The Great Outdoors (1988)

The Great Outdoors Quote: “So when you go to bed tonight, and you hear a noise, whatever you do, don’t look out the window…because there might be a bear!” – Chet Ripley

Summer vacations, cabin trips, lakeside living, nature walks, and spending time with family are enough to make the most cynical Shat The Movies listener nostalgic. On this Fathers Day recording, we visit John Candy’s “The Great Outdoors,” a classic ’80s comedy that holds a dear place in many a heart.

Brothers Adam, Josh, and John R. commissioned “The Great Outdoors” in honor of their late father and the childhood memories they built with him. Big D related to being a dad. Ash contrasted the idyllic mood of the movie with her own childhood vacations. And Gene was taken back to his summer fantasies of meeting a mean girl in a denim jacket.

Of course, the Shat Crew also covers The 96er, the endless animal gags, Dan Aykroyd’s oddly enjoyable performance, and bear dumps. But the real meat of this movie is laughing at jokes and situations that work BECAUSE we’ve seen them—and lived them— so many times.

Plot Summary: “The Great Outdoors” It’s vacation time for outdoorsy Chicago man Chet Ripley (John Candy), along with his wife, Connie (Stephanie Faracy), and their two kids, Buck (Chris Young) and Ben (Ian Giatti). But a serene weekend of fishing at a Wisconsin lakeside cabin gets crashed by Connie’s obnoxious brother-in-law, Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd), his wife, Kate (Annette Bening), and the couple’s two daughters. As the excursion wears on, the Ripleys find themselves at odds with the stuffy Craig family.

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