You really think I’d do my FIRST Blogtober (month, not post, don’t worry, I’ve not lost my mind) and not include anything about Pumpkin Man? That man is one of my favourite things about October, I will never not laugh when I see a video.
So, the pumpkin man: who is he? I’ll link one of my favourite versions of the video here, but I’ll add a gif here:
So, this is him. The pumpkin man is a viral video that appears every Halloween. But where did he come from? Who is the person behind this iconic moment? Why is this a thing?
Well, it started one Halloween night.
The “Pumpkin Dance” segment first aired on Omaha, Nebraska’s local news station KXVO at 10 PM, 31st of October 2006. Nobody knew why: there was no explanation: just a man in a black unitard and a pumpkin mask dances to the 1984 Ghostbusters theme. Apparently, there were no arguments about what they were doing or planning on doing, they just went for it, but I’ll get into that in a second.
The news program had a budget of $1,000 for the year to create 22 minutes of programming five nights a week. That’s clearly not that much, and so the news anchors and hosts would often improvise last-minute to fill out the show a little. They all often came up with ideas ready to go to in case they needed it padding out, and it was no different in the run up to Halloween. In this case, the idea came from Matt Geiler, the Pumpkin Man himself:
“I’ve got this one thing where I put on a unitard and a pumpkin head and dance at people’s graves. I want to call it ‘Happy Jack: The Grave Dancer.'”
He never expected it to go down well, but guess what?
It clearly did as it’s now a viral Halloween meme which is one of the more iconic things I’ve ever seen. I know that dance almost perfectly, and I have no shame in saying that.
But I digress: with his idea getting the go ahead, he picked up a unitard, cut a foam pumpkin decoration in half, then danced to Ghostbusters in front of a green screen for a few minutes. They pre-recorded the segment and featured it alongside live coverage the night of October 31, and an interesting fact is, Geiler himself was on either side of that segment, nobody the wiser, and nobody having a clue what the fuck was going on. And Pumpkin Man was born.
They put the video up on YouTube on November the 2nd, 2006 (and let’s have the reminder that YouTube was still new in 2006, I feel very old right now) and it went viral: everyone wanted to know what the fuck was going on, and people still do want to know what was going on. I mean, if you’ve seen it for the first time, wouldn’t you wonder why there was a man dancing in a black unitard with a pumpkin on his head?
They did the same thing at Christmas time (just as iconic, fight me) the same year, and to show how well it’s lasted, it was recently on America’s Got Talent.
There is no real big story behind Pumpkin Man in all honesty: it’s jut a man, who needed to fill up time on a news station, so decided to become a pumpkin. Apparently, nobody said it was a bad idea, and that’s because it’s not.
It was a fucking amazing idea.
Stay safe and stay spooky, Angels ❤