Who Watches the Woodies?: Times Square Elmo Reaches Breaking Point

Do you know who's under that suit? Because no one else does.

Times Square Elmo moving to warmer climate (Getty)

Times Square Elmo moving to warmer climate. (Getty)

We’re not going to lie: those costumed characters in Times Square give us the creeps. We would rather work from home than have another eerie run-in with Hello Kitty or Buzz Lightyear. (And that guy dressed as the Joker? We are literally terrified of that guy.)

To make matters worse, there has been a string of high-profile “incidents” this year relating to the furries and comic book characters roaming the streets. And now Elmo, or the man who impersonates him on the streets, has had enough.

Adam Sandler (not the comedian) has decided to quit his gig as the Sesame Street character and move to Hawaii to try to revive his career there. He told the Post this morning that he was sick of being confused for Damon Torres, a man dressed as Mario who is charged with grabbing a woman in Times Square.

But why would anyone confuse Elmo for Mario? Well, on the Internet, no one can tell which made-up creature you are:

“I saw my name came up in relation to [the alleged Mario grope], but my situation was different,” said Sandler, who is no relation to the movie star. “They’re rehashing me because there are some big problems with the cartoon characters.”

Of course, Mr. Sandler himself doesn’t have clean paws: he was arrested for disorderly conduct when he went on an anti-Semitic rant in September. Mr. Sandler, who is Jewish, was screaming “I hate Jews!” when the cops dragged him away.

But that’s not why he’s moving. Besides the Mario connection, Mr. Sandler claims that passersby have been verbally harassing him for the actions of Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo on Sesame Street who quit earlier this year under allegations of statutory rape by four men.

“I had people yelling slurs at me, calling me a pedophile, saying I couldn’t be trusted around children,” he said. He plans to play Elmo in Hawaii, which is certainly going to make him sweat. (Also, Elmo in Hawaii?) Mr. Sandler is also considering a change of costume to Woody from Toy Story.

“I could wear high-end fashion jeans with the Woody mask,” he said. “If I get any other costume, I’ll do that. Right now I’m sticking with Elmo.”

Who knew there was such a caste system within the rank and file?

The truly bizarre part of this story, however, is that all these men and women dressing up as characters in exchange for cash are not affiliated with any one business or venture. They are, essentially, free agents. The Times Square Alliance is consulting with both the NYPD and the rights holders to see what regulatory actions can be taken against these “aggressive solicitations.”

As far as we know, these various Disney, comic book and video game icons are not licensed, and are not official reps for the movies or labels they impersonate figures from. Which of course makes us wonder: A) Where did they get the costumes? B) Who is in charge of making sure that there aren’t duplicates (e.g., two Minnie Mice) in the area? and C) IS there really a sex tape of Minnie and and Goofy doing the un-Disney deed in a bathroom of Bubba Gump Shrimp? Talk about childhood trauma for any unfortunate tourist kid who happened to walk in and see that.

Meaning that when you pay Mickey for that picture, just remember … there’s absolutely no difference between him and the guy on the opposite end of the street panhandling.