'Wayne's World' Turns 30! Mike Myers, Dana Carvey and More on Making a Comedy Classic

Mike Myers and Dana Carvey talk to PEOPLE about adapting a Saturday Night Live skit into a beloved comedy

Wayne's World
Mike Myers, Dana Carvey. Photo: Paramount/Everett Collection

We're not worthy!

Wayne's World rocks on as it turns 30 on Monday, but audiences almost didn't get to see the comedy inspired by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey's Saturday Night Live's skit about goofy heavy metal lovers Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar broadcasting a public access TV show in their basement.

"There was no guarantee that that movie was going to get made or released," Myers tells PEOPLE. "So 30 years on, I can't believe."

Director Penelope Spheeris echoes those concerns.

"There was such a small window to shoot it, because we were shooting in the summertime, and the boys had to be back in New York," she says of Myers and Carvey's SNL commitments. "The one question I was getting over and over was, do you really think that you can turn a five-minute skit into a feature-length movie? I said, 'Absolutely. I am totally positive that I can do it.' I wasn't positive. I was faking it."

Wayne's World
Paramount/Everett Collection

Tia Carrere, who plays Wayne's rocker love interest Cassandra in the film, likens the vibe on set to "a bunch of scientists in the room" creating something funny.

"Because comedy is really a science," the Hawaiian actress, 55, says. "You get a room full of comedy writers and somebody says something funny, you think you're laughing your head off. But they pause and they nod their head and take notes. I always imagined that it was going to be raucous, a laugh a minute, these crazy people over the top bouncing off the walls. But no, it's a real science."

But Carrere assures some funny moments did happen between takes.

"We were at Stan Mikita's Donuts until like maybe 2 or 3 in the morning a couple of nights to get all those scenes in. And Mike Myers came up with this character — the hyperactive kid that had to be chained to the jungle gym," she recalls. "I saw him playing it on SNL but that was really born at like 2 in the morning on set at Stan Mikita's Donuts."

Spheeris, 76, remembers trying to get through a scene during which Myers and Carvey, 66, couldn't stop laughing.

"We were shooting them on the hood of the car and the plane was going over. They were so tired, but there was a limo waiting outside the sound stage to take them to the airport," she says. "The limo is honking, and we're shooting. The guys were cracking up so hard they couldn't remember their lines. They were ad-libbing and I just let the camera roll because I didn't have time to stop and reset."

Eventually, they nailed the scene and Myers and Carvey drove off in the limo. "As soon as those guys got off that car and got in the limo, somebody popped a bottle of champagne and it was like, 'We did it,'" Spheeris says.

RELATED VIDEO: Why Mike Myers Took a Six-Year Break From Hollywood: 'I Have Three Beautiful Kids'

Despite initial concerns and a smaller budget of approximately $20 million, Wayne's World grossed $183 million worldwide and inspired a sequel that came out in 1993. Catchphrases like "Party on," "Not!" and "Schwing!" quickly entered the '90s vernacular, and Myers, 58, loves seeing how the characters have resonated with viewers across generations.

"I love on Halloween seeing 20-somethings and younger dressed as Wayne and Garth," he says. "I see two girl combinations, one girl's Garth, and one girl is Wayne. Or a guy and their dog, one is Wayne and one is Garth, which is also satisfying."

Carrere, who went on to star in True Lies and voice Nani in Lilo & Stitch, agrees Wayne's World "struck a chord" with audiences.

"I've seen a lot of parents that have turned their kids onto it because it was so formative in their life," the mom of 16-year-old Bianca Wakelin says. "Of course, my daughter could care less."

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Carvey thinks the comedy's staying power comes from having "a charm to it besides the jokes."

"Wayne and Garth had less than anybody in the town. They drove a horrible car. They lived with their parents. They had no money, but they're having more fun than anyone in the town," he says. "It's a very light movie, ultimately."

Spheeris believes Wayne's World "changed my life totally" because "overnight I was really, really, really rich." The director also corrects misconceptions that she and Myers didn't get along while shooting.

"We didn't get along when the cut was done, that was the problem. But other than that, we got along fine," Spheeris says. "I've seen Mike a couple of times and he has to show me all the pictures of his children because he's such a happy father."

The dad of son Spike, 10, and daughters Sunday, 7, and Paulina, 6, confirms, "I'm really enjoying my time as a dad. It's a fantastic time in my life and I couldn't be happier."

After Wayne's World, Myers starred in the Austin Powers trilogy and voiced ogre Shrek, which his kids only somewhat understand. "When I see Shrek stuff in the world and I'm with my kids, it's very, very odd," he says. "Because they look at me like when a dog hears a weird noise and cocks their head. Like, does not compute. I'm like, let it not compute for a while, please."

Mike Myers and Kelly Tisdale
Frazer Harrison/Getty

The Emmy winner and his wife of 11 years, Kelly Tisdale, raise their kids out of the spotlight. Myers says that when it comes to his children, "the thing I'm most concerned with is that they learn to be good citizens."

"They're very, very conscientious, these kids. And they're way ahead of us," he continues. "They're very accepting of people. It's very, very gratifying. What good citizens my kids are. I'm thrilled."

Wayne's World's limited-edition Blu-Ray SteelBook is out now.

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