‘Wayne’s World’: Why Aerosmith Was in the Maligned Sequel but Not the Original

Wayne’s World 2 (1993) isn’t the worst sequel ever made (far from it). But like most movies that stretch a concept too far, the sequel to the smash-hit Wayne’s World (1992) never had the following of the original film. However, it did give Aerosmith fans a second look at the band with the SNL duo.

A few years before Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) hit the big screen, Aerosmith made an appearance on the recurring skit and played as the musical guest on a season 13 (1990) SNL episode. And Myers, who created the characters and wrote the film script, wanted the band back with him in the movie.

It didn’t turn out that way for Aerosmith. Alice Cooper became the featured musical act in Wayne’s World, so he’s the one that got the “We’re not worthy!” treatment. As director Penelope Spheeris told Billboard in 2017, the members of Aerosmith had only themselves to blame for appearing in the sequel but not the original.

Aerosmith passed on an offer to appear in the 1st ‘Wayne’s World’ movie

AEROSMITH posed at MTV Europe Awards in 1994 | Mick Hutson/Redferns

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Spheeris, along with Cooper and co-star Tia Carrere, spoke with Billboard on the 25th anniversary of Wayne’s World. When looking back to Cooper’s appearance, Spheeris recalled how Myers originally had Aerosmith in mind for the film. But she said the band turned it down.

That opened the door for Cooper, whom Spheeris had featured in Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988). Spheeris offered him the part, and Cooper accepted. But he had to do more than perform; Myers also wanted Cooper and his band to do a scene with them.

Spheeris remembered Cooper handling the shoot like a pro. “Poor Alice got these lines thrown at him the day of,” Spheeris told Billboard. “He didn’t even have time to rehearse overnight. I do remember thinking how amazed I was that he could spit out those lines so effortlessly.”

As for Cooper, the shock-rock legend had a blast on Wayne’s World. “When I got to the set, Mike said, ‘You’re an actor, can you do some lines for us?'” Cooper told Billboard. “I went ‘sure’ and I got like five pages of dialogue. I said, ‘When are we doing this?’ He goes, ‘In about 20 minutes. I go ‘OK.’ So a lot of it was riffing.”

Alice Cooper tells people he was in ‘the funny 1’ when people ask him which ‘Wayne’s World’ he was in

While die-hard Wayne’s World fans defend the sequel, Spheeris and Cooper certainly don’t hold the second installment in high regard. “When people ask ‘Which Wayne’s World were you in?’ I always tell them, ‘The funny one,'” Cooper told Billboard.

But he didn’t necessarily mean it as a knock on Aerosmith. “It’s always hard to do a follow-up,” Cooper said. “In the long run, the first one was the classic, nothing to do with Aerosmith being in the second. Doing that part two, sophomore, everybody goes, ‘Eh.'” 

Audiences certainly went “Eh” when the film arrived at the close of ’93. Wayne’s World 2 barely recouped its sizable ($40 million) budget. Spheeris had a great line about Aerosmith turning down the first film only to appear in the sequel. “You’ll notice Aerosmith is in Wayne’s World 2,” the director told Billboard. “[Laughs]. I’m gonna call that ‘two bad decisions.'”