This is the time of year when families all over America cue up “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” for a repeat viewing, reassuring themselves that whatever went wrong during their holiday season, it probably can’t hold a candle to the travails that afflicted patriarch Clark “Sparky” Griswold in his quest for the perfect Griswold Family Christmas.
The third in the “Vacation” series sees Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo return as the hapless Griswolds, this time hosting Christmas for their extended family. Clark festoons his house with a grid-straining light display, only to be disappointed when he plugs it in and nothing happens. In the commercial, his wife goes inside and plugs in the charger for their Ford Mustang Mach-E, and the lights miraculously illuminate. Christmas is saved!
In a release announcing the commercial, Chase says, “It’s great to be back for another Christmas with my on-screen family and its rotating assortment of kids — and I have Ford and Mustang Mach-E to thank for paying me to do it.” Staying on-message for Ford, he adds, “I can say with 85% certainty that this thing probably won’t cause any blackouts in your neighborhood when you plug it in.”
It’s unclear whether the idea was sparked by the Griswolds’ history with Ford vehicles. An LTD Country Squire had its star turn as the Wagonqueen Family Truckster in the original “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” while a Taurus wagon was the Griswold’s family sled in “Christmas Vacation.” To that latter point, we’re surprised Ford didn’t want to reprise the Taurus wagon scene with the Mach-E: