812 – National Lampoon’s Vacation – Tale of the Tape
A meandering road trip to Wally World via the sleepy side roads of Scoot’s mind.
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Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast to put you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights and press play. I'm going to do the rest. What I'm going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you can set aside whatever's keeping you awake. Whether it's thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, changes in time or temperature, I'm here to keep you company, to take your mind off of stuff whatever's … I'm want to help.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to send my voice across the deep, dark night here. I'm going to use lulling, soothing, creaky dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents. And when I say superfluous tangents it means I'm going to go off topic in a way that's totally unnecessary. Not only I'm I going to go off topic and go on tangents, I'm going to go on extra ones that are completely … Well, I guess they're not, if they're necessary. I think if we made a musical about this, Essentially Superfluous, was it that musical or did I call it something else? Because I say, well, are the tangents … if they're essential, are they superfluous?
So we've found ourselves in a early paradox here. But what I'm really here to do is to keep you company as you drift off. Now, if you're new, welcome, I'm glad you're here and I really hope I can help. I'm Scoots or Drew, you could call me either one. You could call me Scooter, you could call me bore-bae, you could call me bore-bed. I mean in your case, if you're new, you say, “Well, I don't know. Who is this guy? Who is this dude?” I'm here to answer those questions, because obviously if you're skeptical or you're doubtful that's reasonable. I mean why wouldn't you be? There's a lot of stuff out there that's supposed to help to put you … help you fall asleep, that's supposed to put you to sleep and a lot of people recommend this show.
Our you might've heard about it somewhere and you say, “What the heck? What's this? What's this dude talking about?” And I say, well, not much. The tangents are superfluous for sure and most of the time I don't even know what I'm talking about, but I am glad you're here and I hope I can help you. The reason I make the show, the reason I've been making the show now for a long time, since 2013, over 800 episodes I believe. And the reason I say believe, because I don't really believe it, I say, “Holy cow, there's been over 800 episodes of this podcast.”
It's because I've been there and I've been there since I was a kid, tossing and turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, trouble falling … getting back to sleep. Holy mackerel. And I guess also I wanted was a friend to be there to keep me company and take my mind off of stuff and so that's kind of what this podcast ideally does.
I'm the friend you don't need to listen to. They don't call me the perfect friend, they call me the situationally the perfect friend for a situation. Within this construct, Scoots, you're the perfect friend for this particular job. And I'd say, “You mean I'm not the perfect friend overall, Brad?” I say because I thought me and Brad Pitt were going to be best friends and they say, “Well …” And I say, “Well, you know George Clooney? I'll be best friend with pretty much …” Oh, sorry, I got … that was a tangent I went on.
See I think I fell into my imagination. But so you're saying I'm not the perfect friend all the time? No Scoots, nobody, you can't be the perfect friend for all the time. But for taking someone's mind off of stuff and keeping him company and they don't need to listen to, you're perfect for that and I say, “You're right, I am.” And that's what I always wanted as a kid, was someone to talk to me that I didn't need to listen to.
And you say, “Wait a second, that's what this …” If you're new, you say, “Wait a second, what's this podcast about? Are you going to get to the bedtime story or start making sense any time soon or get to a point?” Hmm, no. But what I will do I'll be here talking and if you need me for 8 to 10 to 12 hours, as some listeners do, line up the episodes. I'll be here talking, chit chattering away. I mean I guess for the people that say, “Well, couldn't you listen to any …” Well, no, because I know what it's like there and that's why I'm here.
I'm mostly here because I believe you truly do deserve a good night's sleep and I'd like to help. So if you're skeptical, why wouldn't you be? Give the show a few tries, see how it goes. There's no pressure to like me or the podcast. I just hope it helps you and you can kind of see if it works for you. I'm going to give you a little bit more information though about the structure of the podcast, but I think you figured out the first part is, you don't need to listen to me. That's part of the job that I'm proud to do is make a podcast and tell you a story that you don't need to listen to.
Now, you can. If you can't sleep I'm here to the very end and there's plenty other episodes. I put a lot of work into shows to keep you company in a kind of way that's barely, moderately interesting. Slightly humorous or nearly, almost humorous I think people said. Humor-like, that's what we usually agree on, me and my internal staff as I call them when I'm not being critical of them.
They say, “You're not humor-esque, you're humor-ish.” And I say, “Well, that sounds like something I caught on the subway or something, humor-ish. I'm feeling a little humor-ish.” And they say, “Well, for you? Yeah. It's like you're not sure.” You say, “Well, he's not … I wasn't laughing. I was only guffing, I wasn't guffawing. I wasn't rolfing, but I was looking at the floor barely smiling.”
Okay, but so you don't need to listen to me. I think that tangent proved that. Here's the other thing, there's no pressure to fall asleep. I'm going to be here for about an hour, you drift off at your leisure. So kind of listen to me, kind of don't, see what works for you. Drift off in your own time. And that goes into the structure of the show, so the show, structurally, it can be a little bit strange for new listeners. So I give it to you even though it's a little … You say, “Well, it's a little late now, Scoots, we already lost …” I say, well, let me see what I could tell you.
So the show starts off with a few minutes of business and that's how we keep the show free for everybody, 800 episodes. And then there's the intro, now the intro is about 12 to 15 minutes. It's not really an intro as it is a wind down or a slow beginning, like full of false starts. You say, “Well, it took forever to get started. I don't know if it ever did and then it petered out from there.” Those are what our five star reviews say, “It was like an engine on a gas thingamajig that you pull the cordy thing. And then it started going and it made a pleasant puttering sound for a while and then it puttered around like in a cartoon. I don't know if it was a motor boat or a two wheeled vehicle and then it kind of just poof, poof, poof, poofed at the end.”
So the intro is, it's 12 to 15 minutes. It can be kind of explaining the podcast, ideally building rapport or reinforcing rapport for the regular listeners to ease you into bed. Now you could be getting ready for bed as you listen to the show. You could be in bed snuggling and petting your pets as I get bribed by pets to say all the time. Petting those sweet, sweet pets, that really … Well, my dog in bed with me, all your pets should be in bed with you. Also pets, we're working on that new Pet Coin so you could pay me by Pet Coin once it's invented.
But cats, I'm not expecting much except for a dirty look or whatever it is. Walking away with your tail up, or whatever you call it. Okay, so where was I? Oh, so the intro, you could listen to as it eases you into bedtime. Now if for some reason you start listening to the show and you say, “Scoots, I don't like the intro. I want to get right into the bed time stuff.” I say, okay, skip ahead about 18 or 20 minutes, that's normally where it starts.
Tonight we'll be doing a Tale Of The Tape where I try to remember a movie from my childhood or, this case, that I saw on TV on HBO. I didn't see it in the original run, but I'll be trying to remember that, the plot of that movie. Which will be very tangential and lulling and for sure pointlessness, it'll be backtracking. You say, “Okay, I think this is what happened. I'm pretty sure this was the main characters name and this is who was in the movie or whom.” Oh, you're right, whom. So we'll have some fun with that and so that'll be the …
Oh, so there's the intro then there's some business between the intro and the show, then there'll be that. I'll talk about the movie for 45 to 55 minutes or so, then there's some thank yous at the end. So all told I'll be here for about an hour to keep you company. So yeah, that's the structure of the show. Those are the rules of the show. I kind of think that's it.
If you're listening and you definitely don't like the podcast, you've reached that conclusion. Usually people reach that conclusion in one or two minutes and then they skip ahead, so maybe you skipped ahead to this. Check out sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou, that's got other sleep podcasts and sleepy stuff on there, because I do want to help you fall asleep. And I mean it really comes down what I said before, it's been there and I know what it feels like and, yeah, I guess that's it.
I was trying to think, I'm in a really a warm room right now, so it's like my thoughts are … My hots are thoughts with humidity or something like that. I have humid, there's humid thoughts and then there's humid thoughts and these are not the kind that you raise your eyebrows at. And so hopefully when you're listening to this it sounds like a cool breeze, but usually it's more creak, dulcet tones and pointless meanders.
So I think that's it, I'll just give you a quick intro tonight, right around the 12 minute mark. So I'm glad you're here, if you're new or you're a regular listener, I'm glad you're back. I work very hard, I yearn and I strive and I really hope I can help you fall asleep, so thanks again for coming by. And here's a couple ways we keep this show free for everybody.
All right everybody, it's Scoots here and tonight we're doing a Tale Of The Tape episode where I try to remember a movie that I watched a lot as a kid and I'll try to make the movie accessible to everybody, because I know sometimes this movie might be new to a lot of people. This particular one you might be more familiar with the merchandise and some of the other movies related to in the series. And also talk about some personal connections I have with the film.
Now, this was a movie I did not see in the movie theater. I think the first movie in this series I saw was the third in the movie theater and it's definitely the movie that has been over played and I did do an episode about it. So the movie we're talking about tonight is National Lampoon's Vacation. It may be called National, I think it was just called National Lampoon's Vacation and not Family Vacation. And so it's a movie, if you're unfamiliar with it you might've heard of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation or if you've scanned the cable dials occasionally you may have seen this movie or it's European version, the sequel, National Lampoon's European Vacation. Which I have seen bits and pieces of in the last few years, just like …
These are not movies you really want to see on TV, but normally you do. Just because the flow is interrupted by the commercials, some of the comedy may be edited out or vanilla, made it into something vanilla. But this is a movie I've seen like I mean maybe 100 times, maybe not that many times. And so it's a movie about a family going on a road trip, so it's a genre film and I think there's a TV show or two recently that I didn't see. Like series or kind of about families on road trips, it's a popular genre.
I want to say it's a John Hughes movie or an Ivan Rightman movie, but I'm not sure on either one of those. I don't know who else could've done it, but I guess I'll look that up if we have time to look up any actual facts about the movie. It stars Chevy Chase, Beverly DeAngelo, Anthony Michael Hall and I think that's as far as I get with remembering things. Randy Quaid's in it, actually the dude, the actor from the Karate Kid reboots, with something Forest Friend Kai, K-A-I. He was Johnnie from the original Karate Kid movie, he's in this movie. I think this was well before Karate Kid, maybe not. Incredibly handsome performer.
And I don't know when this movie came out because I think the first time I saw it was on HBO. And I don't think the first time I saw it it was necessarily complete … this is definitely a movie that unfortunately I haven't seen … I've seen more in chunks than start to finish, because start to finish, I mean I haven't seen it in a long time. But I will say that I would guess that it holds up, but it does suffer from being on cable TV so much that the scenes that you have seen you may grow tired of. So that's what's nice about seeing the beginning of it, because I think the last time I saw it was probably 10, 12, 20, I don't know, years ago. But when I did see the whole thing, I said, “Wow, really there's a nice … The beginning of it's very, very funny.”
It probably would be a good one to see in the movie theater again, so if anybody's doing a revival of it, hit me up and let me know. So I think that's it for the set up. Family vacation movie, those are the stars, if you're not familiar with those stars, comedic actor and then an actress with comedic range and dramatic range so … and then Anthony Mike.
So it starts in a Chicago suburb, so that's why I say, “Huh, is this a John Hughes movie?” I'd like to see a John Water's version of it, to be honest. That would be absolutely amazing, can you imagine? That would be really cool. John Water's National Lampoon's Vacation. I guess you could do it as a musical. Maybe this movie has been a musical, I'm not sure on that either and I'm not sure. I guess the soundtrack is very 80s, so I don't know if this movie came out in the 80s or the late 70s or the 80s or the mid-80s. I just have no idea at all.
Because I would guess National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation came out in like 1990, and that's just a ballpark of a guess, or 1991. I'm just guessing when I would've gone to that in the movies. Okay, so I guess that's a basic set up. So if you haven't seen the movie, don't worry, I'll cover what I can remember. It's a pretty long film and the star of the movie or the main character I guess, the character … Again, I don't know if you're supposed to identify with him because he's not super sympathetic, but the foil. What is that called when … It's not zeitgeist, it's the other big word I know how to use sometimes.
Oh, if you're going to pour some schadenfreude on it, it's Chevy Chase who plays Clark Griswald. Ellen Griswald is played by Beverly DeAngelo. Rus, Rusty Griswald is played by Anthony Michael Hall. And I don't know the name of the actress who plays the sister or her name this second, but it probably will come to me because I can hear them talking in the car. And Clark Griswald has dreamed … He plays it back in 80s, this is the mythology I'm explaining I guess, if you want to put a cultural dot on it, because you say … I mean he was supposed to be the every-person and I guess this was the 80s, because it was very unicultural I guess or whatever you want to call it. So he lived in the suburbs of Chicago, he worked for a corporation.
I know National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation he works for like an additives company, so maybe a cereal additives company, C-E-R-A-L. Maybe he worked there in the regular movie and I don't really totally remember how the movie starts, if he's at work or if he's at home. But there's a couple big scenes at the beginning of the movie.
Oh, you know what I'm remembering? I think I'm wrong, oh boy, am I wrong. The guy from Karate Kid's not in this movie, I just realized that. So first mistake right up front. I just almost remembered the sister's name. You know the kid? Rusty and his sister are played by different actors and actresses in every movie. So John Galecki played Rusty in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, maybe, maybe my memory's incorrect though.
But so in this movie the guy from Karate Kid's not in it, so forget all about that part. No one from Karate Kid is maybe not in this movie, maybe they are. But so, okay, so Clark Griswald is, I don't know, he's a dude, like a average dude, basic. Holy cow. And he works, so he's a corporate droog or drone, I don't know which one and he's a bit of a buffoon which is kind of a typical Chevy Chase character. Big ego but no self awareness and clumsy and goofy. And Beverly DeAngelo as Ellen, she tries to manage him, seems to love him for some reason and their kids are just put out the whole movie. They say, “Geez, we got this dad who's too much and …”
So not surprising I identified with the Chevy Chase character a lot as a kid. Oh, so let's get to the movie, right? All righty, Scoots. So the movie starts out, I don't know how the movie starts, but it has a song called the Holiday Road that's at the end of the movie that maybe there's some themes from that. I don't know if that's a Kenny Loggins song or not. There was once upon a time at the end of the movie, so there's the song Holiday Road during the credits and I was in a basement at my friend's grandmothers and we had been … I don't know how old we were, too young but not old and we were kind of … It was just me and a couple of my friends and I guess we were P-A-R-T-A-Y-I-N-G-ing or something, but not really because it was just the four of us in his grandmother's basement's house. And it was late at night and we were all singing along with the movie at the top of our lungs. So this is a highpoint of my childhood or teenagehood. But this was after we'd seen the movie thousands of times.
So movie starts, the scenes I remember from the beginning of the movie is, one thing, is nothing ever goes Clark's way and he always has unrealistic expectations. So he's going to buy a new car for their family trip, they're going to Wally World. You say, “Scoots, what's the goal? And what are the needs of the characters and stuff?” I say, well, I don't know about any of that stuff, but I do know their goal is to reach Wally World in California.
And that's the reason I was thinking of this movie, is because I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott's Berry Farm with Ray a while ago and I think the movie was shot at one of those theme parks. But I think it was Six Flags Magic Mountain, just the end of the movie. Also yeah, John Candy's at the end of the movie. That's not really a spoiler.
Okay, so movie starts with Clark trying to pick up his new car that he ordered or had purchased and he goes … I don't know if Eugene Levy's in this movie, but I don't think he is, but I don't know why I just thought … Eugene Levy just popped in my head, I said, “Hey, Eugene.” I saw a Eugene Levy across the room, I was too afraid to approach him, but he had some event the last Fall. I was in the same room as him, one of my heroes but also … Well, anyway, who else was in there? Some other famous people. So like I said, but I said, “Well, I'm just going to sit here, stand here with my sparkling water alone. Don't talk.”
Anyway, where was I? So he goes to pick up his car and they have the car order wrong. He ordered the family truckster or maybe he ordered some other car, sport package. I think it was a sport. So this is going to be new for a lot of you younger listeners, you probably heard of these things called station wagons and before they had minivans and SUVs they had station wagons, which was like an extra long car. Pretty much like a hearse, the only difference was the bodies packed in there were the family. So that was the only car other than a van you could buy that you could fit like more than six people in, or you could fit a ton of luggage and stuff. So Clark had ordered some other car, but a station wagon, he drives up in his car that he's doing a turn in or whatever they call that. I've never done that. All my cars have been driven to the end of their time or it was a lease. But this one, it's like where you exchange, you get your credit for your car. A trade in, that's what they call it. Thank you, car dealership brain.
So he turns in his trade in and they already start taking care of that. So you see that car being mushed up to go bye-bye and then Clark gets strung along by the car sales man saying, “Oh, this car's even better than what you ordered. Costs more money but it's so much better for driving cross country.” And the car kind of doesn't ever become a character in the movie, but it's a vehicle for some jokes at Clark's expense, including this time. Because he folds, he says … Well, actually he doesn't. Again he's like in this Rodney Dangerfield, that's comedian in the 80s, “I don't get no respect.”
So trying to cultivate the every-person feel that when you go to get a car, it's always a hassle, it never works out and the people are always trying to pull a fast one on you. So by the time Clark gets the car, it's not he car he wanted, it's horribly ugly, it's green, it has like six sets of headlights. The station wagons back then used to have this fake wood paneling, it's got all that stuff. Plus his son's with him I think and he's like, “Dad, these guys are messing with you. Aren't you going to stand up to him?” And then he demands his car but they had already … Which I don't really understand because they usually sell used cars, but I think it was just for a joke that they put his car into a cube. So he says, “I'm leaving here with my car. This isn't the car I ordered.” And they say, “Well, here's your car, it's a cube.” Because he's leaving the next day on the vacation.
So I guess that's kind of what happens, so that's one scene in the movie. Then the next, then there's other scenes. Then there's the scene with him driving the car, it's not working right. Then there's the scene where they're planning and again the family just wants to go to Hawaii, which I think in the 80s was like … I think people still go to Hawaii a lot, right? But in the 80s it was like the Promised Land, that's where everybody, especially … Again, I don't know if that was the thing in Chicago, but it was like, “Oh, you're going Hawaii? That's a fancy place.” And Wally World, it's kind of like it's not as hyped up as Disney World in this movie, but for Clark it is like this mecca of family purity and unity that he's chasing after.
So then there's a planning scene where he's over planning, he's super excited about all the stops they're going to go to, the world's largest ball of yarn. And this one I think kind of sets up our likeability of Clark, it's like, “Okay, you kind of pity him, but he's so … he seems genuinely excited for this.” And his family's like, “Dad this is so lame.” Then his kids start playing video games over … He's using a computer to kind of show the route and Audrey is the daughter, Audrey and Rusty, make computer games go over and take out his car and everything. So this is a little bit more comedic, shows the family, shows Beverly DeAngelo's character. I can't remember.
But so she's trying to say, “Clark, come on. We could still go to Hawaii, we haven't spent any money except on the car and stuff.” And he's like, “No, no, no. This is going to be the great vacation.” And then they head out on the road, I guess this is where I probably get lost pretty quick, because I don't really remember where they go or what happens next.
So they leave Chicago and, let's see, they … So they have a ton of luggage, I remember this much, but I think this must've happened later in the movie, is yeah, so I don't know. So they set out, they say goodbye to their neighbors and they hit the open road, right? And then what happens? That's a great question. Because I know there's some of the places they go, but they don't go to those quite yet because that's in the next.
So they set out and we get a feel for them driving, Clark is happy on the open road and the kids are in the back and at some point we get introduced to a character played by Christie Brinkley who was not … I don't believe the term, there used to be this term Supermodel, I don't think it's used anymore and she was one of the original supermodels I believe, or like right around that era. And for me, as a young male, I mean I was a pre-pubescent male, this was like one of my first internal stirrings I'll be honest with you, and not just … Well, anyway we don't need to get any details.
So this was part of my formative experience, this film and I mean in a … I don't know, it just was, I guess that's why I'm having trouble speaking. It just really was a part of my formative experience and probably in a ways that was not exactly realistic, because she's driving like a Ferrari, a red Ferrari and I believe she makes three or four appearances in the film. And she's kind of plays this very … this fantasy character where she goes racing up next to Clark and then she sees Clark and I don't know what draws her to Clark, because again this movie's probably written by people that identified with Clark, so they were like, “Oh, she definitely finds him attractive or likes to flirt with him.”
So she's kind of flirting as they're driving side by side and Clark's sweating and that's just one scene that's … I remember, because I said, “Holy moly, does this really happen? I don't even know how to drive a car yet. Because I try to pass notes to people I have a crush on, they won't give me the time.” Like during spin the bottle, remember I told you this on an episode? I mean it's just true, no one wanted to kiss me and then the one person that did I was friends with, Julie, she said, “Remember this doesn't mean anything.” It was a good thing she said that because I was like Ralph Wiggum. So I guess it skewed my view of … They said, “Oh, one day someone will just drive by you in a car. That's how you become … you transition from boyhood to … One day someone will just pass you by in a car and say, “Hey, let's drive fast together.”
So just in case you're listening and you don't understand any of this stuff I'm talking about, that's just a movie. Okay, so how does the movie start out though? Holy mackerel. It's like they get on the road, where do they go? I'm trying to think of the places they went alone. I mean I would think I know at some point they stop at Dodge City and it's just the four of them. So we see Christie Brinkley, Clark's sweating, then he's driving, then they go to Dodge City, which is like this … I don't know where it was, maybe that's … Dodge City maybe that's, I don't know, but it's like an Old West style town, like a movie set almost. And they go and they're doing tourist stuff.
Clark kind of overplays his hand with the bartender, Clark and Rusty kind of have some bonding but it's kind of like Clark plays a bit of a buffoon and so I know that was a scene. So if I remember that one, so that happened. I'm trying to think what else happens. I know they lose their luggage, I thought that was later in the movie. There's a point where Clark's driving, I'll just go not in order because of what I remember, but trying to put it in order. There's the scene where Clark's driving and everybody's a little snoozy-poo and I think this is when they lost the luggage and Beverly says … Well, I almost remembered her name, her character's name. But she says, “Clark hon, I need to turn out the TV, go to bed.” He says, “Okay.” And then they accidentally just drive into a motel parking lot. Then they get two motel rooms for mom and dad and the kids and then they have one of those vibrating beds, the parents, where you put two quarters in. And Clark is kind of like a charming goofball in this movie, so he says, “Hey, honey, rub-a-dub-dub, I got some quarters for this bed.” He had champagne.
I think this is all in this part of the movie and then he says, “Yeah, let's drink some champagne.” That's what Scoots thinks adults do. Then the bed breaks and it's vibrating out of control so they move to the floor. They're just holding hands, kids. And then the bed is making so much noise the kids come in the room, they're under the covers on the floor and the kids are young enough that they're like, “You guys are just so weird. What are you doing?” It was pretty comedic and funny.
I don't know, there must've been more scenes in there. I remember another scene where they're lost in another city, I think St Louis. Maybe they went to the St Louis Art Show, I remember them driving St Louis, they ask for directions, they lose their hubcaps, maybe they lost some tires. Let's see. I don't think there's anything else in that scene. So there's St Louis, Dodge City, they lose their luggage then Clark goes to a hotel to try to cash a check.
This is before ATMs in the 80s, or even credit cards, most people didn't have credit cards when this movie took place. If you want a good episode of 99 PI, oh what was it called? Something Drop. Where's Hangtown Fry from? Wherever Hangtown Fry's from. I don't know the name of that city right off the top of my head now.
But anyway, that's a good name of the … that's a good episode about credit cards, but I can't remember the name of it. 99% Invisible, that's the name of the podcast, I just can't think of the episode. So they have to cash a check and of course no ones going to cash a check, out of state check from a stranger without credit cards. So Clark borrows some money from a cash register, leaves the check behind. That was definitely after Dodge City because he was kind of feeling rebellious. So that happens.
At some point they go and visit Uncle Eddy, who's, in his family, played by … Uncle Eddy is played by Randy Quaid, and I guess still try to figure out in the movies who's related to who. Now, Clark's not related to Uncle Eddy or his wife, Ellen and, I don't know, and I don't think Uncle Eddy is related to Ellen, so I think Ellen's sister is married to Uncle Eddy. And they had a few different kids, but they also had a daughter and a son that were the same age as this Rusty and Audrey, close to it.
So we get some comedic scenes where Audrey, the daughter of Uncle Eddy and I can't remember the name, but so she teaches Audrey about the cannabis business. But this was back in the day when alls you did was keep it under your … She grew her own cannabis, she was way … decades and decades ahead of her time. So she teaches the joy for Audrey, “There's 420 somewhere.” And so Audrey gets to realize for part of the trip, which probably would be handy. I mean not to encourage it, but if you're Audrey's age, to have it be 420 all the time in that car with the family. She was not old enough to drive anyway. And then Rusty kind of is a little …
This is a dated movie, so there's jokes at a lot of other people's expense that probably you'd be like, “Oh, I don't know about this.” Problematic, I would say there's lots of problematic scenes. Like the earlier scene in St Louis is definitely problematic to me. I guess you would say this one because it's kind of just making fun of their circumstances. But I mean there's some cool things where they twist it, because then Rusty is with the son and he's kind of like, “Oh, you guys don't have video games. Life in the city's so much cooler.” And then he kind of says, “Well, I could teach you about … Did you ever hear about Jocelyn Elders and what she wanted to teach kids which is totally natural?” And Rusty said, “I have never heard of Jocelyn Elders.” And he says, “Well, have you heard of Masters and Johnson?” And he goes, “There's something like that that I could tell you about.” He goes, “You don't know about it already? You didn't naturally discover it on your own?”
I don't think Rusty did, so he learned about the joys of that and with some material to … visual aids and that was more subtextual, but they definitely talked about it. Which is a little bit progressive, because it wasn't making fun of it or shaming it, he said, “Hey, this is something I like to do to pass the time.” As I said, Green Day wrote a song about it 20 years later, so that was …
So then they have dinner at the farm or whatever. Yeah, I think it was a farm at this point and the one scene, the one line in the movie … The young daughter is making Kool Aid, she's stirring it with her hand, or lemonade, which Clark didn't like, then they're having … And they're not in financial straits so they say … Clark was eating a sandwich but he goes, “Geez, is this real Hamburger Helper, Eddy?” And he goes, “Oh yeah.” He goes, “Hamburger Helper does just fine on it's own.” And I just always remember that line, it always stuck with me. I always love to say, “Does just fine on it's own.” Which is probably a misquote.
Then at some point they kind of say, there's two moments, one they say, “Hey, can you give us some money because we're having trouble with the paying the bills here?” And it takes a while and then they say … Clark says, “Geez, how much do you need?” And they needed a lot of money and I think Clark loaned them the money or gave them the money and then they also say, “There's an Aunt.” Is is Aunt Edith? I don't know what, Aunt something, I think it's Aunt Edith. She says, “Geez, Eddy, have you told them the good news? Have you told Ellen and Clark the good news?” And they said, “No, we'll tell them later.” They say, “Well, what's the good news?” And she says, “You're taking me to Tucson.” Or Phoenix or something to stay at her son's or something like that.
And so they're like, “What? This is our vacation.” And so they're not happy about that at all, especially Clark. Ellen's much more generous so she says, “Oh, okay.” And the Aunt Edith, I don't think that's her name, but I'll think of it maybe, she also has a dog and I don't think the dog's name was Farful, that was from a Seinfeld movie. But it's some dog and it does not like Clark, this dog does not like Clark at all. So that's everything.
Then then set out the next day and, let's see what happens, there's a couple different scenes. They drive for a while that day, they stop and we see Christie Brinkley again and Clark sees her. Also we found out that the dog went number one on the picnic basket, so Clark is eating a bologna sandwich and kissing it to Christie Brinkley who's dancing while pumping gas. I didn't even realize that subtext when I was a kid, I just was like, “One day alls I'll need to do is sit here in a park, staring across and someone beautiful will …”
And so he's kissing a dog peed sandwich, so then he spits it out and we don't see her again for a little while. She drives off and then there's different music playing during these different scenes. Then they go to what would be considered now glamping, but in the back in this one … So it's a canvas, pre set up canvas tents that they stay at and Edna, that was her name, not Edith, it just came to me. So they say, “Okay, this one smells like pee.” So they say, “Aunt Edna can stay there.” They're really excited about this place because they were going to swim at the pool and it had a great brochure. But it ends up the pool's not swimmable and it's another flop and then even Clark … And then again Clark and Ellen have a moment alone and so they say, “Well, let's share a sleeping bag.” And then I remember she goes, she calls him Spark, Ellen calls Clark Sparky, and she goes, “Oh Sparky, wild animal, wild animal.” There's just some lines that stuck with me, he goes, “Oh yeah, Ellen, I think I'm going to go for it.”
Which, now that I've … I say, “What is he talking about?” Because I thought they were already kind of like holding hands, and I thought he was like … I was like, “You're already holding hands, how are you going to go for it if you're already … Your hands are interlocked, right?” But so then she goes, “Sparky, wild animal.” But it ends up it's a dog, so the dog interrupts that and Clark's not happy about that.
So then the next day they get in the car and Clark's distracted. It ends up that after they start driving they get pulled over, because the guy says, “Geez …” He says, “You're on the highway to heaven, your dog is.” And Clark says, “Well, my goodness. I had no idea.” He goes, “Don't worry, I'm kind of like the Michael Landon of the dogs on the highway to heaven, the big farm in the sky.” But when they get pulled over first Aunt Edna's like, “What did you do wrong, Clark?” And then Rusty had had some visual aids for his Masters and Johnson's class and Audrey had a whole shoebox full of cannabis. So everybody was like, “What the heck? What the heck?”
And I think there was even jokes about the magazines that Rusty had, and I think that was it. Except that Aunt Edna had no idea that her dog was going on the highway to heaven with this Michael Landon character, so she was not happy. And I don't know what happened, what else transpires. If there's any other scenes that I'm forgetting.
But so at some point they're driving, it's kind of a low point because Aunt Edna's not happy, everyone's like, “Clark, this is a failed trip. It keeps getting worse and worse and worse. Why don't we turn back? Or why don't we just drop Aunt Edna off at an airport.” Oh, I think maybe the next scene, okay, I don't know which scene is which. I guess we'll just guess that the next scene is that Aunt Edna is … So there's two possibilities of the order of this, so let's just say Aunt Edna decides, “You know what? My dog went on the highway to heaven, I'm going to go on the highway to heaven to wherever they put me and go to big farm and see if I can see my dog there.”
She just does that while she's sitting in between Rusty and Audrey. And so they figure it out and then they end up … This is a low point of everybody for the movie, they end up that they're not comfortable with that, so they're like, “We go to bring her to, I think, Ellen's brother's house or Aunt Edna's sons house.” And so she gets a ride on the top of the car, which is played for a visual joke, which is pretty funny because it's just so … And they get to her son's house and he's not even there. They say, “Well, she wanted to go.” So they leave her there with a note saying, “She went to the big farm to join her dog. We're on a vacation.” So this is the kind of stuff, I mean I don't know, you look back and you're like, “Geez, I can't believe they did that.” But then you're like, “They kind of can.” So yeah, they say, “Okay, she's already at the big farm. There's nothing more we could do.”
And at this point everything is pretty much … I guess I'm trying to think, maybe this was the second thing that happened, but maybe not. But then so the other scene that happens out there is out in the desert. They're driving, I guess this one was before the scene, but these are like … Clark's on his way down, so yeah, I think this was the lowest point of the movie. So this probably scene preceded it.
So Clark's driving, I guess he wasn't paying attention or he doesn't know where he's going, or he said he doesn't know where he's going or he's not looking. Or maybe he was looking at Christie Brinkley who's drove by again. I can't remember. But he ends up driving off the road, into the desert, gets four flat tires and they're at a closed road and he has to go … They're in the middle of the desert and so he drinks a beer with Rusty and he has this moment, which was kind of a good moment, he says, “Geez, this isn't going well.” And Rusty says, “No, it's not going well, dad. Really this vacation stinks.” And he goes, “Now you're stuck here.” And he goes, “You got to be in charge of your mother and your sister and Aunt Edna.” Yeah, because they crack some jokes about how Aunt Edna smells like mothballs or whatever. And he goes, “I'm going to go look for a guy, somebody come tow the car.”
And then he goes out wandering in the desert and it's kind of like … I guess it's just a scene where he loses it. I guess it's like for him to vamp a little bit, Chevy Chase, because he kind of sings and mumbles and wanders around and then finds his way or somebody helps him find a gas station where the car already is. And they overcharge him of course, for like four bulk tires and now he's out of money.
I think he's given money to Ellen's sister and Uncle Eddy and that much. Oh yeah, and then they go with Aunt Edna and actually they say, “Well, is there any money in Aunt Edna's purse? Because we have no money.” So not only do they leave Aunt Edna at her son's house after she's already departed the Earth, but they take her money because they have no money left. Now, this is it for Clark, so everybody's mad at Clark because they're like, “We got to give up.” He's like, “We're not giving up, we're going to Wally World no matter what.” And oh, during when Clark decided to loan Eddy the money or give it to him, Eddy gave … he said, “Ed, you have really nice shoes.” Eddy had these white leather kind of dress shoes, I don't know, you'd see someone wearing a leisure suit with or something. And Eddy's like, “Here, Clark. I got you your own pair of my shoes.”
So at this point in the movie everything's not going well, everybody's at the low point or almost a low point, right? And they get to this hotel and they get two rooms and Ellen's like, “You know what, Clark? I loathe you.” And the kids are like, “Dad, we loathe you.” So he's like, “Okay, fine. I'm going to go out and have a drink at the hotel bar.” And he puts on his shoes, he kind of is oblivious, right? He's like, “Okay, I drove my family on this trip and I made all these mistakes.”
And so he goes down the bar for a drink, and who's there but Christie Brinkley? And again, this is a very deceptive, because she's immediately like, “Hey, what's up?” And he's like, “Hey.” And he can barely carry a conversation, which I said, “Man, he can barely carry a conversation like I can't barely carry a conversation. But it went really well for him.” And she says, “Yeah, let's go swimming and hold hands. Like totally hold hands in the pool and other places.” And he's like, “Really?” And I guess it was just because he was already pushed over the edge, but he goes over, he has to go further I guess. And so he says, “Okay, let's. I guess let's …” And she even says, “Are you going to go for it?” Which kind of hearken back to the other one.
Again, this was all PG, I believe. Maybe this movie was R, but there was no … nothing to see, I can't remember. But she gets in the pool and then Clark gets ready to get in the pool, I think he strips down to his tighty whities, and then he's like, “I'll never forget this.” This was another scene that I just really remember, comedically he's on the cusp of saying, “This is just a bad idea.” And he's saying, “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy.” And then he goes to jump in the pool and instead of saying … instead of anything, he just yells because the pool is so cold and he yells so loud that his wife and kids come out. They're in the rooms and they hear him yelling about how cold the pool is.
And she's like, “What are you doing, dude?” And the kids are like, “What?” And he goes, “Oh, this is a swim up waitress, she was taking our drinks and she's …” It's obvious that he was up to no good and Ellen's like, “I can't even believe this.” Says, “You got to be kidding me.” And even Rusty and Audrey are like, “Man, dad, this is it. You ruined it all.”
And then what happens is I guess Clark says goodbye to her and she says, “Well, sorry.” I mean she's got to be like, “You got to be kidding me, right dude?” And then he goes, he brought her back to his family, he apologizes to Rusty, maybe to Audrey, but … And they say, “Geez, go apologize to mom.” And I don't know, I can't imagine his apology. She's of course upset and I guess he gives some sort of a somewhat genuine apology or whatever. But I can't believe that.
But I'm just trying to think of how they move the story forward. So he must've given her enough of an apology that she was like, “Okay.” But I guess, man, really? Oh, and then I think they end up getting in the pool. Yeah that's what happens. He gives her enough of an apology that she says, “Well, if you want to get in the pool and hold hands with someone, why not me?” And then he's in the pool and she jumps in and yells, “It's cold.” And then that kind of signals, yeah, that the story can move forward and the kids are like, “Oh, okay.” Some tension is relieved.
Then I believe the next scene is them going into California or whatever and approaching Wally World and it's morning and there's the music from Chariots Of Fire is playing and they're like … the parking lot's empty and Clark says, “I'm going to park close to the exit.” He's like, “Why am I doing that?” Rusty goes, “Because we'll be the first people to leave when the traffic's bad at the end of the day.” And then they run across the parking lot and it's like the family's reached the mecca and everyone's happy and it's so … And then they get to the thing and there's this sign with this automated moose and it says, “Hey, the park's closed for refurbishment.” And the Clark's like, “You got to be kidding me?” And they're like, “No.” The moose says, “Sorry folks.” This Morty Moose or whatever, Marty Moose. Also at different parts they sing the Marty Moose Song.
But so it says, “Yeah, sorry. Park's closed for whatever, two or three more weeks, the whole summer for refurbishment.” And you know anyone who's gone to a theme park and their favorite ride's close you kind of feel like that, but this time the whole park's closed and Clark's like, “You know what? I'll just go talk to somebody. There's no way, we drove here. I'll explain it to someone and they'll let me in.” And then we see John Candy is the one, he was a famous comedic actor in the 80s and 90s, and he says kind of like, “Sorry, folks. There's a moose out front should've explained to you, but the park's closed.” And they're like, “Well, yeah. No, we got to get in.” And then he says, “No, no, no, the park's closed. We can't let you in.”
And it gets to the point where Clark says, “No, no, we're coming into the park no matter what and you're going to be our … you're going to take us on a tour of the park without a choice, even though you might get fired.” And so then we see them try to pretend they're happy and riding all the rides and they kind of do have some high points and they ride all the rides. Then of course I guess they only had one person working that morning, but by the time the afternoon comes they find out, which I guess this has become … I don't know if it happened in the second movie, but it happens in the third movie where all the authority figures come and they say, “You can't come to this park and force us to open it. Just one guy riding all the rides. It costs electricity and stuff.” And it just so happens that this character based on Walt Disney, Walty Wally or something, Roy E Wally I think.
He comes because he's got to see, “I can't believe this family snuck, got into my park and rode the rides.” He's so outraged and then he says … And then I think it's Ellen at first who says, “Can we explain to you what's happened? We're reasonable people.” And then Clark kind of tells, he's like, “Have you ever gone on a family …” He goes, “I can't believe the park was closed.” And the guy says, “Yeah, well we close it sometimes.” And he goes, “Well, have you ever gone on a family vacation?” He goes, “Yeah, to Florida.” And he goes, “What if Florida was closed?” And he goes, “You can't close a whole state, they don't do that.” And he goes, “Well, what if it happened?” And he goes, “Well, it was a pretty miserable trip so I can see what you're saying.”
And then all is well, then they all ride the rides together. And I think that's just how the movie ends with Holiday Road, them riding the rides. Walty Roy E Wally, John Candy and then we kind of see there's like postcards and scenes from the whole movie with all of the performers and everything from Holiday Road. So I guess that was the movie, yeah, and it was like just a movie I watched a lot as a kid. I really enjoyed it and now I'll probably watch it soon and see if it stands up. But if you've seen it lately let me know. But yeah, it's definitely a movie if you're younger that you might want to check out to see if you enjoy it. Thanks so much for listening and good night.