Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Clark W. Griswold

Every now and then, everyone deserves a vacation. It all depends on what the definition of a vacation really is. If it’s laying on the beach soaking in the sun then this family man is not for you. But if you’re looking for the ultimate adventure, where you travel across the great American desert, dance the polka in ethnic attire, visit Vegas on a budget or simply have a quiet Christmas meal as your house teeters on the threshold of hell then this family man is for you.

Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Vacation
Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation

For today’s Wednesday Warriors, Clark W. Griswold shows how taking a vacation becomes a quest for survival, a battle against all odds a… [insert another outrageous metaphor for war here]

Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) knows how to be a supportive husband and loving father. He loves his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and his two kids Audrey and Rusty. To him, they’re the perfect family. As the perfect family, they also deserve the perfect vacation. Instead of heading to the airport to visit their favorite amusement park, Wally World, Clark chooses the unconventional route. He takes the family on a no-holds-barred cross-country adventure where the dog pees on their lunches and the cops stop them for animal cruelty.

National Lampoon Vacation movie poaster
National Lampoon Vacation movie poaster

It doesn’t stop there. No, no. For their next vacation, he decides to forego the American dream for a shot at touring Europe. Lucky for Clark, he has relatives living in Europe—the problem is—he just can’t find them. In fact, Clark can’t find a nickel if it fell from the sky staring at him in the face. The Griswolds shack up with the wrong family. Add to that the racy video Clark and Ellen inadvertently filmed, which quickly is a victim of a burglary and becomes the hottest item to hit the black market, their vacation suddenly turns into an international affair.

Could the Griswolds’ vacations get any worse?

Of course!

For Clark, nothing is a challenge. His attitude works much like that of a warrior who never surrenders. If the Vegas casinos take all his money, he simply finds a way. Even if it means burning through the kids’ college education for one more single payoff. Even if it means getting into a road rage incident to prove his manhood. Even if it means the Christmas turkey becomes a relic of charred cinder. Yes. Clark W. Griswold doesn’t know the meaning of uncle.

He will fight. He will survive. And he will live his life to the fullest—even if it kills him.


Have you seen any of the Vacation movies? What did you like about them? Will you see the next one in the series?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

13 thoughts on “Clark W. Griswold

  1. Only Chevy Chase in his prime could play a character who
    a) tries to cheat on his perfect wife,
    b) carelessly murders a dog, and
    c) become a terrorist, and yet still somehow be one the most likeable characters ever.

      1. He was, but he did the movie poster for the Vacation film. The book I’ve got has a couple of variations and a photo of the male model posing for the final image.

  2. Hey Jack! I hadn’t seen any of the Vacation movies until I met my husband and his family. That being said, I have since seen them all. It’s hard not to when my father-in-law calls our whole family the Griswolds because we seem to be plagued with about as much hilarity and mishap on any family endeavor as Clark and his family is in the movies. So we tend to roll with the punches and laugh at ourselves (or with each other) as each new calamity pops up! I do really love the movies, I think they are very funny in an outrageous kind of way. But what I think makes these movies so much funnier for me is that my family’s timeline is peppered with Griswold moments so we can actually relate to what the characters on screen are going through! 😀 If there is going to be another Vacation movie, then I’m sure the entire Elzie clan will be clamoring over each other to see how the Griswolds fare on their next vacation, because it’s sure to be good.

  3. Good post, Jack. In answer to your questions . . . I think I’ve seen them all. I think they’re a good vehicle for Chevy Chase’s physical humor and one-liners, and parts of them are pretty enjoyable. I’m not sure if I’ll see the next one (I’m so out-of-touch with 2015 entertainment news, I didn’t know that there’s a next one planned!). Is Chevy Chase in it, and who are the other actors (I’d probably ask)?

    1. Yes, Chevy Chase is in it although it may only be a cameo from what I’ve gathered from the trailer, which premiered during the Furious Seven run. Also starring: Ed Helms, Beverly D’Angelo, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, and Chris Hemsworth. Might be interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.