DID YOU READ

15 Little-Known Facts About Christmas Vacation

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION, Johnny Galecki, Beverly D’Angelo, Chevy Chase, Juliette Lewis

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Who said the magic of the holiday season has to fade come January? Keep it alive all year long with these 15 interesting facts about 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

1. Christmas Vacation is based on a John Hughes short story.

Hughes story, “Christmas ’59,” was originally published in the December 1980 issue of National Lampoon; it was a follow-up to his original story, “Vacation ’58,” which was made into the original Vacation movie in 1983. The movie gives a small nod to Hughes’s original story when Clark pulls out reels of old family Christmas films to reveal that one is titled “X-Mas ’59.”


2. Johnny Galecki and Juliette Lewis are the third pair of actors to play Rusty and Audrey in the Vacation series.

Lewis would reprise her role in a series of Vacation-themed Old Navy commercials in 2012 also starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as Clark and Ellen Griswold.


3. Christmas Vacation is director Jeremiah Chechik’s first feature film.

And, he had never seen either of the previous Vacation movies before taking the job. Chechik makes a small appearance in the movie as the man on the cover of the People magazine that Clark reads in bed.


4. There were no rehearsals for the actors on Christmas Vacation.

Chase’s tendency to ad-lib and improvise made such preparation useless.


5. Christmas Vacation features four Saturday Night Live alums:

Chevy Chase, Brian Doyle-Murray, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Randy Quaid.


6. Besides Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the other yuppie neighbor is played by Nicholas Guest.

Nicholas is the brother of actor and director Christopher Guest, who is known for such films as This is Spinal Tap, Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show, and The Princess Bride (he played the evil six-fingered Count Rugen.)


7. Christmas Vacation went straight-to-video in the UK and was never given an original theatrical release.

In the United States, it became the highest grossing entry in the Vacation series, making over $71 million.


8. While it’s called Christmas Vacation, the movie never gets to Christmas.

It ends on Christmas Eve.

9. The movie that Rusty watches on TV is Frank Capra’s perennial Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

Capra’s grandson, Frank Capra III, served as Christmas Vacation’s second assistant director.


10. The Griswold’s house and street were built and shot on the Warner Bros.’ backlot in Burbank, California.

The house of their yuppie neighbors is the same one used as Murtaugh’s house in Lethal Weapon.


11. Christmas Vacation was Mae Questel’s (she plays Aunt Bethany) final film.

Questal provided the original voices for Betty Boop and Olive Oyl.


12. The scene in which Chevy Chase insults his boss took a lot of planning.

Before shooting, Chase had the crew place cue cards all over the set behind the camera so he could read the long-winded insult without stopping.


13. The studio originally wanted to cut the scene where the cat gets electrocuted.

They were worried about potential complaints of animal cruelty. But after test audiences listed it as the funniest scene in the movie, the filmmakers convinced them to keep it in.


14. The production originally had a trained squirrel for the scene where it wreaks havoc on the house.

Unfortunately, it died the day before the scene was shot. An untrained squirrel was used in the final film.


15. Gene Autry’s “Here Comes Santa Claus” plays during the final police raid.

Actor Randy Quaid, who plays Uncle Eddie, is Autry’s third cousin.

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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Dark Arts

Foot Fetish Jesus And Other Nightmares

Meet the minds behind Comedy Crib's latest series, Quirks and The Mirror.

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The Mirror and Quirks are really, really strange. Deeply disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful. But you really don’t need to read a synopsis of either of the aforementioned shows to understand the exact variety of nightmare-bonkers comedy these shows deliver — that’s why the good lord made links. Instead, take a peek behind the curtain and meet the creators.

Quirks

Let’s start with Kevin Tosi. Kevin does the whole show by himself. That doesn’t mean he’s a loner — Kevin has a day job with actual humans. But that day job is copywriting. So it’s only natural that his suppressed demons would manifest themselves in biting cartoon form, including “Foot Fetish Jesus”, in ways that somehow speak to all of us. If only all copywriters channeled their inner f*ckedupness into such…expressive art.

The Mirror

Onward to the folks at Wham City Comedy.

These guys aren’t your typical comedy collective in that their work is way more left-field and even elevated than your standard digital short. More funny weird than funny ha-ha. They’ve done collaborations with musicians like Beach House, Dan Deacon & Wye Oak, television networks (obviously), and others. Yeah they get paid, but their motivation feels deeper. Darker. Most of them are video artists, and that explains a lot.

See more of The Mirror and Quirks on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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