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Pardon-Me-Pete

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Pardon-Me-Pete is an anthropomorphic groundhog, who acts as the Narrator of the Rankin/Bass special Jack Frost. He is the Official Groundhog of Groundhog's Day in the special, and is known for his catchphrase "Oops! Pardon Me!" which he utters before ducking back into his burrow upon seeing his shadow. He was voiced by actor Buddy Hackett.

Biography

Pete is first introduced as a celebrity figure by various magazine covers, including the cover of Time Magazine. On a cold February 2, a news reporter and a waiting crowd have gathered outside Pete's burrow, awaiting the arrival of the groundhog to make his traditional weather forecast. Down in the hole, Pete is shown dressing for his big moment in a straw hat, spats, a yellow plaid vest, a bow tie, and a cane, all the while singing "Me and My Shadow." His shadow, which seems to have a mind of its own, follows Pete upstairs to the front door, and then disappears as Pete goes outside.

Acting casually amidst the waiting crowd, cracking his knuckles and adjusting his hat, Pete is supposedly surprised by the sudden appearance of his "shadow." He utters his catchphrase, and then ducks quickly back into his hole. The amazed news reporter comments that because the sun was covered by clouds, Pete shouldn't have cast a shadow.

Back in his hole, Pete laughs to himself as he dresses for bed. He comments to the audience (breaking the fourth wall) that the "shadow" seen wasn't his at all, but the shadow of Jack Frost. Pete reveals that he and Jack have a deal where Jack fakes a shadow for Pete, and all Pete has to do is pretend he's frightened. That way, Jack gets 6 extra weeks of winter fun, and Pete gets 6 more weeks of hibernation.

Pete then adds that Jack's shadow is the only visible part of him, as the rest is invisible to the human eye. Noting that, Pete then begins the story of how Jack temporarily became a human, all the while revealing details about the Winter Kingdom in the Clouds, its inhabitants, and the characters themselves, including his first frightening encounter with Jack Frost.

In the end, Pete bids the audience good night, turns off his lights, and goes to bed.

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