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The Wilder Ride is a podcast where we look to explore and celebrate the films of Gene Wilder, using the ​movies by minutes format. Your hosts are Alan Sanders and Walt Murray, getting Wilder by the minute.

Nov 13, 2018

Our listeners have spoken! Our newest Patreon show will breakdown the holiday classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. From now until Christmas, we will release 7 episodes. The first one is free to everyone. The remaining six shows will drop weekly from now until Christmas Eve on our Patreon page. The main take away from the opening credits is a concept we call, the Griswold Effect.

In our first episode, we discover “The Griswold Effect” is able make even the best of us behave like total idiots. In the opening credits, we can see how Santa Claus falls victim to this effect. We end the episode just as Clark’s boss is about to talk to him about his “crunch enhancer.”

The opening credits transition to Clark Griswold picking a fight with two red necks in a pickup truck. This leads to a near-death event on the road before they launch through a snowbank and into a Christmas tree lot. They then hike the frozen Yukon and find the perfect Christmas tree, without any regard for its size. Once home, it becomes obvious the tree is far too big for their living room. However, Clark insists it is perfect, even after springing the limbs free, breaking two windows in the process.

While Clark and Ellen retire and he deals with sticky, sap on his hands, they begin to chat about the holidays. We learn they will be hosting each of their families for a huge holiday celebration. The next morning, we discover the main reason for Clark’s actions is his hope to receive a large Christmas bonus. This detail is actually at the core of the events of the rest of the film. As we proceed throughout the next six episodes, we will break down the remainder of the movie, ending on Christmas Eve.