San Francisco ‘Santa Claus’ John Toomey Found Dead

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.

PICTURES: ‘Santa John’

A neighbor said she found 69-year-old John Toomey on the floor of his residential hotel room on Friday. Authorities say it appears Toomey died naturally, but the exact cause 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.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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