12 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Movie “Groundhog Day”

Back in 1992, I made a movie called Groundhog Day.* If you’ve seen it, which you probably have (it’s on TBS 24/7), you will probably love these 12 interesting facts about it.

*A few pre-production notes:
1. This is not actually Bill Murray’s actual post, but it is almost certainly how Bill Murray would have written this post if he had actually written it.
2. All these facts are true, according to some basic and noncommittal research.
3. Six fewer weeks of winter you guys! It’s official.
4. Seriously, there’s even a rare groundhog consensus between the Staten Island groundhog and “America’s Real Groundhog,” Punxsutawney Phil. Get out your Bermuda shorts, or whatever it is the kids are getting out these days when winter’s clearly over.
5. Let’s all rewatch this movie today. Seriously. Find someone you love, gather your household groundhogs around you, put a fire in the fireplace, and Netflix the heck out of this bad boy. Today is the day for that.
6. Do it now.
7. Nownownow.
8. OK, here are some facts.

1. I was bitten by the groundhog twice during shooting. I’ve never liked groundhogs since.

2. Harold Ramis, our director, originally wanted Tom Hanks to play my role, but he decided against it because Hanks came off as “too nice.” THANKS.

3. They also considered Tori Amos for the role of Rita.

4. The animal handlers actually raised a whole family of groundhogs for the production.

5. The groundhog official who reads out that whole proclamation is played by Brian Doyle-Murray, one of my five brothers.

6. We filmed in the town of Woodstock, Illinois, and the townspeople there put up a plaque that reads “Bill Murray stepped here” on the curb where I kept stepping into that puddle. Nice town!

7. Harold Ramis and I never agreed on the tone for the movie. I wanted it more philosophical, he wanted it to be more comedic. Whatever, I’m over it, Harold!

8. Even though it’s sunny out when I wake up every day at 6 in the movie, in the real Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the sun didn’t rise until 7:25 a.m. on Groundhog Day. I guess we goofed.

9. Whenever Ramis would try and tell me how to do a scene, I’d just yell at him, “Just tell me: good Phil or bad Phil?” God, he hated it!

10. In the “Jeopardy!” sequence, the second player was a guy named Jim Scott, a five-time “Jeopardy” Champion. The guy even went on to win the Tournament of Champions! Good guy.

11. If you count, you’ll realize there are exactly 38 different days portrayed in the movie. Which is totally insignificant.

12. They shot 25 takes of the closing scene when I wake up next to Rita (Andie MacDowell), as we just weren’t sure how the scene should play.

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