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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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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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