DID YOU READ

A Definitive Ranking of Every Kid From the Vacation Movies

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The Vacation movies have their share of running jokes, be it Clark’s adulterous fantasies or Cousin Eddie’s many disgusting physical ailments. But one thing that remains consistent throughout the films is the maddening inconsistency of the young actors who play Griswold kids Rusty and Audrey and their many bizarre cousins.

Not only do the actors change from film to film — the characters’ ages flucuate as well. (Rusty goes from pre-teen to teen and back to being a kid over the course of three movies.) Do the Vacation movies exist in some sort of perpetual time loop? Does the entire franchise take place in Clark’s head, a fever dream of a perfect family vacation where his kids never fully grow up? Or can the frequent cast changes be chalked up to the whims of whatever screenwriter is in charge of the franchise at the time?

Whatever the reason, the Vacation movies have given us a plethora of young actors of varying quality. Before you watch the first Vacation movie on IFC, take a look at our definitive ranking of every kid from the long-running franchise.

12. Rusty #2 (Jason Lively), European Vacation

For the second Vacation outing, Rusty went from a wisecracking kid to a horny teenager straight out of a generic Porky‘s rip-off. He’s quite possibly the single most annoying character in the entire Vacation franchise, which is quite a feat. He’s even lame in his own dream sequence, where he wears a ridiculous white suit with his name written on the back. (Fun fact: Jason Lively comes from an acting brood — his brother Eric was on The L Word and his sisters are Robin “Teen Witch” Lively and the most famous family member, Blake Lively.)


11. Rocky (Cody Burger), Christmas Vacation 

Cousin Dale, Eddie’s son from Vacation who talks about his dad’s “asteroids,” has suddenly been replaced by young Rocky by the time Christmas Vacation rolls around. Only Rocky doesn’t say a word during the entire movie. (Considering that Eddie is his dad, he’s likely traumatized.) Still, he has a pretty sweet mullet, which gives mute lil’ Rocky an edge over Rusty #2.


10. Audrey #2 (Dana Hill), European Vacation

Audrey’s body issues are a source of constant ridicule in the lackluster Vacation sequel. (She’s basically the Meg Griffin of the series.) When she’s not having horribly offensive fantasies about being stuffed with French pastries, Second Audrey is ignoring the European sights and whining about missing her lunkhead boyfriend. She’s basically every teenage girl stereotype in one grating package.


9. Audrey #4 (Marisol Nichols), Vegas Vacation

Like the sequel that she appears in, Nichols (24) is pretty forgettable. Again, Audrey’s age here is a problem. If Audrey was 15 or 16 in 1989’s Christmas Vacation, that would put her in her mid-twenties by the time 1997’s Vegas Vacation came out. But somehow she’s back to being 16 again. Clearly Clark has some sort of de-aging machine that keeps his kids from being too old to be dragged on wacky family vacations. 


8. Rusty #4 (Ethan Embry), Vegas Vacation

Embry would go on to play likeable goofballs in films like Can’t Hardly Wait and Sweet Home Alabama. But here he’s stuck playing another variation on “horny Rusty.” Only this time he goes by the smooth alter ego “Nick Papagiorgio.”


7. Cousin Vicki #1 (Jane Krakowski), Vacation 

We can’t help but see hints of Jenna Maroney in Krakowski’s big screen debut as Cousin Eddie’s oldest daughter. We also can’t help but cringe now at the line about how daddy says she’s the best French kisser in her class.


6. Cousin Vicki #2 (Shae D’Lyn), Vegas Vacation

With a father like Eddie, it’s no wonder that Vicki grew up to be a stripper who shows Audrey the Vegas nightlife.

5. Ruby Sue (Ellen Hamilton Latzen), Christmas Vacation

On the scale of precocious kids from John Hughes movies, Ruby Sue falls somewhere between Curly Sue and Gaby Hoffman’s character from Uncle Buck — cute in a ragamuffin sort of way, but mostly forgettable. (Ruby Sue turns up again in Vegas Vacation, naturally played by a different young actor.)


4. Original Audrey (Dana Barron), Vacation and Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure

Barron gets points for being the original Audrey and also for being the only Griswold kid to reprise her role. Granted, she came back as the grown-up Dana in the unwatchable TV movie Christmas Vacation sequel.


3. Audrey #3 (Juliette Lewis), Christmas Vacation

Juliette Lewis scored one of her first movie roles as the easily embarrassed teenage Audrey in Christmas Vacation. Lewis nicely underplays the role, making her easily the least annoying Audrey in the franchise.


2. Original Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall), Vacation

Anthony Michael Hall’s rising fame (he opted for Weird Science instead of the Vacation sequel) led to the Griswold kids getting recast for each subsequent installment. But that doesn’t explain their fluctuating ages.


1. Rusty #3 (Johnny Galecki), Christmas Vacation

The future Big Bang Theory star gets the nod for best — and least irritating — Griswold kid. His deadpan reactions to pop Clark prove that young Galecki had comedic chops even before his breakthrough role on Roseanne.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
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Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
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Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
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Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
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Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
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Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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