Trick or Treyf: Madoff Mask A Hit for Halloween

By Edmon J. Rodman

Published October 21, 2009, issue of October 30, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Ghostly sightings of Bernard Madoff’s plastic punim will be popping up everywhere this Halloween, as costume shops report that Madoff masks are flying off the shelves.

RUBIES COSTUME CO.

As of press time, Amazon.com listed its Madoff mask as “currently unavailable,” and it was “temporarily out of stock” at AnyCostume.com.

Mask buyers are pairing the face with striped prison outfits, says Mac Beige, owner of Rubie’s Costume Co., Inc. in the Richmond Hill section of Queens. “This happened once before, with Richard Nixon,” Beige said of people pairing masks with the striped ball-and-chain ensembles.

Beige, whose company distributes a “Mr. Ponzi” mask to costume shops and online catalogs across the United States, said, “Our customers were asking for it, because he’s a famous face” of the moment.

The mask, which is priced between $19.95 and $39.95 at most retailers, has garnered media attention with both a wire-service piece in The New York Times regarding its mass distribution and a gag line in the opening monologue on David Letterman’s October 16 show. 

“The Madoff mask is now one of our most famous, or should I say infamous, masks,” Beige said.

But if Madoff isn’t your costume of choice, there is a minion of Jewish characters from the Bible and recent history to choose from.

On eBay you can buy an Einstein wig and mustache kit for $9.99. Another site, halloweenstreet.com, offers adult biblical costumes, including a white-haired Moses (imagine Yul Brynner greeting you with “Moses, Moses, Moses”), a generic shepherd — good for a variety of forefathers — and a satiny Queen Esther. And in a pinch there’s always Jesus; just say you’re Isaiah.

There even are costumes for Jewish wannabes of late — Britney Spears, Madonna — in various outfits.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.