Okay campers, rise and shine! It’s Groundhog Day—and you know what that means. It’s time to look back at the cast of the classic 1993 comedy and find out where they are now that you’re trapped within your own unvarying, unyielding march toward oblivion!
As the wisecracking, self-involved weatherman Phil Connors, Bill Murray put a sarcastic spin on existential dread. Since then, Murray has remained a busy—if hard-to-get—actor in movies for Wes Anderson, the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, and last year’s Aloha, plus he just hosted his own Christmas special for Netflix. And of course, he’s become notorious for popping up in unexpected places all around the country, still out there propagating the lie that fun can survive within the stultifying vacuum of human life.
After playing Rita Hanson—the down-to-earth object of Phil’s affections, who’s eventually swindled and browbeaten into requiting his love—Andie MacDowell went on to star in hit films like Four Weddings And A Funeral and Michael. Her career has cooled somewhat since the ’90s, inevitably ground down by the relentless demand of each bleak new day, but she did have a role in Magic Mike XXL. So good for her. She’s really making the most of being trapped within this cycle of monotony, like a death row prisoner learning to knit.
Fellow voyager on the damnable sea that tosses us, again and again, on the craggy shores, mockingly daring us to beat our arms futilely against the current or surrender and drown, Chris Elliott is currently starring on the CBC Television show Schitt’s Creek.
Needlenose Ned? Ned The Head? Surely you remember old Ned Ryerson—aka prolific character actor Stephen Tobolowsky! And surely you remember that every morning when you wake up, nothing will have changed. You’ll make the same well-worn commute to the dead end of your job, where you’ll put out the same insignificant fires while distracting yourself with the same frivolous bullshit on the internet. And all the while, the world outside the office windows you never even bother to look out of anymore will continue along its same irrevocable slide into entropy.
Anyway, Stephen Tobolowsky is on that show The Goldbergs you’re usually too exhausted to watch.
Oh hey, it’s Bill Murray’s brother. Gee, wonder how he got his role as Groundhog Day emcee Buster Green? It must be nice to have family who can pull you from the dreary tedium, rather than just contributing to it.
Yes. How nice for Brian Doyle-Murray.
Look, it’s just … Groundhog Day purports to be this grand, life-affirming statement about the potential for betterment within all of us, but everyone skips right over the fact that Phil was stuck within that time loop for something like 30 years. If you had 30 years to dick around in a small town, generally behaving like an asshole and getting tired of having sex with Marita Geraghty’s Nancy, you’d probably learn to play the piano too! But you don’t—you have to work, and you barely get an hour every night to watch some mediocre TV show like Numb3rs, which Geraghty guest-starred on. How are you ever supposed to break free of the cycle?
Rick Ducommun—who played the lovable barfly Gus—died last year. So, that’s one way out.
Phil The Groundhog
Yep, this groundhog is definitely dead too. So … That’s the answer then. The best any of us can hope for is to experience brief variations on the same fleeting moments of joy, every echo growing fainter and more hollow—a memory of something we once genuinely enjoyed, about which we can only ask, “Where is it now?”—as we fritter our way toward death’s final release on passing amusements. Great.
Robin Duke played Doris the waitress, and she’s on that show Man Seeking Woman now. It’s pretty good!