Zanta is, indeed, trying to stage a comeback

Zanta is, indeed, trying to stage a comeback

A Zanta comeback poster, spotted on Queen Street West. (Image: Steve Kupferman)

After yesterday’s post about a possible Zanta renaissance, we were able to reach David Zancai, the man underneath the Santa hat, by phone. He confirmed that he’s the one behind the recent Zanta-themed publicity blitz, and that, at least in theory, a comeback is nigh.

“A friend of mine is going to build me a customized chariot,” he said. “And 13 girls are going to pull me on it.” He estimates that this momentous display will happen at some point in August. The boyfriends and husbands of his all-female chariot team, he hopes, will be on hand as security.

Zancai shrugged off a question about whether or not he was still being medicated for schizophrenia, as reported in the Star in 2012. “I’m not schizophrenic,” he said, adding that he’s hard at work regaining his famous muscle tone, recently impaired by a tangle with some body-softening thyroid problems. A friend is helping him with his web presence, which explains the sudden profusion of online Zanta resources.

At one point, the voice of an older woman interrupted the phone call. It was Zancai’s mother. “If it’s about your stupid Zanta shit, tell the guy to hang up and don’t call again,” she said to him. Her frustration was understandable. Zancai has paid a heavy personal price for being Zanta, including banishment from parts of downtown, and, reportedly, stints in jail. He didn’t hang up the phone, though.

Zancai claims the new Zanta will be less confrontational than the old one. “I can’t do what I did before. That was a one-time thing,” he said.

It’s not clear how Zancai envisions his return to public life proceeding. One gets the sense that there’s not much in the playbook at this point in time. Well, except for the 13 girls and the chariot. And one other thing.

“I’m running for mayor,” he said.