“Of course, we showed it again, being good punk rockers. We showed it. And now it’s in the National Film Registry… pretty gratifying now that it’s in the Library of Congress.”

Spheeris’ films being influenced, as well as influencing music, doesn’t stop there as Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers refers to the film she made after The Decline, Suburbia, as the punk rock bible. As for Wayne’s World, Wayne and Garth are more into metal and headbanging, but Spheeris does credit their ability to not take anything too seriously to a certain punk rock lifestyle and set of standards.

On Comedy Today and SNL Influence

Via: Paramount

Other influences of the film, of course being a spin-off of their skit, are SNL and Lorne Michaels. Spheeris said that during filming, she picked up a technique from Michaels that allowed her to draw out more humor from the performance of Mike Meyers and others.

“You get in a room with Lorne, and all you do is watch him and try to get a reaction. So, he doesn’t react a lot. But when he does react, and he does find something funny, it’s like, you know, oh, the heavens opened up. I learned from Lorne to make the actors make you laugh. As a director, Mike and Dana always say we were just trying to make Penelope laugh. And if I sit there and don’t laugh, they try harder and harder, and they get funnier and funnier.”

Wayne’s World carries a timeless ability to draw guttural laughs with both dialogue and physical humor, though, Spheeris did comment on how if someone was completely new to the film, one of her curiosities would be their reception of the comedy within it.

“People today, their sense of humor is different than it was back then. I look at a lot of YouTube and Instagram stuff, and I’m like, ‘Why is that funny?’ But humor evolves over the years.”

Will There Be A Wayne’s World 3?

Waynes World
Via: Paramount

When a film is as successful as Wayne’s World, it’s only natural that people ask for more. Wayne’s World 2 was released in 1993, following Wayne and Garth as they shoot their shot at putting on a rock concert. It raked in $48 million in the US and Canada. The world has yet to see a Wayne’s World 3 and as of the time of writing, it has no confirmation. Spheeris did comment, however, that if it was to happen, she would like to see Wayne and Garth get old.

“I would love to see Wayne and Garth Get old and have them still be as carefree and fun-loving as they were in the first movie… can you imagine how stupid they would look? If they were that old and acting like that? It would be great.”

Though it is a smart movie, as Spheeris comments, “if you stop and look at it. If you stop and examine it.” This leads us to believe that if we ever do get Wayne’s World 3, where Wayne and Garth grow old and still have fun, they may be the smart ones.

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