SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Santa Claus who appeared on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” after he was fired from a downtown San Francisco Macy’s store over some bawdy humor has died.
A neighbor tells the San Francisco Chronicle she found 69-year-old John Toomey on the floor of his residential hotel room Friday. Authorities say it appears Toomey died naturally, but the exact cause of death has not yet been determined.
Toomey’s flowing white beard and 5-foot-10, 250-pound frame made him a good fit to play Santa Claus. But he lost his 20-year job at the Macy’s store in December after an adult couple complained about a joke he made. Toomey apparently told them he knows where all the naughty boys and girls live when they asked why he was so jolly.
The publicity that followed landed Toomey a spot on the “Tonight Show.”
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