Lady Gaga Was Almost David S. Pumpkins’ Wife on ‘SNL’
It’s hard to imagine the bizarre simplicity of SNL’s David Pumpkins sketch taking a week to write, but the character went through a great many revisions. One year out from the beloved Tom Hanks character’s debut, a new oral history reveals surprising details of the “Haunted Elevator” sketch, including a cut role for Lady Gaga.
Vulture put together a surprisingly lengthy history behind the October 2016 sketch, which in various incarnations included additional dialogue for David Pumpkins, a rap section and names for the skeleton twins. Perhaps the most notable change involved that week’s musical guest, Lady Gaga, who might have participated in the sketch as either “Wanda Witches” or David S. Pumpkins’ wife, but ultimately decided to concentrate on her performance:
Bobby Moynihan: When the doors open and it’s just the skeletons, that was originally gonna be us and Lady Gaga.
Mikey Day: And Beck and Kate go, “Who’s this?”
Bobby Moynihan: Instead of us making sex noises, it would be her.
Mikey Day: She’s wearing a jacket with witches on it. You think she’s gonna say “Wanda Witches” or something, but she goes, “I’m Mrs. David Pumpkins.” Of course his wife would be weird.
Streeter Seidell: Sadly, she wanted to focus on her performance for the show.
Mikey Day: She read it and liked it, but it was just a matter of time. Her musical set was pretty involved.
Streeter Seidell: I remember being so bummed. I was like, “Oh man. That could have been the thing that put it over the edge.
Of course, the bit’s infectious energy and apolitical tone made “Haunted Elevator” a hit regardless, earning the writers a full half-hour animated special with Peter Dinklage on October 28. The trio has also considered the possibility of a David S. Pumpkins movie, of which Hanks even joked “The first movie should be called David Pumpkins 2, [so people ask] ‘Was there a first David Pumpkins movie?’”
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