Bad Elmo Terrorizes Times Square


elmoIt’s all fun and games until a little kid sees Elmo roughing up tourists in New York City.

That’s exactly what kids who show up near Planet Hollywood in Manhattan will get a load of these days – a cranky “Elmo” who allegedly lunges at tourists who attempt to take his picture without handing over a tip first.

The Daily News got up close and personal with him the other day, and reported watching him get in a tiff with a mom whose four-year-old was standing there, shocked that his favorite fuzzy friend was being mean to Mommy. He hasn’t been arrested yet – which is more than can be said of “Superman” and “Batman,” who scuffled with Manhattan’s finest last month (the latter got off, but Clark Kent was hauled off to jail).

The characters who dress as characters to get people to pony up some cash have traditionally made a bad name for themselves – be it in NYC or LA. For a look at the truly weird, check out Confession of a Superhero, a documentary that chronicles the lives of four of the folks who make their entire living off of tourists who will take a picture with them near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in LA.

Taking pictures with “Elmo” or “Winnie the Pooh”  on the grounds of a theme park – where we generally get to take our own pics for free because they’re getting paid by the park – is one thing. We (as parents) know they’re not real, but somehow they’ve been legitimized by their official uniform. But considering how violent most of these folks can be out on the street (again, check out the documentary for some of their crazy background stories), would you let your kids near a character off a theme park’s grounds?

Image: Sager Scenes