Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

11. “Vacation ’58”

March 27, 1998

Q: I’ve been trying to convince my friends that “Vacation” started out as a short story in the magazine in the 70’s. What issue was that in?

A: The story—which was indeed the basis for “National Lampoon’s Vacation”—was called “Vacation ’58” by John Hughes and first appeared in the September 1979 (Fall Potpourri) issue. It was also reprinted in the July 1983 (Vacation!) issue to promote the release of the movie.


Yhea I have that problem too. In this age of TV and instant-direct-to-video movies, no one wants to believe anything ever appeared in print. Flash Bazbo

—Duane Richardson

July 15, 2005 5:34 am

Or that the story -- a vicious satire of Jean Shepherd -- was darker and funnier than the movie. I swear, there are two John Hugheses, and the one who wrote for NL died in a car accident before the guy who took his name started writing Molly Ringwald vehicles.


September 6, 2005 5:31 pm

i am too trying to find out what the original addition was called. i remember reading the story on a road trip. Any one know the the magazines's title which held this short story?


August 13, 2008 7:16 pm

In case it's not clear, the magazine was National Lampoon. The article was called "Vacation '58" and appeared in the September 1979 issue (of National Lampoon).


August 13, 2008 8:16 pm

Wow. Last comment 2008! The movie could not effectively convey the imagery and writing. For ex. when Clark forgets to put Aunt Edna's dog in the car.


July 2, 2011 3:35 pm

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