The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special

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The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special
David S. Pumpkins title card.png
Title card
Based on"Haunted Elevator (featuring David S. Pumpkins)"
Written byMikey Day
Bobby Moynihan
Streeter Seidell
Directed byDon Roy King
StarringTom Hanks
Mikey Day
Bobby Moynihan
Streeter Seidell
Joaquin Obradors
Spencer Moss
Lexie Underwood
Steve Higgins
Cecily Strong
Melissa Villaseñor
Narrated byPeter Dinklage
Theme music composerEli Brueggemann
Mikey Day
Streeter Seidell
Composer(s)Mark Mothersbaugh
Executive producer(s)Lorne Michaels
Producer(s)Erin Doyle
Mikey Day
Bobby Moynihan
Streeter Seidell
Scott Greenberg
Joel Kuwahara
James Merrill
Editor(s)Carlos Almonte
Ryan Scott Wick
Running time21 minutes
Production company(s)Universal Television
SNL Studios
Broadway Video
Bento Box Entertainment
Original networkNBC
Original releaseOctober 28, 2017

The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special is a Halloween television special that aired on NBC on October 28, 2017. It stars Tom Hanks as Saturday Night Live character David S. Pumpkins. The 21-minute[1] special was written by and also features Mikey Day, Bobby Moynihan, and Streeter Seidell. Peter Dinklage narrates the story, which follows a brother and sister who go trick-or-treating, meet Pumpkins and catch the troublemakers who had disrupted Halloween.


The Halloween Special starts and ends with live-action segments directed by Don Roy King featuring David S. Pumpkins (Hanks), flanked by two skeletons (Day and Moynihan). The animated part is a man, Kevin (Dinklage), talking about the time he met Pumpkins as a kid.[2]

Kevin and his sister Dotty walk around during Halloween, finding in a pumpkin patch. They choose to take home an ugly pumpkin, which turns out to be magical; Pumpkins and the skeletons appear out of an elevator. He shows them to his transport, shaped like a strawberry, and they start trick-or-treating.[2][3] One of the neighborhood children is dressed as Kevin Roberts, an SNL character portrayed by Larry David whose sketch has traits similar to Pumpkins' "Haunted Elevator."[4]

A mysterious Raincoat Man has been stealing all the children's candy, so Pumpkins decides to intervene. They try to confront the Raincoat Man in a haunted house, who turns out to be three pre-teens who had bullied Kevin. Pumpkins returns the candy using magical floating pumpkins, and he and the skeletons depart.[2]



The character David S. Pumpkins was created for the October 22, 2016, episode of season 42 of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Hanks.[5] The sketch "Haunted Elevator (featuring David S. Pumpkins)" became widely shared, with over 10 million views on YouTube.[4][6]

NBC announced on September 28, 2017, that The Halloween Special was in the works.[7] Hanks also hinted earlier that he would reprise his role as Pumpkins by posting an image of the front of the script on social media.[8] It was produced by SNL creator Lorne Michaels and animated by Bento Box Entertainment with a score by Mark Mothersbaugh, and it was written by Day, Moynihan, and Seidell.

Release and reception[edit]

The special debuted on October 28, 2017, at 11:30 PM (ET), in Saturday Night Live's usual time slot, three days before Halloween.[9]

It received mixed reviews. Dennis Perkins wrote for The A.V. Club that there was "not enough inspiration or enough snap to the jokes" and that its "oddness ... deflates long before its running time is up."[10] Slate's Matthew Dessem wrote that "just like they planned it, the whole thing was terrible."[11] Mallory Carra wrote on Bustle that "David S. Pumpkins is still our Halloween hero in 2017," and noted the large Twitter response, mostly positive, about Dinklage's participation.[12]


  1. ^ "Watch Saturday Night Live "The David S. Pumpkins Animated Halloween Special" Episode". October 28, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schwartz, Ryan (October 28, 2017). "SNL: David S. Pumpkins Gets Animated — Grade Tom Hanks Halloween Special". TVLine. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  3. ^ Weldon, Sarah (October 29, 2017). "David S. Pumpkins saves the day with a Pumpkinmobile and song in SNL Halloween special". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Shanley, Patrick (October 28, 2017). "Tom Hanks' David S. Pumpkins Saves Halloween in 'SNL' Animated Special". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  5. ^ Labrecque, Jeff (October 26, 2016). "Saturday Night Live recap: Season 42, Episode 4". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  6. ^ Fox, Jesse David (October 28, 2016). "SNL's David Pumpkins Sketch Works Because It Confused You". Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  7. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 28, 2017). "Tom Hanks to Star in David S. Pumpkins Animated Special for NBC". Variety. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Mazza, Ed (September 15, 2017). "Tom Hanks Hints That David S. Pumpkins May Be Coming Back". HuffPost. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  9. ^ Kreps, Daniel (October 29, 2017). "'SNL': Watch David S. Pumpkins' Animated Halloween Special". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  10. ^ Perkins, Denise (October 29, 2017). "Yes, the David S. Pumpkins Animated Halloween Special raises several questions". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  11. ^ Dessem, Matthew (October 29, 2017). "Saturday Night Live's David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special Was David S. Awful". Slate. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  12. ^ Carra, Mallory (October 29, 2017). "Peter Dinklage Narrates The 'SNL' David S. Pumpkins Special & Twitter Is In Awe". Bustle. Retrieved October 29, 2017.