In the world of fictional metalheads, few are as beloved and popular as Wayne Campbell, Mike Myers’ hair-sweeping, boner-schwinging host of Saturday Night Live‘s ‘Wayne’s World’ sketches and the star of the movie by that name. But what some fans might not know is that Wayne wasn’t born on SNL, he actually originated on a Canadian TV show named It’s Only Rock & Roll. And a little deep dive shows that Wayne was a much more hardcore metal fan back in the day.
Wayne Campbell’s first appearance came about in 1986, on the CBC summer series It’s Only Rock & Roll, when the show hosted a contest where someone could win a segment. Myers was the winner with Wayne, and hosted a segment called ‘Wayne’s Power Minute’ in which he broke down bad English in heavy metal band names.
While Ratt and Mötley Crüe aren’t exactly the most hardcore names in metal music, Wayne’s general demeanor and love of metal bands is a little more on-point than the Queen- and Aerosmith-worshipping all-purpose rocker of the 1992 film.
Wayne also had an important expose about air guitar, which you can watch here:
Meanwhile, when It’s Only Rock & Roll finally had Wayne in the studio to talk about heavy metal music, he came armed with his own Encylcopedia Metallica (a forefather to the website we all use today). He also talked about various genres of metal, saying, “There’s speed metal, thrash metal, glam metal, pop metal like Bon Jovi — and frankly, I think they’re bogus.” When asked why he disliked New Jersey’s smiliest export, Wayne explained, “I just think it’s a good rule of thumb never to go see a band that’s prettier than your girlfriend.”
That said, as the ’80s turned into the ’90s and metal fell out of favor, Wayne began moving more and more towards a general party animal persona. Foreshadowing the Wayne we all know and love was a later sketch in which Campbell discusses the use of the word ‘party,’ and claims that the world would be better if we all had one big rager.
There you have it — it’s good to know that while everyone thinks partying and Claudia Schiffer are excellent, Mike Myers started this character for people like us.
Words by Chris Krovatin