Huge news that, if true, could produce a film that either rejuvenates one of the best comedy franchises in movie history, or could destroy the film industry forever. Yes, I’m talking about the fact that New Line/Warner Bros. have signed Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin to produce and possibly direct a National Lampoon’s Vacation sequel.
Now, I’m someone who doesn’t even consider Vegas Vacation a part of the franchise. It’s why I’ve enjoyed referring to the Griswold’s misadventures over the years as, "The Vacation Trilogy." After all, "Trilogy" has a nice ring to it and aside from Rusty’s Mr. Papageorgio subplot and the casting of Marisol Nichols as daughter Audrey Griswold… Vegas Vacation was about as much fun as arriving at Wally World only to find out it’s closed for remodeling.
And the rumor is that the next installment will actually focus not on Clark & Ellen, but on son Rusty and his new family. Chevy Chase may only have a bit part in the film, if that. And so, this led us to curate the following list of classic Clark Griswold clips. At the very least, they’ll remind us of what’s made the National Lampoon’s Vacation series so everlasting. At the most, New Line/Warner Bros. and Mr. Dobkin will stumble across this page, tear up from laughter, realize what they’re about to embark on and then either make a kickass Griswold family vacation for a new generation… or scrap the whole idea altogether.
National Lampoon’s Vacation – "Dragging the Dog"
Why it’s included: Because this is the perfect example of where the series was able to take a pitch black subject and turn it into something hilarious. And because no one negotiates his way out of animal cruelty charges better than Clark W. Griswold.
National Lampoon’s Vacation – "Dog Piss Sandwich Dance"
Why it’s included: Because Clark is such an oblivious primate at times, he’s willing to dance to Lindsay Buckingham-style music and eat a sandwich covered in dog piss in order to flirt with Christie Brinkley while his family picnics mere feet away. Classic Clark.
Christmas Vacation – "Sh*tter’s Full"
Why it’s included: Because this is exemplary of the impropriety that Cousin Eddie is willing to bring to his extended family, and Clark’s saintly tolerance for him. Cousin Eddie is such an integral part of the franchise, he managed to get his own made-for-TV spinoff flick with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure. And even though we tried to burn our retinas after watching it, he needs to make an appearance in any new film that’s produced.
European Vacation – "The Snooty French Waiter"
Why it’s included: Because Clark is, and forever shall be, the Patron Saint of Ugly Americans. ‘Nuff said (in English, anyway).
Christmas Vacation – "The Saucer Scene"
Why it’s included: Because it exemplifies Clark’s cartoon-like constitution, a huge reason why he’s survived falls from rooftops and multiple cars collisions over the run of the series. He might be indestructible, actually. The John McClane of family comedy.
Christmas Vacation – "The Hap Hap Happiest Christmas Speech"
Why it’s included: Because you haven’t Vacationed until you’ve seen a Clark W. Griswold meltdown, and this one is a doozy. If you can track down the TV-safe version of this, you should, just to see the ridiculous second-pass dialogue they had to record to make it safe for all-ages viewing. Clark manages to expel every expletive and epithet from his mouth, and all in a warm, fuzzy seasonal setting that made us all feel good about how much we hated the Holidays. It can only be trumped by one scene…
National Lampoon’s Vacation – "Clark’s Wally World Meltdown"
Why its included: If you need to know… you are humorless. This is probably the best speech ever given by a leading man in a comedy. More explosive than Idiocracy‘s farting ass speech. More incendiary than Team America’s "Ass, Dick, Pussy" diatribe. And possibly funnier than Bluto Blutarsky rallying his fellow Delt brothers with a little pep talk about Germany’s raid on Pearl Harbor. This speech is one of the reasons I ever moved out to Los Angeles. And it wasn’t to visit Wally World.
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