DID YOU READ

15 Little-Known Facts About National Lampoon’s European Vacation

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S EUROPEAN VACATION, Jason Lively, Dana Hill, Beverly D’Angelo, Chevy Chase, 1985

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Pack up the family truckster and head out for some family fun with the Griswolds! Here are a few facts we learned about their European Vacation.

1. It’s Solely a Griswold Family Affair

European Vacation is the only movie in the Vacation series that doesn’t feature Randy Quaid’s Cousin Eddie character and his family.


2. Walley World Makes an Appearance

The t-shirt and sweatshirt that Clark wears throughout the movie are from Walley World, the fictional, Disney-like amusement park the family drives to in the original Vacation movie.


3. Rusty Was Almost the Same Actor as the First Movie

In the Vacation series, the Griswold children famously change actors with each movie—but Anthony Michael Hall, who played Rusty in the original Vacation, was set to reprise his role in European Vacation. Before shooting started, however, Hall dropped out to star in the movie Weird Science (he was replaced by Jason Lively). Weird Science happens to be written and directed by John Hughes, who wrote the original short story that inspired the series and the screenplays for Vacation, European Vacation, and Christmas Vacation.


4. A Member of Monty Python Kept Popping Up

The bike rider whom Clark hits with his car in London, and who pops up again in Rome, is none other than Eric Idle, a founding member of the great Monty Python comedy troupe. His line about his injuries only being a “flesh wound” is a nod to the famous Black Knight scene from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


5. Eric Idle and Chevy Chase Came Up with an Idea for the Third Vacation Movie… and Then Scrapped It

Following European Vacation, the two created initial drafts of a third Vacation movie called Australian Vacation, but the movie was scrapped as they moved on to other projects. Chase also allegedly wrote a script for a new movie called Swiss Family Griwold about the family going on a cruise.


6. Griswold or Griswald?

European Vacation is the movie in which Griswold is spelled “Griswald.”


7. We Finally Find Out What the “W” Is in Clark W. Griswold

A passport seen in the opening credits reveals the W stands for “Wilhelm.”


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8. Chevy Chase Brought a Lot of His Own Stuff with Him

Chase provided most of his own wardrobe, including Clark’s camcorder.

9. Clark’s Hat Was Inspired by a Classic Character

Clark’s bucket hat was meant to resemble a similar hat worn by M. Hulot, the legendary comedic character played by actor/director Jacques Tati. Chase has said that the master of physical comedy was one of his influences for his performance as Clark Griswold.


10. Mr. Froeger Is a Cult Icon

The head of the brainy family that challenges the Griswold’s on the Pig in a Poke game show is played by Paul Bartel, the writer, actor, and director behind such cult films as Eating Raoul and Death Race 2000. He also appeared in more than 90 films, including Tim Burton’s 1984 film, Frankenweenie, the Ramones movie Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, John Carpenter’s Escape from LA, and Caddyshack II.

And you probably recognize Pig in a Poke’s touchy-feely host, too: Kent was played by John Astin, the original Gomez Addams in the Addams Family TV show.


11. The Hills Were Alive with the Sound of Griswold

The dream sequence where Clark sings his spoof of The Sound of Music were shot at the same alpine locations as Julie Andrews did in the 1959 musical.


12. Stonehenge Was Fake

The production wasn’t allowed to shoot at the real Stonehenge, so they created a two-thirds scale model of the original nearby in order to shoot the scene where the Griswolds knock the stones over. Each slab was outfitted with a timed hydraulic mechanism to create the practical effect of them tipping over.


13. Chevy Chase Is Sparky

Sparky, Ellen’s pet name for Clark, was Chase’s nickname in real life.


14. Germany Was Actually Italy

A German-speaking Italian town was used to shoot the Germany-set scenes.


15. Rusty’s California Girl Is Rock Royalty

The American girl that Rusty meets in Rome is played by Moon Unit Zappa, daughter of legendary rock musician Frank Zappa. Aubrey’s boyfriend Jack, meanwhile, was played by William Zabka, better known as Johnny the antagonist at the Cobra Kai dojo in The Karate Kid.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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