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4 Oddest New Yorkers With Celebrity Status




They may not be famous by Hollywood standards but they have found a lot of fame as local New York celebrities. Sometimes they can manage to get featured on national news outlets. However, they’re most likely are never going to leave the Big Apple. These 4 New York celebrities are weird yet sincere.

1) Cat On The Hat


As far as New York celebrities go, they don’t get much stranger yet simpler than this guy. Wandering the streets of the city is a man with a cat (pictured above; names Nicholas) on his head. This has been the case for some years now. The man has trained several cats to do this; Nicholas is the third. He makes his living posing for pictures, likely mostly with tourists. Humans Of New York quoted him as saying, “You can make about 75% more money with a cat on your head than you can with a cat on your shoulder.” I guess this is a recession-proof job? Hey, whatever puts tuna on the table.

2) Rat Man

New York has its share of weirdness, but this guy takes the cake. I’m not cool because I don’t own a pastel blue rat with a choker. But this guy is. “Rat Man.” He has a possie of dyed rats, hangs out in different areas of the city, and also has his rats hang out on different parts of him. Sometimes he holds them in his mouth, which I can’t decide if I find sweet and paternal, or just creepy and uncomfortable. Maybe it’s a bit of both.

Rat Man. Get with it guys.

3) Free Hugs

Ok, technically this one is not limited to New York (although somewhere you are sure to find someone holding up a sign in Union Square). I wanted to take this opportunity to share the origin story of the Free Hugs campaign. It was actually started by Juan Mann (pictured above) in Melbourne sometime back in 2006. The idea was popularized by the Australian band Sick Puppies, who were friends of Mann, and used footage of his “Free Hugs” walkabout for their video for their breakout track “All The Same.” Following its release in 2007, the video gained a lot of attention and the movement earned popularity enough for the Free Hugs campaign to spread around the world. Check out the video by clicking the following link:

FREE HUGS (be advised: this is very moving)

4) Matthew Silver

Performance artist, whacky prop artist, weird exhibitionist, professional oddball, or maybe, all of them. Matthew Silver usually does his street shows in Union Square, Washington Square Park, and Astor Place. I’ve also seen him perform at Bizarre Bar, so this guy is all over the place. No, literally, all over the place. His scatterbrained and offbeat antics have earned him quite the reputation in NYC, usually as “the weirdo in speedos,” but his strangeness is…strangely infectious. People may see him and think, “there goes the craziest person ever,” but the truth contrasts this. Matthew knows what he’s doing, he simply has his own way of doing it.

“For myself, I always wanted to perform, I always wanted to be a clown, I always wanted to make people laugh. And you can live your life waiting for somebody to ask you to do things, and hope that you’ll be chosen to do that, or you create opportunities for yourself. I always thought that the character of the weirdo street person, the clown, the village idiot, was always an amazing character, so I wanted to be that person.” – Matthew  (

Do you think Blue Man Group was considered normal the first time they put on a show?

John Ghost is a professional writer and SEO director. He graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in English (Writing, Rhetorics, and Literacies). As he prepares for graduate school to become an English professor, he writes weird fiction, plays his guitars, and enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters. He lives in the Valley of the Sun. MuckRack Profile

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