Groundhog Day Factoids

In honor of my old team lead, the most revered GroundHog prognosticator, seer and fan.
He holds a Groundhog lunch (tasty!) every year and was a great boss to work for.

And kudos to Pat Chang, who learned to play the piano at age 45 after
watching this movie; it’s never too late to live.

Groundhog Day (1993) was an exceptional motion picture.

Punxsutawney, PA founded in 1850s
Population 6800 (or 6782 in the movie)
Named after Ponkies or “sand flies” in area.
Celebration began as religious Candlemas Day.
First GroundHog Day celebration 1886
First celebration at Gobbler’s Knob, 1887

Phil sees shadow -> six more weeks of winter
Phil was named after King Phillip.
Phil previously known as Bre’r Groundhog
Phil is cared for by the gentlemen of the Inner Circle.

Groundhog nomenclature is Marmota Monax, order Rodentia
Groundhog lifespan is 6-8 years.
Baby Groundhog is a kit/cub.
Average groundhog weighs 15 lbs, 20 inches long.

Poor Phil Connors relives Groundhog day, everyday at 6:00AM
He wakes up to “I’ve got you, babe” from Sonny and Cher

Movie directed by Harold Ramis
Movie actually filmed in Woodstock, Ill.
Best diner in town is the Tip Top Cafe.
Movie playing in town, everyday, is “Heidi II”
Phil likes to be called ‘Bronco’ when wearing a serape to the movies.
Nancy Taylor is from Lincoln High, Pittsburg. Mrs. Walsh’s English class.
She makes chipmunk noises at the most intimate of times.
Robin Duke plays Doris the waitress.
Ned Ryerson is Phil’s insurance-selling school pal.

Phil Connors works for WPBH channel 9, Pittsburg.
He’s a weatherman.
George Fenton and director co-wrote theme song “Weatherman”
And surely Phil got pretty sick of hearing the “Pennsylvania Polka!”

Larry drives the TV van.
Rita produces the TV news segment.
Rita’s favorite ice cream is Rocky Road. And she hates fudge.
Rita’s favorite drink is “Sweet Vermouth on the rocks w/twist”
Rita majored in 19th century French Poetry (what a waste!)
Phils pays $1000 for each of his piano lessons.
Phil plays “Rachmaninoff’s variation on Theme from Paganini” at the party.
Bill Murray actually learned to play that *one* piece for the movie.

A lot of male viewers report this as a “life-changing” movie.
A lot of female viewers wonder what’s wrong with the male viewers.

[NOTE: This author has plans to learn to play the piano in the near future.]

4 thoughts on “Groundhog Day Factoids”

  1. As a fountain of useless knowledge, and a big fan of the movie, excellent post! Did you clean up at the trivia contest?

    As a film buff, it would suck to only have access to Heidi II. And this was before DVD and prevalent widescreen recordings.

    As the owner of two books of French poetry, one of which is a collection of poems by 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire, I’d probably enjoy Rita’s major.

    And speaking of pianos, I just picked up a MIDI keyboard today. Review to come when I’ve had time to play around with it. Of course, you live with your own personal piano instructor!

  2. Sadly to say, no. I failed miserably and only got 7 questions out of 10. But to be fair, no questions from the movie were asked. Only factual questions about Phil made it to the test. Here’s a sample:

    The groundhog made an appearance on a TV talk show in 1991. What famous talk show host had Phil as a guest??

    Phil made a trip to the White House in 1986. Which famous (redundant) President hosted the groundhog??

    How does a groundhog attract a mate?

    When was the last year that Phil did NOT see his shadow?

    Answers follow:

    Oprah Winfrey. Ronald Reagan. He whistles at her. In 1999.

  3. Yeah, someone went 9 for 10. But if I’d guessed a couple of them (50/50) I could have tied. I missed a truly easy one: Is the Groundhog Day Event broadcast over the Internet?? The answer is YES. I erred by saying NO.

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