“Is Rusty still in the Navy?”

 

Although I saw it in the theater before Christmas and it quickly became a Soto staple (my sister and I will always mouth, “THE BLESSSSINNNNNG!!” around a deaf relative, not to mention Aunt Bethany’s “I just love riding in cars!”), I don’t know how National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was received. A hit, a most palpable hit, no doubt, and Chevy Chase’s last good movie. Rolling Stone compiles an oral history. Here’s an excerpt with Johnny Galecki (Rusty), Chase, and director Jeremy Chechik. It took me years to realize Chechik had cast E.G. Marshall, Diane Ladd, and John Randolph as in-laws:

Chechik: Both Chevy and Johnny have the gift of comic timing without the gloss of it. There was an odd flatness to it that was super funny.

Galecki: One day John Hughes, Jeremiah, Chevy and I were sitting around waiting for a scene to be set up, and Chevy said, “There’s always been kind of a man-to-man scene between Clark and Russ in the previous films — a coming-of-age scene. But there isn’t in this one.” John mentioned that he had something like that in an initial draft, and Chevy said, “We should consider putting that back in.” So they asked what I thought and I said, “I don’t think there’s any point. Somebody thought it was worth taking out at some point, so even if we shoot it, it’ll probably get taken out again.” I literally talked myself out of what could have been a classic scene with Chevy Chase. Now that I’m a jaded Hollywood fuck, I realize the error of my ways. I still kick myself in the ass for this everyday.

Chase: Now Galecki’s making 100 million a year and I’m sitting here.

Chase isn’t know for, er, generosity, but I like how he gives Cousin Eddie the jokes in the clip above. The movie isn’t great but it’s got many moments like this.

If anyone can tell me where to find those moose cups, you know where to reach me.

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