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?

Posted in Wednesday Warriors

Clark Griswold

It may seem odd to highlight an everyman for the second article in the Wednesday Warriors series, but Clark Griswold is not your everyman. He’s the family man who’d make even the Father of the Year look ordinary. And since it is Christmas Eve, who can say Clark is not a warrior for the holidays?

Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold
Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold

Known for going overboard with his dedication to the holiday season, Clark (Chevy Chase) takes his place among heroes willing to uphold traditions in order to have a fun old-fashioned family Christmas Vacation.

It begins with hauling the family through the white tundra of the awesome winter wonderland in a quest to find the perfect tree. Not just any ol’ tree, but a tree that would make the Eiffel Tower seem short. When asked where he plans to put a tree that size, since it wouldn’t fit in the yard, he quickly says it’s not going in the yard. It’s going in the living room. And, of course, once the tree is set, all Clark has to do is to cut the rope holding the thing together. With a tree that size, we all know what happens. Let’s just say not a window survives.

Clark losing it.
Clark losing it.

Ah yes, Clark Griswold, the world’s last true family man. His idea of spending his bonus check is to buy a swimming pool and fly his family down to christen it. A man like him is a lost art. He makes setting up exterior illumination easy. He can’t simply have one, two, three rows of lights on his roof. He has to have the whole roof, pillars leading to the roof, window and doorframes covered in lights. If the draw of electricity becomes too much for the town to handle, all they have to do is switch to auxiliary power to keep up with Clark’s demands on the grid.

When Clark goes all out, he goes all out.

And when everyone’s ready to bail on him because the holiday becomes a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency, he steps in to do what any reasonable man would do—he holds them hostage by threat of violence while wielding a chainsaw as if it were a carving knife for the holiday turkey. Who could blame him? He lost his mind ages ago when he attempted to be the perfect father and hell showed up at his doorstep declaring war on his annual festivities. No, no—no one’s walking out on his fun old-fashioned family Christmas.

But the best part of who Clark is comes when he realizes that no matter how bad things get, he eventually snaps out of his morbid sense of adventure to accept what little good the holiday season presents—even if he keeps company with the jolliest bunch of idiots this side of the nuthouse.

[Author’s note: From my family to yours, have a wonderful holiday season.]


Have you seen Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation? What is your favorite part of the movie?