The best scene in Wayne’s World, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, is the one where Wayne and Garth discuss authenticity and question the ethics of consumerism infiltrating art and culture, while also embracing flagrant product placement in a zany meta-joke. The argument against selling out is kind of quaint by today’s standards, but the scene still holds up. Plus, Garth looks dope in his kicks.
But, as we celebrate Wayne Campbell’s grinning subversion, it behoves us to note: dude sold out long before that scene. Behold the evidence — old videos of “Wayne’s World” sketches, from before the days when it was a hit on Saturday Night Live. Take note, Internet — all you people who at one time hated on Lana Del Rey for being inauthentic (remember those days?): Wayne was originally from…Scarborough!
Now, granted, this isn’t really surprising. In the film, Wayne and Garth are from Aurora, Illinois, but that never felt right. As if, Wayne might say. Are we really supposed to believe that even the most hockey-understanding Americans ever played street hockey? Do they even know to shout CAR? And that donut shop — tell me that’s not a stand in for a Tim Horton’s. Wayne’s always been from Scarborough. Like thousands of dreamers before (and after) him, he just hid his roots to make it big.
That might be selling out. But, with the exchange rate what it was in the early ’90s (not to mention today) we don’t really blame him for pretending.