We’ve all been there. The stresses from the holiday season can make anyone a bit on edge. But if you combine holiday expectations of comfort and joy with the harsh realities of day to day life, something’s gotta give. Enter Clark Griswold. In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Clark (played by a never better Chevy Chase) wants nothing more than to surprise his family by telling them that he’s having a swimming pool put in as his gift to them. Unfortunately, his plans for winning Christmas are complicated when he doesn’t get his expected holiday bonus. That crushing blow coupled with the annoyance he feels from being surrounded by his offbeat relatives causes him to blow a gasket in the film’s comedic highpoint. (Although you may disagree with this, in which case let us know your favorite moment in the comments). What follows is a hilarious tirade that anyone who has ever been stressed by the season can relate to.
This piece originally ran on MovieFanFare in 2017, but we are reprinting it today as part of our month-long celebration of classic holiday TV specials and movies spanning the history of Hollywood.