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Xmas or Bust: The Untold Story of ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’

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Johnny Galecki, Beverly D'Angelo, Chevy Chase
and Juliette Lewis in 'National Lampoon's
Christmas Vacation.' (Photo: Everett)

It started as a continuation of the
misadventures of the Griswold family; it ended
up becoming one of the most surprisingly
popular and oft-quoted holiday movies of all
time. This month marks the 25th anniversary of
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, in
which beleaguered patriarch Clark Griswold —
played by the inimitable Chevy Chase — tries to
engineer the picture-perfect seasonal festivities:
the best naturally procured tree, the biggest and
brightest (literally) Christmas-light display on
the block, the end-of-the-year bonus from his
Scrooge-like boss. It’s the only comedy to appeal
to those who live for that deck-the-halls spirit,
viewers who are dyed-in-the-wool Grinches
(“Well, I don’t know what to say, except it’s
Christmas and we’re all in misery”) and folks
who appreciate the genius of Randy Quaid in
his underwear, exclaiming “Shitter’s full!”
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