Read John Hughes' Original 'Christmas '59' Short Story For 'National Lampoon'


Before John Hughes helped define '80s cinema with the teen angst and coming-of-age tales of The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Pretty in Pink, he got his start writing short stories for National Lampoon.

Hughes had been working in advertising in Chicago when he decided to call up National Lampoon and see if the magazine accepted submissions from outside writers, current National Lampoon president Alan Donnes said during a phone interview with T-Lounge. They did, and Hughes started writing stories for the legendary humor magazine.

One of those was titled Vacation '58, which was published in National Lampoon in 1979. Hughes would later turn that short story into the screenplay for the 1983 movie National Lampoon's Vacation. The Vacation movie franchise was recently rebooted with a new feature film that hit theaters Wednesday.

"While I don't agree with every word in the new Vacation, it feels like National Lampoon. It feels like National Lampoon's Vacation. It feels like an extension of what John Hughes wrote," Donnes said.

Christmas Vacation, which opened in theaters in 1989, also originated as a short story by Hughes published in the magazine in 1980. Get a sense of National Lampoon's humor and Hughes' early writing by reading the full short story, courtesy of National Lampoon, as it appeared originally in the magazine below.

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