Old Navy has a great Christmas campaign running which brings the Griswold Family of the "Vacation" series of films fully into the TV Universe. (There was a spin-off TV movie centering on Cousin Eddie, but only Audrey Griswold showed up from the famiy. And acceptance of online video material is conditional, so I'm not sure whether the promotional short for HomeAway - "Hotel Hell Vacation" - should count as part of Earth Prime-Time. What do you think?)
There are several blipverts in the series, but this is the one that's the best:
There are plenty of Zonks to go around for everybody!
Just to keep things straight, here is a rundown of the cast (in order of appearance):
- CLARK GRISWOLD - Chevy Chase
- ELLEN GRISWOLD - Beverly D'Angelo
- AUDREY GRISWOLD - Juliette Lewis (from "Christmas Vacation")
- RUSTY GRISWOLD - Anthony Michael Hall (original, from "National Lampoon's Vacation")
- AUDREY GRISWOLD - Dana Barron (original, from "National Lampoon's Vacation")
- "EURO" RUSTY GRISWOLD - Jason Lively (from "European Vacation")
- "NEW" AUDREY & RUSTY - not a clue
(There's also a little girl sitting on the couch next to Juliette Lewis. I'm going to assume that she's Christmas Audrey's daughter.)
I'm assuming, of course, that the Cineverse has multiple dimensions just as the TV Universe does. After all, you can't have so many world-ending movies like "I Am Legend" and "When Worlds Collide" sharing the same dimension, right?
The Cineverse is not my stomping grounds, so I wouldn't impose the same rules that apply in the Toobworld Dynamic to the movie world. But I would think that unless there was some reasonable splainin as to why there were genetic manipulations involved with the Griswold kids, than each movie should be in its own dimension because of the Rusty and Audrey recastaways.
If we accept "Hotel Hell Vacation" as part of the TV Universe, then it makes it easier to claim that most of these recastaways are strictly from their respective movies. That's because Travis Greer played Rusty in that (with a wife and kids of his own).
And yet, it's Juliette Lewis who is featured prominently in all three Old Navy blipverts (probably because A) she's a bigger name, and B) she was the Audrey of the Christmas movie.)
Just a few other O'Bservations:
- Clark Griswold never addresses Dana Barron and Anthony Michael Hall as "Original Audrey" and "Original Rusty". And Juliette Lewis is never tagged as "Christmas Audrey". Only "Euro Rusty" gets the name-check.
- Since she is so prominent in all of the commercials, maybe younger viewers might think Ms. Lewis was the original Audrey.
- The Rusty and Audrey of the movie "Vegas Vacation" aren't even considered.
- Old Navy spent a lot on these ads, what with Martin Short as the narrator for all three and Johnny Mathis appearing as himself in one of them. But I think it would have put a huge strain on the budget if they pushed to get one more addition to the cast - Johnny Galecki, now of 'The Big Bang Theory', played "Christmas Rusty".
- Sadly, the Audrey of "European Vacation" couldn't be involved as Dana Hill had passed away from diabetes complications in the mid-1990's.
- Since Ms. Hill's death, I've always been under the impression that it was Dana Barron who passed away, even with seeing her in an episode of 'Babylon 5'. So working on this piece at least rectified that mistake.
- I'm glad to see Ms. Barron has current credits on her resume; I always liked her in the movie "Heaven Help Us".