Mike Myers Wanted To Remove Bohemian Rhapsody Sequence In Wayne's World: He Thought “It’s Not Funny”
Can you imagine Wayne’s World without the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody' sequence?
But there was a time when Mike Myers fought tooth and nail to have the scene — where Myers’ Wayne and Dana Carvey’s Garth and friends lip-synch and headbang to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in their car — removed.
Speaking on The Hollywood Reporter’s It Happened in Hollywood podcast, Wayne’s World director Penelope Spheeris shared that the feud happened after movie was completed and screened for test audiences.
Alas, Myers wasn’t around for those screenings: his father passed away at that time and Myers had to return to Canada for the funeral.
“I got great audience reaction in the testing setting. That’s when the crap hit the fan,” Spheeris said. “He wasn’t there to witness the incredible audience reaction and look at the test cards and realise that we had something on our hands.”
And when Myers got back and saw the movie alone, he didn’t like what he saw and gave Spheeris 11 pages of notes, including suggestions of which scenes to drop. “Most of them sucked,” she said.
One scene Myers picked on was the now-iconic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody' scene.
“[The actors] hated banging their head in the car — it hurt,” said Spheeris. “[Metallica’s] James Hetfield, all those headbangers, they’re used to it. These guys weren’t used to doing that. They didn’t have the muscles in their neck and it started hurting really bad.
“They started asking for Advil on the set. The worst part is Mike said not only does it hurt, it’s not funny.”
A battle between Spheeris, producer Lorne Michaels and the studio, Paramount, ensued. While Spheeris kept the gag in the final cut, the victory was short-lived: it cost her the gig of directing Wayne’s World 2. (The 1993 sequel was directed by Stephen Surjik.)
Elsewhere in the podcast, she also addressed another widely circulated story about that scene.
“I had read so many times that Mr Myers claims that I wanted to use a Guns N’ Roses song in that scene,” Spheeris said. “Being the hero and genius that he is, he fought so hard against this asshole director to get ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the movie. That’s a big effing lie. You can kiss my big fat white butt.”
She continued, “’Bohemian Rhapsody’ was in the script when I got it. If it was his idea to put it in there, cool — thanks, dude. Don’t say you have to fight for it because you didn’t.”
“At the end of the day, I feel like a jerk right now,” she added. “Because ‘Why do we have to argue over who gets the credit for that?’ Let’s give the credit to Queen and walk away.”
After Wayne’s World opened in 1992, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ recharted the Billboard Top 100 singles chart in the US. In the 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Myers portrayed a record executive (a character made up for the movie) who clashed with the band over the release of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ as the first single for A Night at the Opera.
Listen to Spheeris’ interview on It Happened in Hollywood podcast here: