I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve recently gone through a holiday season, but I’ve been catching all the movies from the National Lampoon’s Vacation series. What’s cool about the Griswold family is that they exist on a floating timeline. Meaning, that no other indication of time is given and the elements of their lives are contemporary to the year of the films’ releases. In doing so, the Griswold children have been switched out on every movie.
Dana Hill (RIP) played the best Audrey Griswold in National Lampoon’s European Vacation so there’s no discussion to be had in that department.
What I’m on the fence about is who was the best Rusty Griswold?
The first Rusty Griswold appeared in National Lampoon’s Vacation, played by Anthony Michael Hall. It was quickly established that he had an antagonistic relationship with his sister, Audrey. He also grew an addiction to porn, thanks to his cousin Dale played by John P. Navin Jr.
As the Griswold family made their way over the Atlantic in National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Jason Lively was next to play Rusty Griswold. He was obsessed with early 80’s pop/discotheque and seemed to hate his family more than all the other Rustys.
When it came time to do a holiday film, Johnny Galecki filled the shoes of Rusty Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. More popularly known as the bad boyfriend on Roseanne, Galecki played the youngest version of Rusty and sported a collection of bad sweaters, only to rival the arsenal of Bill Cosby.
Ethan Embry played the token loser in most of his 90’s filmography and his role as Rusty Griswold in Vegas Vacation was no different. In half of the film, he went under an older pseudonym… Papa Georgio. His cover was later blown when being discovered by his parents and ear-yanked from a pool full of women. Classic parental cock block.
So there you have it. 4 Rusty Griswolds. All unique to their own performances. Which one will you choose?