Taking a stab at evolved, alternative (his word) pumpkin carving that aims for unsettling results is Tom Nardone’s obsession. First there was the website. Then last year, Penguin published his first book, Extreme Pumpkins, which sold out everywhere weeks before Halloween.
This year, he’s ba-ack with Extreme Pumpkins II – Take Back Halloween and Freak Out a Few More Neighbors, also published by Penguin and available now.
He recently put down his Sawzall long enough to answer a few questions.
We saw Jimmy Kimmel French kiss your devil pumpkin when you were on Regis & Kelly Live. How thrilling was that?
That was fun. I also pranked Kelly and Kimmel. I spent the entire night in a hotel room filling their pumpkin with fake blood. It was worth it to see the look on Kimmel’s face. As soon as they finished carving it, blood dripped out of its mouth.
Last year, you did a promo tour for the first Extreme Pumpkins book. What was that like?
I learned who is reading my book. It seems to be beer-drinking dudes, old ladies and boy scouts.
What did you learn about pumpkin carving in the past year? Any new frontiers being crossed this Halloween?
With this next book I was allowed to do some more complex designs. My personal favorite is the Franken-pumpkins which are actually made from a few pumpkins that I stitched together with bailing wire and rawhide. That design would have been too complex for the first book, but they let me do it for this one.
How are your neighbors treating you these days?
I moved to a fancy neighborhood last year and most of the neighbors have been very nice. Unfortunately, one dog owner kept leaving bags of dog poop in my pumpkins. Isn’t it funny how rich people act? What a douchebag. When I lived in a poor neighborhood people never did that.
Any other highlights from your book tour you want to share?
I did MTV where the people were really, really nice. It was the Halloween special for TRL and no celebrities appeared. I was the only person of any merit. They had me on TV a bunch of times and I even got to introduce a video. I grew up on MTV back when it actually showed videos, so that was pretty cool.
What’s in store for this years book promo?
We’re talking with Conan and Regis. I am already scheduled to do Modern Marvels [on the History Channel.]
Photos: ©Tom Nardone