Longtime Macy's Santa fired over 'naughty' joke

December 7, 2010 4:29:01 PM PST
In a turn of events that can only be described as one of those "only in San Francisco" things, a 68-year-old man who has been Santa Claus at the Union Square Macy's for over 20 years was fired after making a joke that at least one shopper found to be more naughty than nice.

John Toomey was told Saturday to take his jolly ways elsewhere after an older woman and her husband complained to Macy's management about one of Toomey's jokes.

Toomey, who is better known to those who make annual pilgrimages to see him as "Santa John," says he will sometimes ask older patrons who sit on his knee if they have been good and if they say "yes," he will respond by telling them "well, that's too bad." Toomey says children are only ever asked about what toys they want for Christmas.

Toomey said the couple never confronted him about the joke but he believes they reported it to management. Macy's will not comment on the firing but Toomey's fans are said to be quite disappointed.

The iconic Union Square bar Lefty O'Doul's has offered Toomey a job as their Santa during their annual toy drive. He is considering the offer.

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