Rogue 10: Ten Nuggets of Wisdom From Clark Griswold

Monday, 20 May 2013 10:12 Written by  iamrogue
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Rogue 10: Ten Nuggets of Wisdom From Clark Griswold

On Tuesday, May 21st, you can experience the epic cross-country oddity of The Griswold family all over again, as Vacation arrives on an extras-packed 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray.

That's right, kids, it's been a full three decades since the comedy franchise kicked off with the 1983 hit directed by Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day) and written by John Hughes (The Breakfast Club), that Eighties chronicler of Middle American lives who based the story on his own family roadtrip to Disneyland as a child.

The 30th Anniversary Edition includes a commentary track from Ramis and the cast, a long with a number of goodies.  Most notably, a high definition, 85-minute "Inside Story" documentary thoroughly examines the making of this classic comedy.

All of this got us thinking about Clark W. Griswold, the hapless hero played in all four Vacation films by Chevy Chase (Caddyshack).  The head of the Griswold clan, Clark continually tries the patience of his loving wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) and misunderstands his kids, Rusty and Audrey (Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron in the first film).  Clark's a quintessential American protagonist.  He's a family man and a dreamer, a possessed of limitless vision, good intentions, hope, and naivety.  Nonetheless, he leaves a trail of destruction where ever he goes.

As a father, Clark Griswold is always dispensing priceless nuggets of paternal insight.   Even when he's egregiously screwing up, Clark is happy to offer up his own unique brand of wisdom.  So, with the 30th Anniversary Edition of Vacation arriving on Tuesday, IAR has compiled a list of ten moments in which Clark W. Griswold shares lessons worth knowing.

Here, in no particular order, are ten instances of often inadvertent wisdom from the hero of Vacation:

Clark on The Mighty Mississippi, Vacation (1983)

This is Clark's signature agreeably know-it-all tone, offering up trivia, knowledge, and historical perspective that comes across as suspect no matter how cheery the presentation.

Clark on Going For It, Vacation (1983)

The character in a nutshell: plowing on obliviously without real thought, yet unable to keep from pontificating.

Clark on the Universal Language of Attraction, Vacation (1983)

Sometimes, words get in the way of erotic sandwich-eating.  At those times, you must simply let your body do the talking.

Clark on the Odds, Vegas Vacation (1997)

Did you know that blackjack is the only game where a player has a mathematical advantage over the house?

Clark on Stonehenge, European Vacation (1985)

This 5,000 year-old curio could not survive a single encounter with an appreciative Clark.

Clark on Christmas Tree Selection, Christmas Vacation (1989)

The man is a purist, an idealist whose own determination to do things right generally results in things being done disastrously wrong.

Clark on the Transience of All Life, Vacation (1983)

Has there ever been a more eloquent eulogy?

Clark on His Boss, Christmas Vacation (1989)

In which our hero perfectly articulates the American disdain for bosses with cathartic abandon.

Clark on the Quest for Fun, Vacation (1983)

Much like the last entry, this one finds Clark pushed to the brink of insanity.  This time, though, he breaks through to a fully realized determination.

Clark on Manhood, Vacation (1983)


The only thing that can make Clark Griswold more profound is beer.  Beer and being stranded in the desert with a captive audience.


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