Last year, David S. Pumpkins was featured in a weird little Saturday Night Live skit that turned into an improbable internet sensation. This year, the Halloween character has been turned into a weird little animated SNL special, which aired on NBC last night (Oct. 28).
Lots of them, according to fans and critics who watched the show. But before we get to that, let’s recap SNL’s David S. Pumpkins Animated Halloween Special.
The special began with a live-action segment featuring Tom Hanks as the pumpkin-suited main character and Mikey Day and Bobby Moynihan, who wrote the original SNL sketch, as his dancing skeleton sidekicks. It then morphed into “Halloween Santa,” a cartoon narrated by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage.
The animation tells the story of young Kevin and his sister Dotty, who go to a pumpkin patch on Halloween and find an ugly pumpkin lying on the ground. They touch it and an elevator springs from the earth, revealing David S. Pumpkins, who performs a song telling them nonsensical bits and pieces about his backstory. The number eventually includes his B-boy skeleton pals and his Pumpkinmobile, which is actually a strawberry, because “you can’t drive a pumpkin, man.”
Eventually, school bullies pretend to be ghostly legend Raincoat Man and steal Halloween candy from Kevin, Dotty and their friends. But David S. Pumpkins and his skeletons come to the rescue, threatening the bullies with a song and dance, which scares them into returning the candy. Halloween is saved.
Or is it?
David S. Pumpkins and crew have to make a mad dash back to the pumpkin patch by their magic deadline of 10:24 p.m. or all will be lost. Luckily, they make it (by taking the subway) and all is well.
Before leaving, David S. Pumpkins leaves the kids with heartwarming advice.
“Halloween’s about candy, man.”
SNL’s David S. Pumpkins Animated Halloween Special trended on Twitter, but it divided viewers and critics who watched it. Bustle was largely kind to the show, saying it made them laugh, but Slate took to poetry to call the special “David S. Awful.”
Meanwhile, Twitter users were left equal parts baffled, delighted and horrified by the program. Some people found the special unfunny to the point that it ruined the original SNL sketch.
But other viewers embraced the weirdness of the show.
Ratings for the SNL David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special have not yet been released, but they will likely determine if the program will become an annual holiday favorite or be left to rot in the pumpkin patch for the rest of time.
Until then, enjoy the original SNL sketch, which aired in October 2016.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]