It's been about a year since David S. Pumpkins first took the world by storm and his reign isn't over yet. One of Saturday Night Live's most random breakout characters, David S. Pumpkins is built upon how unrelentingly weird he is, from his orange hair streak down to his manic grin. But we can't forget about his dancing skeleton pals, played by Mikey Day and Bobby Moynihan. The two skeletons are just as weird as Pumpkins, and originally they were going to have names too. It should come as no surprise that those names are really weird.
Seidell: We cut skeletons' names between rewrites and Saturday.
Day: Tommy Lee Bones and Oprah. I was Tommy Lee Bones and Bobby was Oprah, but we kept taking her out.
Moynihan: I tried to shoot for those names a couple of times. At one point we were gonna call them 'The Skeletones.'
In anticipation of the David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special airing tonight, Vulture put together an oral history of how the character came to be, going through the initial idea from the writers and then all the way to the live sketch. Saturday Night Live writers Bobby Moynihan, Mikey Day, and Streeter Seidell all wrote "Haunted Elevator" (though it's more commonly known as "David Pumpkins" at this point) together, and they went through the process of creating the character step-by-step with Vulture. One of the many nuggets of behind-the-scenes trivia they drop is that they originally wanted to work in the names for the two dancing skeletons. They are actually called Tommy Lee Bones and Oprah, but ultimately the lines were cut from the sketch.
The whole point of David Pumpkins is to make you ask questions. So of course, the names of the skeletons don't make any sense either. It would have been funny to hear their names in the sketch, but if you have to choose between butt slaps or dialogue, you're going to go with butt slaps. Plus, it's better off that the only thing we know about them is that they are a part of it.
The oral history of the sketch is actually a really fascinating look at, not only on how David Pumpkins made it to air, but how a sketch is made on SNL. It's full of really interesting behind-the-scenes details of the process, such as the sketch was originally going to take place in a haunted mansion instead of Tower of Terror-esque ride. No one writing the sketch had any idea it was going to blow up overnight, and they were originally just trying to find a way to make a sketch about dancing to "Holiday Rap" by MC Miker and DJ Sven.
You can catch the David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special when it airs tonight on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET. Following that it the hour-long SNL Presents: Halloween, airing at midnight.