Visual Voice

Visual/Voice Ep. 10: B. J. Hollars – That Time John Candy and Dan Aykroyd Vacationed in Eau Claire. Well, Sort Of.

Hollywood film director affirms: ‘The Great Outdoors’ really is set in our great hometown

BJ Hollars |

Local author B.J. Hollars had his first foray into the well-known film The Great Outdoors in the movie rental aisle of his local grocery store in 1992. After bringing the film back to his Fort Wayne, Indiana home, he found the perfect movie: an outdoorsy, slapstick comedy, complete with foul-mouthed raccoons, a bald-headed bear, and no shortage of laughs.

But beyond the comedy, he fell in love with the scenery of the ultra fictitious Claire County, Wisconsin, and wondered: Did such a place even exist? And then, 20 years later, he moved there. Hollars pulls us along the adventure of a lifetime as he internet sleuths his way to a phone call with Hollywood film director Howard Deutch and finally learns the answer to his burning question: Is "The Great Outdoors" set in Eau Claire, Wisconsin? (Hint: the answer is yes!)

You can read B.J.’s full column here.

Visual/Voice features some of the best writers in the region visually vocalizing their words that appear in our pages.