It’s Groundhog Day 2017, and all across the country, people are manhandling the groundhog (aka the Marmota monax, woodchuck, whistlepig, chuck, wood-shock, groundpig, whistler, thickwood badger, Canada marmot, monax, moonack, weenusk, and red monk—how the christ does this idiot rodent have so many monikers?), pulling it from the warmth of its winter burrow, holding the ostensibly terrified animal in front of a crowd replete with marching bands and all sorts of celebratory novelties, and waiting with bated breath while the mayor of whatever sordid little burg this grand event takes place in declares whether the poor animal has “seen its shadow” or not. I’m not exactly a huge fan of PETA, but tell me this whole hullabaloo doesn’t strike you as a tad ridiculous.
In recorded history, there’ve been two great things to come out of this barbaric pagan ritual: that one time Jimmy the Groundhog bit the mayor of some Podunk Wisconsin town in the ear…
And of course, that lovable, inimitable, classic of the eponymous movie starring Bill Murray. Let’s be real, here: if you’re more familiar with the actual tradition surrounding Groundhog Day than you are with the 1993 masterpiece, you might be a monster. Or, well, you’re at the very least lacking in essential modern-day cultural knowledge.
Now, experience the simultaneous wonder and horror of Phil meeting Ned… meeting Phil meeting Ned… and so on and so forth:
Tobolowski is an incredible character actor, here, going from an unwanted passerby from Phil’s past to the Bob Cratchit-esque recipient of Phil’s largess and brotherly love.
So there’s your dose of light humor for Groundhog Day. In darker holiday-related news, CNN is reporting “More winter, early spring, end of days — Groundhog Day predictions vary.”
End of days, huh? Doesn’t seem too far off-base for ol’ Punxatawney Phil and his furry brethren.