It has been 30 years since the Griswold family invited audiences to celebrate the holidays in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The threequel opened in the No. 2 slot behind the second installment of the Back to the Future franchise, but held the box office lead for the Christmas weekend of 1989 to eventually gross $71.3 million (not adjusted for inflation), according to Box Office Mojo, and has become an annual TV staple during the holidays.
Christmas Vacation’s cast is chock-full of seasoned comedy performers, including leads Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, but also featured early roles for younger actors who would eventually become stars in their own right.
Based on filmmaker John Hughes’ National Lampoon short story Christmas ’59, Christmas Vacation tells the story of family patriarch Clark Griswold hatching grand plans to celebrate Christmas, but as the previous Vacation movies proved, Clark’s best laid schemes rarely pan out well. As the movie celebrates its 30th anniversary (it first opened Dec. 1, 1989) The Hollywood Reporter looks at what the cast has been up to since blinding neighbors with Christmas lights and sailing across Chicago freeways on grease-lined sleds.