Two people calling themselves the “Xylofolks” are running around New York’s subways and parks dressed as Sesame Street‘s Ernie Cookie Monster and a pink ape playing xylophone and the upright base bass (J.F.C.!) for donations:

OMG, genius! They did it! They solved the inherent intractable problem with panhandling: the part where people can know who you are. Some, like NY Mag’s Daily Intel, think the Xylofolks are swell heartwarmers, but I’m more of a cynical, “this is an economic indicator” type of person. If word gets out that these guys are actually making money, there’s going to be a run on the costume shops.

Comments (39)
  1. I am utterly flabbergasted that you cannot tell the difference between an “Ernie” and a “Cookie Monster.”

  2. positively west fourth street! man, xylophones are the one instrument suited for echoey, aurally refractive subway tunnels.

  3. cookie monster, duh.

  4. kto  |   Posted on Apr 15th, 2009 +6

    thats cookie monster

  5. geoff  |   Posted on Apr 15th, 2009 +5

    Isn’t that Cookie Monster?

  6. rachel  |   Posted on Apr 15th, 2009 +4

    I would imagine it’s actually pretty difficult to play the xylophone wearing a Cookie Monster costume head. Good job.

  7. Ernie? Really?

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  9. Damn it, Kenny! That’s fucking BERT!

  10. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  11. Kyle-Steven  |   Posted on Apr 15th, 2009 -2

    I deliberately came to comment on that being not Ernie – but Caroline A took my EXACT comment.

  12. double fail: that’s bert. jesus, people!

  13. Pink Ape? It’s a female lion. DUH.

  14. Jesus fucking Christ.

  15. not all street performers are homeless

    sometimes they’re just street performers

    chill out

    and the phrase “legit homeless people” is just hilarious to me

    - sean

    • a) Duh.
      b) I was being sarcastic, obvi.
      c) ‘Legit homeless people’ is valid b/c there are kids from the suburbs who try to look sad, poor & dirty and panhandle in the city because they know people (white tourists) are more apt to give change to street urchins/runaways than black people. This happens.

  16. I don’t think I need to see The Soloist anymore.

  17. i knew those costume shop owners couldn’t stay in business for longl

  18. I prefer upright exponents, myself. They have more power than upright bases.

  19. NYC seems like a magical place, I want to go there!

  20. Can we turn up the pink ape in the monitor?

  21. NYU art school project, clearly.

  22. baseist  |   Posted on Apr 15th, 2009 +5


  23. this may be arousing for some people (mascot head fetish, anyone?)… they need to cover that shit up.

    not saying i KNOW… just saying i’ve HEARD…

  24. baseist  |   Posted on Apr 15th, 2009 0


  25. Steve  |   Posted on Apr 15th, 2009 0

    “The Visitor” would’ve been a much more interesting movie had these two been in it.

  26. Yes, but are you sure those are costumes???

  27. this should definitely have the ‘cute as balls’ tag omg. i’m adopting both of them and putting them squarely in my pocket.

  28. i freaking SAW THEM walking on Houston Street like a month ago.

  29. duh  |   Posted on Apr 16th, 2009 +4

    and you spelled their name wrong, its xylopholks not xylofolks

  30. I want someone to do this wearing Femskins.

  31. I’m not sure which is more painful, *watching* these guys, or *listening* to them, but I only made it through about 5 seconds of trying to do both.

    I hate people in costumes. Especially people — grown-ups — in lame costumes. (Kids in costume on Halloween is the only exception I will make to the general rule that people in costumes are just creepy.)

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