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The Pumpkin Dance is a YouTube video of a man dressed in all black wearing a Jack O’Lantern mask dancing to the theme song from the 1984 film Ghostbusters. The clip, which originally aired on the KXVO news channel in Omaha, Nebraska during a Halloween broadcast in 2006, went on to spawn several mash-up videos, remixes and photoshopped GIFs.
The “Pumpkin Dance” segment first aired on Omaha, Nebraska’s local news station KXVO during a 10 PM news broadcast on Halloween, October 31st, 2006. Without explanation, a man in a black unitard and a pumpkin mask was shown dancing to the Ghostbusters theme song in front of a graveyard backdrop. On November 2nd, the clip was uploaded to KXVO’s official YouTube channel, where it has received more than 1.2 million views as of October 2012.
In November 2006, at least one video that may have been a parody of the pumpkin dance was uploaded via YouTube. In early 2007, KXVO brought the character back to do Christmas (shown below, left) and Valentine’s Day (shown below, right) dances.
In 2009, more remixes were uploaded to YouTube, replacing the audio with other songs. In late October 2009, the original video, as well as some remixes, began appearing on entertainment sites including Videogum, Entertainment Weekly and Milk and Cookies as well as internet culture site Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post. In 2011, Mashable included the KXVO Pumpkin Dance on their list of YouTube’s spookiest Halloween videos. The next year, the video was also featured on the Huffington Post, GeekNation and the Social Times.
The masked pumpkin dancer was played by comedian Matt Geiler. As of October 2012, he lives in Los Angeles, California where he performs stand-up comedy. On October 3rd, 2012, he uploaded a video to his YouTube channel reenacting the pumpkin dance with a makeshift costume, though it was later removed from his channel.
As of October 2012, there are more than 6300 search results for “pumpkin dance” on YouTube. However, not all of these videos are specifically related to the KXVO character.
The phrase “pumpkin dance” is often searched for in October, due to Halloween, however there have been correlating peaks with “pumpkin dance youtube” in 2011 and 2012.
Entertainment Weekly – The creepiest thing you’ll see this Halloween. Guaranteed.
the Social Times – 10 Fun Jack-O-Lantern Videos To Get You In The Halloween Spirit