Welcome to Stan Mikita’s Donuts. Open 24 hours a day. Excellent munchables. Excellent sugar pucks.
Twenty-five years ago, Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar welcomed the world into their local hangout in Aurora, Ill., a diner-style hotspot outfitted to the nines—or, in the case of the waitresses wearing Chicago Blackhawks sweaters, to the 21s— with memorabilia honoring its namesake. Pictures on the walls, logos on the coffee cups, hockey sticks on the support beams…
Stan Mikita’s Donuts does not exist in real life. It was invented solely for the 1992 film, Wayne’s World, a tribute by screenwriter and star Mike Myers to the actual Tim Horton’s coffee chain across the border in his native Canada. But goodness if we all didn’t watch that movie and suddenly crave a cruller and coffee service in our own small hometowns, too. In Aurora at least, Stan Mikita’s Donuts was the place to be.
“I get so many calls from people who want to know where the place is and insist that Stan Mikita’s Donuts a real,” says Penelope Spheeris, who directed the film. “I’ve had to argue with them. Back then, we just made it up.”
In anticipation of NHL All-Star weekend, where Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly will celebrate the intersection of hockey and pop culture, SI spoke with Myers, who played the titular character Campbell, about childhood hockey memories, creating the iconic hotspot and meeting Mikita on set when he arrived to shoot a cameo role.
SI: How did it become Stan Mikita’s Donuts? Why him?
Mike Myers: A lot of Wayne’s World is a transposing of my growing up in the suburbs of Toronto. One of the things that we would do is go to Tim Horton’s donuts out in Scarborough. It’s very flat and suburban. We needed a location for Wayne and Garth to hang out. We needed to [put the] people [in] the world, because it was in the basement on the TV show [Saturday Night Live]. We needed to have it be Wayne’s world, outside of the basement, so we thought Tim Horton’s, [but] because it was Chicago, [it] could be Stan Mikita.
As a kid, I remember there were certain teams and players that we liked to call defoliants, i.e., they would destroy the Leafs. Stan Mikita was one of those guys who seemed to always score a clutch goal against us. And he was a fantastic centerman. He’d often get a Gordie Howe hat trick—a goal, an assist and a fight. We just wished he played for the Leafs, basically. He said he’d allow us to use [his name and likeness] for Stan Mikita’s Donuts, and that he’d come down and be part of the film. I was humbled in his presence. I didn’t know what to say, because I get very star-struck around hockey players. It was just a fantastic experience.
SI: So in your mind, Stan symbolized Chicago hockey?
MM: He does. When I played street hockey and I couldn’t be on the Leafs, because we’d all have to be a certain player… When I was a Leaf, I was Dave Keon. When I was a Blackhawk, I was Stan Mikita. And if I had to go in net, which I often did because I’m the youngest of three, I was Tony Esposito if I had to be the Blackhawks, or Bruce Gamble and Jacques Plante if I was the Maple Leafs. Just a dream come true to have Stan Mikita be part of it, part of my life. And that he was from Slovakia, or to that point Czechoslovakia, was exotic. And he wore a helmet early. He just looked like a hockey player, you know what I mean? Just an awesome, awesome hockey player.
The amazing story of him going from so many penalty minutes to winning the Lady Byng is also unbelievably cool.
Towards the latter part of his career he played more in the style of Dave Keon too, which may be sacrilegious to Blackhawks fans. I don't know; I love that type of player. I also love Wendel Clark too, even though he was a left winger. Left winger, right? God, it’s been a while. But in the similar kind of [mold], a Gordie Howe hat trick player, you know?
SI: That’s an exciting style for any kid, regardless of where your fandom lies.
MM: It’d be what Hockey Night in Canada called a well-rounded Canada.
SI: Were you going to a lot of games at the old Maple Leaf Gardens?
MM: I lived way out in Scarborough. It was hard to get downtown. I’m not going to make a rags-to-riches over-simplification, but tickets were hard to get. I only went to see the Leafs five times as a child, then later I went to the Gardens a whole bunch because I knew it was likely to be [torn down]. Maple Leaf Gardens was just a temple, just old-school. It felt like an old English soccer stadium, know what I mean? It’s the same feeling I get at Anfield, because I’m a Liverpool fan. When you just go, ‘Wow. History.’ I also love Air Canada Centre, I have to say. There’s not a bad seat in the house.
SI: So you have this idea to use Stan’s name, and then am I correct in saying you had the idea before you actually asked him, before you got his approval?
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MM: Yeah, it was early in the script. I thought Chicago. Then, I knew we were going to play street hockey wearing Chicago Blackhawks uniforms, or shirts. It’s just one of those things. You couldn’t imagine it not being Stan Mikita’s Donuts. Sometimes when you just wish it, you know that it’s right, the universe rewards, you know? Which is very lovely. It’s a little like Bohemian Rhapsody, where it’s like, ‘Yeah, it’s got to be Bohemian Rhapsody.’ It has to be Stan Mikita.
Stan Mikita Donuts. Lorne [Michaels] loved it. That was its genesis. We also had Officer Don Koharski [after an NHL referee of the same name]. It all made sense.
SI: What do your remember about the day Stan came onto set?
MM: Well, it was hot. I think it was in August. It had to be, because Dana and I were on Saturday Night Live and that was the only time we could shoot. It was the first film I ever did. Not even the first film I ever wrote, but the first film I was ever in. It all seemed like an insane fantastic dream. Then it was like, Oh my god, that’s Stan Mikita. That’s crazy. He’s just a hero. A great, hunky hero. He was gracious and lovely and fantastic.
Come visit Hockey Goes Hollywood, presented by Honda, during NHL All-Star weekend, featuring player appearances, special celebrity guests and more. It's open to the public in Los Angeles Jan. 27-29.
Editor's Note: The story was updated on Jan. 26 to clarify event details.