A Dizzying Array of Celebrity Groundhogs


Last year I had a real problem with Groundhog Day. The issue was that there were just too darn many celebrity groundhogs with differing predictions for the end of winter, and I didn't know who to believe. Between world-renowned rodent, Punxsutawney Phil, lesser-known wonder woodchuck, Staten Island Chuck, and scores of others, the playing field was just way too crowded with clairvoyant groundhogs. I also wondered if, perhaps, Chuck, Phil and the rest of the superstar groundhogs could be trusted. Much as movie stars turn on the charm when the cameras are rolling, I wondered if the celebrity groundhogs might be less concerned with getting the change of seasons right and more interested in just striking a pretty pose for the cameras.

So, this year I decided to follow a different groundhog. This year I was betting on our groundhog. Suburban Stan, as we call him, lives under our deck, and like his celebrity brethren, he also takes a peek out from his lair around Groundhog Day. I wasn't sure if he was really looking for his shadow like the other dudes, or if he was just checking to see if the evil family dog was still lurking around. But if he happened to see his shadow, or not, while looking around, the end result would be the same and I would have my prediction. I was fairly certain Stan would give us an unbiased reading, because unlike Phil and Chuck, he didn't have a crowd to please or paparazzi to perform for. He also didn't have his own security team, Twitter account or Facebook page, didn't have his own reality show and had never hosted "SNL," so all in all, I thought he was probably a pretty grounded groundhog.

As we got closer to Groundhog Day, though, I began to get nervous that Stan might sleep through the big event. Celebrity groundhogs have their own people to wake them up and make sure that they are camera-ready when the moment arrives, but Stan had no people. He didn't even have a stunt double. What if Stan failed me? I'd have to rely on the actual calendar and The Weather Channel to tell me when spring would arrive.

Knowing he has a way with sleepy groundhogs, I considered phoning Bill Murray to see if he could stop by and rouse Stan at the right time. However, I was concerned that having Bill Murray come over to see him might give Stan a swelled head and then he would think he, too, was a celebrity groundhog, so I nixed that idea.

Then I had an epiphany. With so many celebrity groundhogs out there, was it possible that all groundhogs have the secret desire to be famous? Are they all just waiting to be discovered and hailed as the new Punxsutawney Phil, get their own movie with Bill Murray and refuse to answer when someone refers to them as a woodchuck?


I thought if this was true and Stan was a celeb groundhog wannabe, then there was really no problem.

When the time came for him to perform, I'd just roll out a red carpet and stand around with a camera.


Tracy Beckerman is the author of the Amazon Bestseller, "Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble," available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online! You can visit her at

Copyright 2023 Creators Syndicate Inc.




Jimmy Margulies Aunty Acid For Heaven's Sake Between Friends Clay Bennett Christopher Weyant