On this day in 1993, Wayne’s World 2–the sequel to the 1992 hit comedy starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as a pair of long-haired, heavy-metal-loving slackers who produce a cable access TV show from their basement–opens in theaters.
Co-written by Myers, Wayne’s World was based on a popular sketch from TV’s Saturday Night Live featuring the Aurora, Illinois-based high school friends Wayne Campbell (Myers) and Garth Algar (Carvey), who host a show in which they play air guitar and hold forth on such topics as women and the god-like status of their musical idols, Aerosmith. Wayne and Garth popularized a long list of catchphrases, including: “Party on,” “We’re not worthy” and “Excellent!” Skits from Saturday Night Live, which debuted on NBC in 1975, have inspired a string of films, including The Blues Brothers (1980), Coneheads (1993) and A Night at the Roxbury (1998). Wayne’s World is the highest grossing of these movies to date, while Wayne’s World 2 comes in third, behind The Blues Brothers.
Wayne Campbell was just one of many memorable characters played by Mike Myers during his years as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. He donned a female wig and dressed in drag to portray the middle-aged New Yorker Linda Richman of “Coffee Talk,” whose catchphrases include “Like buttah,” “Talk amongst yourselves” and “I’m a little verklempt.” Clad in head-to-toe black, Myers was Dieter, the bored host of the fictional German TV talk show Sprockets, who was known for saying “Your story has become tiresome” and “Touch my monkey.” Born on May 25, 1963, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, Myers began acting on Canadian television as a child, appearing in commercials and TV shows. He joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1989 and remained with the show through 1995. Following the success of the first Wayne’s World movie, which premiered on February 14, 1982, Meyers had a mega-hit with 1997’s Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, a James Bond satire in which he plays a womanizing British spy with bad teeth, a personal style stuck in the 1960s and the catchphrase “Yeah, baby, yeah.” The sequel, 1999’s Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, proved an even bigger box-office hit; it was followed by 2002’s Austin Powers in Goldmember.
In 2001, the Canadian funnyman scored yet another huge hit with the animated feature Shrek, in which he voiced, in a Scottish accent, the lovable green ogre of the movie’s title. Also featuring the vocal talents of Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz, the film spawned the successful sequels Shrek 2 (2004) and Shrek the Third (2007). Not all of Myers’ movies have been box-office gold, however: In 2008, he starred in The Love Guru, a film that was panned by most reviewers and failed to attract the massive audiences of Myers’ previous efforts.