Writing Advice

Vacation ’58: The story that spawned a franchise (Vacation) and the voice of a generation (John Hughes)


Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) Directed by John Hughes Shown: director John Hughes

For many from my generation, John Hughes was THE MAN.

His films were so honest and true, even when seemingly preposterous, that we related to them.

To this day, my father claims that the reason I sent myself to boarding school in Chicago was due to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Not true.  It was the drugs.  Kidding.  It was the Midwest mentality.  So honest, just like John Hughes, and Chicago was the epicenter of the Midwest to me.  Great people.  Salt of the Earth.

I’m digressing.  Fact is, like many famous writers, John Hughes got his start writing as a copywriter for an advertising agency.  She’s Having A Baby was his semi-autobiographical recollection of his fledgling start as that copywriter and family man.  But John had always yearned to write more creatively.  And he would get that chance writing for the famed comedic monthly, National Lampoon.

Some people may not know that before he became the voice of teenagers everywhere in the mid 80s, Hughes wrote two funny adult comedies.  One was produced by famed producer Lauren Shuler Donner (Go BU!) that helped make Michael Keaton a star called Mr. Mom.  The other was his first foray into screenwriting based on a short story he had written for National Lampoon called Vacation ’58.  Better known in film form as the Chevy Chase classic, National Lampoon’s Vacation.  The film spawned three more sequels and a remake/sequel this summer.

So want to see where the spark of wit is discovered in a future legendary filmmaker?  It’s in their words written over 35 years ago in a magazine back when you could write more than 500 words without boring the reader.  Check it out here: “Read John Hughes’ Original National Lampoon Vacation Story That Started the Movie Franchise”


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