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Laremy Legel

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Member of the BFCA and OFCS, writer of criticism, noted interviewer, box office oracle, walker of dog named Bugsy, Qui audet adipiscitur.

Quotable: Christmas Vacation

Christmas is almost upon us, so you may be experiencing an overload of holiday cheer and good will among men. With that in mind, I’d like to highlight some of the fun that can be had with the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Here are a few of the choicest quotes — they go down best with a little eggnog.

One of the subplots of “Christmas Vacation” is how awful relatives can be during the holiday season. This is exemplified by Eddie (Randy Quaid), the in-law Clark would like to murder. Chevy Chase gives us the patented quick quip when he propositions Eddie with:

Clark: Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?

Another plot point can be found in how crazy Clark is/was/will be. Audrey, played by a young Juliette Lewis, is horrified by her brother but can’t hope to trump her mom in the jaded department. Audrey’s complaint is the lodging situation the relatives have foisted upon her.

Audrey: Do you sleep with your brother? Do you know how sick and twisted that is?

Ellen: Well, I’m sleeping with your father. Don’t be so dramatic.

You have to hand it to Chevy in this movie, he had his A game throughout. Take the slow build-up of the next punch line for instance.

Ellen: What are you looking at?

Clark: Oh, the silent majesty of a winter’s morn, the clean, cool chill of the holiday air, an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer.

You also have to admire the zealotry of Clark’s holiday cheer. As in all of the “Vacation” movies, he’s jazzed and you should be too. The general feeling is that no matter what happens, we’ll all plod on in the name of fun. The Griswolds hike out into the forest, through the wind and snow, to find the perfect tree.

Ellen: Clark, Audrey’s frozen from the waist down.

Clark: That’s all part of the experience, honey.

Vacation also featured one of the better animal moments of the ’80s when a squirrel terrorized the household. Clark’s proposed solution is simple (though effective). Will the kids be traumatized by a squirrel with his head bashed in right in the living room? Nah. damn the torpedoes.

Clark: Russ, go get the hammer.

Ellen: Clark, what do you need a hammer for?

Clark: I’m gonna catch it in the coat … and smack it with the hammer.

We must get back to the beaut that is Eddie. He’s every goofy relative you’ve ever had, and as much as you try and tune him out, the louder the volume gets. Luckily he’s got an explanation for his foibles, and it makes more and more sense as the years go by. Take us home, Edward, you comedy stalwart!

Eddie: Every time Catherine would turn on the microwave, I’d piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour.

So that’s that. I’ve put a bow on the holiday festival and attended to all your quotable needs. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a holiday bonus to eat … er, spend.


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