Humor Magazine

An Appointment With The Great Pumpkin

By Christopher De Voss @chrisdevoss

This week we are interviewing great horror movie monsters on Long Awkward Pause. We were left to choose who we’d interview.

My first thought was to go with Nosferatu because how do you not dig a dude who can do this:

An Appointment With The Great Pumpkin

Boing! Strongest ankles, ever.

I also thought about Dr. Caligarl, from “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, the weirdest, creepiest little spooky film I know.*

An Appointment With The Great Pumpkin

Doctor, Doctor, gave me the news…

But then it occurred to me that both these characters were in silent films. Silence makes for an interview that is at best, awkward.

I was dead in the water. Howard Gantz, Long Awkward Pause’s manager, called my cell phone to ask who I’d be interviewing. I explained my silent movie dilemma. “No problem”, he said. “Let me call you right back. I think I can hook you up with an interview.” I’m usually wary of Howard, with his money-making schemes and Novocaine problem. If I didn’t want to miss my deadline, I had to go with him.

A few minutes later, he called me back. He gave me an address and said “you’re going to interview The Great Pumpkin.”

A shot of a pumpkin, focused on its stem.

Not so great. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Great Pumpkin was the title character in a Peanuts animated cartoon. He was the most unusual sort of title character – the kind that doesn’t appear in the movie named for him.

“It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (1966) was The Pumpkin’s first and last film role. Over the next forty-seven years, The Great Pumpkin’s career languished. He appeared in small time traveling productions in the ’70′s, gaining roles by trading on his name recognition. Since then, he’s made ends meet by living on residual income from “Charlie Brown” and by making personal appearances.

“Howard, you recognize that The Great Pumpkin, as imagined by Linus in the Peanuts cartoons, is a benevolent character. There’s nothing monster-like about him at all.” Howard countered that The Pumpkin was a monster because he denied children who believed in him the opportunity to collect Halloween candy. It was hard to argue with logic like that.

Well played, Howard. Well played.

Well played, Howard. Well played.

And I needed something to write about.

That’s how I found myself sitting on a blanket, in the dark, waiting. Fifty one years old, waiting for The Great Pumpkin to rise up out of the pumpkin patch. I sat for the better part of the night. I talked a pizza joint into delivering a pizza. The moon crossed the sky, but The Great Pumpkin never lifted off.

Gantz’ cell phone went straight to voice mail that entire night. He hasn’t taken any of my calls since.

I like a good joke, just like the next guy, Howard. Yes, I do.

*You should watch The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari. Way spooky, with a big twist at the end.

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