Stephen: Bet you didn’t know these facts about Christmas Vacation

With Thanksgiving over, and the Christmas season in full swing, Mental Floss has compiled a list of 27 facts you might not know about Christmas Vacation. Here are 10 of them (see full list at the link):

  1. The movie is based on a short story. Christmas Vacation is based on the short story Christmas ’59, written by John Hughes for National Lampoon in December 1980.
  2. Clark Griswold grew up in Samantha Stephens’ house. Clark’s childhood home, which is featured in the film, is the same one used as the Stephens’ home on Bewitched. It’s also featured in The New Gidget. 
  3. John Hughes wasn’t a fan of the sequels. Hughes once stated, “I didn’t even know about Vegas Vacation until I read about it in the trades!”
  4. It’s one of only two Christmas movies released in 1989. The other was John Hancock’s Prancer. Johnny Galecki, a.k.a. Rusty Griswold, starred in both.
  5. Audrey is (miraculously) older than Rusty. In both the original Vacation and European Vacation, Rusty is believed to be the older of the two Griswold children. In Christmas Vacation, Rusty somehow morphs into Audrey’s younger brother.
  6. The film has ties to It’s a Wonderful Life. In addition to footage from the Frank Capra classic actually appearing in the film, Capra’s grandson Frank Capra III is Christmas Vacation’s assistant director.
  7. Director Jeremiah Chechik had never seen a Vacation movie. “I hadn’t seen the first two [Vacation movies], and so I wasn’t really influenced by anything other than the fact that it was a big–at the time–their big Christmas movie, and comedy,” Chechik once said.
  8. The movie had a huge budget. A $27 million budget, to be exact. Which was particularly high considering that the film had no special effects a la Ghostbusters(which was made for $30 million).
  9. Cousin Eddie is Randy Quaid’s best-known character. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Quaid admitted he was amazed by the impact the character made.
  10. Aunt Bethany is Betty Boop. Christmas Vacation marked the final film of Mae Questel, who began her career as the voice of Betty Boop in 1931.

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