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10 Things You Didn’t Know About A Christmas Story

Who hasn’t seen the classic 1984 holiday movie A Christmas Story 50,000 times But if you think you know everything about it, you’re wrong.

Photo by Lambert/Getty Images

Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know according to mentalfloss.com:

1. Jack Nicholson was very interested in playing Ralphie’s dad. But casting (and paying) Jack would have meant doubling the budget, so he was removed from consideration. Director Bob Clark who didn’t know Nicholson was interested at the time says Darrin McGavin was the perfect choice. After all, Jack would have been too much of a scene-stealer.

2. What does Porky’s, the raunchy ’80s teen sex movie, have to do with a wholesome film like A Christmas Story? Bob Clark directed both Porky’s in 1982 and A Christmas Story in 1983. If Porky’s hadn’t given him the professional and financial success he needed, he wouldn’t have been able to bring A Christmas Story to the big screen.

3. For those keeping count, Ralphie says he wants the Red Ryder BB Gun 28 times throughout the course of the movie. That’s approximately once every three minutes and 20 seconds.

4. Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie, has been good friends with Vince Vaughn since they both appeared in the CBS Schoolbreak Special (their version of the after-school special) in the early ’90s. Peter doesn’t do much acting these days, but he did make a surprise appearance on the “Vince Vaughn Wild West Comedy Show” in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2005. Peter’s doing quite well for himself, though. He was the executive producer of Iron Man and had a brief bit as William Ginter Riva. Peter also executive produced Vince’s movie, Four Christmases (which he also had a cameo in), as well as 2006′s The Break-Up.

5. Mythbusters tested whether it was possible to get your tongue truly stuck on a piece of cold metal. Guess what? It is. So don’t triple dog dare your best friend to try it.

Photo by Yamada Taro/Getty Images

6. Scott Schwartz, who played Flick (the kid who stuck his tongue to the frozen flagpole), was submerged in the adult film industry for a number of years. He got out in 2000 to try to become a mainstream actor again, but he really hasn’t done much of note: Community College (“A love story between four dudes and their ability to get free drinks”) and Skinwalker, which starred ex-MTV veejay Jesse Camp, if that tells you anything. Joey Buttafuoco is in it, too, and gets billing over our poor Flick. Sad.

7. Next time you’re in Cleveland, you can visit the original house from the movie for only $7.50. It was sold on eBay in 2004 for $150,000. Collector Brian Jones bought the house and restored it to its movie glory and stocked it up with some of the original props from the film, including Randy’s snowsuit.

8. Director Bob Clark got the idea for the movie when he was driving in the car with a date. He heard Jean Shepherd on the radio doing a reading of his short story collection, “In God We Trust … All Others Pay Cash,” which included some bits that eventually ended up in A Christmas Story. Clark said he drove around the block for an hour until the program ended, which his date was not too happy about.

9. The TV show The Wonder Years was inspired by A Christmas Story. In fact, in one of the last few episodes, Peter Billingsley appeared as one of Kevin Arnold’s roommates.

10. The real Red Ryder BB Gun was first made in 1938 and was named after a comic strip cowboy. You can still buy it today for the low, low price of $44.99. But the original wasn’t quite the same as the one in the movie — it lacked the compass and sundial that both the Jean Shepard story and the movie call for. Special versions had to be made just for A Christmas Story.

Merry Christmas! Don’t shoot your eye out!

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