For some, Halloween is about candy, costumes, and socializing. Others spend weeks preparing rotten eggs and modifying cans of shaving cream for maximum spray and control. Some may settle in to watch scary movies. Those who know, the wisened adherents to the ways of old? They rewatch David S. Pumpkins, over and over, while howling with laughter.
When the character was first performed, his appeal was unclear to some but he immediately developed a fan following. Airing just weeks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it has been suggested that the non-political nature of the sketch helped fuel its popularity. Day suggested this came from a "weird alchemy of Halloween, the best host ever, the time of the country, and just a silly song". Seidell said, "The election was so intense. David Pumpkins, this dumb silly thing, was the last thing that everyone could kind of agree on, that they could talk to each other about without it ruining Thanksgiving".
Hanks's performance as an SNL host, including the Pumpkins sketch, earned him a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2017.
The character's apparent meaninglessness was referenced in the original skit. Tom Hanks jokingly tweeted that he dressed as Pumpkins for Halloween in 2016. In promotion for a Reddit AMA, Microsoft founder Bill Gates parodied the original sketch, and received some criticism for the effort. In October 2017, Madame Tussauds Orlando adapted their existing wax figure of Tom Hanks to appear as David Pumpkins.