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