Before its premiere, skeptics hooted. It’s okay for a skit, they said, lame for an hour and a half. A surefire bomb, right? But, starting with a record- breaking opening weekend, the $14 million Wayne’s World has grossed more than $87 million on its way to a predicted take of $120 million and left those critics spewing. But its shaggy heroes are showing up in a lot more places than just your local theater. Here are 20 examples proving that it really is Wayne’s World. And welcome to it.
1. Twenty-five percent of boys aged 12-17 have seen Wayne’s World at least four times, Video Week reported.
2. According to the research firm Cinemascore, 52 percent of the opening-night audience was drawn ”by the subject matter”; 63 percent was male; and 71 percent was under 25.
3. Stan Mikita’s Donuts exists only in Wayne’s World. But there is a Stan Mikita. The former Chicago Blackhawks center is alive and well, and ranks fifth on the NHL’s all-time scoring list, behind Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Marcel Dionne, and Phil Esposito.
4. SCHWING! shift: If all the teenage boys in the United States SCHWUNG! at once, the earth would tilt three degrees off its axis, resulting in full global warming and causing untold ecological damage.
5. Stick with what you know: After directing critically acclaimed films about heavy-metal bands (The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years) and the suburbs (Suburbia), Penelope Spheeris has finally scored a mainstream hit with a movie about…heavy-metal-loving suburban kids.
6. ”Not!” was first used in a 1978 Saturday Night Live ”Nerds” sketch in which Steve Martin, as Chaz the Spaz, told Gilda Radner’s Lisa Loopner, ”That’s a fabulous science fair project…Not!”
7. The book Wayne’s World: Extreme Close-Up sold out its initial print run of 250,000 copies, as well as its second (25,000 more), and is now entering a third printing.
8. No. 1 with a single bullet: Michael Jackson’s ex-manager, Frank DiLeo, appears in Wayne’s World as Frankie ”Mr. Big” Sharp. The Wayne soundtrack album has kept Jackson’s Dangerous out of the No. 1 slot on Billboard’s pop chart. Hmmm…could there be a Wayne’s World conspiracy theory?
9. In the U.S. there are five Waynesboros; two Waynesburgs; four Waynesvilles; Wayne City, Ill.; Wayne County, Pa., and eight towns simply named Wayne, including our favorite, Wayne, Maine. There are no towns named Garth.
10. Dr. Michael Owren, a primatologist at the University of Colorado at Denver, shares Wayne’s skepticism toward monkeys flying out of a person’s butt: ”It doesn’t happen in reality, but it’s a common misconception that it may happen. Perhaps it’s the inherent airborne nature of the monkeys’ species and their nimble movements within confined spaces.”
11. MTV showed its hour-long Wayne’s World special five times in 36 hours over the movie’s opening weekend.
12. Assessing Wayne and Garth’s reenactment of Laverne & Shirley’s opening credit sequence, Cindy Williams told ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: ”I thought it was brilliant. They shlemieled and shlimazeled better than Penny (Marshall) and I did, but we did the forklift scene better.”
13. Thanks to Wayne’s World exposure, Queen ruled the music charts. Classic Queen stood at No. 9 on Billboard’s April 11 pop album list. And ”Bohemian Rhapsody” was a singles hit once more, 16 years after reaching No. 9.
14. In 92 minutes of film, the boys utter ”Excellent!” on the average of once every three minutes. Other bons mots in the movie: 16 Party Ons!, 4 Schwings!, 4 Nots!, 3 No Way! / Ways!, 2 He Shoots! He Scores!, 2 Fished Ins!
15. Wayne’s World has spawned a pile of paraphernalia: six T-shirt styles, a baseball hat, a mug, a poster, a line of greeting cards, a home video featuring some of the duo’s SNL sketches. Wayne and Garth action figures will hit stores in May.
16. MTV has shown four different videos featuring Wayne and Garth: Queen’s ”Bohemian Rhapsody,” Cinderella’s ”Hot and Bothered,” Tia Carrere’s ”Ballroom Blitz,” and Wayne and Garth’s own ”Pain Cave.”
17. A Grey Poupon spokesman says the mustard company doesn’t object to Wayne’s quoting its tag line, ”Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?”: ”We like people to repeat our advertising. It shows our product is out there in the language.”
18. Waynespeak seeps into political punditry: On a recent episode of The McLaughlin Group, blowhard host John McLaughlin greeted panelist Fred Barnes: ”Welcome back, Fred…Not!” Later, panelist Morton Kondracke referred to New York City as a ”sphincter.”
19. Why they aren’t working on Wayne’s World 2 yet: No sequel deal had been concluded with the stars and writers by the time the film opened because Paramount officials didn’t think it would be a hit. ”Now Paramount is going to have to pay everybody a ton of money,” a Hollywood insider told Variety last month.
20. Waynespeak: The international language
Spain: ” No!”
China (Cantonese): ”Bu shi!”