Before Chevy Chase made a name for himself among millennials and Gen Z’ers through Dan Harmon’s Community, the former SNL star was a beloved fixture in the now-defunct National Lampoon magazine’s Vacation movie spinoffs. And now, with the Christmas season rapidly approaching, one of the most iconic films in the series has returned to take over streaming once more.
Look no further than U.S. HBO Max for confirmation. Today, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation leads HBO as the seventh most popular film on the platform in the States, making it the second most popular Christmas movie on HBO throughout the country. The only holiday flick more popular than Christmas Vacation is Will Ferrell’s Elf, which began charting on HBO’s U.S. top 10 list earlier this month.
Originally released in 1989, Christmas Vacation features Chase reprising his role as Clark Griswold, a well-meaning, run-of-the-mill father who aspires for nothing more than the best family vacation he can offer to his wife and kids. Things usually don’t go as planned for poor Clark, and the film starts with the family nearly being killed while driving an uprooted evergreen home. From there, Clark is forced to deal with the Griswold family’s eccentric and annoying extended family, who increasingly make his plans for having the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny-fucking-Kaye unlikely.
While Christmas Vacation isn’t the most critically acclaimed holiday movie in the world (it sports a 63 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes), few Christmas films can match dozens of police officers breaking into the family home, guns at the ready, to Gene Autry’s “Here Comes Santa Claus.”
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is available to stream on HBO Max now.