101 Funniest Screenplays

When he was still an advertising copywriter in Chicago, John Hughes published a short story in The National Lampoon called “Vacation ’58.” It was about a family driving from Gross Pointe, Mich., to Disneyland, and their misadventures along the way (“After a few miles, we drove off a cliff. It wasn’t a big cliff. It was only about four feet high. But it was enough to blow out the front tire, knock off the back bumper, break Dad’s glasses, make Aunt Edythe spit out her false teeth, spill a jug of Kool-Aid, bump Missy’s head, spread the Auto Bingo pieces all over, and make Mark do number two.”). In the story, Clark Griswold, finding Disneyland closed “for repairs and cleaning,” hunts down Walt Disney in his mansion and shoots him. Hughes adapted his story to the screen, with Harold Ramis directing. Disneyland became Walley World. No shots were fired.