In 1983, A Christmas Story dethroned A Wonderful Life and became a Christmas classic in its own right.
The film revolves around nine-year-old Ralphie Parker, whose main concerns are to avoid getting beat up by a bully, and to get his hands on his dream Christmas present: a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot Range Model air rifle that is equipped with a compass and can tell time.
The film is a far cry from the typical sentimental and merry holiday movie, it gave us a satirical look at how real families handle the holidays through the eyes of a child. It also gave us 80s and 90s kids a ton of catchphrases that we still repeat today.
However, no matter how many times we tune into the TBS 24-marathon of A Christmas Story, there is still quite a lot of facts about the movie that you probably don't know about.
Here are a few of them:
1. It's based on a collection of stories first published in Playboy magazine.
In the mid-60s, Jean Shepherd's semi-autobiographical vignettes about his childhood in Indiana were published in Playboy magazine. The stories were eventually turned into a collection titled "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," which was later turned into the popular film.
2. A Christmas Story only exists because of Porky's
Director Bob Clark had been a fan of Shepherd's work, but he wasn't able to get the funding he needed to adapt In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash into a movie, without proven success. To his surprise, Porky's, a 1982 coming-of-age film about a group of high school boys trying to lose their virginity, was a box office success. Clark was then given the green light to direct the wildly successful A Christmas Story.
3. The famous pole licking scene inspired a statue
Flick going through with the "triple dog dare" and licking the icy pole is arguably one of the most famous scenes in the movie, so the city of Hammond, Indiana erected a bronze statue inspired by Flick to commemorate the film's 30th anniversary.
4. Jack Nicholson was a favorite to play The Old Man
The studio wanted to include some big names in the movie, so they tried scouting Nicholson to play the role of the The Old Man. However, when it came down to money, the studio couldn't cater to the actor's high salary demands. They ended up choosing Darren McGavin, who was Clark's first choice for the role.
5. And Wil Wheaton almost played Ralphie
It's hard to imagine what A Christmas Story would be like without Peter Billingsley as Ralphie, but he almost didn't get the part. Thousands of child actors auditioned for the role, and among them was Wil Wheaton, who later starred as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
"I can still see my dad, in all his permed, mustached, corduroy-pantsed, 1983 glory, helping me understand how badly Ralphie wanted that BB gun," Wheaton said in an interview a few years ago. "It's a really happy memory, because my dad and I didn't do too many things together when I was a kid, and I always loved it when he'd take me on an audition."