Director Penelope Spheeris talks Wayne’s World 30th Anniversary

by W. Andrew Powell
Penelope Spheeris

Thirty years ago this month, Wayne’s World made it’s big screen debut, and Wayne and Garth became the feel-good icons of the year.

The film was so popular in 1992, it came in #5 at the annual box office, earning more than Aladdin, Basic Instinct, and A League of Their Own domestically. Wayne’s World stayed at the top of the box office for five weeks, and every teenager was saying “Not!” and “We’re not worthy!” for months after that.

Taking an SNL skit and turning it into a successful feature-length film is no easy task either, and it’s safe to say that director Penelope Spheeris is at the heart of what made Wayne’s World such a huge hit. The film seamlessly blends comedy and music with great comedic performances by stars Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, not to mention Rob Lowe as the film’s villain, Benjamin, and Lara Flynn Boyle as Stacy.

Wayne’s World was packed with great one-liners, fun improv (like the scene where Carvey offhandedly says, “Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played a girl bunny?”), plus cameos by comedy and music greats, and Spheeris balanced all of that together for one of the best comedies of the early 90s.

The award-winning director went on to direct The Beverly Hillbillies and The Little Rascals, not to mention Black Sheep, however she got her start making music videos in the 1970s, followed by music documentaries in the 1980s, including the trilogy of films, The Decline of Western Civilization.

Sitting down with Spheeris to talk about the film and its legacy, she shared a bit about what it was like working with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in these iconic roles, how she handled improv in making the movie, and what it was like when the film became such a huge hit in 1992. Watch the full interview below.

Wayne’s World is available now on Blu-Ray, digital, and in steelbook edition.

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