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National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a classic holiday movie. The third installment in the Vacation franchise includes an all-star cast, including Brian Doyle-Murray. Murray is best known for playing Clark Griswold’s (Chevy Chase) boss. However, he also had a cameo in another of the franchise’s films.

Actor Brain Doyle-Murray wearing a black suit, sitting at a desk on the set of the TV series 'Yes, Dear.'
Brian Doyle-Muray I Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

Brian Doyle-Murray is best known as Frank Shirley in ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’

The holiday classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has Chase and Beverly D’Angelo returning as Clark and Ellen Griswold. The couple and their children, Rusty and Audrey Griswold (Johnny Galecki and Juliette Lewis), open their homes to relatives for a good old-fashioned Christmas. As expected, nothing goes right with their holiday celebration.

After Clark fails to receive his annual Christmas bonus, he goes on a tirade about his boss Frank Shirley (Murray). Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) gets the bright idea to kidnap Mr. Shirley as a present for Clark. Mr. Shirley is furious and threatens to fire Clark and have him arrested.

However, he changes his mind when Clark admonishes him for cutting out the employee bonuses. He also receives a scolding from his wife and the police, who come to his rescue. Realizing he made a mistake, Mr. Shirly agrees to reinstate the bonuses, then he, his wife, and the police celebrate Christmas with the Griswold family.

Brian Doyle-Murray had a cameo in the first ‘Vacation’ film

Murray has an established acting career, including the film Wayne’s World and the TV series Spongebob Squarepants. But many fans remember him for his role in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. His work in the holiday movie is the second time he’s worked on a Vacation film.

According to, Murray had a minor role in the first Vacation film. Murray plays the watermelon-eating clerk of Kamp Komfort, a campground the Griswolds visit. Although it was a short scene, Murray shined as the campground clerk.

The actor has appeared in other holiday specials

Murray’s role as Mr. Shriley from National Lampoon’s Christma Vacation is one of his most memorable roles. But it’s not the only holiday classic he’s been in. Murray has appeared in several other Christmas movies and TV specials.

In 1988, he co-starred with his younger brother Bill Murray in the holiday comedy Scrooged. Murray played Earl Cross, the father of Bill’s character Frank Cross in a flashback scene.


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The actor would then voice Mr. Twitchell in the 1992 special Frosty Returns. Murray did a great job as the mischievous Summer Wheeze inventor who plots to eliminate winter with his snow-removing spray.

Murray’s recent holiday special was the 2014 Hallmark film Christmas Under Wraps, co-starring Candace Cameron Bure. The actor plays Frank Holliday, a jolly Alaskan shipping tycoon whose son Andy Holliday (Danny O’Donnell) falls in love with Bure’s character.