Happy Groundhog Day! At some point this morning (this post was written Monday night) the world’s most celebrated groundhog, Punxsatawney Phil predicted the fate of winter for the world. Regardless of his prediction (I’m cool if winter ends early), today we raise our glasses to not only the groundhog, but to the entire Sciuridae family. The members of this scientific family of rodents have left an indelible mark in pop culture history. Here are some of the most lasting and timeless cameos of the groundhog family:
The Bill Murray classic tells the story of a weatherman (Phil) who wakes up each day to find he’s stuck on the same day, Groundhog Day. Directed by Harold Ramis, Groundhog Day is one the essential Murray films, and shows just how important it is to embrace life with a positive attitude rather than try to manipulate people and be bitter.
Mr. Woodchuck- Full House
The T.G.I.F staple Full House was full of schtick. Each character had their own catchphrase or style unique to them. Joey Gladstone was no different and one of his trademarks was his pupper, Mr. Woodchuck. Best known as the sidekick on Joey’s children’s t.v. show, Ranger Joe, Mr. Woodchuck was a pun machine, always finding a way to reference his favorite thing in the world…wood. With the Full House reboot, Fuller House, coming to Netflix later this month, one can only hope to see the return of Mr. Woodchuck.
Squirrel on water skis
This is old, but I really don’t ever get tired of seeing it pop up.
Not the boxer, but the flying squirrel from the classic cartoon Rocky and Bulwinkle. Rocky was the brains of the duo who often had to thwart the evil schemes of Boris and Natasha. Since 1959, Rocky and his moose friend have been teaching kids all-American values and to not trust people with Russian accents no matter what their disguise is. So perhaps this particular lesson is a little dated, but anyone who watches The Americans know that Russian spies are tricky.
The Mississippi Squirrel Revival
I’ll just leave this here:
Chip ‘n’ Dale
The Rescue Rangers are two of Disney’s classic characters. Not unlike Rocky and Bulwinkle in their “smart one, dumb one” partnership, Chip and Dale went on to open their own detective agency called Rescue Rangers, which dominated the Disney Channel for a solid two seasons. While Chip and Dale are certainly important characters in their own right, try not to confuse them with these Chippendales:
Gophers (not actually part of the Sciuridae family, but how many of you really know the difference?)
Bill Murray has made a career out of his partnerships with rodents (really, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Space Jam). In Caddyshack Murray is obsessed groundskeeper Carl Spackler who is hunting a fairway destroying gopher. Spackler’s attempts to rid the golf course of the menace become increasingly intense and is one of the reasons the movie is the comedy classic it is today.
Robin Williams and the invention of golf
This is very NSFW (language), but it helps explain the origins of golf as well as the gopher’s influence on the sport.