The Chevy Chase 'Vacation' Cameo Is A Hilarious Throwback To The Griswolds Of The Original Franchise
Sorry, Obamas. America's actual first family might just be the Griswolds. Comedy fans have been going on vacation with this ragtag brood since 1983, and 2015 launches a new era in the National Lampoon's Vacation series. Clark (Chevy Chase) and Ellen's (Beverly D'Angelo) son Rusty (Ed Helms) is all grown up and has a family of his own. Like his dad, Randy's love for his bride and offspring outweighs his klutziness and bad luck. They're going to have wholesome family fun time this summer if it kills them. Clark must be proud of his boy, right? Well not only is he there in spirit, he's actually there: Clark is a part of the next generation Griswold road trip. So when can fans expect to see the Chevy Chase cameo in Vacation ?
Spoilers ahead! In the second half of the movie, Chase and D'Angelo reprise their roles as Clark and Ellen. Rusty, his wife and children stop by their parents' bed & breakfast on their way to Walley World, and it's clear that not much has changed. In the featurette below, you can see that their guests think Clark is "a lunatic," while he remains steadfast and determined to be the perfect host and patriarch. Clark gives advice to his son and bonds with his grandkids, putting a nice, nostalgic bow on Vacation.
Chase's cameo is the most recent in a tradition of characters who show up in sequels or reboots to drop some knowledge on their successors. Audiences can see these cameos coming from a mile away, but they still add to the fun. Here are six of my favorite sequel cameos.
1. Patrick Swayze In Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Nothing about this cameo makes sense. Why does dance instructor Johnny Castle look 17 years older in 1958 than he did at Kellerman's in 1963? What's he doing in Havana? Why didn't he ever mention his stint in Cuba to Baby Houseman? No matter. Just enjoy the Swayze, his life lessons, and those moves.
2. Johnny Depp In 21 Jump Street
Depp looks so game to be jumping back into this role in the uproarious movie adaptation of the series that got his name out there. It just adds to the irreverent, silly tone of the movie. This is how to do a comedy cameo right.
3. Leonard Nimoy In Star Trek
The original Spock's appearance in the 2009 Star Trek film surely eased the transition for the franchise's army of fans. It must've been a very special moment for new Spock Zachary Quinto, too, who counted Nimoy as "a great friend" and mourned his passing earlier this year.
4. Jaclyn Smith In Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
One of Charlie's original angels popped in to the sequel to the movie reboot as the ethereal kind of angel. Who better to keep Drew Barrymore's Dylan in the game and on task?
5. Bruce Campbell In Evil Dead
With just one word, the 2013 remake of the '80s cult franchise got the Campbell seal of approval. No doubt fans waited the entire movie for this blink-and-you-miss-it cameo by the original Evil Dead star. Campbell is returning to his signature role when Starz premieres the new series Ash Vs. Evil Dead this fall.
6. Janet Leigh In Halloween: H20
Okay, so Halloween: H20 isn't a sequel or a reboot of the horror classic Psycho. But Vivan Leigh, whose shower screams are now legendary, is the mother of Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis, so this cameo gets a pass. That's an altered version of the Psycho score that you hear when Leigh gets into the same car that she drove in the 1960 film, by the way.
These cameos are all about respecting the wisdom of one's elders. For Rusty Griswold in Vacation, that may be a mistake. But, as always, Clark means well.
Image: New Line Cinema