Tuesday Mount Rushmore: Best Scenes from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
We’re in the holiday spirit at Crossing Broad, which it means it’s time for another installment of the heralded Mount Rushmore column. Yes, it’s a radio spoof. Just roll with the joke.
On this Tuesday, we’re honoring National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, a classic holiday comedy starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, and Randy Quaid. It’s about a Chicago man who just wants to have a great Christmas with his family, but everything that could go wrong does go wrong, and results in a lot of laughs along the way. It’s a top-five Christmas comedy and might be the best National Lampoon film of the bunch, depending on how you feel about Animal House (1978) and Vacation (1983).
(The following article contains spoilers, but the movie came out in 1989, so you’ve had more than three decades now to watch it. This ain’t Succession or the new Spider Man.)
Where you gonna put a tree that big?
Our first scene on the Mount Rushmore involves Clark Griswold and his neighbors, Todd and Margo:
Todd – “Hey Griswold, where do you think you’re gonna put a tree that big?”
Clark Griswold – “Bend over and I’ll show you.”
Todd – “You’ve got a lot of nerve talking to me like that Griswold.”
Clark Griswold – “I wasn’t talking to you.” <fires up the chainsaw>
Shitter was full!
Randy Quaid played Cousin Eddie in the film, a goofy relative who just shows up out of nowhere for the holidays. In this famous scene, he empties the RV toilet into a municipal sewer:
Ellen Griswold: “What are you looking at?”
Clark Griswold: “Oh, the silent majesty of a winter’s morn. Clean, cool chill of the holiday air. And an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer.’
Cousin Eddie: “The shitter was full!”
Clark Griswold: “Ah yeah, you check our shitters honey?”
Ellen Griswold: “Clark, please, he doesn’t know any better.”
Merry Christmas, kiss my ass
At Clark’s job, his boss, Frank Shirley, is a typical corporate grinch. He doesn’t know his employee’s names, and has a line of sycophants following him around:
Mr. Shirley: “Don’t forget that report, Bill.”
Clark Griswold: “Yes sir. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Happy Hanukkah.”
Where’s the Tylenol?
And finally, towards the end of the movie, Clark is hoping for his Christmas bonus, but instead goes apoplectic when he instead receives a subscription to the Jelly of the Month club:
Clark Griswold: “Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?”
Honorable mentions: sledding scene, Bing Crosby tap dancing with Danny fucking Kaye (we’re at the threshold of hell), a lot of sap in here, why is the carpet all wet, Todd?, Aunt Bethany’s Pledge of Allegiance, the man was wearing a blue leisure suit