Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, August 23, 2021

It’s a wonder why this decidedly belligerent Elmo knockoff doesn’t get more local news coverage:

The dirty and creepy character demanded money from people and, when he didn’t get it, swore and jostled them.

“No picture. No picture. You have to tip Elmo. You have to tip Elmo or Elmo gets angry,” the imposter shouted as he stuck a filthy red paw over a Texas tourist’s camera lens.

“What the hell, Elmo? Keep your hands to yourself,” shouted Victoria Vought, 47, pulling away.

Wide-eyed at the loud to-do, Vought’s son, Dylan, 4, asked, “What’s wrong with Elmo, Mommy?”

“That’s not the real Elmo. That’s a bad Elmo,” she quickly explained.

I haven’t laid eyes on rogue Elmo in a long time. But when I used to frequent Midtown, I’d often catch sight of him, and not just in Times Square proper — I’ve seen him venture as far east as 5th Avenue. The costume was always on the shabby side. As for the creepiness factor, a woman once told me that, for several weeks, this furry freak regularly came by her street-level office window on 7th Avenue and lingered there for several minutes, seemingly staring directly at her. (Good thing she never attempted to snap a photo — although, since she was always braced against the threat of an indecent exposure, picture-taking would have been the last thing on her mind.)

I can only assume that someone applied the “tickle-me-Elmo” treatment on this character one too many times, and this street-shambling kook is the result. I may not know how to get to Sesame Street anymore, but it sure ain’t via 42nd.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/23/2009 05:27:16 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Pop Culture, True Crime
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2 Feedbacks »
  1. Yeah he’s pretty wack. Obviously working in the Viacom building we see a number of these “characters,” so to say. I’m always amazed at the brazen efforts of the person dressed as SpongeBob, just yards away from Nick HQ.

    At the end of the day, no one’s stopping these people from what they do, and given the stacks of cash I’ve seen the Naked Cowboy and his crew count (on the hood of a car underneath our building in the parking garage, no less), one would think the costumed folks could probably take home a small bundle if they operated correctly.

    Comment by Tom Biro — 08/23/2009 @ 05:48:15 PM

  2. Yeah, for being so zealous about their intellectual properties, don’t know why Viacom et al doesn’t have someone out there siccing the cops on the phonies. I guess it’s going to take something major, like Rogue SpongeBob beating up a tourist, for the corporates to crack down.

    I was going to mention Naked Cowboy, but now I don’t have to!

    Comment by CT — 08/23/2009 @ 07:36:27 PM

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