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WAYNE & GARTH'S Excellent Adventure

Wayne's World stars Mike Myers and Dana Carvey have been sharing a couch on the popular Saturday Night Live segment for three years now, but don't ask to interview them together about the upcoming movie version.

"They feel like they're separate actors with separate careers," explains a publicist at Paramount Pictures. "They'd feel silly doing it together."

A compromise is struck: back-to-back interviews and a picture together.

Myers is first.

The 28-year-old Canadian native plays Wayne, a "suburban, heavy-metal adolescent" who hosts a public access cable TV show from his parents' basement.

Wayne is a rebellious party animal full of bravado and catch-phrases like "Party on!" Myers, soft-spoken and extremely polite in person, says he's been doing the character since he was 12 "to make girls laugh."

"That's how I used to talk, he says. "It's me and it's a composite of about five or six people I hung out with."

On his high school graduation day, Myers was hired by Chicago's Second City comedy troupe, where he continued to develop the character. He was playing Wayne full-time on a Canadian music television show when Lorne Michaels hired him for SNL in 1989.

Myers says he came up with the idea of giving Wayne his own low-budget cable show after sampling some of Manhattan Cable's more bizarre offerings, from astrologers and psychics to soft-porn queen Robin Byrd.

"I thought, "How can they have this next to CNN and the home shopping channel?' It just blew the top of my head off," he says.

But even though working on SNL was a dream come true, Myers says its limitations were sometimes frustrating.

"When you're seeing Wayne (on SNL), you're seeing him doing a show," he says. "But I'd always done Wayne as a guy in life. . . .

"I was always chomping at the bit. In many ways, doing the movie was filming the back story of the sketch."

At about this point, Carvey sticks his head into the office. He and Myers exchange looks, then laugh together as Carvey pops back out.

"It's like watching a very private moment," Myers says, mock serious.

Wayne's World follows the duo's trials and tribulations when a sleazy television executive, played by Rob Lowe, sees commercial potential in the show.

It includes all the important elements of a major motion picture, including a "gratuitous sex scene" and an "Oscar clip," both conveniently labeled.

Myers says he wasn't worried about stretching the eight-minute TV sketch into a 90-minute movie: "I have an endless amount of stories, because I lived it."

Is he still living in Wayne's world?

"I don't live at home," Myers says. "I have a very wide taste in music. I don't live in the suburbs anymore. I still like to have fun. I still play with Lego. . . . And I'm still really excited about the opening of the hockey season."

Interview over. "Is that it? Oh, great," Myers says. "I've got to go to the washroom."

Enter Carvey, carrying a turkey sandwich on rye.

"So, are you as excited as I am about this interview?" he asks with a touch of sarcasm. It's the third or fourth of the day for him.

He concedes that his previous big-screen outings _ most recently Opportunity Knocks _ have been less than successful.

"I'm in the process of learning how to be a film actor," he says. "I think I was better (in Wayne's World) than the last film, and I'll be better in the next one."

Carvey, 36, says he also worked at expanding the character of Garth, a long-haired computer nerd who loves red licorice.

"On Saturday Night Live I never took that much care about it," he says. "I was kind of the sidekick, and it was Mike's thing. Then for the movie I said, "You know, I really can't just say "Party on Wayne!' for 90 minutes.' "

So Garth gets a car (an AMC Pacer "Mirthmobile"), a love interest (Donna Dixon) and is something of a hero in at least one of the movie's three endings.

But they also took care not to get too serious or worry too much about story line at the expense of laughs.

"There was a conscious effort to keep the plot really light and not have it encumber us," Carvey says. "That's the charm of it."

Carvey and Myers say they'll keep doing Wayne and Garth on SNL, at least until November, when Carvey's contract is up. Myers is in the third year of his five-year contract and plans to stay with SNL "as long as they'll have me."

If Wayne's World is a box office success, will more of their teen-age adventures make it to the big screen?

"I like doing the character," Carvey says. "I would like to see Garth and Donna Dixon on a date, going to a drive-in."

Myers is less committal. "I don't generally pre-think anything," he says.