Peak Time

Penelope Spheeris

180 minsFirst aired 20 Feb 2019
Lindsey Byrnes

Talking with the producer and director behind Wayne’s World and iconic rock-doc trilogy The Decline of Western Civilization.

Penelope Spheeris directed one of the biggest comedy hits of the ’90s, Wayne’s World, yet she’s better known for her unflinching documentation of LA’s music underground, most notably her feature on the city’s punk scene at its zenith, The Decline of Western Civilization. Examining a community relatively foreign to the masses, the documentary featured explosive performances by the Germs, the Circle Jerks, X, Black Flag and Fear. The film was met with critical acclaim. Following its success, Spheeris immersed herself in punk culture, earning the title of “rock & roll anthropologist” — her career has been shaped around rock music. Today, guest host Harley Brown calls up Spheeris in LA to discuss the recent revival of the iconic documentary and why she turned it into a trilogy, and perhaps she’ll share a story or two about Wayne and Garth.


Engineered by Ryan Woodhall
Produced by Sara Casella

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