Transcript: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

25 min readSep 6, 2021


Transcript of 70mm’s National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) Episode.

SLIM Heeey, it’s your old pal Slim. And this is a very special episode of 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday, I’m joined by famous artists Danny Haas.

DANNY Watching them like tick off with paper to travel across the US, no phones, no GPS. Like my stress levels of just watching this film is through the roof as an adult nowl. I could not imagine!

SLIM And spiritual advisor, Protolexus.

PROTO The talk of needing to cash a check. Are you kidding me?

SLIM This week, we’re also joined by one half of the BAT & SPIDER podcast and producer at large of this very show, Dale_a.

DALE To say, I’ve been thinking about watching porno for the show, and we talk about it, and we talk about the plot only.

SLIM As this episode posts, I’m not back home from my own vacation yet. So we thought it would be fun to record this episode in secret a few weeks back. Talking about National Lampoon’s Vacation from 1983. Is Chevy Chase a genius? Or do Dale and I have it all wrong? Let’s find out… together.

[music plays]

SLIM It’s been a very long time since we — [Slim & Danny laugh] Let’s be real for a minute. It’s been a real long time since we have this person back on the show. This special person. Too long, IMO. He’s usually in the back, making deals, cutting deals, playing our intro music, playing around trim music, working in phone calls, cutting deals.

DALE Working DAX. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Producer emeritus, first appearance since the famous Jaws episode that we recorded on the beach by a fire. Dale, welcome back.

DALE Thanks, guys. It’s great to be back. Thanks for inviting me to the recording table once again. You know, usually you guys invite me and I say no, you know? But this time, I just, you know I’m leaving the producers office wide open. Anybody could walk in at any time and and take thousands of dollars worth of albums right now. But I might be distracted with that. [Danny laughs] But yeah, I appreciate you guys having me on, especially for such a momentous — you know, I wouldn’t let you do this movie without me.

SLIM Of course.

DALE So, I appreciate you guys having me back.

SLIM We appreciate you every week! Every day, to be honest.

DALE Thank you.

SLIM And more so maybe for the podcast that you do weekly. BAT & SPIDER, a low rent podcast about you know exploitation horror films, what one would consider bad movies, but are beloved films. And, you know, more recently you guys just went through — you and Chuck Forsman, who was also a guest on the show, dear friend of ours. You went through and did Hot Ape Summer. You did all of the Planet of the Apes movies. Legendary run of episodes, if I may be so bold.

DALE Thank you.

SLIM We’re ready now to reveal to us exclusively on this show, what do you have cooked up? How do you top Hot Ape Summer? Let’s be real with each other.

DALE You know it’s funny, as we were talking I just ran into the the producers office and we just got a fax from the the head honchos of TAPEDECK. [Danny laughs] It turns out you can’t top Hot Ape Summer. So why bother they say. [Slim laughs]

DANNY Oh, shit. [Danny laughs]


DALE But, I did have an idea. Last week, I texted it to Chuck, you know, and sometimes my ideas just get ignored but that’s fine. He’s not gonna listen to the show anyway. You know, our we just frequently dump money into Severin Films. And their library. I had the idea for — and get this — Sevtember. [Slim laughs]

PROTO Nailed it.

DANNY My gosh.

SLIM I love it. Are you listening Severin Films?!

DALE Just retweet us. I mean, we’re desperate for anything. [Danny laughs]

SLIM Just one retweet, please!

DALE Anything.

PROTO You guys need to pump in some, you know, a round of BAT & SPIDER money in there.

SLIM How do we get, how do we figure out how to funnel in money to BAT & SPIDER? Can we get some merch going here? I didn’t see one lick of hashtag Hot Ape Summer merch. And I don’t know if we need to escalate up the chain to TAPEDECK to figure this out.

DANNY Yeah, we need to take this to legal.

DALE You know, we’ve had ideas and you know what? We just haven’t had the right idea. And you guys, above all else, know when when the idea hits the idea hits and unfortunately — you know, we’re playing with people’s lives. They donated their time and their passion to us for Hot Ape Summer and we’re forever grateful.

SLIM We need to continue on. That’s just a brief intro to Dale. Listen to his podcast. We’ll have a link in the episode notes. It’s my favorite pod. And I just want to real briefly too, people know of Dale, workin’ the phones in the back. But real quick, we did the Jaws episode in the past. Last year, last summer. That was one of your top four favorite movies on Letterboxd. This episode, National Lampoon’s Vacation. This is also in your top four on Letterboxd.

DANNY My gosh!

SLIM And as people are aware, this episode is dropping mainly because I’m going on vacation. Sorry, everybody. Your other two, one of which we’ll cover in December, Lord of the Rings.

DANNY My god.

SLIM I think it’s the first one. The Fellowship.

DALE I use Fellowship — it’s kind of a cop out — I use Fellowship just to represent the entire trilogy. I don’t think I could put one above the other in this case. So it’s more like top six. If you consider, you know, the trilogy.

DANNY The entire trilogy. Gotcha.

SLIM Your other number one movie, which I think I even considered before I suggested Vacation. Wet Hot American Summer. Excuse me. I think the main reason I didn’t pick that one because if we did a hot Wet Hot American Summer.

DANNY Excuse me?

SLIM I think the reason I didn’t pick that one, if we did a Wet Hot American Summer episode with Dale and not Ian, Ian would probably jump off a building.

PROTO Disgraced.

DANNY I’ve never seen it, just to say.

SLIM Excuse me?


DANNY I still haven’t seen that movie.


DALE It’s such a joy. You know, the movie is such a joy because growing up with the state, and like those, those that crew that made comedy together for years before Wet Hot American Summer. That’s kind of like 50% of my love for the movie itself. But to see them all, you know, because they’re all friends outside of this. And like Reno 911 and all that. There’s this whole troupe.

SLIM Proto, have you seen Wet Hot American Summer?

PROTO Neva. I can’t believe this movie is 2001. You told me the name, like I’m aware of the name in my mind. But I would have guessed like 1992. So when I heard this was 2001, I was like oh, okay.

SLIM Really?

PROTO Because I have no memory of this coming out.

DANNY I guess I don’t either. I thought it was sooner than that.

SLIM They did a sequel, I think, right?


DALE There’s two different series on Netflix, continuing the saga.

DANNY Ohhh, is that what I’m thinking of?

DALE But Wet Hot, I was working, much like Slim, we have a shared past where we never crossed paths. But I was working at the West Coast Video and Wet Hot American Summer started appearing on the shelf. I was like, what is this movie? And I don’t even think it got a wide release in theaters. But it started just appearing on the shelves in my video store. Smitten ever since.

SLIM Dann, have you ever seen Hot Rod?

DANNY I haven’t seen Hot Rod either. Is that another good one?

SLIM I wonder what Danny’s reaction would be to both Hot Rod and Wet Hot American Summer. You know? He would either love it or he’d probably shut off after 10 minutes.

DANNY I have a weird aversion to some comedy I think. I think I need to go see someone and talk about this. [Slim laughs]

DALE Sounds like something we could talk about for Sevtember.

SLIM When are you going to have like Vinbruary? Where you guys finally cross over and dip into the adult section of Vinegar Syndrome. You know? You talk about topping Hot Ape Summer.

DANNY You’d get a retweet.

SLIM You talk about. When’s it gonna happen?

DALE Brother. Maybe I’m just too afraid to ask Chuck. Maybe I’m just too afraid to say I’ve been thinking about watching porno for the show. And we talk about it. And we talk about the plot only. And we don’t talk about, you know, our bottoms.

PROTO Hashtag Wet Hot Adult. How ‘bout that? Wet Hot Human. [Slim & Dale laugh]

DALE Wet Hot Human-uary.

SLIM We got to get into National Lampoon’s Vacation. This is the spotlight of the week. This isn’t a full episode. This is a kind of bonus episode that’s dropping on Monday because I will not be back home yet from vacation. So we wanted to make sure we had something cookin’.

DALE Bless.

SLIM And I thought, why not National Lampoon’s Vacation? You know, perfect time, end of the end of the summer. This is where all those families go on trips. 1983, Chevy Chase. The King. Proto, can you prepare everyone for National Lampoon’s Vacation?

[music from National Lampoon’s Vacation plays]

PROTO So we’ve all met pod people in our lives, these are the people who you can have a conversation with, you know, they’ll look you in the eye. But when you look back in their eyes, you just know there’s nothing there. [Danny laughs] You know, you just know that they don’t have a soul. And they’re just kind of really almost like robots. That’s Clark Griswold. You know, he’s he’s made a career out of probably poisoning America’s children as an additive, I don’t know, scientist, engineer, marketing executive, who knows. But he’s in there. You know, this is the, you know, in the 80s. He’s killing America’s youth. But he wants to go on a family vacation and he’s, he’s thrilled about it. So he’s got his wife, Ellen. And his two kids, Rusty, and whatever his daughter’s name is… Audrey.

SLIM Audrey.

PROTO And instead they want to go to Wally’s World, which is, you know, they’re in the Midwest, they want to go to the West Coast. And he has this great idea of driving rather than flying. And his wife is like, maybe you know, Clark, maybe we, Sparky, maybe we should fly. You know, maybe this is a really bad idea. He’s like, no, no, no, no, I’m a pod person. I know what’s right. So they get in the car, and they pretty much have a disaster. Along the way, I mean, he’s gonna murder a dog. He’s gonna murder an aunt. He’s gonna get his daughter hooked on weed. And he’s gonna give his son his first beer. All terrible things. And but they’re eventually going to get there. You know, hell or high water. Clark, that’s one thing you can appreciate. He, you know, when he sets out to do something he’s going to get there. It may mean — I mean, how close can you get to cheating on your wife? [Danny laughs] You know? Like you got pretty close. But he’s gonna get there and he’s gonna get to Wally’s World. And and they’re gonna ride those rides, even if it’s closed. And that’s National Lampoon’s Vacation.


SLIM I thought Dale was going to strangle Proto during that introduction.

PROTO Was that not good?

DALE My armpits right now. [Slim laughs] Are caked.

SLIM As with our bonus format, Proto, you know, he wings it on those intros. People are used to this kind of like, you know, poetic nature. You know, with a crescendo to music. It’s not in our bonus episodes, check out that Shrek episode. If you want another taste.

DANNY No, please don’t listen to that shit. [Slim laughs]

SLIM National Lampoon’s Vacation. 1983 I have maybe seen this 1000 times in various forms of television. Dale, what about you? Are you the same way?

DALE The same. This is ultimate comfort food. I could watch this three, four or five times a year and just be completely okay with it. And back in the day, when it was like, you know, taped off of Channel 6’s midnight movie at my grandmom’s, totally watching it probably once a day, once every other day. Staying at my mom’s house.

SLIM We should just mention, this is on HBO Max right now. If you’re thinking about firing this bad boy up before you listen to the rest of the episode. Danny, do you remember watching this growing up at all?

DANNY I do actually. My dad watch this a lot. And I think he had to have taped it off of some sort of television broadcast of it, because there are scenes that I know I had never seen. Or I know that I would never have watched with him. [Dale laughs] There’s no way they would’ve allowed me to watch that movie. But I did so many times with him. So I feel like whatever VHS he was popping in was like Channel 6 recording for sure.

SLIM Yeah, I remember having to like hit pause when the commercial started to try to get that like ideal recording on tape, and then record again. [Danny laughs]

DALE Oh man.

SLIM Sheesh. A lot of work.

PROTO A lost art. [Slim laughs]

DALE Remember the little tone at the end of the commercial but before the movie would come back on? It would be like a little audible tone and you could sometimes catch that.


DALE I think that was for, I think like automatic taping of VCRs back in the day.

SLIM Oh my god. I didn’t even know that.


PROTO This knowledge.

SLIM Proto, did you watch this a lot growing up or was this a banned movie?

PROTO Most of my life, well actually still, I’m wondering who is National Lampoon’s? Who is this guy? I’ve never seen a picture of him. [Slim laughs] So this is my first viewing. Never seen it before.


PROTO Yeah, this was nowhere on my radar.

DANNY Oh my gosh

PROTO I’ve never saw anything about this ever growing up.

SLIM Holy cow. But have you seen Christmas Vacation, European at all?

PROTO I have seen Christmas a little bit. I think I’ve seen seen like, I’ve caught that on TV. Like during the holiday a little bit. I don’t think I’ve watched the whole thing.

DANNY What?!

SLIM Oh my god.

PROTO My truth.

DANNY This is amazing. It’s amazing to me. It’s amazing to me because it feels like these two movies, especially Vacation. Well, especially Christmas. But both movies feel like they’re like woven into like, pop culture cinema that everyone has seen. You just you just expect everyone to have seen this film.

SLIM Yeah, especially in our age group, and older. Like my brother loves this movie. And he’s 10 years older than I am. Totally woven in the fabric. My first note from this viewing. Right off the bat, I had an amazing time watching this movie. Just get it right out of the way. Five banger. Instantly! I had so much fun watching this movie. [Danny laughs]

DANNY My god! [Danny laughs]

DALE God damn right.

SLIM My god! I looove Chevy Chase in this era, this movie. This is love for me. So the first thought, can you imagine driving cross country 2000 miles in the year 2021 right now?

DALE Dudes. [Slim laughs] I can’t — I mean, I feel kind of blessed being on this show because we all have kids. But I can’t imagine it but also I’m at the age where I kind of, I mean, I need to see the the western half of these United States. I need to go see a national park. And am I driving cross country with the family and putting up with all of its charms?

DANNY You gotta do it.

PROTO Your car has a USB port, I think you’re good. That’s the beauty of 2021. [Slim laughs]

DANNY Exactly. Watching them like take off with paper to travel across the US, no phones, no GPS. Like my stress levels of just watching this film is through the roof as an adult now.

I could not imagine.

PROTO The talk of needing to cash cash a check. Are you kidding me? [Danny & Slim laugh]

DANNY And then just like mindlessly like —

DALE Like at a hotel? Can you cash this check? This is like when my grandfather used to work at the glass factory, I know he could go to like Larry’s bar and get his paycheck cashed. I don’t — how does it all work?

DANNY Yeah, how does that work?

SLIM Doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make any sense.

DANNY And then to like, aimlessly get off on the wrong exit, but then to have to stop to ask for directions. Like I don’t even understand how that works.

SLIM Listen, I’m gonna be honest with you. The idea of driving a car with a map is probably the most frightening idea I can possibly think of. [Dale & Danny laugh] If you told me to get to another state, or like a house off the highway? No, I’m in a fetal position. [Danny & Dale laugh]

PROTO Yeah, there’s a deleted scene of them trying to find her cousin’s house, you know, four hours wandering the countryside unable to locate the one street.

SLIM So Dale, what is on your list for Vacation for this viewing?

DALE For this viewing, okay, under the scrutinise eyes of podcast eyes, podcast reviewing eyes, Clark and Ellen Griswold, Clark doing the dishes. I don’t know if I’ve ever noticed Clark just drying the dirty dishes and putting it back. [Slim & Danny laugh]

DANNY IT’s so smart.

DALE I’ve never noticed it! Probably because I’ve seen it so many times that I’m not like eyes on the screen the entire time. But the way that they’re just casually conversating about how this is probably a bad idea. And he’s just like, I’m like, that hand towel’s got to be disgusting right now.

SLIM Proto, this was your first viewing. So what were some things that you noted down?

DALE He’s probably got so much.

PROTO I mean, the first thing is just — I mean, I know it’s all for comedic effect, but the bare luggage on the roof of the car. [Danny laughs] Like what are we doing? Like at no point does he have a revelation? Like how many bags have to fly off this roof before he’s like, you know what? Maybe I need like a tarp. Or like anything Clark! Anything!

SLIM I looove Clark W. Griswold. We talked about Christmas Vacation. What podcast did we do Christmas Vacation for? Was that Paperkeg or Faves or something? But I distinctly remember talking about the last scene of that movie. Clark is just a regular dad. You know, he’s an idiot at times, but he is just like the perfect dad. And he’s trying so hard to get these little things, like a trip to work out well. And everything else is just such a blind spot to him, no matter what. But he has these like great scenes of fatherhood that I just always appreciate. And now more so, obviously, that I’m older.

DALE And it’s so slap sticky most times, right? But for effect, it’s slap sticky, but he — I love his confidence as — he’s going to be the most positive person in that car and he is going to break through and show this family a good time. And eventually they’re going to see the light. Like they’re going to complain and jackoff with their cousin. [Danny laughs] And they’re gonna do — like they’re gonna be pissed off, until they’re not. Until something happens. And there’s this breakthrough. And as the family’s breaking through and having this good time, I like that, like Clark has that little essence of all of us in this movie. And like the his breaking point is like, I think you’re all effed in the head. [Slim & Danny laugh] Like, finally!

[clip of National Lampoon’s Family Vacation plays]

CLARK I think you’re all fucked in the head. We’re 10 hours from the fucking fun park and you want to bail out! Well, I’ll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation! It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun, and you’re gonna have fun. We’re all gonna have so much fucking fun, we’ll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles! You’ll be whistling zippity doo doo dah out of your assholes! I gotta be crazy! I’m on a pilgrimage to see a moose! Praise Marty Moose! Holy shit!

[clip of National Lampoon’s Family Vacation ends]

DALE It’s been wearing on him, you know, for 1900 miles. Finally it’s getting to him. He’s the consummate, like, I need to keep this together because if it were not up to me, everybody would be at each other’s throats, you know, within the first mile of the trip.

PROTO And the beauty of that is that he snaps and you know, he says they’re all effed in the head after he drops off a corpse at corpse’s son’s house without telling him! [Dale laughs]

DANNY King. Only a king can do that. I completely forgot how that ended up because I haven’t seen this in a very very, very long time. And I don’t think Casey and I’ve actually sat down to watch it together ever. So I knew like the the major moments, the chuckle moments. But I did not remember what they ended up doing with that body and I was mortified. [Dale laughs] Like, not only did they just leave it, like it’s pouring rain. They pin a note to it and prop an umbrella up over it. I’m just like, this is the worst thing ever. [Danny laughs] Can you imagine? I just can’t imagine. Like everyone should be in jail by the end of this movie. Like everyone!

DALE And his prayer. [Danny laughs] He’s like, I’m not priest honey, I’m just trying my best here! [Danny laughs]

SLIM Danny, anything else you want to start off with for Vacation?

DANNY Christie Brinkley in a Ferrari. Like, those scenes. Even like in Christmas Vacation when he’s just off thinking about you know, his pool being built. Like these scenes with the Ferrari are just so funny. Like Chevy is so funny in these scenes. Just even just in the car trying to keep it cool, but then like trying to be cool for her. And his wife is right next to him, but she’s just — that Ferrari 308 GTS is just, it’s sexy. She’s Christie Brinkley, it’s ridiculous. And then the dancing with —

SLIM The bread?

DANNY The sandwich scene. The dancing with the sandwich scene is so fucking funny to me. I laugh so hard every time. It’s so stupid, but he’s just hamming it up with a ham sandwich.

DALE He’s like, I gotta spin this moment into a win for me. Like I need a boost to my ego. I need to do something right now, to impress her. [Danny laughs]

DANNY So stupid. I love it.

SLIM There are a lot of physical comedy in this movie that Chevy just does so well. And when he gets his legs stuck at the gas station, and in the the gas line. And it’s just caught. [Dale laughs] It’s just a little stupid scene that is so funny! And he’s looking for the gas tank on his car. And he’s watching the people next to him. And he yanks off the license plate and it almost decapitates that woman. The scene where the Russ’s feet are right next to him. And he’s like, what is that smell?

DANNY So stupid.

SLIM There’s just so much subtle, dopey Chevy Chase comedy that is like a lost art form. I think, in my opinion.

DALE Chevy’s face, he makes himself laugh when he says, I’m so hungry I could eat a sandwich from a gas station and he like go talks to himself and like nobody else. [Slim & Danny laugh] This is like a kingly moment. Like, that’s me! I embody that even when I’m by myself and I’m like talking to myself. I do that because I idolize this crap.

SLIM The second line in my notes: Clark is Dale. That is that is the second line in my notes. [Dale laughs] I thought of Dale in this movie the whole time in all of those scenes. Cracking myself up. Proto, what do you got?

PROTO I just have one of the lines. I love where he pulls off the wrong exit. And they’re like in the downtown. I forget what city that is. But then like —

DANNY St Louis.

PROTO Yeah, in St Louis, he just like continues his like utter optimism where his wife’s like, honey, I don’t think we should be here. And he’s like, no, this is good. You know, kids, see this plight. Kids, you noticin’ all this plight? [Slim & Dale laugh]

DANNY So good.

PROTO Like he’s just like in tourist dad mode like all the time.

SLIM He’s like the he’s like the parent at the beginning of Batman, where the dad is walking around with the map. [Danny laughs] I’m not lost! Also his line when he talks to like the pimp.

[clip of National Lampoon’s Family Vacation]

CLARK Excuse me, homes. What it is, bro? We’re from out of town.

[clip of National Lampoon’s Family Vacation ends]

SLIM His delivery is just so class!

DALE And he has to past by a Torino without any wheels but his cousin Charky is in there. [Danny laughs]

SLIM Also, another random Clark note, was when they visit cousin Eddie. And they leave and then her dog, they like bring the dog around to him. He’s like, what is this? A dog? [Slim & Danny & Dale laugh]

PROTO Yeah, at that point, you’re just like, if you’re Clark, you’re like, you know what? Sorry, cousin like, this is where I draw the line. Like we’re on our way to Walley World. We’re not taking a dog. But he’s just like, oh! Got a dog! We got some space.

SLIM I mean, how long are they travelling for? It feels like a week they’re driving to get there. A week of vacation just to get there. It’s horrifying.

DALE It’s probably got to be like 1500 miles or something insane like that.

PROTO Yeah. If you’re driving like two or three days with your family, at that point, you’re done. And then you’re getting an aunt that you hate and the dog to go like another couple days with them. No!

SLIM The marital stress alone in that car. Oh my god, game over.

PROTO Also, I mean, for me, like even at this point. I’m not even over the whole like car dealership thing. If I’m Clark. Like my mind is still there. Like I’m like, this guy screwed me over. I’ve got this wrong car that I’ve invested in, it’s falling apart. It’s making noises. Like the marital strife with that alone. And you’re in the machine this whole trip, that is like a, you know, a point of contention.

DALE Yeah, your conveyance is exactly this is what started the stressors, you know what I mean? Like, you’re living in it.

PROTO Could you imagine going to a dealership and like, you and your wife have agreed to get a car. And you come back with like the worst possible scenario. My wife would like, she would just kill me! Or like I don’t even know what would happen.

DANNY Also the idea that your trade in just got flattened. Like that is so ridiculous too. When they wheel it out and he just walks up to it grabs a handle. He says like, this isn’t our car. [Danny & Slim laugh] So stupid! Oh god.

SLIM I’m guessing, Dale, this is like common knowledge to you. But I didn’t realize that cousin Eddie’s daughter is the gal from 30 Rock.

DANNY Yeah, Jenna Maroney.

SLIM Sheesh!

DALE Yeah, she’s been in the game a long time.

DANNY Yeah, really. This is my viewing too, where I realized I was her as well. Crazy.

SLIM I had to search it right after. I was like, wait a minute. Dale, what’s on your list? National Lampoon’s Vacation?

DALE When the family pulls up to Dodge City, Kansas. And then he starts barking at the bartender. Hey, Yellow Belly! Fake laughing.

DANNY When he shoots him, I laughed so hard. I was not prepared for that. I forgot about that. How about a town where you just roleplay in? Do we have those? Does that actually exist?

DALE Dude! I want to go to like a Western town.

DANNY Right? Roll up.

SLIM It’s like a Westworld. [Danny laughs]

DANNY No robots. But yeah, I was like, was this a thing that I missed out on the 80s where my parents to take me to this kind of — we went to like places in North Carolina that were like, I don’t know, tourist traps on mountains. They had these like Western cities built but I never remembered if it was like role playing, but this was like wild to me.

SLIM Yeah. How about when they go to sleep in like this camp grounds? And $37 for three tents and they’re acting like that highway robbery. [Danny laughs]

DALE I know!

SLIM Oh my god. Let’s see, what else do I have? Ever bop your baloney. [Danny laughs] Cousin Eddie’s son asked him that I think.

DALE I don’t think I’ve ever cringed harder. I mean, I’ve seen this movie 1000 times and this might have been the time I’ve cringed the most at that phrase.

DANNY I love Anthony Michael Hall. I think he’s so good. I mean, I love him in Breakfast Club but it’s crazy. He’s so funny.

DALE He’s amazing.

SLIM Proto?

PROTO That’s all I got, I don’t have any other notes.

SLIM Final thoughts and maybe your rating for Lampoon’s Vacation?

PROTO Well, I will say —

SLIM Uh oh.

PROTO I think this is a movie that has room to grow. [Danny laughs] I can see the benefit of multiple watches. I think the thing that I struggle with the most —

SLIM It’s too funny?

PROTO And to me, I mean this is just me okay, but I don’t find a single thing funny about Chevy Chase.

DANNY Oh no.

PROTO Like to me he is not funny one bit. Like all you guys saying his physical comedy, you know, anything he does. I didn’t really get like a single laugh from anything he did. I just don’t find him funny at all. And I’m just, I must be missing it. I just don’t think he’s a funny, I don’t think he has good timing. I don’t think he’s physically funny. I just don’t get it. To me, he just completely misses the mark. So watching this, it’s kind of hard. But I feel like, you know, I think I could find, you know, rewatching it maybe I would like it more. So I’m going to go on, you know, faith. And you know, this movie has a good track record. People love it. And I’m going to say that in the future if I rewatch this and as I grow as a person that it would be a three star movie. So I’m going to give it three stars.

SLIM Wooww.

DALE That’s a sub three star review.

SLIM Any of the Chevy Chase fans out there, if you’re thinking of leaving a negative Apple Podcasts review, that was not me.

PROTO Feel free.

DANNY That wasn’t Slim.

PROTO It was the other Slim. [Slim & Danny laugh]

DANNY Let me go next because I’m not far off from Proto. Okay?

SLIM Oh my. Cut the stream.

DANNY Watching this — I haven’t seen this in ages. Okay? Probably with my father, the last time saying this. I am shocked how many movies came after this. Because I find it not as funny as its predecessors. Is that the right word? The ones that came after. I find Euro a lot funnier. And I think Christmas vacation is a flawless movie. So I am surprised that they got better films after this. Because there are bits in this that are classic all timers. But I’m hovering at four stars for this one. It’s not a five banger, but I’m going with four.

SLIM I mean, four stars is really good, if I checked the tapes.

DANNY Four stars is good. But it’s not a Dale, Slim five banger. So there’s just moments where it kind of drags a bit. It’s long for for what it is. And I just feel like there are two other movies that I enjoy more out of the Lampoon’s chronological movies.

SLIM Four stars is great. I’m happy with that rating.

DANNY Listen, I’m explaining it for Dale because I don’t want you to expect a five banger from me for this one.

DALE That’s okay, I’m glad to hear your affection for the other ones too. I think Slim and I talked about European vacation maybe for Faves because we did it at the lake house.

DANNY Slim hated euro.


DANNY Yeah, you have two and half stars on it.

SLIM Does that sound accurate to our conversation Dale? I don’t think that —

DANNY I’m just double checking the notes.

SLIM That might have been a mistake. We’ll check the database.

PROTO Slip of the thumb.

DALE We just need to put a pin in that, we’ll reconcile that at another time. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Dale, your final thoughts and rating for National Lampoon’s Vacation?

DALE Yeah, total five stars. And looking at it now, you know, Slim and I, we share the same opinion and mindset on our man Chevy. He is just the king of physical comedy and stuff like that. But now, this is what the added bonus is like, am I almost willing to put up with the charms of like a real life road trip with my family? I know this is just an insane characterization of that. But does this have me thinking about finally getting to see a national park in the Midwest? Is that the only way?

DANNY It’s time.

DALE Board a family of four and fly to what? Where do I fly to get to a national park? You can’t do it, I don’t think.

PROTO You can’t do it.

DALE Am I gonna rent a $2,000 car to just drive to a national park from the closest airport?

SLIM Get your pilot’s license, maybe fly yourself.

DANNY Yeah, it’s cheaper.

SLIM I did get my rating earlier, it’s five stars. Chevy Chase really just connects with me at this point in my life. So I’m full on five stars. Laughed a lot during this movie. And hopefully people will listen to this one, give it another shot. Into adulthood, maybe connects with you as well. Dale, thank you so much for joining this special episode.

DANNY Thank you, Dale.

PROTO Dale, thank you.

DALE This was wonderful, thank you. My cheeks hurt from the fun that we had. I really appreciate this. [Slim laughs] Thank you.

SLIM Next week we announced it in our previous week, which would be the Life of Brian episode. But next week kicks off Latin American Movies Month. Danny’s first pick. Which as of this recording, I don’t know yet. But next week it’s going to be good when it happens.


SLIM Proto, any closing thoughts for this episode of National Lampoon’s Vacation? [Danny laughs]

PROTO No, I guess I’m watching Christmas vacation this December. We’ll see what happens.

DANNY [sings] It’s that time!

DALE [also sings] Christmas time is here!

[music plays]

SLIM 70mm is a TAPEDECK production with original artwork provided by Danny Haas. Spiritual guidance and VGER, the robot who loves movies created by Protolexus. Producer emeritus Dale_a. Transcript provided by Sophie Shin. Prints and other merch are available on This episode was mixed, edited and produced by me, Slim. Support our Patreon for access to the VHS Village Discord to talk movies with new friends, access to exclusive episodes, discounts on merch, and a physical membership card mailed to you. To check out other TAPEDECK podcasts, find the link in the episode notes. And if you’d like to support our friends at Letterboxd and upgrade to Pro or Patron status, you can do so with a 20% off discount using the links at Goodbye!




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