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🍔  💀  📸  😭  🕳️  🤠  🎬  🥔 posts about Groundhog Day

Phil and Phyllis Punxsutawney Had Babies

Punxsutawney Phil and his mate Phyllis have had babies and both of the articles I read about this deeply weirded me out. Listen, I get it, you don’t get to be President of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle by being normal about groundhogs, but it feels a little culty to me.

To wit:
“[Dunkel] has a special cane that lets him speak “Groundhogease”.”

“He added that Phil’s children will not inherit his seer of seers or prognosticator abilities because, simply, there’s only one Phil.” Bro, what? Why wouldn’t the children inherit the mirth?

“[Phil] receives a special elixir to extend his life.” (Dunkel is at least better than the previous president who said in 2020 Phil was 134 years old, able to live forever because of the elixir, while Dunkel smartly refused to age the groundhog. (wood)Chuck Everlasting imo.)

The article says groundhogs don’t mate in captivity, but I can’t find proof of that one way or another. That said, this is the first time in the 138 year history of the PGC the groundhogs have mated. Finally, the Inner Circle is, of course, all men, though the Executive Director of the PGC is a woman and appears to have honorary membership on this honorary council.

Because I like using blog posts as opportunities for learning new stuff I said to myself while I was writing this post, “I bet people would find it helpful if I told them what the difference between a groundhog and a woodchuck is,” because it seems like the kind of thing people would want to know and I always thought they were the same thing, but I’m also the dumb bitch who just found out last night whales used to walk around land and evolved from land mammals so I googled it, and yeah, no, woodchucks and groundhogs are the same thing. I was right about that one.

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.


Reply · 1

Groundhog Day, But With Potato Chips

I don’t know exactly what this is, but it appears to be an ad for Lay’s potato chips made by Jimmy Kimmel Live? But whatever, it’s great: a Groundhog Day-inspired clip starring Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) himself that’s perfect for hawking a bajillion different flavors of potato chips. (via @ironicsans)

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The Tenth Anniversary of the Twentieth Anniversary Groundhog Day Liveblog

Weatherman Phil Connors and would-be-acquaintance Ned Ryerson smile grimly at each other in a still from Groundhog Day

I know, I know — recursive humor is tricky, and most of the time, it doesn’t really work. But I was nearly as thrilled as Ned Ryerson bumping into an old friend when I noticed that my guestblogging time was going to coincide with the Thirtieth Anniversary of the classic Bill Murray / Andie MacDowell / Harold Ramis romantic comedy Groundhog Day — i.e., the tenth anniversary of’s 2013 twentieth anniversary Groundhog Day liveblog, written by Jason Kottke, Aaron Cohen, Sarah Pavis, and me.

Can you believe it’s been ten years? Feels like both just one day and a whole lifetime. It’s true; sometimes today is tomorrow.

For those few of you not content with reliving old Groundhog Day content, here are some deleted scenes of Phil Connors shooting pool and bowling a perfect game. (Look how gloriously 1993 it is! Scoring by hand!)

Lessons from the Brilliant Screenplay for Groundhog Day

Using screenwriter Danny Rubin’s book How To Write Groundhog Day as a guide, Lessons from the Screenplay examines how the protagonist in the Bill Murray comedy classic is forced by his circumstances to undergo the hero’s journey and emerging at the end having changed. This passage from Rubin’s book sets the stage:

The conversation I was having with myself about immortality was naturally rephrased in my mind as a movie idea: “Okay, there’s this guy that lives forever…” Movie stories are by nature about change, and if I were to test the change of this character against an infinity of time, I’d want him to begin as somebody who seemed unable to change.

We’ve all seen movies where the change the protagonist undergoes does not seem earned and it makes the whole movie seem phony and hollow. One of the things that makes Groundhog Day so great is that a person who starts out genuinely horrible at the beginning transforms into a really good person by the end and the audience completely buys it. At any point along the way, the story could very easily jump off the rails of credulity, but it never does. A nearly perfect little movie.

Best of Kottke: Groundhog Day Liveblog

It’s Groundhog Day — again. Once a year, our nation turns its eyes to an offbeat existential romantic comedy that thoroughly outperforms its sharpie-on-an-index-card premise, thanks to a brilliant collection of character actors, a thoroughly memorizable script, and the then-underrated, now-maybe-a-smidge-overrated acting talents of Bill Murray.

Four years ago, Jason hosted a 20th anniversary Groundhog Day liveblog with three of his regular guest editors: me, Sarah Pavis, and Aaron Cohen. It was a lot of fun. (I talked too much.)

Some of the questions we considered:

  • Is Groundhog Day a time-travel movie?
  • If you were recasting it, who would you pick?
  • Does Phil’s behavior mid-movie predict creepy pick-up-artist culture?
  • Does the time loop stop because Rita falls in love with Phil, or because Phil finally manages to live one day sincerely?
  • Wouldn’t it be better to predict the weather by doing the opposite of what the groundhog indicates?

The answer to that last question is almost definitely yes.

Groundhog Day liveblog

In celebration of Groundhog Day and the 20th anniversary of the release of Groundhog Day, the classic movie directed by Harold Ramis and starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, we’re going to be liveblogging the movie starting at 8pm EST tonight.

If you’d like to watch along, you have several options: you can buy or rent on iTunes, buy or rent it on Amazon, find it on Bittorrent or Usenet, or stream it on Netflix (not sure if it’s actually available). If you’re awesome, you might already own a copy of the movie on DVD or Blu-ray. AMC is also showing Groundhog Day several times today but not at 8 so you’ll have to DVR it earlier. Check local listings as they say. There will be commercials in the AMC version, so you’ll get behind every time there’s a break, which is a bummer but not an insurmountable issue.

However you choose to watch it, queue up the movie at the blank screen just an instant before the clouds appear and at 08:00:00 pm EST on this clock, push play. Ok, cool. We’ll see you right back here at 8 pm tonight?

(Oh, and Bill, if you’re out there, we’d love to have you join in. Send me an email.)

An update: Ok, the liveblog has concluded, the archive is here. Also, Bill never emailed. :(

Update 2 [February 2, 2016]: So, Branch shut down, and with it the live link to the liveblog. But the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine came to the rescue. Here then, allow me to present, a lightly formatted record of our February 2, 2013 liveblog of Groundhog Day.
— Tim Carmody

February 2, 2013

Jason Kottke
Hey guys, we’ll be getting started here in a little bit. Hope this is fun….I’ve never liveblogged a non-live event before. Quick Bill Murray update: he has not emailed me yet.
2013-02-03 00:43:35

Tim Carmody
Someone, tell Bill Murray his wife is about to have sex on TV!
2013-02-03 00:49:13

Tim Carmody

Bill Murray Likes to Call Kelly Lynch’s Husband []
2013-02-03 00:50:00

Jason Kottke
That is my favorite Bill Murray story, hands down.
2013-02-03 00:50:39

Tim Carmody
That’s a competitive category.
2013-02-03 00:51:01

Jason Kottke
BTW, for those following on Branch, here’s the info to get synced up to watch the movie with us:

Groundhog Day liveblog
2013-02-03 00:51:33

Aaron Cohen
No one will ever believe that is your favorite Bill Murray story.

Bill Murray: ‘No one will ever believe you’ []
2013-02-03 00:53:20

Tim Carmody
So years ago, I bought the Special Edition DVD of Groundhog Day, which has a little featurette and director’s commentary from Harold Ramis. And the featurette is pretty good — the original script was much darker/artier, it started with Phil being already caught in the repeating loop. But the director’s commentary is just terrible.
2013-02-03 00:59:32

Jason Kottke
Ok, and we’re off!!
2013-02-03 01:00:20

Tim Carmody
You know all the jokes about bad DVD commentary? This hit every single one of them. It’s just Harold Ramis watching his own movie, and then saying the punchlines to the jokes right before the actors say them. And every once in a while saying how much he likes a scene.
2013-02-03 01:00:33

Jason Kottke
So the first thing that you’ll notice is that movies used to be a lot slower.
2013-02-03 01:01:17

Aaron Cohen
Tom Hanks was the first choice for Phil, but he was too nice. Tori Amos was considered for Rita.
2013-02-03 01:01:32

Tim Carmody
I had a huge crush on Andie McDowell in this movie, and my first real girlfriend in college looked and acted quite a bit like Rita.
2013-02-03 01:01:51

Tim Carmody
I wonder what debt Anchorman owes or has acknowledged to this movie?
2013-02-03 01:03:29

Jason Kottke
So, we’re still getting credits here. We’re watching a van drive. Isn’t Bill Murray just the perfect weather guy though? And the perfect amount of disgust on his face…
2013-02-03 01:04:48

Jason Kottke
I will not be typing Puxatawny or however it is spelled. I will be typing Puxawhatever. Deal.
2013-02-03 01:06:24

Jason Kottke
Rise and shine count: 1
2013-02-03 01:08:00

Tim Carmody
I was talking to a new friend of mine about this movie yesterday and she said that she hated this movie in the theater. It made her feel physically uncomfortable, anxious, and trapped, like Phil is in the story. Later, she saw it on TV and loved it.
2013-02-03 01:10:06

Jason Kottke
Stephen Tobolowsky!
2013-02-03 01:10:29

Sarah Pavis
it’s great to see stephen tobolowsky back when he was so jaunty
2013-02-03 01:11:06

Tim Carmody
I think I first saw Tobolowsky in Sneakers.
2013-02-03 01:11:36

Tim Carmody
Tomorrow we liveblog Sneakers.
2013-02-03 01:11:43

Tim Carmody
It’s kind of a shame this movie didn’t make anyone’s career. Maybe, MAYBE Tobolowsky.
2013-02-03 01:12:42

Jason Kottke
I’m not sure I saw this in the theater. Don’t really remember when I did see it for the first time.
2013-02-03 01:13:09

Tim Carmody
It redefined Bill Murray’s career. But there are no breakout stars, even though the supporting cast does a great job.
2013-02-03 01:13:16

Tim Carmody
I first saw it at my cousin’s house. I think that may have been the first time I ever got drunk.
2013-02-03 01:13:54

Jason Kottke
I dunno, I think this was a little bit of a revitalization of Murray’s career, before Wes Anderson got ahold of him.
2013-02-03 01:14:01

Sarah Pavis
for me groundhog day is one of the few perfect movies along with princess bride & galaxy quest
2013-02-03 01:14:26

Tim Carmody
Not everyone may know that the mayor/impresario/whoever (not fully clear what his official role is) is Bill’s brother Brian Doyle Murray.
2013-02-03 01:14:43

Aaron Cohen
That’s Murray’s brother reading the groundhog proclamation… And groundhog’s have a predictive value of about 30%-40%.

Groundhog Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia []
2013-02-03 01:15:50

Sarah Pavis
if you weren’t aware, stephen tobolowsky has had some health issues

Stephen Tobolowsky: My Heartfelt Thanks to ‘Community’ (Plus, What I Learned From Chevy Chase) []
2013-02-03 01:16:10

Tim Carmody
It’s weird that Phil could have been Tom Hanks (who had a dark, sarcastic streak as a young actor) when one of my fantasies is to recast Cast Away with Bill Murray instead of Hanks (and Julianne Moore instead of Helen Hunt).
2013-02-03 01:16:28

Jason Kottke
Back in the real world, the groundhog didn’t see his shadow this morning, so spring is around the corner:

Groundhog Day 2013: No shadow for Punxsutawney …
2013-02-03 01:17:06

Tim Carmody
This moment with the state trooper is the first where Phil’s behavior isn’t just jerky, but kind of implausibly outrageous.
2013-02-03 01:17:42

Sarah Pavis
30-40%? that’s statistically significant, if in a non-optimal direction. if we took the opposite advice of groundhogs we’d be right 70% of the time.
2013-02-03 01:18:49

Aaron Cohen
I like casting movie remakes so I spent some time thinking of who would be in Groundhog Day 2013. I got Gerard Butler for Murray, Tina Fey for Rita, Chris Elliot or Steve Buscemi for Chris Elliot… With some alternates and darkhorses…
2013-02-03 01:19:00

Tim Carmody
Murray improvised and rewrote a lot of his lines, Scorsese-style (he and Ramis pitched, and then they set it). “Read a little Hustler or something” is very Bill Murray.
2013-02-03 01:19:04

Jason Kottke
Gerard Butler? Come on, you’re very close to being kicked off the team here. Man up, Cohen.
2013-02-03 01:19:52

Tim Carmody
If you put Tina Fey in Groundhog Day 2013, I think she has to be the protagonist.
2013-02-03 01:19:58

Sarah Pavis
you need someone more deadpan and morose for the lead, i nominate aubrey plaza
2013-02-03 01:21:05

Tim Carmody
“Don’t mess with me, Pork Chop” is a deft foreshadowing of the character Phil would later come to call “Bronco.”
2013-02-03 01:21:13

Aaron Cohen
Alternates for Murray were Jon Krasinski, Jason Segel, Chris Rock…
2013-02-03 01:21:26

Tim Carmody
I think if I recast Phil’s character in this movie today I would do my very best to secure Bill Murray.
2013-02-03 01:22:22

Jason Kottke
Man, I can’t even think who would be good to play Phil in a reboot. Ryan Gosling can do anything, right?
2013-02-03 01:22:43

Tim Carmody
Murray does some real, quite subtle acting in these early first-repetition scenes.
2013-02-03 01:23:09

Jason Kottke
How many times does Tobolowsky say “bing”? Do we have a count on that?
2013-02-03 01:23:15

Sarah Pavis
richard ayoade would be awesome as phil
2013-02-03 01:24:00

Tim Carmody
When was the last time you saw a movie where so many people wear so many clothes?
2013-02-03 01:24:08

Jason Kottke
I’m reading this Buzzfeed list about GHD and Tori Amos was considered for the role of Rita?

12 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Movie []
2013-02-03 01:24:24

Aaron Cohen
It really is called Gobblers Knob, that commons, which is weird.
2013-02-03 01:24:28

Tim Carmody
Sometimes I think about the way Phil just walks out of places whenever I feel deeply uncomfortable somewhere. And then, as often as not, I go ahead and just walk out without saying anything.

I like to say “I put the Irish in Irish Goodbye.”
2013-02-03 01:25:56

Aaron Cohen
Continuity issue: By skipping breakfast, Phil would be a few seconds ahead of Ned Ryerson etc, right?
2013-02-03 01:26:44

Jason Kottke
This is the third time through?
2013-02-03 01:26:49

Tim Carmody
If I remember correctly, they shot Groundhog Day in a small town in Illinois.
2013-02-03 01:26:58

Tim Carmody
Time number three. “I’ve already done it twice.”
2013-02-03 01:27:23

Jason Kottke
Is GHD a time travel movie? Like Primer or Looper?
2013-02-03 01:28:24

Aaron Cohen
It’s Dr. Spaceman!
2013-02-03 01:28:34

Tim Carmody
Re: Aaron’s point about continuity, there’s a certain conservation principle at work in Phil’s repetitions. He can’t really change or affect the circumstances around him, in a meaningful way. The only thing he can change is himself.
2013-02-03 01:28:41

Jason Kottke
Ramis! I forgot he was in this.
2013-02-03 01:28:45

Tim Carmody
This was the first time we saw fat Harold Ramis.
2013-02-03 01:29:32

Sarah Pavis
I thought that too, Aaron. He wouldn’t have seen Ned. He went through the lobby too fast.
2013-02-03 01:30:04

Tim Carmody
The guy with the beard is Rick Overton, a terrific comedian.
2013-02-03 01:30:14

Aaron Cohen
Sea otters make love like sea otters so they don’t drift away when they sleep.
2013-02-03 01:30:50

Jason Kottke
So, there’s an entire book about this movie:

Groundhog Day (BFI Modern Classics) []
2013-02-03 01:31:01

Tim Carmody
“What would you do if you were stuck in one place, and everything was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” was the joke that hit me full in the face when I saw this at 13.
2013-02-03 01:31:18

Jason Kottke
The author of the book wrote this piece for the Guardian:

It’s that man again… and again []
2013-02-03 01:32:39

Aaron Cohen
How many days in a row of it being the same day would it take you to decide you could do whatever you wanted? Seems like a sane person might need more than 3…
2013-02-03 01:32:50

Tim Carmody
Here’s a theory: Phil can’t ever really harm himself. Not just that if he attempts suicide, he restarts. But he can’t injure himself, or even really get drunk, or get a stomachache from eating too much food. Are there counterexamples in the film?
2013-02-03 01:33:06

Sarah Pavis
wow phil gets fatalist fast in this. i’d forgotten.
2013-02-03 01:33:16

Tim Carmody
Like he crashes the car, and everybody else gets hurt, but not Phil. That’s crazy.
2013-02-03 01:34:31

Aaron Cohen
Here’s the original NYT review from 2/93.

“That glimmer of recognition is what makes “Groundhog Day” a particularly witty and resonant comedy, even when its jokes are more apt to prompt gentle giggles than rolling in the aisles. The story’s premise, conceived as a sitcom-style visit to the Twilight Zone, starts out lightweight but becomes strangely affecting. Phil Connors, Mr. Murray’s amusingly rude Pittsburgh television personality, surely deserves to be punished for his arrogance. But who in the audience hasn’t ever wished time would stand still and offer a second, third or even a 20th chance?”

Groundhog Day (1993) Review/Film; Bill Murray Battles Pittsburgh Time Warp []
2013-02-03 01:35:08

Jason Kottke
I dunno, I think you’d feel invincible pretty quick. Like being a superhero or something. Except for the whole you can’t affect any true change in the world.
2013-02-03 01:35:33

Tim Carmody
I love that bit of acting when he’s in jail and the bars close on him, like he wonders for a brief moment whether he’s just really screwed up. Then his divine exuberance in the morning.
2013-02-03 01:35:38

Sarah Pavis
i think this plays out more like a video game than a time travel movie. phil fucks up: reboot.
2013-02-03 01:35:48

Aaron Cohen
I would like to try that with a piece of angle food cake sometime.
2013-02-03 01:37:05

Jason Kottke
I love how he sticks that whole thing in his mouth.
2013-02-03 01:37:54

Tim Carmody
If there are any teenagers watching this, Willard Scott was Al Roker before Al Roker.
2013-02-03 01:38:17

Jason Kottke
That poem is My Native Land by Sir Walter Scott:

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.

My Native Land by Sir Walter Scott []
2013-02-03 01:39:04

Tim Carmody
I kind of like how Nancy is an attractive but by movie standards ordinary-looking small-town woman. If they made this movie now, Phil would be banging Megan Fox or something.
2013-02-03 01:39:42

Sarah Pavis
if bill murray weren’t so likeable, bamboozling women into liking/sleeping with him would be creepy
2013-02-03 01:40:08

Aaron Cohen
Tim mentioned that so Jason would be forced to share Megan Fox’s toe thumbs.
2013-02-03 01:40:25

Tim Carmody
That’s his secret, Sarah — he can be genuinely sleazy and we like him anyways.
2013-02-03 01:40:41

Sarah Pavis
2013-02-03 01:41:09

Jason Kottke

Megan Fox’s toe thumb []
2013-02-03 01:41:15

Tim Carmody
I like how this jump (the first, I think to do this) implies that Phil’s spent a LOT of time in this town. If we see his first four-five loops as they happen, now he may be 100X or more into it.
2013-02-03 01:42:23

Jason Kottke
So there’s discontinuity here, yes? I mean, this can’t be the 5th time through. He probably watched that bank truck, what, 20 times?
2013-02-03 01:43:05

Sarah Pavis
didn’t the director say that he repeated the day something like 10,000 times?
2013-02-03 01:43:11

Aaron Cohen
Several semi-official timelines exist from 4-5 years to 10 years to 10K years.
2013-02-03 01:44:05

Tim Carmody
This is “Phil the professional” phase. He repeats and refines his day the same way he repeats and refines the little schtick he does in front of the groundhog. He’s learning and memorizing his lines. He’s trying to live his life like it’s a broadcast.
2013-02-03 01:45:14

Jason Kottke
Jamie Zawinski calculated four years but the screenwriter said it was about 10 years:

Happy Groundhog Day!
2013-02-03 01:45:39

Sarah Pavis
no, i think he’s just bored of messing with the townies and wants to up his game with a longer con.
2013-02-03 01:46:41

Aaron Cohen
Ordering sweet vermouth on the rocks at that bar would probably get you the nastiest tasting drink of all time.
2013-02-03 01:47:06

Jason Kottke
That screenwriter was Danny Rubin…he wrote a book called “How to Write Groundhog Day” that answers a bunch of questions about the film:

How to Write Groundhog Day
2013-02-03 01:47:25

Tim Carmody
I’ve never had it, but sweet vermouth on the rocks with lemon sounds like a terrible drink. I like vermouth, but it needs something more. As Phil says, “I’d like one more of these with some booze in it.”
2013-02-03 01:47:36

Tim Carmody
Bill Murray himself hates vermouth. When he makes a martini, he whispers the word “vermouth” over the glass.
2013-02-03 01:48:02

Aaron Cohen
I just don’t expect that type of bar would go through enough vermouth to keep it from going bad.
2013-02-03 01:48:23

Tim Carmody
I’m so happy Aaron agrees with me on vermouth.
2013-02-03 01:48:59

Tim Carmody
I’ve always wondered whether the “live in the mountains, at high altitudes” line is something Phil cooked up by workshopping it with Rita, or if that’s somehow his idea of what would impress someone like her, and he just stuck with it.
2013-02-03 01:49:59

Jason Kottke
This liveblogging is totally interfering with my enjoyment of the movie.
2013-02-03 01:50:24

Tim Carmody
Sarah I agree that it’s a long con on Rita, but the way he goes about it is really pulling in all his (limited, but impressive) skills as a TV weatherman. It’s memorization, repetition, and performance.
2013-02-03 01:50:45

Sarah Pavis
with pick-up artist bullshit being so prevalent nowadays this section conning rita feels a lot creepier watching it now than it did when i originally watched it years ago. as tim maly said, phil’s acting like a redditor.
2013-02-03 01:50:56

Tim Carmody
“phil’s acting like a redditor.” <— Ha! good one, Tim.
2013-02-03 01:51:31

Aaron Cohen
Are the types of things he’s doing the same as the pick-up artist bullshit? He’s saying what she wants to hear, not aggressively pressuring with suggestive touches… Realizing how much I know of that culture makes me want a shower now.
2013-02-03 01:52:16

Jason Kottke
The universe doesn’t like creepy. It doesn’t let Phil off the hook until he genuinely changes.
2013-02-03 01:52:47

Tim Carmody
I think all of us have thought about repeating things or trying to make/plan a “perfect day,” but I do wonder if videogame culture has that kind of strategy hardwired into us a little bit more.
2013-02-03 01:52:55

Tim Carmody
I think it’s important that this doesn’t actually work on Rita. It wins her over for a moment, but 1) she sees through him pretty quickly and 2) as Jason says, the universe sort of keeps Phil from changing her too much.
2013-02-03 01:54:54

Aaron Cohen
Phil Connors never punts when he plays Madden.
2013-02-03 01:55:02

Tim Carmody
Groundhog Day speedrun
2013-02-03 01:55:41

Tim Carmody
On this second full runthrough, Phil starts to lose it. Where he could fake sincerity for a little while before, now he can’t even fool himself.
2013-02-03 01:56:27

Tim Carmody
Guys, when you try to do that pickup artist stuff, this is the Phil you look like.
2013-02-03 01:56:50

Aaron Cohen
The slaps come earlier and earlier when the day loses any spontaneity.
2013-02-03 01:57:00

Sarah Pavis
Groundhog Day as PUA morality play
2013-02-03 01:57:11

Tim Carmody
This, with Phil lying in bed, repeating the radio patter, is when I realized this movie wasn’t operating at typical comedy level.
2013-02-03 01:58:32

Aaron Cohen
I thought Phil was a Jim Beam man, but that wasn’t Beam, was it?
2013-02-03 01:58:54

Jason Kottke
Fun fact! On Nantucket, they pull a clam out of the harbor and see if it spits left or right. This year, it spit left, which means 6 more weeks of winter. Meet Quentin the Quahog:

QuentinTheQuahog020213 []
2013-02-03 01:59:00

Tim Carmody
When I watch this movie, I like to say Phil’s Jeopardy answers at the same time that he does. In related news, I’m obnoxious.
2013-02-03 01:59:06

Sarah Pavis
took me awhile to snap and upload but OMG RITA’S VEST remember the 90s? i owned more vests than i care to admit to

2013-02-03 02:00:46

Tim Carmody
“Out of his gourd” is still a pretty important part of my vocabulary. As is “I’ve come to the end of me.”
2013-02-03 02:01:02

Sarah Pavis
tim, sounds like you should do a commentary track
2013-02-03 02:01:23

Jason Kottke
I wore a vest to a job interview in 1996. And a puffy shirt! Oh God, we’re dredging up some bad things here.
2013-02-03 02:01:48

Tim Carmody
2013-02-03 02:01:55

Aaron Cohen
Don’t drive angry.

2013-02-03 02:03:27

Jason Kottke
The stealing the groundhog scene is my favorite in the movie. “Pretty good for a quadruped.” “Side of the eye, side of the eye.” “Don’t drive angry.”
2013-02-03 02:04:15

Jason Kottke
Aaron, where’s that from? (I mean, I know, but others might want to know.)
2013-02-03 02:05:12

Tim Carmody
This moment here, after Phil falls from the church window, is unusual in that we see all the other characters continue with their day after Phil has died.
2013-02-03 02:06:14

Aaron Cohen
That piece was Chris Pasick’s submission to last year’s Super Precious Art Gallery’s mini-Groundhog Day art show.

Super Precious Gallery []
2013-02-03 02:06:42

Tim Carmody
This long “I am a god” scene is my favorite. Watch how it turns from him being smug and kind of jokey. At first Phil just wants to humor Rita. By the end, he’s sincerely desperate for her to believe him.
2013-02-03 02:07:26

Tim Carmody
Then the long “you like boats but not the ocean” speech. Getting a little misty, frankly.
2013-02-03 02:08:57

Jason Kottke
Is this a comedy? Drama? Something in-between? I mean, it’s funny but there’s also a lot more too it. Like existential heavy things.
2013-02-03 02:09:25

Tim Carmody
I think it’s a comedy with existential motifs. It’s an exploration of the absurd. But, for all its reality-bending metaphysics and philosophical themes, it also has a fairly traditional comic-romantic arc.
2013-02-03 02:11:12

Aaron Cohen
Jason, heard that was the gist of the trouble between Ramis and Murray. Ramis wanted it to be more of a comedy and Murray wanted it to be darker…
2013-02-03 02:11:28

Tim Carmody
“Gosh, you’re an upbeat lady!” is a formula I go to pretty often too.
2013-02-03 02:11:52

Jason Kottke
Most of my favorite movies hit in-between genres like that.
2013-02-03 02:12:16

Aaron Cohen
Just like Unstoppable.
2013-02-03 02:12:58

Tim Carmody
“I don’t deserve someone like you…” is also a pretty amazing moment, with great, not-too-flashy writing.
2013-02-03 02:13:26

Jason Kottke
My wife: although creepy, Phil doesn’t resort to raping Rita. Which is a fair point.
2013-02-03 02:13:28

Sarah Pavis
or like Crank. i love that crazy balls action comedy.
2013-02-03 02:14:06

Tim Carmody
Let’s all pass out our “Hey, I’m not a Rapist!!” pins
2013-02-03 02:14:17

Jason Kottke
Ok, so why didn’t Phil’s ordeal end after that? He finally gets it, right? I think it’s because the whole thing hinges on Rita. She needs to fall in love with him before things can move on.
2013-02-03 02:17:25

Aaron Cohen
The Groundhog Day liveblog 2014 is going to go up against the Super Bowl if we do it at night. (The Patriots will beat the Lions and Bernard Pollard (who went to the Lions as a freeagent will leave the field with a career ending knee injury).
2013-02-03 02:17:38

Tim Carmody
There’s also the whole self-improvement and selflessness thing.
2013-02-03 02:19:44

Sarah Pavis
i legit forget how this movie ends. is it about rita falling in love with him or him living one day sincerely?
2013-02-03 02:19:57

Tim Carmody
Some poignant, strange, not fully revealed subtext in Phil calling the old homeless man “father” and “pop.”
2013-02-03 02:21:11

Jason Kottke
Does the old man actually remember him? The one character that does?
2013-02-03 02:21:41

Tim Carmody
He also has to realize his own limits, that not everything is or will be under his control. That is part of what this sequence is about.
2013-02-03 02:22:06

Jason Kottke
OH: “I want Tim Carmody to commentate my life.”
2013-02-03 02:22:43

Tim Carmody
It helps if I’ve seen your life at least a hundred times before.
2013-02-03 02:23:15

Aaron Cohen
Is “Not today” the start of Phil trying to change how the day ends? Also, Phil calls him father, dad, pop, hinting at possible father abandonment issues for our erstwhile protagonist is one of the greatest analytical leaps I’ve ever made.
2013-02-03 02:23:22

Tim Carmody
That kid who falls out of the tree isn’t Joseph Gordon Levitt, but wouldn’t it be awesome if he were?
2013-02-03 02:24:38

Jason Kottke
There’s a playlist on Rdio of all the music from the movie:

Groundhog Day Soundtrack
2013-02-03 02:25:00

Aaron Cohen
No joke, I was at an event where Dr Henry Heimlich’s wife called herself Mrs. Maneuver.
2013-02-03 02:25:11

Tim Carmody
Pick-up artist guys, you also look like Chris Elliott trying to pick up Nancy.
2013-02-03 02:25:46

Sarah Pavis
i saw him in the diner scene, i never knew michael shannon was in this movie

Michael Shannon Was In GROUNDHOG DAY []
2013-02-03 02:26:07

Jason Kottke
My wife is talking about how Phil’s behavior at various loops through the day mirrors Freud’s theories about the id, ego, and superego.
2013-02-03 02:27:29

Sarah Pavis
this movie plays it small, the comedy & the existentialism.
2013-02-03 02:28:24

Aaron Cohen
“Fastest jack in Jefferson County.”
2013-02-03 02:28:33

Tim Carmody
One day, I just want a woman to look in my eyes with as much love as the “fastest jack in Jefferson County” woman has for Phil.
2013-02-03 02:28:45

Sarah Pavis
whoa young michael shannon is a cutie (still got those psycho eyes though)
2013-02-03 02:29:24

Tim Carmody
The great Robin Duke. Lots of old Second City/SNL people in this movie.
2013-02-03 02:31:04

Jason Kottke
Checkbook! Who carries a checkbook around anymore?
2013-02-03 02:31:28

Tim Carmody
Kids, in 1993, $60 was a lot of money.
2013-02-03 02:31:35

Sarah Pavis
what’s that in bitcoin, grandpa
2013-02-03 02:32:01

Tim Carmody
I bid two bitcoins
2013-02-03 02:32:24

Tim Carmody
“Let’s not spoil it!” is the moment when you feel like Rita is actually snarky enough to throw down with Phil, not just laugh at his jokes and make him a better man.
2013-02-03 02:33:32

Jason Kottke
Stephen Tobolowsky doing the Eartha Kitt Catwomen noise is amazing. ROWR…
2013-02-03 02:33:46

Aaron Cohen
That snow sculpture looks like Maid Marian from the Kevin Costner Robinhood.
2013-02-03 02:33:49

Tim Carmody
Guys, kissing is awesome
2013-02-03 02:34:57

Jason Kottke
Aaaaaand still no email from Bill Murray.
2013-02-03 02:35:05

Sarah Pavis
swinging back to reboot casting: my ideal would be richard ayoade/anne hathaway. gender swapped casting would be aubrey plaza as girl-phil/daniel bruhl as boy-rita.
2013-02-03 02:36:53

Tim Carmody
When she says “I’m sure I can think of something,” everyone agrees she means oral sex, right?
2013-02-03 02:37:32

Aaron Cohen
Anne Hathaway and Zooey Deschanel don’t get to be in any of the movies I’m remaking.
2013-02-03 02:38:01

Jason Kottke
Do you think that Feb 3 then repeats over and over again until something else happens?
2013-02-03 02:38:15

Tim Carmody
This movie is so unrealistic what are Phil and Rita going to do for work in Punxsutawney start their own TV station give music lessons ice sculpt no sir no ma’am no way I don’t think so
2013-02-03 02:38:57

Jason Kottke
Man, 20 years was a long time ago. These credits look ancient.
2013-02-03 02:40:06

Aaron Cohen
They’ll commute to Channel 9 Pittsburgh.
2013-02-03 02:40:12

Tim Carmody
Aaron, you’ve got that moisture on your head.
2013-02-03 02:41:03

Jason Kottke
All right, we’re all done. Thanks for joining us everyone! See you next year? If you missed the whole thing, here’s a YT video of all the best stuff:

2013-02-03 02:42:09

Sarah Pavis
suicide, suicide, jail. nice summary of the movie, dvd menu screen.

2013-02-03 02:46:31