Tom Hanks Just Returned To His Best Role

Tom Hanks returned to Saturday Night Live as David S. Pumpkins.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Tom Hanks unexpectedly appeared on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live to reprise the role of David S. Pumpkins, his fan-favorite Halloween-themed sketch character. The latest episode of the legendary NBC comedy series was hosted by rapper Jack Harlow (who did double duty as the musical guest) but, undoubtedly, audiences’ favorite moment of the night was seeing the two-time Academy Award winner pop up in his trademark pumpkin-decorated suit to bewilder people. Tom Hanks also appeared in another sketch that riffed on his long association with Pixar and the Toy Story franchise, but let’s be real, the people are here for David S. Pumpkins. 

The sketch (as you can see above) involves Jack Harlow and SNL cast members Ego Nwodim and Andrew Dismukes participating in a horror-themed ride in which a host dressed as a prison guard (Kenan Thompson) reveals a series of prison cells containing famous horror movie villains. Beginning with Halloween’s Michael Myers and going through horror luminaries like Annabelle from The Conjuring franchise, Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Stephen King’s Pennywise the Clown, it is only a matter of time before Tom Hanks shows up. 

tom hanks david s. pumpkins

As always, Tom Hanks’ David S. Pumpkins were flanked by two goons dressed in skeleton suits and white fright wigs (Mikey Day and Bobby Moynihan, who created the character with Streeter Seidell) who back him up with oddly sensual dance movies and the occasional vocal response. And again as always, one member of the people witnessing Tom Hanks as David S. Pumpkins becomes consumed with figuring out whether the character is from an existing movie or story, and why exactly he is supposed to be scary. This time around, we learn that David S. Pumpkins hails from the Spanish island of Ibiza, famed for its party scene and house music. 

In general, Saturday Night Live sketches are known for hitting the same beats over and over again, and David S. Pumpkins is no exception. Given that Tom Hanks has hosted SNL an impressive 10 times, he is probably pretty used to the drill, but professional that he is, the Pinocchio actor always brings his A-game to the curly, Bride of Frankenstein wig of David S. Pumpkins. Even if we know from the beginning that the possible future Flash villain is going to get his scare by popping up behind the guests at the last minute, it is still a good bit.

In what will likely be a very different performance, Tom Hanks will star as the title character in the upcoming film A Man Called Otto, directed by Marc Forster. The movie is the second adaptation of the Swedish novel A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, in which Tom Hanks plays a grumpy widower who is forced into retirement and decides to commit suicide before being prevented from doing so by some very irritating neighbors. It sounds like it will probably be a bit more serious than another run-through of David S. Pumpkins, but might share some of the dark wit that we have come to know and love in the Halloween version of Santa Claus.