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Ned. Ryerson.

Ned Ryerson, the pushy insurance salesman from Groundhog Day, is one of the greatest characters to have ever graced the silver screen.

According to Danny Rubin in his book “How to Write Groundhog Day” he came up with Ned Ryerson’s personality and job based on an encounter that he had had with an actual insurance salesman. Rubin was unable to end a conversation with the salesman and the salesman even followed Rubin to his car and kept talking as Rubin rolled up the window on him.

Due to the nature of the original script that Rubin wrote, with the movie starting in the middle of the time loop, we do not get to find out anything about Ned until almost the end of the film. Phil, who has been punching Ned for so long as part of his daily routine that he has forgotten why he does so or who this individual is, decides to talk to him for the first time in years. In the actual movie, of course, we only get to see Phil punch poor Ned one time.

In a world full of Phil Connorses be a Ned Ryerson

Rubin envisioned Ned Beatty (Deliverance, Toy Story 3) in the role which is why the character is named Ned. Of course Stephen Tobolowsky ultimately won the role. Rubin mentions in the book that in the hands of Tobolowsky Ned became probably the “most distinct and memorable character” he ever created. We here at Countdown to Groundhog Day agree. Ned Ryerson (and Stephen Tobolowsky) are the best! Bing!

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