COOL TRIVIA ABOUT NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION
If the Griswold’s neighbor’s house looks familiar that’s because it’s the house Murtaugh lived in throughout the Lethal Weapon movies. Yes, the Griswolds and the Murtaughs all resided on the Warner Brothers Studios lot. The old TV show Bewitched was also filmed on the same block.
The Dodge pickup truck that tailgates and provokes Clark and his family during the movie’s opening scenes was also used by Kurt Russel in Overboard.
This is the only National Lampoon’s Vacation movie not to feature Lindsay Buckingham’s “Holiday Road.” Presumably because there is no road trip. Instead we got the song “Christmas Vacation” performed by Mavis Staples.
Cousin Eddie’s characteristics were based off a childhood acquaintance of Randy Quaid’s. Quaid developed many of Eddie’s mannerisms (such as the clicking of his tongue during the meal) from someone he knew while growing up in Texas.
Christmas Vacation is the only one of the Vacation movies to get its own sequel with Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure. (Cousin Eddie is sent on vacation in the South Pacific after being bitten by a lab monkey. The only appearance of a Griswold in the film is Audrey from the first Vacation movie in 1983.
A minor earthquake occurred while filming the arrival scene of Uncle Louis and Aunt Bethany. Supposedly, you can see the camera shake a little in the shot with the couple entering the Griswold home.
One of the most iconic Christmas movies ever, It’s A Wonderful Life, has several tie-ins with Christmas Vacation. First off, Frank Capra III was the assistant director on Christmas Vacation and is the grandson of Frank Capra, who directed It’s A Wonderful Life in 1946. There’s also Clark taking a chainsaw to the wobbly newel post. This was an homage to the broken newel post at the Baily house in It’s A Wonderful Life. And finally, Russ is seen watching the Jimmy Stewart classic on TV when the grandparents arrive.
Studio execs were weary about keeping the cat electrocution scene out of fear of offending animal lovers. It wasn’t until test audiences ranked the cat electrocution scene as their favorite part in the movie that it was deemed worthy of keeping.