What is Tom Hanks’ most enduring character? Is it Forrest Gump? Woody from the Toy Story saga? The thieving Southern professor from the Coen brothers’ take on The Ladykillers? Or is it actually David S. Pumpkins, a one-joke (albeit a bizarre one-joke) bit from a 2016 episode of SNL? Hanks didn’t host this most recent episode of the show, but he did make a couple appearances — and since Halloween was near, one of them was that character.
The premise was the same as it was six years ago: A group of ordinary folks (including, this time, host Jack Harlow), wanting only to be scared silly, board a haunted elevator ride. They got some familiar faces: this time it’s Freddy Krueger, Pennywise, Annabelle, etc. They also get David S. Pumpkins, a mugging, ever-grinning gentleman in a Jack-O-Lantern-festooned jacket, dancing alongside two men in skeleton get-ups to an annoying techno song. It was so like Pumpkins’ maiden voyage that they even brought back alum Bobby Moynihan, as one of the dancing skeletons.
The one major change-up this time? The guide, played by Kenan Thompson, does a bit of explaining why the ride is so David S. Pumpkins-heavy: It’s because they blew most of their money on the rights to major characters, leaving little for others. So they double, triple down on David S. Pumpkins.
This isn’t the first time Hanks has exhumed the character. The following spring after his debut, Pumpkins made a brief cameo in a rap video parody.
You can watch the return of David S. Pumpkins in the video above.