It’s Groundhog Day, and in honor of it, here’s a newspaper story from the UK listing Eight Brilliant True Stories about Bill Murray. Excerpt:

 For many years, the most popular line being peddled about Bill Murray was that he was a recluse. After Ghostbusters he became picky about his roles, taking years off between films; he never went to red-carpet events and rarely did interviews; he replaced his agent and PR with an automated phone line that he rarely listened to, leading to him losing roles simply because nobody could get hold of him; and when they did get his attention, directors would have to fax their precious scripts to his local office supply store. That said, Murray was no recluse. From 2007 onwards, he began turning his public appearances into a kind of performance art; a Marina Abramovic for liquored-up hipsters. He drunkenly crashed a stolen golf cart in Stockholm; he attended a student party in St Andrews, and did the washing up; he dived behind the bar at a film festival and served drinks with the Wu-Tang Clan; an entire website – – is devoted to tales of him crashing karaoke parties, joining kick-abouts in the park, and appearing from nowhere in restaurants to steal chips from a plate, before departing with the words ‘No one will ever believe you.’ It’s notable that none of these stories portray Murray in a bad light: he pays for drinks, keeps his hands to himself, and is sociable to a fault. He even kept his cool when a guest at a Brooklyn Halloween party accused him of ‘making bad life choices’ (this was 2008, the year of Murray’s second divorce). Rather than throw a movie-star tantrum, Murray simply had another dance, politely thanked his host and left.

I love Bill Murray and want him to be my special friend. I am not even joking. When I was four, my mother helped me write to Big Bird to ask him to come spend a week at our house, visiting me. I am almost 46, and I might ask her to help me write a similar letter to Bill Murray. A sign of promise in my 13-year-old son: Bill Murray is his favorite actor. We have to watch Rushmore sometime…