OK, campers, rise and shine and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cold out there today. It’s cold out there every day! But this isn’t Miami Beach and it’s not even Punxsutawney. Heck, it’s not even Woodstock, Illinois, where Groundhog Day was shot. No, it’s Chicago, the location of a celebration not only of the 1993 comedy but also the life of director Harold Ramis.
Today, February 2nd, of course marks Groundhog Day, when thousands of people gather to freeze their butts off and worship a rat. But for many of us today is more about the movie. And that’s just what will be commemorated at Chicago’s Navy Pier when a selection of the cast gathers to remember Groundhog Day and Ramis, who passed away in February 2014.
The most notable cast members joining the Groundhog Day festivities are Brian Doyle-Murray (“Inner Circle” head Buster Green), Stephen Tobolowsky (Ned Ryerson) and Marita Geraghty (Phil’s part-time love interest Nancy Taylor), while those that played waitress Doris, the psychiatrist, the piano teacher, and the DJ will also be there. The question on everybody’s mind today won’t be if Phil the groundhog sees his shadow but if Phil Connors shows up, as Bill Murray is a Chicago boy. And who wouldn’t want to see Chris Elliott and Andie MacDowell?
The central location for the Groundhog Day event will be Harry Caray’s Tavern, which Ramis actually was a partner in. There, attendees can get some themed drinks (sweet vermouth, rocks with a twist?) and check out a number of pieces from Ramis’ career, including clothing and his personal leather-bound shooting scripts from Groundhog Day, in addition to his and Murray’s iconic outfits from 1984’s Ghostbusters.
Groundhog Day has gone on to become one of the most respected comedies ever, being recognized by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry for being a significant work in movie history and even placing in the top 300 on this year’s edition of They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They?’s list of the 1,000 greatest films ever. It’s also just about as deep and dark of a comedy you’re likely to get, what with all of the existentialism, suicide and groundhog-napping.
Happy Groundhog Day, readers!