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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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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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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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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…