The man in an Elmo costume who got kicked out of the Central Park Zoo over the weekend for exhorting tourists to read classic Anti-Semitic screeds by Henry Ford has been identified in a new New York Times piece. It turns out the culprit was none other than… (*rips off Elmo mask dramatically*) ADAM SANDLER?! …Well, sort of.
The man, who said his legal name, if not an original one, is Adam Sandler, was handcuffed by the police and escorted from the park on Sunday afternoon after he was heard — and videotaped, by an English tourist — shouting anti-Semitic remarks outside the Central Park Zoo.
Yes, a proudly anti-Semitic man legally changed his name to “Adam Sandler.” What, was Barbra Streisand taken? Mental illness, how does it work?
On Tuesday, Mr. Sandler, 48, of Ashland, Ore., removed his Elmo head from atop his own and tried to explain himself.
He said the doctors at Metropolitan told him he was “a little paranoid.” It was obvious from talking to him that he is troubled. But he told a lucid and detailed account of his life, and he told of his own dark past, one that might alarm parents whose children have posed with him. The tale he told underscored just how little is known about the men and women who dress as various children’s characters in tourist-clogged areas, looking for small tips. This tiny industry is unregulated.
Oh come on, New York Times. A lunatic in an Elmo costume named “Adam Sandler” falls right in your lap and you’re still going to play the local-TV fearmongering angle? “Would you believe that some of your local carneys have unsavory pasts? The truth could SHOCK you. News at eleven.”
Mr. Sandler said he has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, which the university confirmed. He later traveled to Cambodia and started a pornographic Web site called “Welcome to the Rape Camp.”
On Tuesday, he said the notoriety from the Rape Camp case led him to change his first name to Adam, and he asked that the original name not be included in this article. “I did run a porn site in Cambodia,” he said.
The site was the subject of an article in 2000 in the Journal of Sexual Aggression, titled, “ ‘Welcome to the Rape Camp’: Sexual Exploitation and the Internet in Cambodia,” by Donna M. Hughes, a professor at the University of Rhode Island.
Contacted on Wednesday, Ms. Hughes remembered the article and Mr. Sandler well. She said that after the article was published, she received several e-mail and voice mail messages from a man identifying himself as Mr. Sandler.
“I was the man who produced the rapecamp site,” the first e-mail began. The messages were chilling. She forwarded several to The New York Times.
In one message, the man said he had had sex with a number of young girls in exchange for money in Cambodia.
A guy who lived in Cambodia and ran a site called “rape camp” paid for sex with young girls? Jeez, who could’ve seen that coming.
Mr. Sandler said he went on to work at the New York office of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
The organization’s headquarters, where he was recognized by staff members who saw news accounts of the Elmo incident Sunday, said he had not been an employee, but had worked there from a temp agency.
But he lost that job. Then he had an idea.
“I saw how these Elmo guys were working in Times Square,” he said. Mr. Sandler bought an Elmo costume online for $300, he said, and when he started wearing it in April, he found it quickly paid for itself. Just Saturday, he said, he made $200.
$200 bucks in a day? How much can you make if you aren’t calling people “k*ke?”
He moved to Central Park when he felt Times Square was too saturated with Elmos. [NYTimes]
I blame Obama. Anyway, go ahead and check out the whole piece if you like, just don’t expect there to be closure, or a happy ending, or anything that helps you make sense of the chaotic universe. This story is so bleak, I’d rather listen to Werner Herzog explain my dead parakeet.