This installment of Popcorn Politics—The A.V. Club’s collaboration with Scrappers Film Group—examines how Wayne and Garth, the fictional hosts of Wayne’s World, both showcased and undermined the power of public access television. The rise of communal broadcast resources turned consumers into creators, and as the internet took hold, the emergence of YouTube continued in the grand tradition of democratizing the public’s viewing habits. Though it may have lampooned public access’ low-budget trappings, Wayne’s World was a jumping-off point for viewers to consider that there are viewing options beyond what big networks—and big budgets—have to offer.

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