Stan Mikita made a cameo as himself in the 1992 movie Wayne’s World as the characters often ate at his coffee shop in Aurora, Illinois. On August 2018, Mikita’s family sadly announced that the Blackhawks’ legend had passed away after years of bravely battling dementia with lewy bodies.
More than 10 years after Mikita last took the ice for the Blackhawks he would appear in the movie Wayne’s World as the owner of Stan Mikita’s Donuts. Sadly, the coffee shop is not real. The joke was based on the Canadian coffee shop chain, Tim Horton’s. That chain, which is of course real, was founded by Toronto Maple Leafs legend Tim Horton.
The movie’s director, Penelope Spheeris, told Sports Illustrated in January 2017, “I get so many calls from people who want to know where the place is and insist that Stan Mikita’s Donuts a real. I’ve had to argue with them. Back then, we just made it up.”
Wayne’s World was the brain child of Toronto native Mike Myers, a keen Maple Leaf fan and hockey fan generally. In 2016, at the NHL All-Star game in Los Angeles, a replica of Stan Mikita’s Donuts was created for fans to dine at. So for a time, the coffee shop was technically real, offering fans free coffee and donuts throughout the all-star weekend.
Myers told Sports Illustrated in 2016 that Wayne’s World was about transposing his upbringing in Toronto to Chicago. He decided that the diner that Wayne and Garth hung out should be representative of Chicago’s hockey history, not Toronto’s. Myers said Mikita would “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.”
Myers also described to SI about the day Mikita came to set saying, “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.”
Mikita told the Blackhawks Magazine about his experience making the movie saying, “So they sent me a first-class seat and had a limo pick me up at the airport, took me to the Four Seasons and gave me a big suite… I asked where the filming was taking place, and they told me it was two blocks away. So I told them to tell my limo that I got up a little early and decided to walk.” When Mikita arrived, he was shown to his trailer, “I said, ‘What do I need a trailer for, I just got out of bed!’ But the actors all go to their trailers, learning their parts or whatever the hell they have to do.” His scene was ultimately cut from the movie, Mikita was supposed to bump into Myers in the restaurant where the two would have a brief exchange. Mikita can be seen in the movie, signing an autograph, in the background of the restaurant.
The coffee shop was recreated again in Aurora, Illinois, in 2017 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Wayne’s World, reported the Chicago Tribune at the time. The board of trustees of the Aurora Historical Society, Mary Clark Ormond, told the Tribune that her daughter had secured the same Mikita mannequin that stood atop the Los Angeles version of the restaurant. Ormond said, “My daughter knows all these people with these entertainment event groups, and there was this huge figure of Stan Mikita that was on top of Stan Mikita’s All Star Cafe that was at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (at the NHL All-Star Game). I saw a picture of it, and to me — it looks like it’s 9 feet tall. My daughter saw the mock-up and said, ‘My mom would love to have this in Aurora,’ and they said yes.”
In the movie, the coffee shop is managed by Ed O’Neill, now of Modern Family and then of Married With Children fame.