This ‘Christmas Vacation’ Actor Broke a Bone While Filming a Memorable Scene

It’s that time of year again in which families carry on the tradition of watching and streaming some beloved Christmas classics. The number of holiday movies to choose from seems endless but there are a few that continue to make watchlists in homes year after year and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is one of them.

Even if you’re pretty familiar with the 1989 comedy, there are a few facts about the movie you might not know including which actor actually broke a bone filming a memorable scene. Here’s more on that as well as some other interesting facts for Christmas Vacation fans.

Christmas Vacation
Scene from Christmas Vacation | Warner Bros.

This ‘Vacation’ movie had a couple of different cast members

Instead of traveling, the third installment of the Vacation movie follows the Griswold family as they spend Christmas at their home in Chicago. But just because they aren’t taking a trip doesn’t mean they’re free of hilarious shenanigans.

Chevy Chase returned to his role as the family patriarch, Clark Griswold, as did Beverly D’Angelo, who plays his wife Ellen. However, viewers quickly notice that the Griswold children are played by different actors. Johnny Galecki and Juliette Lewis stepped in to play Rusty and Audrey in the third Vacation film.

“The fact that the Griswolds have a new set of kids each time became the thing. Your agents couldn’t explain why it was acceptable; it just is,” Lewis told Rolling Stone.

In the first Vacation movie, which took place six years earlier, the Griswold kids were played by Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron.  

This actor broke their finger filming an iconic scene

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We all remember the scene where Chase’s character finally finished putting lights all over his house after several pain-staking hours but when he called everyone out to see them they wouldn’t go on.

When this happens Clark gets so upset that he throws a tantrum and attacks his lawn display in a fit of anger. The actor actually broke his pinky during the scene and kept filming through it.

“It hurt so much,” Chase later admitted to WhoSay.

Some other little known facts about ‘Christmas Vacation’

Chevy Chase cuts a turkey as Clark Griswold in 'Christmas Vacation'
Dinner scene from Christmas Vacation | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

Some other fun facts that you might not have guessed about the movie is the outrageous character of Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) is actually based on a real person. According to Uproxx, Quaid copied the mannerisms of someone he knew growing up in Texas and incorporated things like his tongue-clicking into the character.

Because many people have a Cousin Eddie in their family, the character became so popular that a movie titled Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure was released in 2003. It wasn’t a success though and only received a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Another thing audiences might not have known is the famous cat scene almost wound up on the cutting room floor. Initially, the studio worried that the scene might offend a number of people; particularly animal lovers. But as director Jeremiah Chechik told Rolling Stone, John Hughes stepped in to save the scene and make sure it didn’t get cut from the film.