Fun Facts about Bill Murray and “Groundhog Day”

Big Purple Marble, Groundhog Day, Bill Murray, film, movie

 If the movie Groundhog Day were a person, this year it could get a reduction on its car insurance.

That’s right; hard to believe, but this comic romp of a flick that depicts a man living one day over and over and over again until he “gets it right” is 25 years old.

Since we’ve all seen this movie over and over and over again…what? Wait, there’s someone out there who hasn’t seen this Bill Murray classic? Are you kidding me? Next, you’re going to say that you haven’t seen Stripes or Ghostbusters.

Heavy sigh…

We don’t have time to wait for you to watch all of those movies, but go watch Groundhog Day so that we can get on with this article. Go on. We’ll wait.



The Plot Thickens

Is everyone here now? Good. Welcome back. Let’s move on.

Groundhog Day stars Bill Murray as a crabby weatherman who is tired of his job, tired of his life, and especially tired of covering the annual Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Andie MacDowell plays his frustrated producer and Chris Elliott plays the cameraman.

That’s when fate intervenes.

I have to admit that the one cool thing about this movie is thinking about what I would do if I could live one day over and over. What great skills could I master? How could I improve? What life lessons would I learn?

And would I ever again be able to listen to the classic Sonny & Cher song I Got You Babe without wanting to scream?

Enjoy these Fun Facts about Groundhog Day!

Bill Murray wasn’t their first choice.

Seems crazy, huh? Murray is perfect in the role. But he wasn’t the first actor considered. Which ones were? Tom Hanks, for one. But he was deemed to be “too nice.” Also considered were Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and John Travolta. Talk about staying alive!

Check out this clip when Murray experiences his first “do-over” of the same day.

Andie MacDowell wasn’t the only one considered for her role.

Again, after seeing this movie countless times, it’s difficult for me to image anyone else playing her role. But there was another woman considered. Want to take a guess? Never mind; there’s no way you’d get this one—Tori Amos. If she had gotten the part, makes you wonder if she would have had moved from music to movies.

In this clip, MacDowell hears Murray’s confession: he thinks he’s a god.


 Bill Murray can’t read music.

During the film, as Murray relives Groundhog Day, he learns to play the piano. Quite well, we might add. But in real life, Murray can’t read music. So how did he learn to play so well? He learned to play the piece by ear. Another fun fact: the piece he plays is Rhapsody on a Theme by Pagnini by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

So if Tom Hanks had done this flick, would he have played a giant piano on the floor with his feet? Oh wait, that’s a different movie.

Murray did a great job. Check him out playing!


The Groundhog wasn’t exactly friendly.

And it wasn’t because of his shadow. Bill Murray was bitten twice by a groundhog during the filming of the movie. The bites were so severe that the actor needed rabies shots.

We think that Murray may want to stay away from rodents in the movies from now on. He didn’t fare all that well with the gopher in Caddyshack either.

The Groundhog looks so cute! Guess he was acting too…


How long was Groundhog Day?

Good question. It depends on what source you use. The movie itself depicted 36 or 38 or 42 days of revisiting Groundhog Day. Director Harold Ramis said that Murray’s character likely took 10 years in the loop to learn everything he did.

Not sure how long it took? This video attempts to figure it out, and they think it was a bit longer than Ramis did…



About Michele “Wojo” Wojciechowski


Michele “Wojo” Wojciechowski is the award-winning author of the humor book Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box, writer of the award-winning humor column, Wojo’s World®, and a not-yet award-winning stand-up comic. While she sometimes wishes she could have a do-over, she wouldn’t want to have to repeat anything for 8 years. Check out her website at

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