What’s The Story Behind the Dancing Pumpkin Meme?

The dancing Pumpkin Man is an underrated and wonderful being.
By Alex Firer

  • Every year, around Halloween time, he comes to haunt your feed with his spooky dance moves, but what’s the story behind this dancing pumpkin?

    For almost a decade, this pumpkin man dancing in a green screen graveyard has charmed the internet every Halloween. But what do we know about him? Is he man? Is he pumpkin? Is he a man-pumpkin?

    Man Pumpkin is actually comedian, TV Host, and all-around creative guy Matt Geiler. In 2006, Matt was working at KXVO, a CW affiliate station in Omaha, Nebraska. Matt was working on a daily 10 o’clock news show that had a lot of extra time to fill, and his bosses didn’t care how he filled it.

    WNYC reports “Geiler remembers the station’s news director telling him, “We only need a minute-and-a-half of news upfront and then you can do whatever you want. I don’t care.” 

     Geiler’s show had a microscopic budget of $1,000 for the year, to create 22 minutes of programming five nights a week. For Halloween, Matt pitched to his manager: “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.” “Great,” the manager responded. 

    The segment went up on YouTube were it was not really successful at all. YouTube was still in its infancy in 2006, but one of Geiler’s producers uploaded the first Pumpkin Dance anyway. “It was just this thing that was laying around for three years with 600 views,” Geiler told WNYC.

    They did a follow up that Christmas, but mostly to just fill time again, and again on Valentine’s Day. Really getting the extra mileage out of that pumpkin mask.

    Are you a fan of Happy Jack? What’s your favorite remix? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.