In the 1991 comedy favorite What About Bob?, Bill Murray plays Bob Wiley who is a manic hypochondriac with paralyzing paranoia that tracks his new psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) and his family to their summer retreat in Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. Incredibly shocking, the film was not made in New Hampshire but on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, around 30 miles southeast of Roanoke, Virginia.
Now, I understand there’s probably many of you that are huge What About Bob? fans, but I must warn you-it is quite an undertaking to get out to these locations as they are not near any large airports and there really isn’t a lot to see. Nevertheless-here’s what I found.
Here is Dr. Marvin’s summer home. Aside from a few minor changes to the exterior it’s largely the same as it was in the film. It is tucked away from the street, and as I tiptoed (or baby stepped?) back to take a few pictures a small dog went berserk as I snapped a few pictures before fleeing the scene.
The home was for sale last year and I’m not even sure if it’s currently occupied, but here are a few pictures of the interior I lifted from the realty advertisement so you can see how it looks today.
In a roughly 30 minute drive back towards civilization, the general store and bus scenes were filmed in downtown Moneta, VA. I’m not sure if this area was fixed up specifically for filming, but it seriously looked like not a soul had even stepped foot in the area in 20 years. The general store looked to be abandoned (and trashed) with large amounts of junk piled up. The entire block looked deserted and long forgotten. As for the diner from the film, I doubt that was located in this area.
One of the other filming locations used was the Elks National Lodge in Bedford, VA. It has been an exclusive retirement home since the early 1900’s and has been remodeled on the inside since filming but you can still pick out a few reference points from the screenshots. The staff was very welcoming and accommodating and let me take whatever pictures I pleased.
Other locations, specifically New York at the beginning and a Los Angeles church at the end were also used in filming and I will update them when I get the chance to visit.
If anyone has any idea where the diner and dock scenes were filmed, please let me know! Hope you enjoyed this little trip to the faux Lake Winnipesaukee!