When it comes to holiday classic films, one comedy will always be beloved – and replayed on TV over and over again until you’ve seen it several times or have caught bits and pieces of it on different channels: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The quirky antics of Chevy Chase never grow old, provided he is not hosting his own talk show that is. And few movies made by National Lampoon have become as ingrained with the holidays as this one—which is certainly a Christmas cult classic popcorn flick by now. There are some interesting tidbits of information about this film that make it even more peculiar, too.
If you are not familiar with the Capra family, you should be when it comes to holiday movies. That’s because Frank Capra was the esteemed director of It’s a Wonderful Life.Interestingly enough, Christmas Vacation pays homage to that movie in the scene where Clark Griswold fixes the newel post by using a chain saw. Even more interesting is that Frank Capra III, grandson to Frank Capra, was the assistant director of this film.
One of the funniest scenes in the movie is when Clark receives his holiday bonus, a membership in the Jelly of the Month Club, and suffers a sudden and hilarious breakdown. The crew had to strategically position cue cards around the set so that Chevy Chase wouldn’t forget this dialogue.
“Hey. If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, d**kless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey s**t he is. Hallelujah. Holy s**t. Where’s the Tylenol?”
Let’s not forget about Cousin Eddie, who could quite possibly double as Honey Boo Boo’s father, all things considered. But did you know that he went on to star in his very own holiday flop spin-off called Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure? It went right to TV and then right into the “cut” bin. It was that awful.
In one scene from the film, it depicts the holiday classic we all know too well: two grandfathers sleeping in armchairs. Interestingly enough, both of the men were actually asleep in the armchairs at the time of the filming.
You’ve got love Aunt Bethany (Mae Questel). Her voice sounds rather familiar, too. Want to know why? Because she’s the famous voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl.
Set mix-ups are easy to spot in this movie. For example, the family is supposed to be from the Midwest. However, when they take a drive to get their Christmas tree, the “Midwest” somehow has mountains in the background. That’s because this scene was actually shot in Breckenridge, Colorado. The rest of the film was shot on a set in California – neither of which is even remotely close to the Midwest.