When you think of your favorite Christmas movies, which ones come to mind? Maybe It’s A Wonderful Life, Home Alone, The Christmas Story? The one that always comes to mind and that I must watch every year is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This is one of the best Christmas movies ever made! Even though you may have watched this movie a thousand times, here are 27 Christmas Vacation facts that you may not have known.
1. Christmas Vacation has ties to It’s A Wonderful Life. Not only is it showing on the TV during the movie, but Frank Capras’ grandson was the assistant director.
2. For a comedy, Christmas Vacation had a large budget. The budget was set at $27,000,000 even though there weren’t that many special effects. For example, Ghostbusters had a budget of $30,000,000. Luckily Christmas Vacation made back their budget plus some, grossing close to $72,000,000.
3. Audrey is the only person from the first Christmas Vacation who appeared in Christmas Vacation 2.
4. Cousin Eddie is based on a real person. Actor Randy Quaid used characteristics from a guy he knew in Texas when acting out this infamous character.
5. You may not have caught this, but towards the end of the movie when Ellen Griswold is apologizing to Mrs. Shirley (the wife of Clark’s boss), she assures her that it’s the family’s first kidnapping. While this may be true in this movie, but in the first Vacation movie, the Griswolds actually kidnap Lasky, the security guard at Wally World.
6. Stanley Kubrick who directed movies such as The Shining and Clockwork Orange, took note of Jeremiah Checkik. Checkik was a photographer at Vogue, but when Kubrick mentioned Checkik’s name, the scripts started coming in. The one that caught Checkik’s attention most was Christmas Vacation.
7. The funny thing about this was the fact that Jeremiah Checkik had never seen a Vacation movie before directing Christmas Vacation.
8. Eddie’s son, Rocky, doesn’t say a single word in this entire movie.
9. Did Clark’s childhood home look familiar? If so, that’s because it’s the same house that’s used in Bewitched.
10. Christmas Vacation is based on a short story called, Christmas ’59. It was written by John Hughes in December of 1980 for National Lampoon.
11. John Hughes isn’t all that big on sequels. He’s credited as the writer on European Vacation but only because he created the characters. He didn’t know about Vegas Vacation until he read about it.
12. Cousin Eddie is one of Randy Quaid’s best known characters.
13. Christmas Vacation is the only sequel in the franchise to have its own sequel. Feel like you missed out on something? You didn’t. It was made for TV and has a 13% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
14. Want Cousin Eddie’s dickie? Don’t worry, you can get one here.
15. Aunt Bethany is the voice of Betty Boop.
16. Uncle Louis & Aunt Bethany’s entrance made the ground shake… literally! Right as they were filming that scene, there was a small earthquake.
17. Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, and Juliette Lewis reunited in an Old Navy commercial in 2012.
18. Chevy Chase once gave Johnny Galecki the People’s Choice Award. Other than that, they haven’t kept in touch.
19. Roger Ebert was not a fan of the film. He gave it two stars and said, “Sequence after sequence seems to contain all the necessary material, to be well on the way toward a payoff, and then it somehow doesn’t work.”
20. Oftentimes Rusty was portrayed to be older than Audrey, but that wasn’t the case in Christmas Vacation. She is much older than Rusty.
21. There were only 2 Christmas movies released in 1989. One was Christmas Vacation, and the other was, Prancer.
22. As if you couldn’t tell from this picture, Randy Quaid is Gene Autry’s third cousin. This may seem random, but when the song “Here Comes Santa Claus” plays when the police are raiding the Griswold home, it’s Gene Autry’s version.
23. The movie was popular in the UK, but it never made it to theaters. It went straight to VHS.
24. Chevy Chase would love to see another Vacation movie happen. In 2011, there were talks of there being another movie that was based on the grandchildren.
25. The studio is definitely winning the sequel battle when it comes to the Vacation movies. They are already in the works with a tentative release date of 2015.
26. Christmas Vacation is the only movie in this series that doesn’t play Lindsey Buckingham’s song, “Holiday Road.” Instead, they play the song “Christmas Vacation” which was written by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil.
27. The cast of Christmas Vacation was downright amazing! Not only did it feature Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki who went on to make names of their own, it had Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.
I had no idea about pretty much any of these Christmas Vacation facts. I can’t wait to go home, snuggle up by the fire, and watch my favorite Christmas movie, Christmas Vacation.