No Vacation For Chevy Chase As He Films Another Christmas Movie This Month

Chase is slated to start filming on a new holiday movie in Upstate New York in just a couple weeks
No Vacation For Chevy Chase As He Films Another Christmas Movie This Month

The end of the Christmas season marks the return to work for most Americans – but, for Clark Griswold, Christmas has barely begun.

Every winter, Chevy Chase dusts off his iconic character and embarks on a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation reunion tour across the American Northeast and Midwest. During his only busy season, Chase attends conventions, Q&A screenings and chicken shop openings where he basks in the adoration of nostalgic National Lampoon superfans for a modest appearance fee. At 80 years old, you’d think that Chase would rather spend the holidays inside and away from the bitter cold and black ice, but, thanks to his most beloved movie role, winter is the only season wherein the comedy legend can cash in on what little remaining good will is left in his name. And winter ain’t over yet.

As many news outlets in upstate (and western) New York recently reported, Chase officially signed on to appear in a new Christmas film that will shoot in Utica this month, titled The Christmas Letter, which director Tori Hunter openly described as reminiscent of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. When Chase heard that a small scale holiday movie production would pay him to squeeze the remaining heat from his glory days onto their project, I’m willing to bet his answer was something along the lines of, “You had me at ‘pay.’”

The Christmas Letter (2024), which is not to be confused with the 2019 animated TV movie The Christmas Letter starring Kate Winslet, or the 2021 family comedy TV movie A Christmas Letter starring Colin Mochrie, tells the story of a middle class everyman patriarch who takes his family on a string of outrageous vacations out of envy for a wealthy friend who sends him lavish letters every Christmas. While it’s not yet revealed which role Chase will play in the production, considering his advanced age, it’s unlikely that he’ll be playing the definitely-not-Clark-Griswold character.

At this point in his career, Chase is far from the in-demand comedy A-lister that he was during the peak of the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise, but it still feels uncomfortably ill-fitting for him to physically exert himself to appear in holiday schlock when most people his age would rather enjoy their retirement. Though Chase’s exit from mainstream entertainment was legendarily acrimonious, a comedy legend still shouldn’t have to brave the frozen tundra of Oneida County at 80 years old just to scrape up some scratch.

Hopefully, Chase is taking the role out of a desire to return to set rather than a desperate need for a paycheck – maybe Frank Shirley didn't hand out those holiday bonuses after all.

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