The Aurora, Ill., basement boys from Saturday Night Live are starring in Wayne's World, now playing at a movie house near you. But the real interesting development in the humble lives of Wayne Nibblet Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) is how these cable-access geeks have affected the English language.
Sheeeeeaahh! Rriiigghhht! As the excellent Wayne and Garth would say.
But it's true that these shaggy headbangers, Wayne and Garth, get credit for providing the most slang terms used by teens today. Even the cool kids on Beverly Hills, 90210 imitate cellar-rats Wayne and Garth. NOT! Okay, the California high schoolers set the standard for dress and hair style, but they are repeating the catch phrases made hot by these ultimate heavy metal party animals as seen on SNL.
When you think about it, the small screen transmits lots of favorite sayings. In fact, TV has always been a source of great contemporary gab. "What a revoltin' development this is" was Chester A. Riley's way of telling others he was in trouble on Life of Riley (1949-58). Meathead, dingbat, stifle were favorites of Archie Bunker, the bigoted character on All in the Family (1971-83).
And today? Wayne Arnold's mission on planet Earth is to make his kid brother Kevin miserable. So what's the nickname Wayne tags on Kev on TV's The Wonder Years? Butthead.
Suddenly siblings have the perfect insult. Butthead. Kinda sticks like bubblegum on the sole of your shoes.
Once again, TV talk has provided a catchy expression that kids pick up on and use to the point of utter annoyance.
From Arsenio Hall's admonition to "chill" (relax) to the Church Lady's (SNL's Carvey, again) "Isn't that special?" it's fun to do TV speak.
These sound familiar?
Hated it. From those frisky fellows on In Living Color, flamboyant critics Blaine Edwards (Damon Wayans) and Antoine Merriweather (David Alan Grier). It's their put-down of anything they don't like. Also from the guys: You're working my last good nerve, which means they are having one of their little spats.
Homey don't play that (meaning won't cooperate with even reasonable requests) is also gratis of In Living Color. Homey the Clown is played by the gifted Damon Wayans as a post-modern Bozo with an attitude.
Don't have a cow, man. Teens don't use this expression borrowed from Bart Simpson much anymore, maybe because The Simpsons 100 percent cotton T-shirts have all shrunk and are memories on the floor of a bedroom closet. But calling a friend dude is still, like, cool. So is Yo dude, cowabunga.
Beam me up Scotty. NOT! This Star Trek phrase is passe.
So back to Wayne and Garth. The duo are so catch-phrase prolific, there's a glossary of terms in their recently released paperback Wayne's World, Extreme Close-Ups ($7.95 Cader Books).
Here's a sample to be taken most seriously:
NOT! Said after a positive statement like, "Dan Quayle would make a great president." "NOT!" turns the meaning around.
Party time excellent. An occasion to celebrate.
You're pail, you're bucket. Means you're awful.
No way! Way! That's not true. Yes it is. (Can go on and on.)
Take a pill. Relax, unwind.
Schwing. A term that refers to Wayne and Garth's instantaneous sexual arousal, usually said after a major babe alert!
He shoots, he scores. Indicating a guy's success picking up a woman.
So what's the most frequently used, most excellent TV term now in existence? Probably Wayne and Garth's "hurl," which is defined as disgorging the contents of the stomach. You know, vomit.