Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Israel News

Trick or Treyf: Madoff Mask A Hit for Halloween

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.

Image by 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.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.