National Lampoon's Vacation was the 11th highest-grossing movie of 1983, earning $61.3 million at the North American box office. Aside from being a major success for former Saturday Night Live star Chevy Chase, it spawned four sequels. National Lampoon's European Vacation followed in 1985, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation in 1989, Vegas Vacation (without the Lampoon's affiliation) in 1997, and the back-to-basics reboot Vacation in 2015.
In each movie, family man Clark Griswold (or his grown-up son Rusty in the reboot) tries to give his clan a perfect, memorable vacation, only to have a series of comic complications foil his efforts. The humor comes from his increasing desperation when things inevitably go wrong. Though the movies are light-hearted comedies, their productions often reflected the series' core concept. Tons of problems sprang up and needed fixing. Cast and crew members found themselves feeling like real-life Clark Griswolds as they struggled to give audiences something special and unforgettable in the midst of chaos.
A peek behind the scenes of the Vacation movies reveals the many challenges that went into making them. These tales involve bad behavior, logistical nightmares, intense fears, and of course, crazy Chevy Chase stories. So gas up the Family Truckster and get ready for a wild ride.