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Pumpkinnovators: From Gourds to Ghouls

By Suzanne Woolley - 2013-10-25T17:14:06Z

Photograph by  Mario Tama/Getty Images

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From Studio 54 to SNL

Hugh McMahon started carving pumpkins over 35 years ago. "I was the first one to really establish pumpkin carving as a profession in the U.S.," he says. In 1976, his first year carving for money, he got a commission from Studio 54 -- a 100-pound scary monster face. Right now, he's working on a portrait of Lorne Micheals of Saturday Night Live and doing "zombies and stuff" for AMC's Walking Dead Halloween party. He's carved for parties thrown by Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Bette Midler and Mariah Carey -- "all the leading ladies of Halloween," he says. 

Left, McMahon carves a 1,662-pound champion pumpkin at Chelsea Market in New York City.