The Raunchy Comedy ‘Porky’s’ Was Responsible For Getting ‘A Christmas Story’ Made

A Christmas Story has become one of the most iconic Holiday movies in recent history. The film, which had a small budget and opened to just moderate success in the 1980s, has become a cult classic. The movie wasn’t an easy one to get made, though. In fact, it took 14 years and a deeply raunchy comedy named Porky’s before anyone would take the project seriously.

What was Porky’s about?

Porky’s, released in 1981, was the story of a group of sex-obsessed high school students who were hell-bent on helping their friends lose their virginities. The students weren’t the only ones desperate to get with the opposite sex. Coaches and teachers were on the prowl, too.

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The flick was a massive success, but it almost didn’t make it into theaters. Initially, The Motion Picture Association rated the film X. After more than one revision, Clark and his team were able to bring the movie down to a more mainstream R-rating. The comedy earned $136 million at the box office as a surprise success.

What is A Christmas Story based on?

A Christmas Story, while a classic, isn’t exactly an original. The flick is based on the autobiographical stories of Jean Shepherd, a radio personality. Ralphie’s experiences leading up to Christmas are loosely based on Shepherd’s own experiences growing up in Indiana.

The house from ‘A Christmas Story’ | Karen Longo / Getty Images

Shepherd had more to do with the film than simply providing some stories to help craft the script. He served as the narrator of the film. That’s right, the calm, cool voice of adult Ralphie belonged to the famed radio personality.  

How did Porky’s help A Christmas Story get made?

Porky’s and A Christmas Story might not seem connected. Funnily enough, the two cult classics are inherently linked. Clark was the director on both projects, and Porky’s, no matter how raunchy it was, offered Clark a lot of credibility. The comedy’s surprise success instantly made Clark and in-demand director and gave him the chance to put his passion project into production.

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That passion project was A Christmas Story, the flick that Clark had been writing alongside Shepherd for more than a decade. Thanks to Porky’s, MGM was willing to take a chance on Clark’s passion project to get him to sign on to Porky’s sequel. They weren’t ready to take too big of a chance, though. A Christmas Story, points out Vanity Fair, was a low-budget Christmas movie that was never expected to amount to much. It has amounted to a lot and has cemented itself deeply into the Christmas season.