On Loving Wayne’s World from 1992 to 2022

Maybe it’s because they’re from Aurora, Illinois, and Wayne and Garth remind me of all the Midwestern boys I’ve ever loved. Maybe it’s because they broadcast their public-access TV show from Wayne’s parents’ basement. Maybe it’s because Garth doesn’t know all of the words to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and neither do I. Maybe it’s because they’re supposed to be socially awkward 20-somethings who announce their desire with a well-timed “Schwing!” Maybe it’s because they’re not Rob-Lowe-post-sextape-with-a-16-year-old-girl for 13-year-old girls like me. Maybe it’s because Wayne falls for Cassandra Wong, the impeccable Tia Carrere, who plays bass and rocks out to “Ballroom Blitz” and speaks Cantonese. Maybe it’s because we’re all in on the joke of unrealistic Hollywood endings: the sad, Wayne-doesn’t-get-the-girl ending and the Scooby-Doo ending. Maybe it’s because Cassandra lands her record deal and Wayne and Garth work to see her shine, not the other way around. Maybe it’s because I’ve loved this movie through its “hanging with Ravi Shankar” phase to its “bloated, purple, dead on a toilet” phase. Maybe it’s because none of us are allowed to enjoy “Stairway to Heaven” anymore. Maybe, just maybe, this dumb movie reminds me 30 years later why we’re still not worthy.

Michaella Thornton once had a huge crush on Mike Myers and loves Canadian comedians in general. In 2021, her writing was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Microfiction. As a born-and-raised Midwesterner, she knows she’s not worthy.

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