History Repeating: Tracking Every Single Day in ‘Groundhog Day’

By  · Published on February 2nd, 2017

The centerpiece to your holiday celebration has arrived.

There are video essays, and then there are monumental accomplishments of editing prowess that defy and exceed all expectations. Be warned: this is one of the latter.

It’s Groundhog Day here in the US, and besides whatever that actually means, it’s our annual chance to celebrate quite simply one of the most ingenious and hilarious comedies this country has ever produced, the eponymous holiday classic from the late, great Harold Ramis and starring the presently-great Bill Murray.

Over the course of Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character repeats the same day – are you ready for this? – 12, 403 times (according to website What Culture, formerly Obsessed With Film) which is just under 34 years. Gives you a little perspective, doesn’t it?

In the film, however, just 37 of these days are shown, with no real indication where they fall in this timeline other than the first and the last. This means Murray’s character could have been trying to kill himself for a decade or more, or could have been practicing piano for 25 years. It also means he never saw the full light of day in all that time, as his stay in Punxsutawney was under overcast skies.

So why these 37 days? After watching the following utterly amazing and life-changing video from my new hero Neil Fennel, in which he sets these days side-by-side in clusters to reveal their similarities and differences, I believe these days were selected as check-in spots every 18 months or so along Murray’s time-travelling wild ride, significant signposts along his journey back to where he started; they also track his emotional journey from confounded to delirious to depressed to resolved.

This video simply has to be seen to be believed, as no description I can give would do it enough credit. I can’t imagine the hours and dedication this took, so all that’s left to say is kudos, Neil Fennell, and welcome to a permanent place in our culture’s collective holiday canon. I’m watching this every year on this day for the rest of my life, and you should too. Get eyes on it below then share the crap out of it. And Happy Groundhog Day!

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