The Day 'Wayne's World' Reinvented Bohemian Rhapsody

By GQ Middle East
14 February 2019
Wayne's World, Bohemian Rhapsody
Long before Rami Malek came along, Queen's epic song enjoyed a renaissance thanks to an inspired piece of comedy 27 years ago today

It’s the film scene that spawned countless parodies.

You know the one. A comedy, a car scene, a singalong.

Before Rami Malek came along and reintroduced Bohemian Rhapsody to a modern audience, Queen’s epic song had gone through an earlier renaissance thanks to one of comedy’s most memorable opening scenes almost three decades ago.

 

Wayne’s World premiered in the US on February 14, 1992, and with that came the unforgettable sequence of Mike Myers, Dana Carvey and friends miming the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody on a Friday night drive in their home town of Aurora, Illinois.

It’s easy to forget how fresh and funny the scene was when it first came out, and to this day many of us can barely resist the urge to headbang to the song as the heavy guitar sound kicks in.

Almost overnight, the song, initially released in 1975, stormed back into the charts, eventually climbing to number two in the US. The scene remains a classic of its type, inspiring good and bad imitations across film and TV. 

In 1995’s Tommy Boy, Chris Farley and David Spade went through a rendition of Superstar by The Carpenters while cruising in a convertible.

 

A year later Tom Cruise belted out a solo version of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ in Jerry Maguire.

 

The trend continued well into the next century.

In Step Brothers (2008), Sweet Child of Mine by Guns ‘N’ Roses get a falsetto treatment, though sadly neither Will Ferrell nor John C Reilly are involved in the scene.

 

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, in 2013’s The Internship, did an ironic opening scene version of Alanis Morrissette’s Ironic.

 

Ted and Marshal, in television’s excellent How I Met Your Mother, sing along to The Proclaimers’ I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) – over and over - while on a road trip because the tape was stuck and they had no other songs to listen to.

Firmly established in popular culture, the car singalong inevitably conquered the age of YouTube.

James Corden, having sang his heart out for Christmas on Gavin and Stacey, reprised the role for Comic Relief with George Michael, convincing the reluctant former Wham man to sing along to I’m Your Man.

 

The resultant Carpool Karaoke would go on to become the most popular segment on The Late Late Show With James Corden, with stars such as Adele, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Madonna, harry Style, Ariana Grande and, most memorably, Paul McCartney taking the passenger seat for a singalong.

 

All can be traced back to Wayne’s World's moment of genius. But none come close to its originality. Magnifico.