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Wayne's World


Of all the characters he's played, Lee Tergesen says that Terry from "Wayne's World" is probably the most similar to him personally.

Lee loves his rock and roll, and heavy metal is as much at the heart of this movie as Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) -- the characters originally developed in sketches for "Saturday Night Live."

But one iconic scene in the movie originally had something missing: Lee. "When I went to the first read-through, I wasn't in the car for the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' scene," he said in a July 9, 2000, Bergen Record article, "and I said to Mike Myers, 'Dude, I've got to be in the car.'"

Myers wrote him in to the scene, and the rest is pop-culture history. 

But the "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene is not Lee's only moment that echoes in popular culture. His line, "I love you, man," was lifted by Budweiser as the catchphrase for a series of beer ads.

Following is a closer look at the movie, focusing on Lee Tergesen's big scenes.

Lee's Scenes

The movie starts on familiar ground -- with Wayne and Garth doing "Wayne's World" on public access TV from Wayne's basement in Aurora, Illinois. Lee's character, Terry, is one of the cameramen. The other cameraman is Alan, played by Michael DeLuise. The sound man is Neil, played by Dan Bell (see also "The Shot"), whose equipment has a tendency to burst into flames.

After the show, the boys pile into the Mirthmobile (a ratty, blue AMC Pacer). Wayne pops in a tape of Queen's over-the-top rock classic, "Bohemian Rhapsody," and heads begin to bang.

In the director's commentary on the DVD for "Wayne's World," Penelope Spheeris describes her respect for heavy metal musicians and their fans -- and it shows in the movie. When the guys get into the car, it's at a point in the movie where the story really has to "kick in," Spheeris says. Also, even though it's a comedy and a spoof, it can't be too goofy. The Bohemian Rhapsody scene makes these characters real while taking the audience along for a fun ride.

Spheeris says that the scene was shot during the course of two nights -- all night long. They kept doing takes, playing the song over and over again. "The guys in the back seat were having a fine time, but Mike Myers kept complaining that his neck hurt and that he was getting a headache," Spheeris said. "He also said that the scene wasn't real. I told him, 'trust me, it's real."

Lee sure knew it was real.  In a Q&A at LeeTergesen.com, he says, "If you notice, I am the only true head-banger in the car. I really worked that ... neck."

There were several scenes of Lee demonstrating his master headbanger strokes, and the director commented on one in particular. It comes about midway through the movie, when the boys are all at a party. The camera captures the Wayne's World crew just totally rocking out. Lee is working that neck again, and his mane of hair is flying. Spheeris said, "Those are the moments I gotta have" to make the movie grounded in something real. 

Speaking of real -- all that hair of Lee's? It's real too. "I grew every inch of that ... hair!" he said during an interview for Metal Rules magazine. (He does admit that in Wayne's World 2, they had to weave some in.)

During the party, Wayne and Garth are celebrating the signing of a new TV contract and sponsorship. When Terry learns of the news, he grabs Wayne and hollers, "I love you, man!" Wayne is uncomfortable with this proclamation and turns Terry onto Garth. "I love you, man!" Garth gives him a simple "Thank you." Terry is happy.

Spheeris explains how the scene is just a joke about how heavy metal is such a macho world. "It's like football with long hair," she says during the director's commentary for this scene. "There's patting each other on the butt and hugging each other and I love you, man. It's all about male camaraderie."

Terry trots out his "I love you, man" line a couple more times in the movie. This time it's directed at Russell (Kurt Fuller) -- the assistant to the soulless producer (Rob Lowe) -- who winds up helping the guys carry out a plan.

One other fun spot in the movie is during rehearsals for "Wayne's World" at the big studio in Chicago for the first time. Russell gives the guys some instruction, during which Terry learns how to count down to start the show. He makes a couple of practice runs. One time, he does it wrong and starts to laugh. It looks like it was unintentional -- a true mistake on Lee’s part --  but they decided to just go with it. Just another way to make it feel "real."

Movie Gallery

The crew

In the MirthMobile
Bohemian Rhapsody
Terry and Garth
The backseat

In the coffeeshop

I love you, man

Countdown lessons
Countdown rehearsal
Rob Lowe butts in

Real countdown
The cameraman
Going live

I love you, Russell
Back in the basement
One last I love you

Related Links


Available on DVD
and packaged:
Wayne's World 1&2:
The Complete Epic



Note: Both clips below are at other Web sites. Also, when the clips open, an ad plays first. 

Wayne's World trailer
Lee figures prominently at the beginning and ending of this clip, hosted at the Video Detective movie trailer archive.

Bohemian Rhapsody
(Wayne's World Version)
This 6-minute music video, at Yahoo Music, features scenes of the "Wayne's World" boys interspersed with Queen's performance of the song.