Pro-Pumpkin — Melanie Earle

Our lord and savior, David S. Pumpkins, has returned! Don’t try to fit David S. Pumpkins into a box. He’s not meant to be a box. Think of David S. Pumpkins as your future. You don’t know where it’s going, twisting and winding in an incalculable pattern. You might know a little about it, but nothing concrete. You have many questions. It’s unnerving to think about, terrifying even. David S. Pumpkins is a nightmare, and his skeletons are part of it. 

David S. Pumpkins is a killer sketch comedy bit. It plays fast and loose, doesn’t take itself seriously, and is unpredictable. The character is ridiculous, yet played by Tom Hanks. You are caught off guard on what comes next. If it was Tom Hanks as David S. Pumpkins by himself, then it probably wouldn’t be as funny, but the secret weapon is the skeletons. No explanation on these (sugar baby?) skeltons who accompany Mr. Hanks. How did they meet David S. Pumpkins? What is this relationship dynamic like? I want it to be explained, but then the magic of David S. Pumpkins is ruined. 

Anti-Pumpkin — Alyssa Koh

While the initial David S. Pumpkins video has this nostalgically-humorous air (the original skit was launched by SNL six years ago), its subsequent iterations grow as stale as leftover Halloween candy — not horrendous, not inedible, but definitely not preferable. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the newest Pumpkins-centric skit, given that it’s the exact same as every single other version, but I can see why people would have enjoyed it. This doesn’t make the humor funny.

Former SNL cast member’s Bobby Moynihan’s (who, for some reason, decided to come back to participate in the 2022 skit) dancing might be initially funny enough with a laughing studio audience prompting you to at least exhale out of your nose a little. However, it inevitably boils down to a man who doesn’t look like he should be able to dance wiggling around and then moaning something taboo enough to make you snicker, such as “ay, papí!” The more you watch it, the sadder an attempt at comedy it feels. The juxtaposition of lauded long-time silver screen star Tom Hanks being a silly little pumpkin man gets old. It’s fine, I guess, but not actively funny, and definitely not worth a resurgence after years of retirement.

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