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Friday, July 29, 2011

John Toomey, Santa Fired for Dirty Joke, Found Dead in Hotel

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 4:37 PM

John Toomey
  • John Toomey

Readers of this blog might recall the saga of John Toomey, the plucked-straight-from-a-Norman-Rockwell-painting Santa lookalike who played the role of Old St. Nick for 20 years at the Macy's in Union Square.

Last December, Toomey was fired after grownups complained about a dirty joke he told in their presence. He became something of a national celebrity in the aftermath of the incident, making the rounds on Jay Leno and finding a better-paying gig at Lefty O'Doul's bar, where he helped attract donations for a holiday charity drive.

Now, the San Francisco Examiner reports, Toomey is dead.

Toomey was apparently found dead in a residential hotel on Market Street. The cause of death has not been determined.

R.I.P., John Toomey -- the last year of your life was a memorable one.

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Peter Jamison


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