A year ago, Saturday Night Live needed a Halloween sketch built around guest host Tom Hanks. They started working on ideas on Monday, and by dress rehearsal time on Saturday, the sketch was still being altered, edited, and fine-tuned. At first, it was going to be about dancing. Lady Gaga could have been in it. Tom Hanks had lots of dialogue. None of that happened. The end result was "Haunted Elevator" with Hanks as David S. Pumpkins. SNL writers Bobby Moynihan, Mikey Day, and Streeter Seidell tell how the character came about.
MD: One line we almost kept, which I think is a good encapsulation of David Pumpkins, is, “He’s not part of the known Halloween universe, but he’s acting like he is.”
SS: It might have been just an exercise for us to figure out what it is, and then once we were comfortable with it, we could get rid of it.
MD: At that point, those lines were set to a beat. It was kind of like an early hip-hop rap.
BM: Eventually we realized it was just, “Nope, this guy’s weird and we’re all here onboard.”
SS: And he’s coming from a place of like, “Everyone gets it. Everyone knows who I am and what my deal is.”
BM: He made no sense, but it was supposed to be maddening, and then actually scare you.
SS: It was a mess.