December 8, 2010 – Before the Internet, I was ignorant of a lot of things about myself. For instance, how low my threshold for entertainment is. Also, how minimal my definition of a good day's work is. Most importantly, it made me realize how much I hate numbered lists. They're everywhere in the closet-bound, air-conditioned, humming racks of black servers we call the Web. And no matter what the number after the “Top” or before the “Reasons,” the format almost always seems to portend sub-par content. I believe that needs an acronym.
On the other hand, they were good enough for Martin Luther and, given that I’m well behind where I wanted to be on this Christmas blog at this point in the season, I’m going to give in to temptation and give you some SPC. And it’s all about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
However, this is not a list of the best, funniest, or even the most baffling moments of this 21-year-old Christmas classic. That would be all too easy. I mean, all I would have to do is mention things like wondering what it’s like to live in a world where it’s appropriate to give Tetris pieces as gifts, or commenting on the way that Beverly D’Angelo’s Christmas Eve blouse makes me think decidedly un-Christmasy things, or make fun of the way Juliette Lewis pronounces the word “fungus.”
Nor would I leave out extoling the joy of phrases like “non-nutritive cereal varnish,” bringing up the fact that you rarely hear the word “cock” as a verb, or admitting that I’ve never heard the phrase “newel post” in any other context but Chevy Chase with a Santa hat and a chainsaw. Honestly, I’m starting to regret not taking that direction, now. Instead, I'm actually going to take this comedy seriously.
|William Hicky, Christmas icon. Also the voice of |
Dr. Finklestein from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
7. Animated introductory credits. Seriously. I mean, what sets the Christmas mood more than a cartoon Santa? Product marketers have known that for years. We all love live-action Christmas movies, but we all grew up on animated Christmas specials. As a result, cartoons always have the potential to be somewhat more effective at evocating the Christmas mood for us. Oh, and the answer to that original question is an animated Santa following by Clark Griswold in a Blackhawks jersey.
8. The soundtrack. Anybody can throw carols into a film (there are only like nine of them anyway), but a movie that can use Mele Kalikimaka in a way that doesn’t want make me want to go back in time and hire David Bowie to knife the singer or invert Here Comes Santa Claus into a SWAT team raid song put a little more thought into their soundtrack.. Heck, the theme song even makes me happy every time I hear it.
That’s it. I don’t need a nicely wrapped conclusion with a SPC article. However, if you disagree with every one of the eight points, you at least have to admit that you’ll never find a better Christmas movie that doesn’t even bother to feature Christmas day in it.
You did it, Clark.